Friends, this month’s pair of Outlaw Boots is early, but no less notable for its outlaw-ness. Neesha Meminger is the author of SHINE COCONUT MOON (a book I’m teaching in the spring, can’t wait) and the released-last-week JAZZ IN LOVE. She is a Debs 09 Debutante, which is how I met her, and I have it on good authority (meaning I saw it happen) that she’s been mistaken for Halle Berry. But Neesha is *way* more outlaw than Halle Berry.
Neesha writes about girls that not many people (if any) write about. Sam (SHINE) and Jazz are daughters of South Asian immigrants. Have you ever seen books about Indian-American girls? No, I didn’t think so. The girls struggle with traditional teenage things–love, clothes, friends–but layered on top are cultural traditions and constrictions that will surprise any reader. Want to learn about identity struggles that shake you to your toes? These books are for you.
(Not to mention the fact that Neesha has published JAZZ IN LOVE in a unique and cool way–she’s a true outlaw for that as well!)
And here’s why she’s an outlaw:
–Who’s your most outlaw character (in any book)–why?
Jazz, from JAZZ IN LOVE, is the biggest rebel I’ve written so far. She just keeps getting herself into bigger and bigger piles of doo-doo as she struggles to do what she wants while trying to hang on to the approval of her friends and family. She doesn’t do a very good job of the latter, though. In following her own heart, she ends up alienating just about everyone she cares about, and then she has to decide if it’s (he’s) worth it.
–Are you an outlaw too? How do you know?
I am definitely an outlaw, for better or worse. I know because, like Jazz, I often find myself in big piles of doo-doo.
–What kind of shoes does your outlaw wear (you or your
character–maybe outlaw boots?)?
Jazz is definitely a sneaker gal–probably a wildly colored pair of Converse; while Sam, from SHINE, COCONUT MOON, is more of an Uggs type of gal–comfy, practical, yet still trendy. Me, I like clogs.
–Pirate, ninja, nerd, other outlaw title for you/your character:
Jazz refers to herself as an “academic rock star,” or a “cool geek,” and Sam is more of a stealth bomber–she comes at you sideways, and before you know what hit you, she’s gone :).
–Best thing about being an outlaw:
You’re probably happier than most inlaws. *heh heh*
–Favorite outlaw/badass food:
I’m a mostly-vegetarian who has been vegan at various points in her life, so my badass food has to be goat marrow. Seriously. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.
–Favorite outlaw/badass role model/why:
The real Storm from X-Men because, dude–she can command the WEATHER.
(me talking: real Storm = better than Halle Berry (again!))
Neesha, you are amazing. Thank you for showing us your Outlaw Boots. Go, friends, and buy these books! Don’t you have an outlaw on your Christmas list?