This week, I'm reposting my past discussion with Medeia Sharif (originally posted 8/26/13). Medeia writes both young adult and middle grade fiction and her latest young adult novel, Snip Snip Revenge, was just released last week. Enter to win a free copy in a goodreads giveaway.
ME: Being introverted, nerdy, and kind are all great things. Tell me more. What do you love most in the world?
MS: Literature. I love writing and reading.
ME: Me too, there is nothing better than a great story. So what do you fear most?
MS: I’m afraid of losing control. I become agitated when I can’t control a situation and if someone tries to control me. I get upset, become avoidant since I’m not argumentative, and sometimes I lose my temper. Mild discomfort can lead to full panic mode. I don't want anyone or anything compromising my freedom.
ME: Eek, that's no good. I'll make sure to never try and control you. Thanks for agreeing to answer my somewhat controlling questions. Now I want to know your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
MS: I always wanted to be a multi-published author with my name on several books. Now with one book behind me, I’m still trying hard to fulfill that dream. The industry can be brutal and there’s a lot of subjectivity, but I keep at it. I’m working on various manuscripts and submitting projects.
ME: Having read and enjoyed your one book, I sincerely hope you reach that dream for the purely selfish reason that I want to read your other books. I'm sure you will get there. So, what is the hardest thing you've ever done?
MS: In my twenties, I became independent with my own place and source of income. This was no easy thing since I grew up sheltered. Things were hard at first and there was so much to be afraid of. After numerous adjustments, I eventually became resourceful and self-reliant.
ME: Being a grownup has it's benifits, but there are still times when I wish I could go back to the carefree nature of childhood. I agree gaining independence and self-reliance aren't easy tasks to achieve. If you can do that, there's know way you can't get another book published. Now that we've gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it's yours. What's your story?
MS: Last spring break I visited my childhood neighborhood, the one I spent the first ten years of my life in. I hadn’t seen the area in twenty-six years. I remember emerging from the subway early in the afternoon with my heart pounding. Because of the time of day, the parks and residential streets weren't heavily populated. Anytime I was alone, I went ahead and talked to myself. I said things like, “Wow, it’s changed,” or “It’s the same,” or “Oh my God, it’s beautiful.” I went through parks, admired the river view, walked past my old apartment building, and traveled on familiar streets. I didn’t cry or anything, but it was an emotional experience.
ME: I imagine that return to an old familiar place was not only a great experience for you as a person but also for you as a writer. Thank you, for sharing your story. I definitely feel like I now have a better understanding of who you are. And I'll definitely be waiting to read that second book.
ME again, several months later: Now that your new book is out, why don't you tell us a little bit about Snip Snip Revenge.
MS (via goodreads): Beautiful, confident Tabby Karim has plans for the winter: nab a role in her school’s dramatic production, make the new boy Michael hers, and keep bigoted Heather—with her relentless Ay-rab comments—at bay. When a teacher’s lie and her father’s hastiness rob her of her beautiful hair, her dreams are dashed. The fastest barber in Miami Beach has made her look practically bald.
With all her pretty hair gone, Tabby doesn’t believe she fits the feminine role she’s auditioning for. Michael is still interested in her, but he’s playing it cool. Heather has taken to bullying her online, which is easier to do with Tabby’s ugly haircut. Tabby spearheads Operation Revenge, which proves satisfying until all of her problems deepen. After messing up, she sets to make things right.
So what's your story? If you're interested in participating in a future installment of What's Your Story, please leave your contact information in the comments of this post or email me directly at katherine(dot)elliott(dot)scott(at)gmail(dot)com.