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.
KRISTINA: In my book, THE ESPRESSOLOGIST, Jane, a coffee barista, matchmakes people based on their favorite coffee drinks. What’s your favorite coffee drink?
JERI: I’m a purist—I love a good strong cup of black coffee. Preferably dark French roast. I’ll occasionally get a skinny dark chocolate coconut mocha, though.
KRISTINA: Why do you write MG/YA as opposed to other types of fiction?
JERI: It 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, I believe in following Elmore Leonard’s #1 rule of writing: leave out the boring parts.
KRISTINA: How do you come up with the names of your characters?
JERI: One way I pick names that fit a character’s age—especially for minor characters—is to use the Social Security Administration’s Baby Name database. You can plug in a year and find out the top 1,000 names in order of popularity. It helps in keeping a name “generationally correct.” For instance, there are a lot of thirty-something guys named Scott, but when was the last time you knew a teenager or child with that name?
But with main characters, somehow their names just come to me and right away they feel perfect.
KRISTINA: What is the title of the first book you ever wrote?
WAITING IN AMBUSH. It had its moments, but in general, I look at it as a practice novel. There were a lot of plot points that I look back on and go, “Huh?”
KRISTINA: What three things must you have while you’re writing?
JERI: Cats, coffee, and a comfy chair.
KRISTINA: Are you on twitter? Where can we follow you?
JERI: A better question would be, when am I NOT on Twitter? I’m totally addicted. It’s my portal to the wider universe. Sometimes I even dream in Twitter—yes, I am pathetic. You can follow me at http://twitter.com/jsmithready.
KRISTINA: What are you working on now?
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, Kristina!
KRISTINA: Thanks for stopping by Jeri! I wish you tons of success with your book!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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.
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