GCC Presents……….. Jeri Smith-Ready

It gives me great pleasure to be touring Jeri Smith-Ready and her latest book SHADE (how awesome is the cover).

About the Book:

Love ties them together.

Death can’t tear them apart.

Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan’s band playing a critical gig and Aura’s plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend’s life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan’s sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He’s gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan’s violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn’t help that Aura’s new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura’s relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura’s heart…and clues to the secret of the Shift.

And now for the usual questions:
 
What inspired the plot for your book?

It originally started as an idea for a world where the existence of
ghosts had been proven, and a law firm that specialized in wrongful
death suits.  As tickled as I was by my cheesy tagline, “I sue dead
people,” the idea went nowhere without a main character or a
compelling story to give it life.  (Besides, I know zilch about law,
so it wouldn’t have gotten far.  It wasn’t until the main character of
16-year-old Aura Salvatore came into the picture that the story took
off.  I thought hey, what if all people her age and younger could see
ghosts?  And then the biggest part of the story of all: what if her
boyfriend died and become a ghost?

Why did you decide to write in this genre?

Going from adult to young adult urban fantasy was a very natural path
for me to take, because all of my books have a young focus.  My Aspect 
of Crow fantasy trilogy had 16 and 18-year-old protagonists, and the 
heroine of my vampire books, WICKED GAME and BAD TO THE BONE, is only 
24 and has a very young, contemporary voice.  My adult books have a 
large teen readership because of these factors.

More important, in writing for teens, I get to focus on the elements
of storytelling I enjoy most and that I think I’m best at: character
development and voice, especially dialogue.  Writing for teens usually
requires a faster pace, and I’m all for that.  Whether I’m writing for 
adults or teens (and I will continue to do both), I believe in following
Elmore Leonard’s #1 rule of writing: leave out the boring parts.

What is your writing process like?

Hmm, it tends to be different for each book, because each book forces
me to learn how to write a novel all over again.  But here’s the usual 
process:
1. Set unrealistically high word count goals.
2. Meet those goals for roughly two weeks.
3. Burn out.  Panic.  Despair.
4. Re-examine plot, make changes to the outline, and move on with a
more realistic deadline.
5. Finish filthy first draft and send to critique partners, praying
they don't wonder which hole my talent crawled into to die.
6. Do massive overhaul second draft.  This is where the real writing
happens for me, where I discover the true story.
7. Submit to editor.
8. Repeat as necessary until I can look at myself in the mirror and
honestly say the book is as good as it can ever possibly be.

What are you working on now?

I’m writing the sequel to SHADE, called SHIFT, which will be out in
May 2011.  I also just finished page proofs on the third book in my
adult vampire series, BRING ON THE NIGHT, which comes out in August.
I can’t wait to see what fans of the series think of this instalment!
As soon as I turn in SHIFT, I'll be finishing the rough draft of the
fourth, still-searching-for-a-title vampire book.

What do you do when you're not writing?

I love to play with my dog or cats.  They totally live in the moment
and get so thrilled over the smallest things.  Our kitten recently
saw her first millipede.  She celebrated by jumping over it five or
six times in a row, chirping as she leaped, then doing a little dance. 
So far she hasn’t worked up the courage to actually touch one.

Who do you like to read?

What I really enjoy most these days are non-paranormal humorous books,
usually with romance or at least romantic elements. My current faves are
Victoria Dahl’s contemporary romances (her historicals are
wonderful, too, and I don’t usually read historicals) and Caprice
Crane’s romantic comedies (especially STUPID AND CONTAGIOUS). I also
really love Nick Hornby and Carl Hiaasen. Neil Gaiman is still my
all-time favorite author.

In YA, some of my favorites are Jennifer Echols, Stephanie Kuehnert,
Lisa McMann, and Lisa Schroeder.  My favorite books this year are THE
SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson, SPLIT by Swati Avasthi, and WILL
GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON, by David Levinthal and John Green, two of my
other favorite YA writers.  I just got my hands on ARCs of Jennifer
Lyn Barnes’s RAISED BY WOLVES and Jackie Morse Kessler’s HUNGER.
Can’t wait to read them!

Bio:

Award-winning author Jeri Smith-Ready lives in Maryland with her husband, two cats, and the world’s goofiest greyhound.

Jeri’s plans to save the earth were ruined when she realized she was more of a “problem maker” than a problem solver. To stay out of trouble, she keeps her Drama Drive strictly fictional. Her friends and family appreciate that.

When not writing, Jeri she can usually be found—well, thinking about writing, or on Twitter. Like her characters, she loves music, movies, and staying up very, very late.

Jeri loves to hear from readers, so please visit her at www.jerismithready.com, or even better, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jerismithready) or Twitter (http://twitter.com/jsmithready), where she spends way too much time.

Praise for SHADE:

Shade is a hauntingly good story and an intriguing beginning to a new series. Jeri Smith-Ready proves again why she is one of my very favorite reads! — PC Cast, New York Times-bestselling author of the House of Night series

“The perfect combination of mystery, ghosts and romance, Shade left me breathless.” — Lisa Schroeder, author of I Heart You, You Haunt Me and Chasing Brooklyn

“Smith-Ready changes the world completely by simply changing our ability to see.”  PW  Starred review

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