Saturday, January 26, 2013

Author Interview + Giveaway: Neesha Hosein

Hello fellow readers! Today I'm thrilled to be welcoming author Neesha Hosein to Melissa's Midnight Musings. Read on to learn more about her, her book I of the Storm and enter an awesome giveaway!

The Interview

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you have any unusual talents or hobbies?
I was born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, but grew up in Houston, Texas. I’m silly and love to laugh! To me, life is a one-hit wonder. Why not make it count by focusing on all the good stuff we have that normally gets taken for granted ... like, for example. Life is full of treats.  

I like to make arts & crafts out of anything. Example: I had some left-over Hawaiian leis from my bridal party, and I taped them together in long strands and made bedroom curtains. I also like to listen to music from other countries.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?

My stay-at-home mom taught me how to read by age 4, so, by kindergarten, I was probably on a 1st or 2nd grade reading level. That’s when I developed my word obsession and dreams of becoming an author like Judy Blume.

Where did the inspiration for I of the Storm come from?

It took me six years to write and started as scribbles in my notebook in 2007 when I was bored in class. It is actually an embellished compilation of a lot of things I’ve experienced, good and bad. This book was invigorating to write and very therapeutic! Kira is a lot like me J For example, she is disgusted by grass, and so is yours truly.

You classify I of the Storm as a Thriller/suspense novel, with some paranormal thrown in. What made you decide to write this genre of story? Do you think you'll try your hand at other genres?

It’s funny, because no matter what genre I start off writing, it naturally beelines straight into a thriller with paranormal sprinkles. I found a short story I wrote when I was 12, and it was so incredibly similar to how I write today! I guess I write about stuff that terrifies me, to be honest. I’m actually writing a non-fiction book right now about my experience with raising a kiddo with autism titled “How to Dodge Flying Guitars.” And, yes, that totally happened.

Who is your favorite author?
Khaled Hosseini. I love the way his words flow.

Do you have writing routine? A special pen, a certain type of music, time limits?

Nope! My daily schedule is too chaotic for routines. It just has to hit me like an avalanche, then I get in “the zone” where I’m possessed by the story that is playing out in my mind like a movie. But I do try to write for at least one hour a day, even if it’s just random thoughts or my blog.

Do you enjoy edits/rewrites, or not?

I’m a professional editor, so, yes, yes, yes! It’s pretty much an addiction. I have a peer group that edits/critiques for me, and I do my own tedious revisions. I have to stop myself at some point, otherwise I’d be tweaking it into oblivion for eternity! I’d be 95 and still trying to “get it ready for publication.”

Do you do a lot of external research for your writing process? If so, what's the most interesting thing you've uncovered in your research?

Sure do! Another writer and I were joking the other day about how insane our internet search history must look based on the nutty things we look up for stories! I did discover that the FBI has a Web page dedicated to journalists and writers to help guide them on what is “realistic” when crafting crime stories. Pretty cool discovery.

Which character was your favorite to write and why?

I’d say Gavin, because as I created him, I was manifesting all the negative energy from all my ex-jerks who hurt me into one being. He’s a masterpiece! I’ve managed to yank at the heart strings of many readers, both male and female, thanks to his character.

How do you come up with your character names?

I’m lucky enough to have very vivid dreams, and often character names come from dreams. And, other times, names are based on people I’ve known, names I’ve heard before and thought “Wow, that’s a cute name,” or one that just stands out as a perfect match for the character.

Please tell us a little bit about your journey to publication

I had heard all the nightmare stories about traditional publishing, waiting years for responses, the 100s of rejection letters, etc., etc. So, I read all I could about the self-publishing world, took a couple writing classes where they went into details about that. Then, I decided to put it on Amazon/Kindle. Easy enough.

What is the hardest part of being a writer?

Marketing! It’s a painful process trying to get your work recognized and knowing how much is wise to invest in it. I’m still working on learning that part of it. Book bloggers really are a blessing to the world!

What is the main theme/feeling you're trying to portray in your work, or the main feeling you hope that readers will come away from the book with?

A couple things. I hope to illustrate to readers that no situation is totally hopeless and to always read between the lines. I want the readers to feel the emotions that Kira feels when she experiences all these life-altering occurrences, one after the next.

When you're not writing, what are your other hobbies/passions?

I’m a book editor and reviewer, so my hobbies still involve words! And I’m an avid reader as well. But I also love to cook and watch movies. I LOVE movies almost as much as I love books.

Are you working on any new projects?

Yes, I’m working on a sequel to “I of the Storm,” my non-fiction book about autism, and a few freelance articles. I also have a writing/editing business called Raven Tree Communication outside my day job as a journalist at NASA.

Quick Fire round:

Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate without a second thought!
Rainy winter days or blazing hot summer days? Rainy winter days
Hard Copy or e-book? Hard copy
Favorite book? “The Kite Runner”
Last book you read? “Miss Nobody” by Nicole Dunlap
What's a quote that inspires you? “Writing is the hardest way of earning a living, with the possible exception of wrestling alligators.” – Olin Miller
What's your favorite comfort food? It’s a tie between chocolate and chips, depending on if I’m craving sugar or salt.

 Meet Neesha Hosein:

Neesha Hosein is a professional writer/editor, journalist and blogger in Houston, Texas. She has a degree in Communication and has dozens of published articles to her credit. “I of the Storm” is her first published work of fiction with much more to come. She is an advocate for autism awareness, having a son with autism. Creating and beautify words has been her passion since childhood, and she plans to continue writing for as long as life allows.

About the Book:

Published: February 24, 2012
Format: E-Book
Pages: 97
Buy the Book: Amazon

Being struck by lightning as a child sets Kira on a path to realization. Her life becomes a riveting series of events, and her guiding light is the supernatural. Her adventurous visions lead her through some spine-tingling discoveries about her husband, the man whose rigorous rules she obediently follows in a life filled with both tribulation and triumph.

Sounds intriguing, doesn't it?

Neesha has very generously offered to give away an e-copy of  I of the Storm AND a 10 dollar Starbucks giftcard to TWO lucky winners!

Giveaway Details:
The Giveaway will run until February 16, 2013 at Midnight PST
This giveaway is limited to US ONLY
You DO NOT have to be a follower of Melissa's Midnight Musings to enter
There are no mandatory entry options.
All entries will be verified and any false entries will be disqualified
The author, NOT Melissa's Midnight Musings is responsible for the shipment of prizes to the winners
Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond. If they do not respond to their notification emails, new winners will be chosen

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This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or any other social media site.


kimbacaffeinate said...

Awesome interview, Judy Blume brings back childhood memories

rachel said...

I'd be afraid to go outside during storms (not that I'm already not...). But I'd embrace life and thank God for another day!

Angela Chen said...

I'd obviously stay away from storms and lightening, but I'd also see my life differently.

♡♥♬ Carolsue ♡♥♬ said...

That's assuming I lived thru it! I guess I would be very afraid of going outside when there was lightning after that!
Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

Shannon Bereza said...

If I were to be struck by lightning I'm guessing I wouldn't have straight hair anymore and I'm guessing I would be a little bit more electrically charged. I don't think I would ever go outside the second I thought it was going to rain.