May 6th, 2010
It’s GCC time! This week, I’m delighted to bring you the talented and delightful…
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.
May 4, 2010
**On shelves now**
(And it’s on my shelf right now too!)
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.
Up Close and Personal
1. PURSUING YOUR DREAMS: Everyone has the ability to be extraordinary, they just have to embrace what makes them unique and special and pursue their dreams with passion and confidence! Was being a published author a dream of yours? If so, how does it feel to have achieved your dream?
It’s indescribable. Sometimes I wonder if I’m going to wake up and it will be just that—a dream. I started out small, with an e-book, and each new series has brought me a slightly wider audience. So I’ve had a chance to wade into this crazy publishing world a little at a time.
For sanity’s sake, I think that’s been healthy.;-)
2. CHANGING YOUR WORLD: Changing the world doesn’t have to mean finding a cure for cancer or creating lasting world peace (though it definitely can!). It just means finding a way that you can make the world a little better off for having lived here, whether it’s making a difference to one person or a million, to the earth, to animals… whatever is important to you. What is one way you would personally like to make the world a better place?
I really believe that life isn’t complete unless one is doing something for others. I don’t think it’s enough to only live for ourselves and our inner circle of family and friends. The world is hurting in so many ways, there’s something for everyone to do, regardless of talents or time constraints.
Unfortunately this is one area of my life that’s begun to lack as work has taken over. We used to foster dogs for a local animal rescue organization (we’ve had twenty-three in all—not at the same time, of course), but then my dog hurt her back a couple of years ago. She loves other dogs so much, she can’t resist dancing and bouncing around them, which is really bad for her back. So we tried fostering a cat, but we fell madly in love with Twinkle and adopted her.
Each of my books has a “royalty tithe” charity, where ten percent of my author royalties (if there are any) go to a designated charity relevant to the book. For Eyes of Crow it’s Conservation International, for Voice of Crow it’s the Wounded Warrior Project; for Wicked Game it’s VH-1’s Save the Music Foundation. I’m still deciding which charity I want to receive a piece of my SHADE royalties, but it will probably be a Baltimore-based charity who does worth with drug rehab, since the book is set in that city and substance abuse is an issue in the story. Besides, there’s a crying need for it.
3. GRATITUDE: Gratitude is a huge part of the You 2.0 life. Taking a moment to count our blessings is the best way to remember what’s truly important (especially when life is hectic and crazy!). What are you grateful for?
I’m most grateful for the amazing support of my husband. He puts up with my traveling and crazy deadlines, and he tells me daily how proud he is. Ack, I’m getting choked up just typing this! I’m the luckiest person in the world.
4. SECRET SQUEE MOMENT: What is the coolest thing that’s happened to you since becoming a published author?
It was a tiny thing. When I went to visit my publisher (Simon Pulse) last November, they gathered together a bunch of the people who had worked on the book, from artists to production folks to sales people.
We ate doughnuts in the 17th floor boardroom before having a meeting with publicity and marketing. But the coolest thing was, when my agent and I got off the elevator and went into the waiting room, someone had put out a little sign with the date and the SHADE book cover. The sign said, “Simon & Schuster Children’s welcomes Jeri Smith-Ready.” They let me keep the sign! I know, I’m a dork, but I felt really honored.
5. ALL-TIME MOST MEMORABLE BOOK: What book had the greatest impact on you growing up?
The Judy Blume books were all really influential. They helped me understand what I was going through and what to expect as I grew up. They were just so REAL. That’s what I strive for with my YA writing.
I want teens to feel like they recognize themselves in the characters. If it helps them feel less alone in this crazy world, then I’ve done my job.
6. THE REAL DEAL: If you could go back in time and give your teen/tween self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Spend more time with your friends, and less time with your boyfriend. But the teen self wouldn’t listen to me, so why bother?
Thanks to Jeri for a terrific interview. Be sure to pick up your copy of Shade today!
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