Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Women Who Rock Wednesday: Aura from Jeri Smith-Ready's book SHADE!

Well, it's been a while since I blogged, so I have two contest winners to announce. The winner of Jessica Brody's book, The Karma Club is I heart Book Gossip and the winner of my last WWRW interviewee Cheryl Rainfield's book Scars is Llehn. You guys can contact me at stephanie at stephaniekuehnert dot com if you read this before I catch up on email (which will hopefully be Friday after I turn in this manuscript that's been keeping me so busy to my agent.)
The last time I did blog, it was about SHADE by Jeri Smith-Ready. She's one of my favorite authors on the planet. And SHADE is her amazing YA debut. In case you have heard about it yet. Here are the details:

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.

And here is the trailer:

Intrigued? You should be. In honor of the release of Jeri's last book, BAD TO THE BONE, the second in her WVMP rock n roll vampire series, I "interviewed" her main character Ciara for Women Who Rock Wednesday. After reading SHADE , I realized that the main character Aura is a woman (or teenage girl) who rocks just as hard, so I decided she deserved the same treatment for SHADE's release. Let's meet her, shall we?

Q: Aura, your life is being chronicled in a book called SHADE , can you tell us a little bit about what you had to deal with that time period that author Jeri Smith-Ready wrote about?

Aura: The words “it sucked” can’t really describe it. My boyfriend Logan died and became a ghost. It wasn’t just that he died, it was how and why. I don’t think I’ll ever really get over it or ever stop feeling like it was my fault, even though I promised him I wouldn’t blame myself for what he did.

But it was pretty cool having him back as a ghost. It meant he could spend the night without my aunt Gina knowing, since she can’t hear or see ghosts (neither can anyone else older than me). At first it was kinda fun, like we were kids again, camping out in his family’s basement. It took us a while to remember that we’re not kids anymore.

Q: I was born before the Shift and so were many of my readers. Can you explain what the Shift is (what you understand of it at least) and how a post-Shift woman who rocks like yourself deals with seeing ghosts?

Aura: There are things we can do to keep them away, like wear obsidian jewelry or the color red, but that totally pegs you as being sixteen and under, so we never wear that stuff anywhere important like the mall or a club.

Besides, you can’t avoid ghosts all the time, so you have to learn to deal with them. Some people just ignore them, but that doesn’t always work. I usually try to talk them down from whatever freakout they’re trying to have. Usually we just end up arguing. And of course to any post-Shifter, it looks like I’m yelling at air.

Q: Obviously not all ghostly encounters are bad. So if you could host a tea party with some ghostly Women Who Rock(ed) who have passed over to the other side, who would you invite?

Aura: First would be my mom, obviously. I have soooo many questions about what happened before I was born, in Ireland with my father. Plus I can tell from all the photos of her and from what my aunt Gina says, that she totally rocked. Sometimes I wish I were as carefree as she was. Not giving a shit what other people think would be really nice.

Then I guess I’d also invite Amelia Earhart. She was so brave, and I’d love to find out what happened to her after she disappeared. It’s too heartbreaking to think that she just crashed and died.

Q: Going along with that question, who are some of the woman in the world (living or dead) who inspire you the most?

Aura: I’ll be a dork and say my aunt Gina, who is also my godmother and guardian. She overparents sometimes—okay, all the time—but she’s a really strong woman who has a job she cares about that makes life (and death) better for other people.

I just wish she’d knock before coming in my room. It’s not enough just to open the door slowly.

Q: Music is clearly a big part of your life and your story in SHADE. You have a full soundtrack, but can you talk about a few of the songs on it that mean the most to you and why?

Aura: Wow, how to pick? Every song is really meaningful to me. I mention a couple of them in SHADE, like Logan singing me to sleep with Flogging Molly’s “If I Ever Leave This World Alive” and Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars.” But I should probably talk about some of the soundtrack songs that aren’t in the book.

One of my favorite new bands—like OMG-pass-out-from-the-beauty favorite—is the XX. They have a totally unique sound, real minimal and haunting, with these vocals that weave in and out and around each other. Hypnotizing. When I first heard “Crystallised,” I played it over and over and over again. But then I bought the album and loved “Infinity” even more. That song is so gorgeous and sensual, it almost hurts. Jeri put it on the soundtrack to go with the part of the book where Logan and I—um…never mind.

So! Anyway, moving on! I discovered another really cool band earlier this year. They’re called the Nevermores, and they’re a garage band from St. Louis, although it feels like they should be from Baltimore, because most of their songs have to do with Edgar Allen Poe. The song that really grabbed me was “I Lost Lenore.” If you don’t want to dance when you hear it, you’re probably already dead.

“I Lost Lenore” isn’t on the playlist (not available L), but it is on the iTunes iMix, and you can also hear it at the Nevermores’ Facebook page.

Jeri put it on the part of the soundtrack where Megan and I go to a club and I’m missing Logan like crazy. Then I find out two of his former bandmates are playing in the band at the club—obviously they had no problem moving on, which made me sad. I think Jeri thought the Nevermores sounded like the band in the book (Something Wicked). Plus the song is all about moving on from someone that you’re kind of sick of, anyway.

Here’s the playlist:

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

And here’s the link for the iTunes iMix. Make sure to warn people that it will open up iTunes on their computer.

Q: Have you met Ciara, the other rockin' lady whose crazy vampire-filled life Jeri is chronicling in the WVMP series? What was it like? Do you guys get along? If you haven't met her, would you like to?

Aura: I haven’t met her—I think she lives in another universe where there aren’t any ghosts but they do have vampires, which sounds a lot scarier. But they have most of the same bands as we do, so it would be really cool to hang out and talk music. I would kill to meet some of those vampire DJs! Maybe they would let me intern in the studio—not that I’d want to be alone with any of them.

I think Ciara and I would get along great, since we’re both sort of weird, but in different ways, and not by our own choice.

Q: You and Ciara are keeping Jeri busy and readers very happy. I read your story, SHADE, in a day and now I'm dying to know what is next. Any little teasers as to what it is to come in SHIFT? When does it come out? And if we need something to tide us over in the meantime, when will the next WVMP book be out?

Aura: Well, you won’t BELIEVE what happens at the end of Chapter One. I couldn’t believe it. As Zachary says, we have to start redefining the word “impossible.”

As for teasers? I go to the Prom (I won’t say with who) and some lacrosse games (practically mandatory at my school—Ridgewood is insane about that sport). And then…I learn some stuff that pretty much shatters me. About my mom and dad, mostly. But in the end, I get some help from a really surprising source.

Q: Now for my standard questions for my women who rock.What was the first album you bought and what was the first concert you attended?

Aura: My first album was FALLEN by Evanescence, when I was nine. I played that thing CONSTANTLY. I wanted to be Amy Lee. My best friend Megan and I would dress up like her and take turns singing the songs into hairbrushes.

But my first concert was Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT tour. It was amazing! Megan and I went with the Keeleys down to the Verizon Center in DC. The band and the crowd had this explosive energy that was almost scary. Frankly, nothing since then has measured up, but I’m learning to lower my standards for other bands.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Stephanie! Me and Megan love your punk-girl books—you rock!

Awww, it's really cool to know that Aura loves my books. Well, I really love the story that Jeri told about her and Jeri has kindly offered to give away a signed copy.

To win SHADE :
-Leave a comment, that's all you have to do to enter, but if you want extra entries:
+1 for tweeting/posting on facebook about this interview or about SHADE
+3 for posting the trailer on your blog or facebook page
+3 for posting the soundtrack on your blog or facebook page.

-Just note your extra entries in your comment and leave me a way to contact you if you win. I'll draw the winner next Wednesday!


Punk Rock Girl said...

Celtic punk and (especially) Flogging Molly ROCK!

Mary Jo said...

Wicked trailer and thanks for the playlist and interview! I retweeted the post and posted trailer on my FB page. : )
twitter handle @mjcwriter

Jacqueline C. said...

Loving the character interview and the playist!

Lena1xoxo said...

I've been dying to read this. Please enter me!

+1 tweeted:

Jennzah said...

Jeri is my favourite author and i loved the question had Aura met Ciara! i also think they would get along great! :) hehehe :)

marian said...

loved the character interview! can't wait to read this book


jpetroroy said...

What a fun interview. Looking forward to reading this.

jpetroroy at gmail dot com

Sara said...

I absolutely LOVED Shade and would love to have my own copy! Thanks for the interview! I really liked Aura's character, so reading more from her was fun!
+1 tweet:
+3 posting trailer:

Sara @ The Hiding Spot

Amygdalia said...

Great interview! I loved Shade (also gobbled it up in one day *snffle*) and would love to gift one to a friend.

Posted the trailer on facebook (for the 2nd time), and posted comments about it before, during, and after reading the book, as well. :-)

Audrey (holes In My brain) said...

i just listened to crystalised, you're right, it's SO GOOD :D Loved the interview!

Brodie said...

Love the interview!! I love reading Character posts. So much fun and always makes me want to read a book even more. I think I'm already in love with Logan... singing her to sleep with Chasing Cars? Swoon! I would LOVE to win a copy if this is open internationally!

+1 Tweeted -


throuthehaze said...

Great character interview! I would love to read this book
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

donnas said...

Great interview. I am really looking forward to reading Shade. Some great songs on that playlist too.

+1 tweet -

+3 posted trailer -

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Kate at Read This Book! said...

Thanks for this giveaway! I've heard so many good things about SHADE and would love to read it! :]

+1 tweeted about interview:

+3 posted trailer on my blog:

kate.readthisbook [at] gmail [dot] com

Kate at Read This Book! said...

Oh and I have a US mailing address, no worries. :)

Emily H. said...

Bizarre interview, but cool giveaway.

treerose AT yahoo DOT com

RebekahC said...

I wanna win!! I love Jeri's books, and can't wait to read this new release. Please enter me. Thanks!!!

littleminx at cox dot net

RebekahC said...

Posted about both the book trailer and the soundtrack on my blog.


littleminx at cox dot net

RebekahC said...

Tweeted your post with monkeygirlsmama user id. Thanks!

littleminx at cox dot net