Q1: Where did you get the inspiration for your debut novel, Bestest. Ramadan. Ever.?
At first I was going to write a middle grade novel about a boy celebrating Ramadan. Then my main character, Almira, popped into my head. Her voice was strong and hard to ignore, so I decided to write a YA novel about her instead.
Q2: Are you planning on making it a series? If so, how many books and do you know what the name of the second book will be?
I’d like to expand BRE into two more books, but nothing’s set in stone. I have one finished manuscript and the outline of another. The titles are tentative and subject to change, so I’m not ready to share them yet. But I hope to in the future.
Q3: How old were you when you started writing?
I was eleven when I started writing poems and short stories. When I was seventeen and eighteen I wrote my first novel.
Q4: What are some of your favorite books?
Stephen King’s THE EYES OF THE DRAGON, Clive Barker’s THE THIEF OF ALWAYS, Jandy Nelson’s THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE, Nova Ren Suma’s IMAGINARY GIRLS, Lauren Oliver’s BEFORE I FALL, and Sylvia Plath’s THE BELL JAR.
Q5: What do you have in common with the main character in your story?
As far as characterization, not much. Almira’s bubbly, sociable, and optimistic. I had a darker personality when I was her age. I sort of wrote the anti-me. The only commonalities are the intergenerational/cultural clashes, which I experienced myself since I’m second-generation in my family.
Also, follow Medeia on twitter, she is @sharifwrites. You can visit her website at:http://www.medeiasharif.com/