Rhoda Belleza is a children’s editor at a publishing house and is the author of Empress of a Thousand Skies and Blood of a Thousand Stars. The New York Times Book Review wrote, “Intergalactic political intrigue, family betrayal and coveted thrones feature in this space opera story…real-world analogues and social commentary make Empress of a Thousand Skies an important and relevant novel.”
In Rhoda’s episode, we chat all about her love for action movies and how that led her to novel writing. We dive into her experiences as an editor at a publishing house and how that helped her explore the other sides of the publishing world, and how being an editor helped to improve Rhoda’s own writing. We dive into the details about her novels “Empress of a Thousand Skies” and “Blood of a Thousand Stars”, from the inspiration behind the characters, to the world building, and to closing out your characters and ending your story.
Further into our conversation, we break down how joining a writing community you trust can help you receive constructive feedback on your writing, why it’s important to separate yourself and your self-worth from the revision process of a first draft, and why we should seek professional opinions during our research process. We chat realistic word counts per week, why we should be writing consistently throughout the week and how that helps us stay intimate with our characters and strengthens our character building. We also cover why it’s crucial to put aside an editing day each week to prevent yourself from editing along the way.
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“You’re not on anyone else’s schedule but your own.”
“There’s nothing to revise unless you write that first bad draft.”
“At the end of the journey…you want it to be crystallized and engaging. There’s all these ambitions you have for the draft, but right now it’s just a draft and it needs to get better. The only way that it will get better is for you to be vulnerable.”
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- A discussion on “Empress of a Thousand Skies” and “Blood of a Thousand Stars”
- How Rhoda’s love for action movies led her to novel writing and editing
- How joining a writing community you trust can help you receive constructive feedback on your writing
- Why it’s crucial to separate yourself and your self-worth from the revision process of a first draft
- Rhoda’s experience as a YA editor and how that helped her explore other sides of the publishing world and improve her own writing
- The inspiration behind Rhoda’s characters and world building
- The importance of seeking out professional opinions during your research process
- Closing out your characters and ending your story
- How setting realistic word counts per week will help you reach your writing goals
- Why writing consistently throughout the week will help you stay intimate with your characters and strengthen your character building
- How setting aside an editing day each week can prevent you from editing along the way
Learn More About “Blood of a Thousand Stars”
War tears the galaxy apart, power tests the limits of family, and violence gives way to freedom in this exhilarating sequel to Empress of a Thousand Skies.
With a revolution brewing, Rhee is faced with a choice: make a deal with her enemy, Nero, or denounce him and risk losing her crown.
Framed assassin Alyosha has one goal in mind: kill Nero. But to get his revenge, Aly may have to travel back to the very place he thought he’d left forever—home.
Kara knows that a single piece of technology located on the uninhabitable planet Wraeta may be the key to remembering—and erasing—the princess she once was.
Villainous media star Nero is out for blood, and he’ll go to any means necessary to control the galaxy.
Vicious politics and high-stakes action culminate in an epic showdown that will determine the fate of the universe.
Learn More About Rhoda Belleza
Rhoda Belleza was raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up writing XFiles fanfiction and stuffing her face with avocados. When she’s not writing, Rhoda obsesses over nail art tutorials, watches kung fu movies, and sews together crooked things that pass for clothes. She’s a children’s editor at a publishing house and writes from a sunny Brooklyn apartment stuffed far too many bikes and far too many shoes. Empress of a Thousand Skies is her debut novel.
Books & Resources Mentioned in Rhoda’s Episode:
Die Hard directed by John McTiernan and screenplay by Steven E. de Souza, Jeb Stuart
Imprints Macmillan Publishing
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
The Broken Earth trilogy by NK Jemisin