It’s time for another author interview. I am super excited to be interviewing Media Sharif. Last year Medeia was the person who commented on my blog the most for the year. She has lifted my spirits on many occasions. Today, it’s time to find out more about this fabulous author.
Hi Medeia, thanks for stopping by Writing Like Crazy.
Thank you for having me, Maribeth. I’ve been following your blog for a long time and was pleased when you asked for an interview.
Let’s start out by asking- When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I started writing poems and short stories in middle school, so I knew back then what I wanted to do.
You are the author of BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER. –Can you tell my readers a little bit about the book?
It’s about a girl named Almira who’s observing Ramadan for the first time, but she’s also experiencing a major crush when she’s not allowed to date, plus her best friend is also in love with the boy. She’s figuring out the divide between what she wants and what she’s been taught.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to write about the holiday. At first it was going to be centered on two boys, but then the main character came into my head and I wanted to write about her.
Almira seems like a spit-fire of a character. Is she anything like you?
She’s 16 and my high school self doesn’t resemble her in any way. She’s more sociable, happy, and talkative. I was more into wearing black, reading Sylvia Plath, and writing dark poems.
If Almira could change places with someone for a day, who do you think it would be?
She has a thing for Robert Pattinson, so probably Kristen Stewart.
Can you tell us a little about your road to publication?
I wrote adult manuscripts for many years and after I became a teacher I dabbled in middle grade. Then I wrote BRE, my first YA novel. This all happened in 10+ years, so the road was very long. I have many drawer manuscripts behind me.
What was it like to read reviews of your book?
At first it was an emotional rollercoaster, with the highs of a good review and the lows of a bad review. I’ve put things into perspective because you’ll find people who loved it, liked it, and hated it—that’s normal. Some of the more nitpicky reviews are strange to me, because the elements mentioned weren’t even things I thought about while writing the novel. Sure a novel in many ways is a reflection of the writer, but reviews can be a reflection of the reader.
What are you working on now?
I have several MG and YA manuscripts in various stages of drafts, revisions, edits, recently beta read, etc. Some are very different than BRE. One is horror, one is historical, and one is extremely edgy.
Your blog http://www.medeisharif.com is filled with great content. You post tons of book reviews. How many books do you read in a month?
I try to read at least three books a week, so at least twelve a month.What is your favorite genre?
You do it all. You have a blog, you write novels, you constantly update your Goodreads page, you are on Twitter. Where do you find the time?
When I’m on the internet I have many tabs open and try to update things as fast as I can. Having a smartphone also helps. I’ll check on things while I’m waiting in line and for appointments. Also, I’m careful how I spend my time. I don’t watch much TV. If I do, I’m doing something else, like organizing things or cleaning. I have a weekly to-do list and by Saturday I try to cross off most things on it. I’m also careful about whom I spend time with. I surround myself with positive, productive people, not the light stealers and soul drainers. I’m determined to do exactly what I want and need to do without anyone getting in the way.
How many hours a day do you dedicate to the craft?
I aim for an hour, but many times it doesn’t happen. I end up cramming several hours on weekends. I also look more to my weekly and monthly writing goals. Some goals or projects are easier, while some require more time.
I think many of my readers would be fascinated to know you are also an English teacher. What do you love most about teaching?
I love that writing and teaching complement each other. I find myself teaching and grading essays with a different eye after learning the craft. I also have a stronger appreciation of literature and am more likely to notice the little things since I write and review books and participate in a critique group.
Okay, on to the rapid fire part of the interview. I hope you don’t mind answering a few more questions.
1. Do you have a writing spot? I have a desk, but sometimes I move to the couch.2. What was the first book you remember reading? I think it was about a dog and that’s all I remember.
3. What was the last book you read? Cynthia Voigt’s MISTER MAX #1.
4. Do you journal? Sometimes.
5. Where do you come up with your character names? Baby name websites.
6. Do you have a motto you try and live by? Everything happens for a reason.
7. What is your favorite word and why? Defenestrate, because it’s unique and I like saying it.
Medeia, I had a blast interviewing you. I look forward to watching your career grow. May your journey be filled with love, success, and contentment.
Thank you, Maribeth. Those words warm my heart.
Before leaving will you share with my readers where they can find you around the internet.
Blog – http://www.medeiasharif.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/sharifwrites/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sharifwrites
Tumblr – http://sharifwrites.tumblr.com/Instagram – sharifwrites
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4086531.Medeia_Sharif
Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/sharifwrites/