Nico Rosario is an artist, researcher, and activist, whose work meets at the intersections of creative arts, politics, culture, and education, with a focus on youth and subcultures. A writer and photographer, Nico was a Riggio Honors Writing and Democracy Scholar at The New School; she received her Master’s in Education in Arts and Cultural Settings from Kings College London and her MFA in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths, University of London. She is currently at work on her first novel.
1. Who is your favorite villain, and who is your favorite protagonist in literature?
Hmm. I'm trying to think of villains in general... I don't think I usually read books with a pronounced "bad guy." One protagonist/antagonist relationship that I love, though, is Nick Twisp and his alter ego, François Dillinger, in Youth in Revolt.
2. When did you know you were a writer?
I think I knew I was good at writing when my 4th-grade teacher accused me of plagiarism on a book report. (I didn't do it.) But, honestly, I still don't think of myself as a writer and I'm not sure I ever will. (This is probably more of a self-esteem issue.)
3. What are you currently working on?
I'm writing a novel that I started in John Reed's class at The New School several years ago. I thought I'd be finished by now! But I'm allowing myself to work on it in my own time, in the way that feels necessary, so it'll be finished whenever it is finished.
4. How has your writing process changed over the years?
Well, for starters, I actually started taking my writing more seriously and making time for the work. Now that I'm back on a 9-5 schedule—as opposed to being a student—I have to maneuver the writing into my day, which is tough. And I have to maintain the voice of the novel for a much longer period of time than I was accustomed to in the past, something I'd never had to do before. So this all affects my writing differently. But what I also love about the process now is how it feels like a part of me, unlike before when it felt like a task to complete. This is my actual work, my art object, my vision of the world.
5. Describe your writing style in one sentence.
I once saw a film (Circumstance by Maryam Keshavarz) and the person who introduced described it by saying, "This is a film I want to date." And I hope someone will say that about my writing someday.
Five Questions, by Nicole L. Drayton. Nicole is a writer, screenwriter and independent filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts from The New School, and currently works for the university in the MFA in Creative Writing Program office.