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.