Bernice L. McFadden was born, raised and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the eldest of four children and the mother of one daughter, R'yane Azsa. Ms. McFadden attended grade school at P.S. 161 in Brooklyn and Middle School at Holy Spirit, also in Brooklyn. She attended high school at St. Cyril Academy an all-girls boarding school in Danville, Pa.
In the Fall of 1983 she enrolled in the noted NYC fashion college: Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, with dreams of becoming an international clothing buyer.
She attended LIM for two semesters and then took a position at Bloomingdale's and later with Itokin, a Japanese owned retail company.
Disillusioned and frustrated with her job, she signed up for a Travel & Tourism course at Marymount College where she received a certificate of completion. After the birth of her daughter in 1988, Bernice McFadden obtained a job with Rockresorts a company then owned by the Rockefeller family.
The company was later sold and Ms. McFadden was laid off and unemployed for one year. She sites that year as the turning point in her life because during those twelve months Ms. McFadden began to dedicate herself to the art of writing. During the next nine years she held three jobs, always looking for something exciting and satisfying. Forever frustrated with corporate America and the requirements they put on their employees, Ms. McFadden enrolled at Fordham University. Her intention was to obtain a degree that would enable her to move up another rung on the corporate ladder.
She signed up for courses that concentrated on Afro-American history and literature, as well as creative writing, poetry and journalism. She credits the two years spent under the guidance of her professors as well as the years spent lost in the words of her favorite author's, to the caliber of writer she has become.
During those years, Ms. McFadden made a conscious effort to write as much as possible and began to send out hundreds of query letters to agents and publisher's attempting to sell one of her short stories or the novel she was working on.
In 1997, Ms. McFadden quit her job and dedicated seven months to re-writing the novel that would become, "SUGAR." In May of 1998, after depleting her savings, she took her last and final position within corporate America.
On Feb 9th, 1999, her daughter's eleventh birthday (and Alice Walker's birthday - one of Ms. McFadden's favorite author's) she sent a query letter to an agent who signed her two weeks later and the rest is literary history!
Bernice L. McFadden has been greatly influenced by novelists, Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, Alice Walker and E.L. Doctorow