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!
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