How to tackle character development: Debut novelist Natalie Baszile shares her strategy
If there ever was a book that surely will be a movie, Natalie Baszile’s debut novel Queen Sugar is it.
I met Natalie at the 2012 VONA Voices Workshop. In a nonfiction workshop taught by Faith Adiele, I had the pleasure of reading excerpts of Natalie’s memoir in progress so I’m not surprised that the same rhetorical qualities that endeared me to her writing are earning her praise in a number of reviews: eloquence, description, and confidence.
But in the words of the first book reviewer I knew, “Don’t take my word for it.” Read the book, and listen to the Behind the Prose Radio Show on March 1 at 6 PM EST / 3 PM PST to learn how Natalie approaches the writing life and craft.
Natalie has a M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA and is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers where she was a Holden Minority Scholar. An early version of Queen Sugar won the Hurston Wright College Writer’s Award, was a co-runner up in the Faulkner Pirate’s Alley Novel-in-Progress competition, and excerpts were published in Cairn and ZYZZYVA. She has had residencies at the Ragdale Foundation where she was awarded the Sylvia Clare Brown fellowship, Virginia Center for the Arts, and Hedgebrook. Her non-fiction work has appeared in The Rumpus.net, Mission at Tenth, and in The Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 9. She is a former fiction editor at The Cortland Review and is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Natalie grew up in Southern California and lives in San Francisco with her family.