Tag Archives: In the Key of Nira Ghani

Interview with Author Natasha Deen

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Ha! There are a lot of things that led me to writing, but I started as a hobby while in university as a way to self-care (and you know, not run down the quad screaming and pulling on my hair). ^_^

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What inspired you to write your book?

Weirdly, In the Key of Nira Ghani began as another book, but I was struggling with it…and put it down…then tried again. But instead of trying to force the story, I took a breath and listened to what the story wanted instead of what I wanted, and Nira was created. It was a great lesson that (1) each book has its own growth rate and (2) sometimes writing is less about getting words on the page and more about listening to that quiet, creative voice.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope they take what they’d like. When it comes to writing, I liken it to building a playground. I’m going to put in swings and a slide, and all the other good stuff. But how you play and where you go is up to you. I just want to give you a space to play. ☺

What drew you into this particular genre?

I’m lucky because I get to write in a lot of different genres. Nira’s story was contemporary fiction because that’s what the story and character arc required.

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Ha! I love this question. By the time my book is complete, I’ve spent a lot of time with my characters and asked them all the questions I can. (Honestly, I think they’re happy when I’m done writing because they’ll finally get some peace and quiet!).

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Ohhh, great question—maybe Twitter? 

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Write. 

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I have a MG book coming out with Capstone Publishing in their Girls Survive line that I’m super excited about! Maria and the Plague of Florence is all about Maria, living in Italy and doing all she can to save herself and her family after the Black Plague invades Florence in 1347.

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About the Author

Natasha Deen’s family moved from Guyana, South America to Canada to escape the country’s political & racial violence. She loved growing up in a country of snow & flannel, but often felt out of place. Thank goodness for books that showed her being different could also mean being awesome. Natasha lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her family where she spends A LOT of time arguing with her cats and dogs about who’s the boss of the house. Visit her at www.natashadeen.com.

In the Key of Nira Ghani by Natasha Deen Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young girl with dreams of becoming a musician must contend with parents who have their own dreams for her life, complex friendships and struggles in school and her journey to discover her place in the world in author Natasha Deen’s novel “In the Key of Nira Ghani”. 

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The Synopsis

Nira Ghani has always dreamed of becoming a musician. Her Guyanese parents, however, have big plans for her to become a scientist or doctor. Nira’s grandmother and her best friend, Emily, are the only people who seem to truly understand her desire to establish an identity outside of the one imposed on Nira by her parents. When auditions for jazz band are announced, Nira realizes it’s now or never to convince her parents that she deserves a chance to pursue her passion.

As if fighting with her parents weren’t bad enough, Nira finds herself navigating a new friendship dynamic when her crush, Noah, and notorious mean-girl, McKenzie “Mac,” take a sudden interest in her and Emily, inserting themselves into the fold. So, too, does Nira’s much cooler (and very competitive) cousin Farah. Is she trying to wiggle her way into the new group to get closer to Noah? Is McKenzie trying to steal Emily’s attention away from her? As Farah and Noah grow closer and Emily begins to pull away, Nira’s trusted trumpet “George” remains her constant, offering her an escape from family and school drama.

But it isn’t until Nira takes a step back that she realizes she’s not the only one struggling to find her place in the world. As painful truths about her family are revealed, Nira learns to accept people for who they are and to open herself in ways she never thought possible.

A relatable and timely contemporary, coming-of age story, In the Key of Nira Ghani explores the social and cultural struggles of a teen in an immigrant household.

The Review

What a remarkable and moving coming of age novel. The author has expertly crafted a narrative that blends the hardships and struggles many young adults face growing up while also incorporating the added element of being in an immigrant household, showcasing the added pressures of having parents with a determined path for their future. 

Character growth is the shining star of this narrative. The author’s ability to create realistic, memorable, and relatable characters is truly incredible. The relationships between Nira and the supporting cast are enough to get the reader invested, but the emotional core of this story is between Nira and her grandmother, two kindred spirits who must navigate the journey of living out one’s dreams. Nira’s evolution as a character is fascinating to see unfold and is reflective of the true nature of a coming of age novel like this one. 

The Verdict

Beautiful, emotional, and well-written, author Natasha Deen’s “In the Key of Nira Ghani” is a must-read YA, coming of age novel. The story is lengthy yet engaging, keeping the reader invested wholly and completely. The shocking conclusion to the story and the journey of Nira makes this novel a one of a kind read, so if you haven’t yet been sure to grab your copy of this amazing book today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Natasha Deen’s family moved from Guyana, South America to Canada to escape the country’s political & racial violence. She loved growing up in a country of snow & flannel, but often felt out of place. Thank goodness for books that showed her being different could also mean being awesome. Natasha lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her family where she spends A LOT of time arguing with her cats and dogs about who’s the boss of the house. Visit her at www.natashadeen.com.