Hi, Jeri! Thanks for being here!
Name: Jeri Smith-Ready
Debut Group: Class of 2k10
Debut novel: SHADE (SHADE trilogy Book 1)
SHADE by Jeri Smith-Ready (Simon Pulse, May 5, 2010)
PJH: Okay, so it’s been 2 years since you graduated from your debut class. Personally, I miss the heck out of knowing what my classmates are up to. So give us the low-down. What have you been up to in the last few years? New books? New degrees? New pets? What has been going on, and what do we have to look forward to from you in the future?
JSR: Writing, writing, and more writing! I finished the SHADE trilogy (Book 3, SHINE, came out in May 2012). Mostly finished it, that is—I still have a novella, “Shattered,” from Zachary’s point-of-view coming out next year, and there may be a further short story or two from other characters as I have time to write them. I’m also wrapping up my adult vampire series this December with LUST FOR LIFE (WVMP Radio series Book 4).
As sad as I am to say goodbye to two series, I’m thrilled to be moving on to new characters and stories. My first YA stand-alone novel will be released in early 2014 from Simon Pulse. It’s still in the early stages, so it doesn’t have a title yet, but I can tell you that it’s a contemporary (no paranormal whatsoever) with a boy main character. After years and years of fantasy series told by girls, this is a welcome change and an exciting challenge!
SHIFT by Jeri Smith-Ready (Simon Pulse, May 3, 2011)
PJH: If you could summarize to a debut novelist the best part of being a member of an author group like the “Class of” groups, what would you say?
JSR: Definitely the support network. Publishing can be such a roller coaster, and no one wants to ride a roller coaster alone, right? It’s essential to have people to celebrate the good news with and commiserate with over the bad news.
PJH: Though I absolutely loved being a debut author, I’m really thrilled with all the experience I’ve gained since. What advice would you give to those who are debuting now? What do you wish you had known when you started out?
JSR: I’ve never been good at taking advice, and I’m probably even worse at giving it. Always, always, always give advice a critical eye rather than accepting it at face value. What’s right for one person might not be right for you.
But I would strongly suggest finding a way to manage your time. (This is my biggest problem, so it’s “do as I say, not as I do,” okay?) You probably wrote your debut novel at your own pace, but your follow up novel will have a deadline, and you’ll have to promote your first book. These events are likely to occur in the same week! So find a way to balance, because for most of the year, a professional author doesn’t have the luxury of going into a cave to write the next book. There are appearances to do and blogs to write and email to answer, not to mention taxes to file and, oh, I don’t know, a family who might like your attention.
SHINE by Jeri Smith-Ready (Simon Pulse, May 1, 2012)
PJH: In addition to writing the next mega-million bestselling novel, what do you want to accomplish in the next five years? Do you want to write five more books? Get your black belt in Kung Fu? Walk the Great Wall of China? Let’s hear it.
JSR: Five books in five years sounds luxurious (I’ve been writing one-and-a-half to two books a year for as long as I can remember, and I’m ready to cut back for sanity’s sake)! But seriously, I have several ideas I can’t wait to tackle, all YA. I’m also planning more short fiction, featuring both new and familiar characters.
I would LOVE to live in Europe again for a year. I think travel is one of the most important things a writer can do. Nothing stimulates my imagination and makes me love life more than the sights and sounds and challenges of a new place.
PJH: Anything else you want to add? Five reasons to read your book? A picture of your writing space? How you celebrated when you signed your contract? Your choice!
JSR: I love to chat with readers on Twitter, and so do my SHADE characters! Follow us here:
Aura (Special occasions only, as her presence makes things QUITE awkward between Zachary and Logan): http://twitter.com/salvatore_aura
SHADEboys on tumblr: http://shadeboys.tumblr.com
PJH: Thanks so much for being here!
Award-winning author Jeri Smith-Ready lives in Maryland with her husband and two cats. Her 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 novels for teens and adults, 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.
Thanks for helping me celebrate former debuts! And if you are a former debut and are interested in being featured, check out this post here!