This next guest is an author that has been on our radar for literally like a year and a half and we finally just got the courage to ask her to join us for a chat. The awesome things about this author is that she so beautifully blends South Asian characters in these non-stereotypical settings that neither one of us has really seen before. To find out more, we highly suggest reading one or two(or more...) of her books.
Her name? Neesha Meminger. Her goal? Writing awesome books with South Asian protagonists!
1. First off, thanks for stopping by our blog! What can you tell anyone meeting you for the first time about yourself.
Thank you for having me! What I could tell someone meeting me for the first time is that I know a lot of stuff. Much of it will not help anyone in an emergency; get anyone higher grades in school; or build anything of any technological value. But it is stuff that involves feelings and emotional growth and healing...and that *could* do all of the aforementioned ;).
2.We talk about multiculturalism all the time on our blog. Do you find diversity important in your writing?
Absolutely. I consciously write diverse characters. It's important to me to accurately reflect the world around me and to write into existence the stories of people I've known, myself included. As with many folks of color, lgbtq folks, working class people, people with disabilities, etc., I did not see myself reflected in books and media as I was growing up. This just reinforced the notion that I was invisible, didn't matter, or wasn't worth acknowledging -- a notion I distilled from my surroundings through textbooks, films, casual and off-hand remarks from adults around me. Reflecting diversity while, as author Zetta Elliot has so eloquently pointed out, addressing issues of equity in publishing play a crucial role in transforming the way young people view themselves and, by extension, become active participants in the world.
3. I know it's hard to choose between your babies, but do you have a ultimate favorite character that you've written?
This is a tough one, but I think I might have to say Jazz! For some reason, Jazz, from Jazz In Love, is really close to my heart. When I was writing her story, I kept feeling like I wanted to hug her. She was going through so much and she was really a sweet, inquisitive teen who kept being misunderstood. She was looking to the world around her for options in terms of how to be a woman and there seemed to be no room for rebellious, mischievous, girls like her who are looking for love.
4.What was the last book that made you want to sit down with a stranger and brag about?
I'm assuming you mean which of my books...? In terms of my YA novels (I also write romance novels under a pseudonym), again, it would have to be Jazz In Love. Shine, Coconut Moon was my first and I love it so much because of that, and all I learned through writing it; Into the Wise Dark was an ambitious undertaking and I love the ways I branched out in it and grew new wings writing about things that matter to me the most in life; but Jazz In Love was the novel I had the most fun with. It was funny and light, while at the same time being serious and tackling some tough issues -- like violence in teen relationships, and rebellion and arranged marriage, and dating -- within the South Asian community.
5. Lastly, where can anyone go to find and be updated on everything Neesha Meminger?
My website, www.NeeshaMeminger.com, is a great place to get information on my books, but I also have a Facebook page that I try to post regularly on. I always look forward to hearing from readers!
Don't forget everyone!We're giving away tons of prizes!Please check out our giveaway along with our features on all these amazing authors!