Monday, June 24, 2013
Thursday, June 06, 2013
Go see it! Love it! Blow kisses at the screen! Hug your laptop and/or tablet and/or phone at the sight of the genius that is Simon Pulse's art department!
In other words, do what I do every time I see the cover.
Friday, April 19, 2013
Here's what I have planned for the writing of "Shattered." I will replace the ???'s with actual information at the appropriate times.
Be sure to read the rules at the end of the post before entering! If you have any questions, check out last night's post to see if the answers are there, and if not, ask below in the comments.
The key thing to do? Follow me on Twitter, and/or follow the #WOL3 hashtag. You can also follow Zachary for commentary on what
When I reach 2000 words: You win your choice of SHADE or WVMP swag pack, which include things like signed bookmarks stickers, buttons, note cards.
Start Time: 10:45pm Friday
End Time: 10:45am Saturday
Question: Tweet me (@jsmithready) photos of the Black Isle in Scotland. Zachary travels here on a secret mission (which you know about if you've read Shine, but you don't know everything about his trip to Loch Ness). Be sure to use the #WOL3 and #2K hashtags!
Word count: 2,066
Favorite line: She hugs me back hard, exhaling all the way so that not even the air in her lungs comes between us.
4000 words: Your choice of WVMP or Keeley Brothers T-shirts from CafePress.
NOTE: I added this prize because CP is having a 40% off sale on tees today, so I need to get your address, shirt size, color choice, and design choice before 2am Eastern time Sunday. Therefore I will draw a winner at 6pm Saturday rather than allowing the usual twelve hours. If the winner does not respond by 2am Eastern time, they will receive a medium regular fit black Keeley Brothers T-shirt.
Start Time: 2pm EDT Saturday
End Time: 6pm EDT Saturday
Question: Zachary is plagued by insomnia ("Shattered" means exhausted in Brit-speak). Tweet me your favorite insomnia cure!
Word count: 4,086
Favorite line from this session: It would be so easy to just let go. Easy, and impossible.
6000 words: Six Pack of Scottish Firsts, gifted through iTunes. These are the first songs I ever heard by my favorite Scottish bands. I always get a special thrill whenever I hear them again, even if I now know dozens of songs by them.
(If you're new to me and the Shade series, the main character in "Shattered" is Scottish. Hence the connection!)
- “Things” by Frightened Rabbit
- “Conductor” by We Were Promised Jetpacks
- “Where It Snows” by Olympic Swimmers
- “Kill It In the Morning,” The Twilight Sad
- “Recover,” Chvrches
- “Out of the Blue,” Prides (Note: this song literally just came out yesterday, so it's not available for purchase yet, but once it is, I'll forward it on to you. I can't stop listening to it!)
End Time: 7am Sunday
Question: Tweet me (@jsmithready) the current song you're obsessed with.
Word count: 6,020
Favorite line from this session: I'm greeted by the smell of grease and fish and grease and potatoes and grease. I can have a full meal just by licking the air.
Start Time: 1:30pm Eastern Sunday
End Time: 1:30am Eastern Monday
Question: How did you first hear about the SHADE series?
Word count: 8,019
Favorite line from this writing session: She asks if I'm okay. I say words. She says more words. Eventually I say the only words that matter: "I love you."
"Shattered" outline finished: Two-pack of Scot-speak!
1. Everyday Gaelic by Morag Macneill. Note: only an estimated 1.4% of Scots today speak Gaelic, but Zachary and his best mate Martin attended Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu for primary school. This book came highly recommended by an author who teaches many courses on Scottish history. It's been very useful!
2. Collins Scots Dictionary. One of my Twitter followers, @laurafergs, sent me this along with some other brilliant (and occasionally hilarious) books on Things Scottish. This one is my go-to--it's wonderful for making regional distinctions, which can be huge.
Start Time: 4:30pm Eastern Sunday
End Time: 4:30am Eastern Monday
Question: Tell me (@jsmithready) your favorite thing about Scotland. Use #WOL3 and #Outline hashtags.
Word count: N/A
Favorite line from synopsis: He lets himself be happy.
Rough draft of cover blurb: Choice of albums used to inspire the writing of "Shattered":
- Any Frightened Rabbit (you can pick or I can recommend if they're new to you)
- Any Twilight Sad (ditto)
- Any Death Cab for Cutie (ditto)
- Olympic Swimmers, No Flags Will Fly
- We Were Promised Jetpacks, These Four Walls
Start Time: 7:45pm eastern Sunday
End Time: 7:45am eastern Monday
Question: Wish my cat @Misha_Guy a Happy 18th Birthday! Don't forget to @ me (@jsmithready) and use the #WOL3 and #blurb hashtags.
Word count: N/A
Favorite line: It's all pretty bad at this point, but my favorite line that I threw away is, "Zachary Moore has become unstuck in time." (I thought the Kurt Vonnegut estate might have a wee problem with that.)
10,000 words: A print copy of "Shattered," complete with photos. Note: these will NOT be for sale--the only way to get one is to win it in a giveaway. Since I'm sure these'll be expensive for me to produce, these giveaways will be rare.
I did it! Not all the words were pretty, but I got some serious work done this weekend. Thanks so much to everyone who joined us crazy authors!
Word count: 10,052
Favorite line from final writing session: Zachary: "You'll watch me sleep? That's creepy." Martin: "Aye, cos nothing's more entertaining than seeing ye drool. It's dead sexy."
When I reach each milestone, I will ask a question on Twitter, adding the hashtags #WOL3 and #2K, #4K, and so on, depending on the milestone.
To enter the drawing, you MUST include:
- #WOL3 hashtag
- specific giveaway hashtag (#1K, #2K, etc.)
- my twitter handle @jsmithready
There'll be many contests going on all weekend on the #WOL3 hashtag, so this'll help me keep track. I will let each contest go for twelve hours to give people in various time zones more chance to participate, and I will announce when each giveaway is closed. Winners will be drawn using Random.org.
ALL ENTRIES will put you in the running for the grand prize, but I will count only one entry per person per giveaway. So you'll have a maximum of six entries.
International peeps, listen up! iTunes won't let me give you stuff, so you'll be ineligible for those prizes, but as I just mentioned, ALL ENTRIES will put you in the running for the grand prize, so don't hesitate to join the fun.
***Also, for international winners of books, I will send your book via Book Depository and mail you a separate signed bookplate, rather than a signed book directly from me.* Lately the Postal Service's customs process has become a major pain in the patootie.
OK, time for me to go get ready to WRITE WRITE WRITE so you can WIN WIN WIN!!
*Unless I forget, like I did last time, and just go ahead and send the books. That could happen.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Ladies and gents, children of all ages (well, not those under 14, except under supervision of a parent or guardian or someone else who can explain the more mature portions of my work)...
...it's time for...
Weekend of Legend is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane and her best bud/critique partner /occasional co-author Megan Hart. Back in August they held a weekend-long writing frenzy, during which they gave away prizes, involved readers in the creative process, and of course got tons of work done. She did it again in December, when I participated by working on the David book (the title and cover of which are coming very soon, I think!)
Here are the amazing authors involved this time around:
- Chloe Neill
- Carly Phillips
- Tessa Dare
- Jeri Smith-Ready (aka, me)
- and of course the goddesses of WOL themselves, Megan Hart and Lauren Dane!
My goals for the weekend will be:
1. ten thousand new words added to "Shattered"
2. an approximate scene-by-scene outline
3. a rough draft of the cover copy (cover copy = those paragraphs about the book that make you want to read it now Now NOW!)
Below are the rules, copied from Lauren's blog and modified for my own purposes.
1. This is a TWITTER contest so yes, you will need a twitter account to play. To be entered in the contests we’ll be running all weekend you will need to @ reply one of us and be sure to use the #WOL3 tag so we can find the responses among all the others to separate out to choose a winner.
2. I will be checking in every 2,000 words written and awarding prizes at various intervals.
- For fun, I will also spontaneously tweet songs from "Shattered" using ThisIsMyJam.com.
- For more fun, Zachary will be tweeting commentary and perhaps sharing a wee excerpt or two from time to time.
- Some of my prizes will be music from the book. Others will include signed books, swag, gift cards, etc.
- The contests run for 12 hours each to give people in all time zones a chance to enter.
And how exactly does one enter, you may ask?
Three words: ONLINE SCAVENGER HUNT.
I might ask you to tweet me pics of clothing my characters can wear, or photos of a location Zachary is traveling to, or songs for different moods, or the best fake band name you can think of.
Prize details will be found on this blog shortly before 3pm Eastern Daylight Time Friday, so check back then.
3. All of us will be running random contests as well, so keep an eye on the #WOL2 hashtag!
You can see the individual rules for each other at these blog entries: Lorelie Brown, Carly Phillips, Carrie Lofty, Lauren Dane.
4. The #WOL3 contest will run from Noon pacific, Friday April 19 through the end of Sunday, April 21 (so, say, midnight pacific).
5. My contests will be open to international entries unless otherwise indicated (iTunes has geographical limits, for instance).
Any questions? Put them in the comments and I'll make sure I clarify before WOL3 kicks off at 3pm EDT on Friday.
See you this weekend!
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Thursday, January 03, 2013
Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were safe, peaceful, and festive, not necessarily in that order.
As I was coming up with a list of resolutions, one of them (which is no longer on this list, because it was too personal) reminded me of a song by my favorite band, Frightened Rabbit. To keep my interest in a task that took HOURS, I decided to name each resolution after an FR song.
NOTE: In most cases, the songs' meanings have nothing to do with the resolution; it's the titles that apply. "Fast Blood," for instance, is not about running. Heh.
Without further ado, because further ado is so boring, here they are:
1. "Old Old Fashioned." Don't laugh, but I use a paper DayPlanner to schedule my tasks. It works, when I use it. Problem is, I only used it 87 out of 366 days last year. This year I'd like to double that.
2. "Scottish Winds." In 2013 I will finish writing Zachary's novella, "Shattered," and publish it in May. I'll then write Martin's (as-yet-untitled) short story and publish it in August. The latter will take place in Edinburgh, where I'll be traveling in June, finances permitting.
I'm VERY excited, as I think "Shattered" will be one of the best things I've ever written. I'm also quite nervous, as readers will discover that Zachary is far from the perfect boy they think he is.
(For the sake of completeness, I should mention that Logan's story "Bridge" will be rereleased as a "single" in February. You can see covers for his and Zach's works on the announcement post over at Kilt and Keeley.)
3. "Off." This wistful sequel to "Old Old Fashioned," from FR's new EP, is about disconnecting from electronics and the internet and reconnecting with the one we love. I'd like to expand this to include family and friends and myself. And, you know, the books.
When I was on deadline, I got into a good rhythm--in the morning, rather than hopping online, I would read a research book pertinent to Sekrit YA Novel. After about an hour, I'd be itching to write, because my head would already be in that world, mulling over my characters' problems.
So for the month of January, while I'm doing intensive line edits for Sekrit 2014 YA novel, I'm going to stay offline until at least 4pm, aside from answering urgent email. If it goes well, it'll be the new habit.
4. "Swim Until You Can't See Land." Now that I've wrapped up two series and have no novels releasing in 2013 (my Sekrit YA Novel will be out in early 2014), I can write anything I want. The freedom makes me giddy. I have an idea for a YA contemporary romance trilogy that I might try to sell on proposal, but I'm not sure I've exhausted the urge to write stand-alones. There's a murder mystery, and a quirky love story, and a middle-grade-idea-that-I-want-to-make-YA-because-I-don't-want-to-write-middle-grade, and another quirky love story. All rapping at the inside of my skull, wanting to come out.
Either way, don't expect any new book deals from me until at least the second half of 2013. It's a year of exploration and rebuilding, and while most writers tell me they'd find the lack of security terrifying, I see it as an opportunity. I might write something really Big and Unexpected. Or something really small and unexpected. The key is to write according to no one's expectations but my own.
5. "Fast Blood." When I was growing up, I wasn't strong or coordinated, and was usually picked last or next to last for team sports in gym. But I could run fast, and sometimes even run far. It felt amazing then, and every once in a while, it feels amazing now.
I started the Couch-to-5K program a few weeks ago. My goal is to run a 5K in the first half of the year, then a 10K in the second half. Will I ever run a marathon? (Dunno.) Will I ever win a race or even place in the top half? (Dunno.) Will I burn enough calories that I can have a donut every day? (Yes, I very much hope so.)
Mostly, I'm running to run, and after I finish that first 5K race, I'm rewarding myself with a tattoo on my lower calf that says, simply, "courir." That's French for "to run." (Why it has to be in French I'll explain eventually.) As a bonus, anyone running behind me--assuming anyone ever IS running behind me--can be inspired, too. Assuming they read French.
6. "Living in Colour." One of my least favorite aspects of writing is visual description. My characters are naked mannequins in white rooms until nearly the last draft. I want to focus on the quality of my descriptions this year, whether it means doing writing exercises or taking an art course or even just having a point-of-view character who is a visual person, like a painter or a photographer or a detective. Or just give up and make them legally blind like me (note to self: character loses glasses for entirety of novel. Hilarity and heartbreak ensue).
7. "Nothing Like You." This means further reducing my preoccupation with comparing myself or my books/characters to those of other authors. I've made a lot of progress on this the last few months, now that I'm writing a novel that is completely different not only from anything I've ever written before, but from anything I've ever read before. What's the point of comparing myself to those who have been my "competition"? They're doing their thing, I'm doing mine, and it's all good.
(Either that or I just don't give a shit anymore. Maybe this is all apathy disguised as serenity. But it's more likely that I've already had a taste of #4, where I'm writing for myself and the characters and forgetting anyone else's expectations.)
8. "Fuck This Place." This song is about those parties you go to because you're expected to make an appearance, not because you really want to. That's how I feel about most book-related outings, except that when I get there, 99% of the time I enjoy myself immensely and can't figure out why I dreaded it in the first place. So I agree to more appearances, dread them to the point of nausea, drag myself to them wishing I'd never made the commitment, then have a blast. And so on.
But "This Place" the title refers to is this blog. Unlike booksignings and conventions, I don't enjoy it once I'm doing it, and I fear it shows. The last year or so, it hurts my brain to have to organize my thoughts in a coherent fashion for something other than fiction. It hurts my heart to fake cheerfulness I don't feel. And it hurts...I don't know, my butt?--when I should be doing something active, like running or housecleaning or spontaneously dancing to an irresistible song like #6.
I love doing the SHADEboys tumblr, so I started my own tumblr. Tumblr is quick and spontaneous, and lets readers ask me questions directly, which is a lot more fun and interactive. Like Twitter, but less ephemeral. Like blogging, but less energy-sucking.
Wow, I guess this is my last post on this blog for a year. I hope you've enjoyed it. May your New Year be bright and prosperous and full of all the books and music you love!
Friday, December 28, 2012
Camelia Hammond's trying junior year of high school is finally over...but her troubles aren't. After she discovers a painful truth about her family, she escapes to a summer arts program in Rhode Island. Determined to put family - and boyfriend - drama behind her, she throws herself into her artwork.
At the arts school, she gets caught up in the case of Sasha Beckerman, a local girl who is missing. Even though all signs suggest that the teen ran away, Camelia senses otherwise. Eager to help the girl, she launches her own investigation. Meanwhile, Camelia realizes how much she misses Ben, despite being committed to Adam.
But time is running out for Sasha, and Camelia will have to trust her powers if she's to save her. Will the lessons Camelia has learned in the past give her the strength to do so?
Go check out a sneak peek of Deadly Little Lessons now!
Here's the trailer for the first book in the series, Deadly Little Secret:
Praise for the TOUCH series:
Texas Tayshas List, 2010 (DLS)
Children’s Book Council’s 2010 & 2011 Teen Choice Book of the Year Nominee
Reluctant Reader Quick Pick Nominees, 2010 & 2011, American Library Association
Teens@Random, Favorite Book of 2009 (DLS)
Gold Star Award, TeensReadToo.com, 2009 (DLL)
"...lively first-person narrative.... CW-worthy dialogue, quirky secondary characters, romance and suspense: a winning combination" - Kirkus Reviews
"An engaging, eerie tale about the darker side of relationships - when it becomes a matter of life and death to know who your friends are." - KLIATT
“The book was full of shocking surprises and revelations, earning the book five stars. This is a must-read for fans of romance, suspense, and mystery because it won't disappoint.” – Teens Read Too (DLL)
"Laurie Faria Stolarz is a master creator of suspense and romance. Her words cause the heart to pound, the palms to sweat, the spine to shiver, and the stomach to flutter. The trepidation born from the anonymous threats will make the pages fly, and the palpable tension between Camelia and Ben as they attempt to ignore their hearts causes the fire to burn hotter." - TeenReads.com
- Favorite snack: Popcorn with Earth Balance butter and lemon/pepper seasoning.
- Touristy Trip: Paris.
- Fashion addiction (at the moment): artfully torn jeans, tall boots, pretty scarves, and Michael Stars tees.
- Dessert: Dark chocolate in almost any form - the darker the better.
- Fast food: French fries at least once every few months (with lots of ketchup).
- Beauty Binge: Aveda haircare products, which includes indulging in high-and/or-low-lights every eight weeks. Also, Caudalie skincare, Ineke perfume (Field Notes from Paris), Revitalash mascara, and Buxom Lips from Bare Escentuals.
- Late-Night TV: Real Housewives of (wherever).
- Chick Flick: Never Been Kissed, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Juno, Green Card, Once, The Devil Wears Prada, Bridget Jones Diary, Thelma & Louise, Mean Girls, Moonstruck, Clueless, Under the Tuscan Sun, and anything with John Cusack.
- Nightlife: Pilates in front of the TV (a regular occurrence), answering e-mail (also regular), and dinner and/or a movie out with friends (happens far too rarely).
- Cheap Thrill: Window-shopping, tabloid magazines, buying a new lip gloss, a tall cup of coffee from Starbucks.
- Ultimate Splurge: G2O Day Spa for a massage.
- Favorite Quote: Perseverance is key.
- Favorite cuisine: Indian food – onion chutney, curried vegetables, and kashmir bread. I also love cheeseless pizza from Bertucci's.
- Interests: Vegetarian cooking, holistic nutrition, aromatherapy.
- Favorite Music: Adele, Fergie, James Blunt, Gavin Rossdale, Tori Amos, Sting, Sarah MacLachlin, Gwen Stefani, Black-eyed Peas.
- Hobbies: Walking, napping, cooking.