Girlfriends Cyber Circuit interview with Jeri Smith-Ready

Posted: September 27, 2011 in Uncategorized
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As promised yesterday, I’m pleased to present an interview with adult and YA author Jeri Smith-Ready, one of the contributors to the new ENTHRALLED anthology, edited by Melissa Marr & Kelley Armstrong.

First, she tells us a little about her story, “Bridge” –

In the world of the SHADE novels, everyone seventeen and under can see and hear ghosts, but no one else can.  So when Logan Keeley dies and his eighteen-year-old brother Mickey blames himself, they can’t ease each other’s pain or reconcile their rage.  Over the course of SHADE and SHIFT, Mickey sinks into a near-suicidal depression over Logan’s death.

“Bridge” is the story, told in free verse, of how two brothers, with the help of a stranger, forge the chasm between them to find a lasting peace.

REVIEWS:

“A solid collection of stories…Sarah Rees Brennan’s ‘Let’s Get This Undead Show on the Road’ follows a vampire in a boy-band and stands out with its perfect blend of snark and sincerity. It’s followed in a one-two punch by Jeri Smith-Ready’s intense and earnest ‘Bridge.’…This collection is ideal as a sampler tray for paranormal readers looking to pick up new authors to follow or to further explore the fictional worlds they already know. —Kirkus Reviews

A standout among the many paranormal-themed anthologies. — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (Recommended review)

INTERVIEW:

What is your writing process like?  Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you schedule time to write each day or are you a spree writer?

I’m somewhere in between a plotter and pantser.  I usually have a rough outline/synopsis before I start, but then I never look at it while I write the first draft.  It’s when I rewrite that I get super analytical, using spreadsheets and index cards and programs like Scrivener.

When I’m drafting, I set a word- or page-count or scene goal and I keep going until I’m finished.  I don’t necessarily start first thing in the morning, though.  When editing, I set a kitchen timer to work a certain number of hours.  I pause it when I take a break, even just for a few minutes.  In the last week of each phase of editing, it’s usually set at 12 hours, which means starting in the early morning and going until late at night.

What is the hardest part about the publishing process for you and how do you get through it? (For me, it’s copyediting and sour cream and onion chips.)

First drafts, by far.  To me it’s like sculpting air.  I get through it using a NaNoWriMo spreadsheet that tells you not only how many words you have to write today, but how many words you’ll have to write EVERY day if you slack off.  Fear is a powerful motivator.

We drop your hero or heroine on a deserted island.  Quick, what are the three things he or she can’t live without?

1.    His guitar

2.    Pizza

3.    His girlfriend Aura, who would be the one to figure out how to survive and/or get off the island while Logan sat around playing guitar and whining that there was no pizza.

If your story were a film, who would you cast?

I’m really fuzzy on who I’d cast for Logan and Aura, so I’d say to Hollywood, “Surprise me!” But Zachary should be played by Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films).  Have you seen him lately?  He grew up into quite the hottie.  And for Zach’s dad Ian, none other than Craig Ferguson.

Are there any contests or upcoming appearances/interviews/etc. you’dlike to plug?

At 12:01 Tuesday, September 20, I’ll be posting the lyrics to “Forever,” the song Logan wrote for Aura in SHADE (before he died), the one he sang to her while she “slept” the night before his testimony at the trial.  I promised I would write and release the lyrics if Zachary from SHADE received 5,000 votes in the final round of the YA Crush Tournament last month (he received over 21,000 votes in his second-place finish).

In real life, I’ll be at the Baltimore Book Festival Friday, September 23, doing panels at 1:30 and 3pm, a reading at 2pm, then signing books from 4-6pm, at the Maryland Romance Writers pavilion.

Then I go to Seattle for the King County Public Library book festival, where I’ll be appearing with the Smart Chicks 2.0 tour on Sunday, October 2, 1-4pm.  Can’t wait!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jeri Smith-Ready has been writing fiction since the night she had her first double espresso. Her nine published books include two series for adults and the SHADE trilogy for teens, about a world of ghosts only the young can see, which concludes May 2012 with SHINE.  Like many of her characters, Jeri enjoys music, movies, and staying up very, very late.  Visit her at http://www.jerismithready.com, or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/JeriSmithready) or Twitter (http://twitter.com/jsmithready), where she spends way too much time.  Logan himself can be found on Twitter @keeley_logan, as can his rival/”brother-in-pulp,” Zachary Moore (@moore_zachary).  The boys love to chat with each other and with their real-life fans.

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