Namwali Serpell - Hay Festival award winning author talks strict structure, women-only workspaces and the birth of a new nation.

Namwali Serpell had been named one of the best African writers under 40 before she'd even published a novel. She's a student of the craft, and now a teacher of it at the University of Berkeley. Finally, after finishing a book that will forever sit in a drawer, she's publishing her first novel, 'The Old Drift'. It's a huge project, telling the stories of 3 families across generations in the new nation of Zambia.


We chat about how to tell this story she needed a rigid structure of planning and plotting, also how she backed up her thorough characters and huge ideas with plot, and how she wants this book to be remembered in hundreds of years.


There's also a top writing tip in there from one of the most successful crime authors working today, all about making friends. You can send your top tip over to writersroutine.com.


@writerspod

writersroutine.com

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

More from Writer's Routine

  1. 43:09Lara Prior-Palmer, author of 'Rough Magic' - Memoir writer talks winning the Mongol Derby, always fixing sentences and free-flowing words.Jul 12, 2019
  2. 47:21Louise Candlish, British Book Award Winner - 'Our House' author talks having an unusual hook, following up on success and almost giving up.Jun 21, 2019
  3. 45:15Abi Elphinstone, author of 'Rumblestar' - Children's author talks finding the right audience, believable characters and thorough research.Jun 14, 2019
  4. 49:54Ahmad Danny Ramadan, writer of 'The Clothesline Swing' - LGBTQ and refugee campaigner, writer and speaker talks storytelling with friends, multiple outlines and deliberate confusion.Jun 07, 2019
  5. 35:59Mel Sherratt - Crime and Thriller author talks moving through genres, letting characters dictate plot, and the Kindle revolution that helped her success.May 30, 2019
  6. 43:26Trent Dalton - 'Boy Swallows Universe' talks debut success, being named 'Australian Book of the Year' and writing snappily.May 24, 2019
  7. 44:45Jeffery Deaver - Global bestselling thriller author talks about research, writing puzzles and working anywhere.May 17, 2019
  8. 46:16Lucie Whitehouse - 'Critical Incidents' author talks procedural crime novels, switching genres and ideas from thin air.May 10, 2019
  9. 32:47Mhairi McFarlane - Rom-com author talks contrivances, not letting mistakes go, and 'chick-lit'.May 05, 2019
  10. 40:21Namwali Serpell - Hay Festival award winning author talks strict structure, women-only workspaces and the birth of a new nation.Apr 25, 2019