May 7th, 2010

Day 6

The good news is that Chick Loves Lit posted a great review of Forget You! I'm so glad she enjoyed it!

The bad news is that I did not write word 1 yesterday, and then shame asked me to the prom. I did not want to go with him, but my BFF told me nobody likes shame and I should feel sorry for him and say yes. So I did. And now he has started sitting next to me in the lunchroom every day, and I understand WHY nobody likes shame. He smells bad, he eats live toads out of his lunchbox, and he loves Regina Spektor. If I have to listen to "No one laughs at God in a hospital" one more time I am going to stab him with my fork. I'm not sure I can get out of going to the prom with him because he has already ordered a pink lamé vest for his tux to match my dress. But I can definitely tell him that we are not an item just because we have a prom date. Sheesh.

Also, I have an unusually free Friday and weekend, and I am going to Think Very Hard and write 4000 words. In other words, I've heard that the publishing industry hangs out at the arcade, so I am going walk very slowly by the Galaga machine and see if he notices.

I hope you fared better!

Your name

Your goal for May

Your goal for yesterday (Thursday)

Your achievement yesterday

Your goal for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit presents Jeri Smith-Ready!

The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit is a webring of YA novelists. Check these postings for the latest releases!

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.

Jenn: What’s your favorite gizmo advertising your book?

Jeri: Since I’ve already included the trailer (which I adore), I’d also like to share the SHADE soundtrack, which I’m really proud of. In addition to reflecting the story and characters, I think it’s a really fun listen.

Jenn: Why was it important to you to write this book?

Jeri: I wanted to express how it felt to lose someone close and wish more than anything that they could be with you again as themselves, not just a memory or in a dream or a pile of photographs.

Jenn: Where is this book set, and what does the setting mean to you?

Jeri: The book is set in Baltimore, which is my adopted hometown, since I’ve lived here nearly half my life. It's one of the weirdest and most lovable cities in the world. It was just begging to be depicted in an urban fantasy.

Jenn: My May release, ENDLESS SUMMER, is the sequel to THE BOYS NEXT DOOR, and it’s the first sequel I’ve written. How do you feel about sequels and series versus stand-alone novels as a writer, and as a reader?

Jeri: I’m a total hypocrite, because as a writer, I love series. I love the chance to explore a character’s development over several books. Pretty soon after I begin a series, I figure out when and how it will end—I like to have a defined story arc with a planned number of books, rather than continuing with no end in sight. I was surprised when I finished my Aspect of Crow fantasy trilogy, how many people asked if I was going to write more books. I said, "no, this is one of those rare three-book trilogies." ;-) Besides, I tortured those characters so much, they deserved their Happily Ever After.

But as a reader, I tend to prefer stand alone novels. When I read a series, I’ll try the first book, and if I like it, I’ll buy the rest of the books as they come out (because I know that helps ensure the publisher will continue the series), but I’ll wait until just before the final book is released and read them all at once. I went on Harry Potter and Twilight binges as their final books were released, and it was great to be totally submersed in those worlds. (This strategy also keeps me from forgetting all the details from book to book.)

Jenn: What good books have you read lately?

Jeri: My two favorite reads so far this year are THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson and SPLIT by Swati Avasthi. It’s rare that I reread a book, but I think I’ll definitely want to take the journey through these two again. They made me sigh and hug them when I was finished.

Jenn: When readers tell you they’ve read and loved all your books and they want recommendations for similar books to read now, what do you say?

Jeri: If they enjoy SHADE, I’ll recommend Lisa Schroeder’s I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and its companion, CHASING BROOKLYN; or Gayle Forman’s IF I STAY; or Jandy Nelson’s THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE. None of these are urban fantasies like SHADE, but they have similar themes (including music), and they are all incredible books.

If they enjoy my vampire novels, I’ll recommend Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire series (if they’ve somehow been living under a rock and haven’t read them); or Anton Strout’s DEAD TO ME and its sequels; or Jaye Wells’ RED-HEADED STEPCHILD.

Jenn: What’s next for you?

Jeri: 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 installment! After I turn in SHIFT, I’ll get back to work on the fourth vampire book, which is still deciding what it wants to be named.

Thanks for interviewing me, Jenn! I can't wait to read ENDLESS SUMMER!

Thanks for visiting, Jeri! And congrats on your fabulous Publisher's Weekly starred review: "Smith-Ready changes the world completely by simply changing our ability to see."