Friday, June 3, 2011

Writer's Interview - Medeia Sharif ( YA Author)

I am happy to announce that I am publishing my first ' Writer Interview'. When I thought of it, the very first name that crept up in my mind was of Medeia Sharif. A very warm and cordial person, she accepted my request with pleasure. I never felt that I am interacting with a person who is sitting miles away from me. Such was the cordiality expressed by her.

Medeia Sharif is a YA Author whose debut novel BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER.would soon hit the markets.

( Information collected from Medeia Sharif's website

Medeia Sharif is a Kurdish-American author who was born in New York City. She received her master’s degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University. Besides being an author, she is also a school teacher. Medeia became a voracious reader in high school and a relentless writer in college.Her persistence paid off in 2008 when she attained agent representation and in 2009 when she got her first book deal.

BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER. is her first novel and it will be published by Flux in 2011.

Here is Medeia Sharif exclusively for you...
Could you tell a few words about yourself?
I’m a high school English teacher and YA author living in Miami Beach.

Could you tell a few words about your debut novel, BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER.?
Almira Abdul fasts for Ramadan for the first time, and the holy month proves to be a bumpy one.

When did you realize that writing is your cup of tea?
I wanted to become a novelist when I was in high school. During my senior year I was determined to fulfill this dream. The summer after I graduated I began my first novel and kept writing throughout college and after I started teaching.

How would you choose books for giveaways?
Right now I do giveaways linked to my reading goal. My 2011 reading goal is 150 books. I’m giving away one book from that list when I reach 50, another book when I reach 100, and three books when I reach 150. I enjoy sharing the books I've read with others. I’m also doing a giveaway of my own novel on Goodreads.

Are you a full-time writer?

No, I’m a full-time teacher and part-time writer.

Why did you choose YA over other genres to write?
I finished my first novel when I was eighteen, and from that age to my late twenties all my manuscripts had young characters. But I was writing in an adult style! After becoming a teacher, I immersed myself in middle grade and young adult books. A light bulb clicked in my head. If I have young characters, I should change my style to accommodate younger readers.

Which genre you prefer to read, apart from YA?
I love mysteries and thrillers.

What are your tips for writing?
Write consistently and use feedback. I go to a critique group and I have a few beta readers; my agent and editors also provide guidance. Criticism is needed to revise a manuscript.

What are the technicalities that have to be kept in mind while writing?
One must overcome the many distractions found when working at home.

Do you buy books you need to read or just collect books to read in future?

I read for pleasure, so I collect books to read in the future.

Does your book cater to the West as well as the East?
Yes. The main character is American-born, but a child and grandchild of immigrants. I believe people in both the East and West will find something to connect to.

Do you encourage ebooks as a reader and writer?
Yes. I read both print and e-books, and there are advantages to both. The advantage of ebooks is that it’s convenient to read things outside of home. It’s easier to bring my Kindle on a trip versus a pile of books. I also use my Kindle to read manuscripts. The text-to-speech feature helps me catch mistakes.

How do you name a novel?
It comes from the theme of a manuscript or a phrase from it.

Could you please suggest YA books to read for those who are not acquainted with this genre?
There are so many, but I recommend Elizabeth Scott’s LIVING DEAD GIRL, Paula Yoo’s GOOD ENOUGH, Stephanie Perkins’ ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, and Jandy Nelson’s THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE.

Your 10 favourite books and 10 favourite movies?
Books: Elizabeth Scott’s LIVING DEAD GIRL,
Paula Yoo’s GOOD ENOUGH,
Lauren Oliver’s BEFORE I FALL,
Margaret Atwood’s CAT’S EYE,
Stephen King’s EYES OF THE DRAGON,
Ellen Hopkins’ CRANK,
Sylvia Plath’s THE BELL JAR,
and Kurt Vonnegut’s CAT’S CRADLE.

Annie Hall, The Knack and How to Get It, Full Metal Jacket, The Wizard of Oz, Arsenic and Old Lace, Foul Play, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Atonement, Layer Cake, and Edward Scissorhands.

How did you start blogging?
I started my current blog in 2009, but I had two blogs before that. I first started with Yahoo 360, which shut down years ago. The idea of sharing my thoughts with others appealed to me, even though my first two blogs were probably unread and I didn’t know how to garner attention for them at the time.

Please suggest other networking sites to promote readership and writing?
I also use Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

What do you like the most, reading or writing?
I like both equally, so I can’t decide.
You can find more about her in,