Thursday, April 1, 2010

Authorly Journeys - Medeia Sharif

Another amazing writer with an outstanding journey, guys. Today is all about Medeia Sharif, represented by Marlene Stringer. Read this carefully! I'd have to say Medeia is the most optimistic writer I know!

Tell us about your book.

THE BESTEST RAMADAN EVER will be published by Flux in the Summer of 2011.

Fifteen-year-old Almira Abdul is fasting for Ramadan for the first time ever, but the month does not move smoothly at all. She has her first major crush, treads on her best friend’s toes, butts heads with a new archenemy, and has a strict old-world grandfather who drives her crazy.

Can you tell us a little bit about your road to publication?

I finished my first book in 1995 at the tender age of eighteen. In the 90’s and early millennium I wrote several experimental books and collected a gargantuan pile of rejection letters. I was switching between genres and trying to find my voice and style.

In 2005 I wrote a coming-of-age story entitled THE ART OF KURDISH MARRIAGE. In 2006 and 2007 this novel was represented by two different agents (respectively, not simultaneously). Both relationships turned rocky and ended quickly. My heart was broken since I believed in the book at the time, and it was hard to come to terms with being unagented after the initial excitement of gaining representation. But I kept writing.

In the fall of 2007 I began THE BESTEST RAMADAN EVER. In the spring of 2008 I received a call from an agent who read the full manuscript and gave me advice which I took to heart. After I revised my manuscript, I sent it to her and a few other agents. In the summer of 2008 I got another call, this time from Marlene Stringer of The Stringer Literary Agency. She liked me, she really really liked me. She became my agent and started subbing immediately.

In the winter of 2008 and spring of 2009 I received word that the acquisitions editor at Flux, Brian Farrey, was interested. He sent me revision notes, and I spent a few months going through another round of revisions to make my manuscript stronger. In the summer of 2009 my agent landed a book deal with him.

As a side note, I highly recommend agentquery.com. I know there are other websites, but this is the one I used the most to find agents’ electronic and snail mail addresses during the querying process.

Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? Why didn't you?

I never felt like giving up. I was always writing. I had a well of optimism and persistence that guided me in the right direction.

I learned so many things about perseverance and criticism. THE BESTEST RAMADAN EVER and my current work-in-progress are undergoing so many filters. There’s my critique group, agent, editor, copyeditor, and a few other filters I’m still meeting along the way. Every time a manuscript is critiqued and revised through the lens of another reader, it comes out better. Instead of giving up, I’d rather just look at room for improvement. Also, I’m blessed that others are willing to give me feedback.

To learn more about Medeia, check out the links below.

http://www.sharifwrites.com
http://sharifwrites.blogspot.com

Thank you, Medeia. You are an inspiration.

And to read all of today's Authorly Journey interviews, click below:



22 comments:

Kristi said...

What an inspirational interview that demonstrates what hard work and perseverance can accomplish. Congrats, Medeia! Thanks, Suzette and Bethany, for another wonderful author interview. :)

Christine Fonseca said...

Another wonerful interview ladies! Thanks!!!

Jen said...

I'm loving these wonderful interviews!!! Keep them coming!!!

Congrats Medeia! How amazing!

Matthew Rush said...

Thanks Suzette for posting and Medeia for being willing to be interviewed.

This is a nice reminder that the agent author partnership is a very important relationship and it really helps to have the right one. Glad you found yours and best of luck with all your future endeavors!

Medeia Sharif said...

Thank you for the kind words. I am optimistic. In middle school I promised one teacher I'd dedicate my first book to her, so even back then I was sure I'd be published some day. Another thing I did when I was younger was stage numerous interviews in my head about my literary efforts.

Carolyn V. said...

Great interview! I'm so excited for Medeia! I love her positive attitude. =)

Lydia Kang said...

sound like cool books. Great interview, thanks!

Angie said...

Cool interview! She's an inspiration. Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUZY!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

This sounds like such a great book. And I love Media's blog. Great stuff. Media - are you part of Elevensies?

Medeia Sharif said...

Yes, I'm a member of the Elevensies. I'm on there often.

Alyssa said...

I really appreciate these posts. Meeting these authors and learning of their journeys is extremely inspiring!

Elana Johnson said...

Wow, what a great interview. Thanks for sharing your heartaches and triumphs with us! I think I can live through pretty much anything the publishing world throws at me now.

Michelle McLean said...

Wonderful interview and incredible attitude! Your book sounds very interesting, can't wait to read it :)

And happy birthday Suzy!!!

Jemi Fraser said...

Yay Medeia! Great interview :) I'm so not surprised that you are upbeat and positive in interviews too! :)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Love the positivity! And love all these interviews. :)

Dawn Simon said...

Awesome interview! I love your optimism!

Medeia Sharif said...

Thanks, everyone.

Erica Chapman said...

Great interview and what a great attitude ;o)

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm glad you never gave up. It makes my five years at this seem like a short amount of time. I'll take your advice and keep writing. I wish you much success!

Lisa and Laura said...

Agreed...feedback is so, so key. Great interview...great book!

Paul Greci said...

Great Interview!! Thanks for sharing your journey!

Amy Holder said...

Great interview! I'm so glad you never gave up. Can't wait to read your book! :)