Today we are joined by Neesha Meminger, author of Shine, Coconut Moon and her most recent, Jazz in Love. Here's a little about her:
Neesha was born in Punjab, India, where she lived until she was almost five. For the next twenty years, she was in Toronto, Canada until she moved to the US. She spent her childhood escaping into novels by authors like Judy Blume, Lois Duncan, S.E. Hinton and Paula Danziger. Her biggest wish was to project herself into these novels.
As a teenager, Neesha began writing her own stories. In the next decade or so, her writing would appear in anthologies, journals, the Village Voice, and various online magazines.
Neesha holds a BA in Film and Media Arts from Ryerson University in Toronto, and an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School For Social Research in New York City.
Her independent films have screened at international film festivals, she has taught literature and creative writing courses to undergraduate freshmen in New York, served as a board member for many arts and cultural organizations, and counseled women and youth in crisis.
SHINE, COCONUT MOON, her first novel, made the Smithsonian's Notable Books for Children list and was selected as one of the top 100 books of 2009 by the New York Public Library's Stuff for the Teen Age. The novel was also nominated as a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association as well as the online CYBILS award.
Neesha lives in New York City with her husband and their two children.
When I'm not writing, I'm either reading, or (in the summer) swimming. But mostly, what I really love to do is hang out with friends. I'm a talker and I love cozy heart-to-hearts. I can stay up all night talking and sipping hot drinks with a friend, or I can meet someone for brunch and just hog the table for hours (unless the wait staff start giving us dirty looks). I also love nesting at a restaurant after dinner with my partner-in-crime, or good friends. It's that social connection that I am magnetically drawn to. It's the reason social networks online are such a distraction for me when I'm writing! I love connecting with people and if I'm online while writing, I never get anything done. Too busy chatting. When I was in fifth grade, the teacher called my parents in to have a serious conference on how "we could all work together" to stop me from chatting in class! :D
Check her out at these spots: