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Please welcome Neesha Meminger, author of the intense and thoughtful YA novel SHINE, COCONUT MOON, which was released earlier this month.

About the book:

Samar–a.k.a. Sam–is an Indian-American teenager whose mom has kept her away from her old-fashioned family. It's never bothered Sam, who is busy with school, friends, and a demanding boyfriend. But things change after 9/11. A guy in a turban shows up at Sam's house–and turns out to be her uncle. He wants to reconcile the family and teach Sam about her Sikh heritage. Sam is eager, but when boys attack her uncle, chanting "Go back home, Osama!," Sam realizes she could be in danger–and also discovers how dangerous ignorance is.

An Interview with Neesha Meminger:

Me: What were your favorite books (or types of books) as a teen, and what was it about them that appealed to you? What, on the other hand, would make you put a book down?
Neesha: I loved romance novels and fantasy, but then I also loved reading huge war epics, too. I think it was the relationships in novels that drew me in. I wanted to read about relationships--good ones, bad ones, complicated ones. I wanted to know what made the good ones work and the bad ones not work and the complicated ones... well, they were just fun to observe. :) I think what made me not like a book was inaccessibility. If the words were too obscure and the sentences too long, I would put it down.

Me: Have your reading tastes stayed the same, or have you discovered new loves and peeves (and if so, what are they)?
Neesha: My reading tastes have pretty much stayed the same.

Me: What was your favorite part of writing SHINE, COCONUT MOON, and what was the hardest?
Neesha: My favorite part was writing the family scenes, whether they were the main character's family, or her best friend's--I just loved being witness to the interplay between family members and coaxing out the hidden reasons or motivations behind certain barbs or alliances.

Me: Did you draw on any people/places/experiences from your life while writing?
Neesha: I drew on everything I've ever known. :) My family, my friends' families, TV shows, people I saw on subway platforms...

Me: What was the most exciting moment during the publishing process? The scariest?
Neesha: Most exciting moment was finding an editor who loved the book. The scariest is coming up. :)

Me: What are you working on now?
Neesha: I've finished a fun romance novel and have now been working on a paranormal with some time travel. I'm loving writing paranormal as it's not my usual genre, but I really feel at home with it.

Hope you enjoyed getting to know Neesha! Another interview to come later this week. :)

My Books

Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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