Jeri: Thanks to Lea for hosting me today on the SHIFT blog tour! After the post, check out your chance to win books and a special prize.
Quick! Describe SHIFT in 7 words or less!
Ghosts, secret agents, most awkward prom ever.
In comparison to the first novel, was it an easier or more difficult experience writing SHIFT?
Much harder. Second books in a series, in my experience, are the hardest to write. It's enough to make me want to write stand-alone novels for the rest of my life! Third books, for some reason, are a little easier.
The first chapters of sequels are particularly difficult, because you have to get the story moving while reminding readers of (or introducing new readers to) your world and the characters, AND what happened in the first book. I rewrote SHIFT's chapter one several times before I got it right. But once I found its true form, I was really happy with it.
But because SHIFT was harder to write, it makes it even happier that most readers (who've contacted me, at least) feel that it's an even better book than SHADE. I very much want my latest book to be the best one I've ever written.
What was your favorite part to write in SHIFT? Can you share a little excerpt of it?
My favorite sequence was probably the prom, because it was fun to write the characters just as regular teens, apart from The Big Mystery and all the paranormal stuff. I've already shared the Zachary-in-a-kilt bit in an earlier tour stop, so I'll give you this (hopefully non-spoilery) teaser. It takes place toward the end of the night, a few minutes after the Prom King and Queen (not Zachary and Aura, obviously) have been announced. They are no each other's dates.
Zachary angled his body toward the center of the floor. "Will you dance with me?"My face flared hot. "I think this dance is supposed to be for them."Principal Hirsch spoke into the microphone. "Everyone is now welcome to join the royal couples on the floor."Zachary reached for my hand. "Please."I struggled to breathe. "What's the point?"He dropped his hand, but stepped close so his mouth was at my ear. "The point is that we want to."
Do you have something unique in common with any of your characters (an unusual quirk/habit/talent)? If so, what is it?
Early in SHADE, Aura's eyes are too puffy from crying over Logan's death for her to wear her contacts, so when she and Zachary go to visit their advisor, she wears her glasses. But it's sunny, so she puts on a pair of sunglasses in front of her regular glasses, so that she's wearing two pairs simultaneously. I do that, too (too cheap to buy prescription sunglasses), and feel like a "gold-medal dork" just like she does.
Who is your absolute favorite ghost (I'm personally partial to Casper - he's so darn cute!)?
I love Riley from Alyson Noel's IMMORTALS series. I was so excited when she got her own series, and I can't wait to read them!
Winner #1 gets a signed copy of SHIFT, plus a Keeley Brothers button (autographed on the back by Jeri) Winner #2 gets an unsigned copy of SHIFT, courtesy of Jeri's publisher
CONTEST IS NOW OVER
Author Bio: Jeri Smith-Ready's latest release is SHIFT (May 3), the second in the YA ghost trilogy that began last year with SHADE (now out in paperback). She loves to hear from readers, so please visit her at www.jerismithready.com, or better yet, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jerismithready) or Twitter (@jsmithready), where she spends far too much time.