Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Teen Author Reading Night

I'm reading from SHINE, COCONUT MOON tomorrow (Wednesday) night at the Jefferson Market Library on 6th Avenue and 10th Street in NY at 6pm. If you're around, please come by!!

For a full list of authors reading for the Spring round of Teen Author Reading Night, click here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

OMG, yesterday, I shook hands with Bono of U2 fame. He is one of only three people I've always said I'd like to meet before I die.

I met fellow authors Coe Booth and Heather Duffy-Stone in the city at a cute little breakfast/brunch spot, and when I walked in, he was walking out.

I froze. "That's Bono" was all I could spit out.

Coe has better reflexes than me, so she immediately stuck her hand out. I, jolted out of my stunn-ness, stuck my hand out too.

And he shook it!!!!!

Took me a while to regain my composure, but I finally managed to and thought, "I should get a picture!" But of course, by then, he was already in a cab :P.

He was so warm and down-to-earth. No entourage, just brunch with two or three people at a local spot -- not shee-shee or upscale... And he looked us in the eye when he shook our hands and smiled and said, "Nice to meet you" in that sexy Irish way... SIGH.

I admire Bono for many reasons: his music, which got me through one of the worst summers of my life; his work in Africa and on an international level; and his genuine, open-hearted way of communicating. He's one of those spirits that just moves me.

*glowing*

Saturday, March 28, 2009

And the Winners Aaaaaare....

Thank you so much to everyone for offering such wonderful and helpful comments in the SHINE Trailer Face Off!! Because the votes were pretty much split even for both Trailer # 1 and 2, I've gone ahead and put both up on my site. I am still working with the editor of number two to bring the level of the music down and with the voice-over gal to edit Sam's monologue.

And because I was so touched by the thoughtful comments, I've decided to give away THREE copies instead of one. If you didn't win this time, check back periodically. I will do more giveaways in the coming weeks and months.

Now, without further interruption, here are the winners of this go round:

Biblauragraphy, Katterley, and Yan!

Congratulations! You all have until Monday to send me your snail mail addresses so I can put these copies in the mail for you. Just send to Contests at NeeshaMeminger dot com.

Thanks, again, everyone!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring!


The SHINE Trailer Face Off continues through today until 11:59 pm, but I wanted to butt in here to share this. It's finally Spring!

Every time I drive by the house on the corner with all the crocuses pushing out of the cold earth, I'm reminded of how lovely, fragile, and resilient Life is. And how there is always hope and grace. Even after the darkest, coldest of times. Maybe especially after the darkest and coldest of times...

Happy Spring, everyone!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SHINE Trailer Face Off

Please vote by commenting on which trailer you like better. Tell me why you picked the one you did -- what appealed to you, what didn't, etc. Each commenter's name will go into the hat to win a signed copy of SHINE, COCONUT MOON. Sorry, your name will only be put in once, regardless of the number of times you comment :).

[Edited to add: The comments are SOOO helpful!! A huge thank you to everyone who has commented so far. I will continue putting names into the hat until 11:59 p.m. Friday, March 27th. Then I will do that Random Number Generator thingie.]

Trailer # 1:



Trailer # 2 (props to Saundra Mitchell, author of SHADOWED SUMMER, for turning me on to Moviestorm):







Monday, March 23, 2009

WONDERful Book Signing!!






Books of Wonder is one amazing store. There were a zillion authors and at least three zillion fans, teachers, customers, book-buyers milling about in the store yesterday at the World's Biggest Teen Author Signing EVAR. It was mucho, big, gigantus fun.

In these pics are Heather Duffy Stone, Coe Booth, Sarah MacLean, Lisa Ann Sandell, Carolyn Mackler, and Maureen Johnson. If you want to see more pics, you'll have to visit me on Facebook!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Biggest Teen Author Signing EVAR!!!

This Sunday I will be signing books at the world's biggest teen author book signing EVAR!! It is the grand finale to the NYC Teen Author Fest (if you're on Facebook, check it out here). If you're in NYC and want to hang out with a zillion awesome teen authors of fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, romance, historical, and all other kinds of cool fiction, stop by Books of Wonder from 4-6 p.m.!

We'll all be signing books and there will be a table set up by ReadThis, an organization that provides books to areas that need libraries – so please consider buying books and donating them to the charity!

Here are the authors who are participating and that I am SOOOOO excited to meet!:

Nora Baskin
Jessica Blank
Judy Blundell
Coe Booth
Elise Broach
Susanne Colasanti
Sarah Darer-Littman
Matt de la Pena
Heather Duffy-Stone
Daniel Ehrenhaft
Gayle Forman
Aimee Friedman
Madeleine George
Maureen Johnson
Kristen Kemp
Justine Larbalestier
David Levithan
E. Lockhart
Barry Lyga
Carolyn Mackler
Sarah MacLean
Megan McCafferty
Laura McLaughlin
Neesha Meminger
Billy Merrell
Blake Nelson
Micol Ostow
Matthue Roth
Marie Rutkoski
Lisa Ann Sandell
Courtney Sheinmel
Brian Sloan
Jennifer Smith
Rachel Vail
David Van Etten
Ned Vizzini
Adrienne Maria Vrettos
Cecily von Ziegesar
Melissa Walker
Robin Wasserman
Scott Westerfeld
Suzanne Weyn
Maryrose Wood
Lizabeth Zindel

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

SHINING in NYC

Here's a short video clip with a few of my opening comments from the NYC launch of SHINE at Bluestockings Bookstore! I'm not crazy about seeing myself like this (I have a massive aversion to seeing my "public" self reflected back to me in any form, whatsoever), but I wanted to put this up for those who couldn't make it. I missed you, but hope to see you next time!


video

Friday, March 13, 2009

Get Ready to SHINE

If you are coming to the launch tomorrow, please know that it is an informal, fun, easy event at a really cool, progressive, independent bookstore. I will read a little from my novel and mingle and sign some books. There will be samosas and wine until they run out, and there will be a few giveaways. You will have fun, you will meet very cool people, you will be surrounded by amazing books. Personally, I can't think of a better way to spend an evening ;).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yesterday, I bought all the paper goods for Saturday as well as the goody-bag thingies for my soon-to-be 5-y-old's birthday party, which is two weeks from Saturday. Not to mention mine and H's anniversary is ONE week from Saturday. OMG, three parties in ONE month!!

Who knew celebrating could be so exhausting?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lots of activity going on over here. When I was first trying to decide what to read for the launch on Saturday, I put little post-its in the sections I thought were a nice mix: funny, poignant, serious, light. I finally managed to pick out exactly what I was going to read a couple days ago.

And then I sat down to read the sections, just as a little "rehearsal." Much to my utter dismay, the entire reading clocked in at just over forty minutes. FORTY. I would fall off my chair in sheer boredom (or from being asleep) if I had to listen to the same voice for forty minutes. In fact, that is exactly what I did in high school during most of my classes.

So I have been in a slashing frenzy ever since. If you're coming to the launch, don't worry! You're in good hands!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fans Find SHINE!


Here's a pic of one of my *number one fans holding up a copy of SHINE at Indigo Bookstore in Toronto!

*Okay, he's my brother, but he really is the original, number one fan! Thanks, Manjit, for this awesome pic -- the first one I've seen with my book actually in the stores!

I am a happy, happy gal :). If anyone else spots copies of my book in the stores please snap a pic and send it to me. I'll put it up and give you a shout out!

Monday, March 9, 2009

On the Launching Pad


Tomorrow my book officially launches. I love the way that sounds: a book "launch." We are about to launch this book into the stratosphere :).

Hollis is taking the day off work and we will go out for breakfast together and just pause for a moment in this tailspin of a life to mark just where we are and how we got here. I can't think of a more special way to usher in a new phase of our journey together. Because even if this book will not change our lives, bringing it into the world has changed us. And that deserves a very, very special day of its own.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spotlighting Heather Duffy Stone's THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO TELL YOU


The stories people tell are always about the things we left behind, and about the things we wish we could do again. The real story isn't about what you know; it's about what you wish you knew then. When my brother and my best friend fell in love—that was the end of everything I knew.

Fraternal twins Nadio and Noelle share a close connection—and as Noelle's best friend since they were five, Keeley Shipley fit perfectly into their world. But everything changes after Keeley spends the summer before junior year at Oxford. When Keeley returns, Nadio falls in love with her. Noelle, ripped apart by resentment, sees her as an ungrateful rich girl. But Keeley has a painful story that she can't tell yet. As Nadio and Keeley hide their romance, Noelle dives into something of her own—a destructive affair with an older boy.

Beautifully presented by dual narrators in a haunting stream of memories, this is the deeply moving story of how secrets can consume a friendship—and how love can heal it.

I have been looking forward to spotlighting this title ever since I was lucky enough to read a review copy some weeks ago. I LOVED this book. It's exactly the type of book I read and savor and don't want to mess up by reading something else right after. It's one of those quietly powerful novels that linger inside you and worm their way into your everyday thoughts. It's full of emotional depth and heart and Heather works magic with her words. I would have read this as a teen and thought, "YES! She gets it!" Then I would've clogged up Heather's inbox with fan mail.

I'm so thrilled to have her stop by and answer my Thorough Three!

First, a bit about Heather:

Heather Duffy Stone writes stories and essays that are mostly inspired by high school—either her own or someone else’s. THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO TELL YOU is her first novel. She has lived in Vermont, England, Los Angeles, rural New York and Rome, Italy. For now she cooks, sleeps, explores, writes and teaches in Brooklyn, New York.

I am proud to call Heather a friend. Here are her answers to the Thorough Three!

NM: What is the age of your MCs?

HDS: Sixteen… and of course the older boyfriend. He’s not 16.

NM: Oh, sixteen is such an angst-filled year! And the older boyfriend -- yikes! What is the single, most important bit of advice you'd give to the You that was the same age as your protagonist/s?

HDS: O I think about this all the time… I’d say I know how you feel right now but I promise it’s not the end of the world. It will feel better. You will be okay!

NM: I know! If only we could go back and give our teen selves a few there-there's and bear hugs!

Now complete the following sentences:

Everyone should definitely, for sure _____________.

You should NEVER, EVER ___________. But if you absolutely must, make sure to ____________.

HDS: Everyone should definitely, for sure take risks. Take the risks that scare you the most.

You should NEVER, EVER lie. It isn’t worth it. But if you absolutely must, make sure to tell someone the truth.

Oh, those are SOOO good!! I agree one hundred percent. Thanks so much, Heather!

Click here to learn more about Heather and her work, and here to buy a copy of her wonderful, not-to-be-missed THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO TELL YOU.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Leaving India

Aravind Adiga, author of The White Tiger, said in an interview in the Guardian the day after he won the Man Booker Prize, “At a time when India is going through great changes and, with China, is likely to inherit the world from the west, it is important that writers like me try to highlight the brutal injustices of society. That's what writers like Flaubert, Balzac and Dickens did in the 19th century and, as a result, England and France are better societies. That's what I'm trying to do – it's not an attack on the country, it's about the greater process of self-examination.”

This is most interesting to someone like me whose parents left India so that their children could have a better life, free of poverty and communal/political violence. Most of us who are here from other parts of the world are here because our fore-parents came searching for opportunity, or because they were fleeing persecution -- beginning with European settlers.

Now, India and China are projected to be the next world economic super-powers. Ironic, innit? And as India goes through adjusting to this new change, her citizens experience the growing pains that go along with it. It reminds me of the younger sibling always trying to keep up with the older one, looking up to big brother, and then BANG, realizing they can outrun them. There's got to be a bit of an identity crisis there.

All this time longing for western acknowledgment and recognition, and now it comes in the form of social critique a la Slumdog Millionaire and The White Tiger. At a time when middle and upper class Indians can finally proclaim, "we've arrived. And we're just like you -- we have cell phones and luxuries and wealth," western media turns its eye on the social and economic disparities. The ugly underbelly of poverty and injustice.

But I agree with Adiga: at some point, India will realize she's running her own race now. She has outrun big brother and must now turn inward to create her own definition of who she is. She must look at that ugly underbelly and create a new way of defining "success." As we've all seen too often, a nation's success isn't about the five percent of the population who drive fancy cars and chat on cell phones. This is a great opportunity for the emerging super-powers; it's a chance to step up as leaders and really get it right this time. To put what's important -- the value of human life -- first.

Will it happen? I have hope. After all, these are the nations that birthed Buddha, Gandhi, Yoga, tie-dye, and Feng Shui.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

One More Week

In exactly one week, the date I've been writing in my email signature for the last year, been waiting for with pounding heart, looking forward to all my life will finally be here, officially (even though the book has been making its way into readers' hands for some weeks now). I've read reviews from bloggers and industry sources -- some lovely and positive like Kirkus, PW, and Booklist, and others not so much.

I know not everyone will love it, and that is okay. Some will find its flaws and overlook them, others will find its flaws and broadcast them. Some will react to something deep inside and push it away; others will react to something deep inside and pull it close.

And, as always, when I compare the delivery of this novel to the birth and delivery of my first child, I remember that these firsts can be messy, painful, s-l-o-w, and bumpy. My first child was difficult to bring into this world, but now she dances with abandon, sings unabashed, and carries her own beautifully imperfect tune.

That is my only wish for SHINE. That it go out there into the world and sing its own imperfect and beautiful tune, and touch the people it shares its story with.