In Shine, Coconut Moon, 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.
Neesha Meminger was born in India, grew up in Canada, and currently lives in New York City with her family. All of her writing explores the inner landscape of her characters, and how it merges or conflicts with the outer. She writes stories of women and girls defining themselves and shaping their own destinies within the confines of their day to day realities.
Thai food or Chinese?
Thai, all the way.
Advice for writers in 5 words or less.
Keep on, baby, don't stop (<-- um, a Michael Jackson reference, for those of you too young).
What are you reading right now?
ZOE AND CHLOE ON THE PROWL, by Sue Limb. Love her.
In writing, are you a plotter or a plunger?
I am a plunger! Plots be danged!
If you couldn’t write in your current genre, what would you write?
I would write non-fiction if I couldn't write in my current genre.
Dogs or cats?
Cats! I love cats! I think I have been a cat in many previous lives.
Favorite movie snack.
Samosas! I always buy my own and take them with me :).
Camping or four-star hotel?
Ocean or lake?
Do you speak a foreign language?
I speak Punjabi, Hindi, French, Spanish.
Ever wish you’d studied a different subject in college?
I always wished I'd studied Astronomy.
Key Lime pie in the dead of summer. Mmmmm!
Early bird or night owl?
Who do you wish you could meet, living or dead?
Barack, Oprah, Bono, Octavia Butler, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Gurdas Mann...many more.
Thanks for indulging our curiosity, Neesha!