I have done a lot of these debut author interviews, and I will do them all year... but this one (belated though it is) is especially dear to me. See, publishng a book is a crazy thing. It's scary and disappointing and thrilling and confusing... so many emotions and ideas come along with it. For me, one of the amazing things has been the people I've met along this journey. And Neesha is one. From the first conversation over black coffee and vegan scramble, to a sweltering day at the Brooklyn Festival of Books, to a workshop on Healthy Teen relationships, Neesha has been a source of support, humour and guidance. She is a beautiful writer with a fierce committment to justice and truth. She's a mother of two amazing girls. She is the kind of friend we are lucky to find... perhaps most important, though, her book, Shine, Coconut Moon, is a must read. The narrator, Sam, struggles with family, identity, friendship, love, prejudice in ways that are honest and absolutely unique and real. 'The same 5 Questions' for Neesha Meminger.
1. You mean my inspiration? Hmmm...I'd have to say it's watching documentaries and films that stir me up and make me want to create, to be part of the energy out there that's helping shape us as a global community. And I love difference -- I thrive on difference, so I look for things that are unusual, unique, whispered, spoken in hushed tones, or generally off the beaten path. And I guess they fuel me to create things that are also about breaking silence, breaking barriers, and creating change.
2. The Joshua Tree, by U2. Particularly the songs Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, and Where the Streets Have No Name.
3. Sunlit, quiet, nature outside, preferably a view of a body of water, large wooden desk, kitchen close.
4. Molly is Sam's best friend in SHINE. I loved writing Molly because she was kind of a synthesis of all my best friends in high school. She's spunky, fun, warm, loyal, and has her heart in the right place.
5. Eat some yummy food, spend time with my kids and Hollis, and somewhere in the day I will take a few moments to close my eyes and just stop. Savor the moment. Breathe it all in -- this first novel going out into the world. A moment that will never happen again.
Buy Neesha's book. And visit her here.