Post Mortem

Ghost In The Machine

DEATH:
Hey there, living people. Welcome to Post Mortem, the fake online talk-radio show where fictional characters talk to me about their books, their Authors, and basically anything they want. I’m your host, Death.

Our guest today on Post Mortem knows a thing or two about little-d death. Or, well, at least about being dead. Or, well, at least about being a ghost. All Things Urban Fantasy says: “SHIFT is a very mature YA novel with none of the superficiality and self absorption that can plague this genre…Not just my favorite Paranormal YA ghost story, it’s my favorite ghost story ever. And Booklist says: “This sequel to SHADE will not disappoint fans of paranormal romance with its blend of action, star-crossed lovers, and entanglements, both dangerous and sexy.”

Star-crossed lovers? Ghost stories? You know I want to read it! Living people, say hello to one of the stars of Jeri Smith-Ready‘s latest teen novel, SHIFT…Logan!

[APPLAUSE]

SHIFT by Jeri Smith-Ready

Hey, Logan!

LOGAN:
Hey, Death, how’s it goin’?  It’s funny, I’ve known you for, like, eight months now, but never saw your face.  Did anyone ever tell you, you look like—

DEATH:
Yeah, I get that a lot. [GRINS] So for those who aren’t familiar with SHIFT, give us a one-line description of your book.

LOGAN:
Okay confession time: it’s actually my girlfriend Aura’s book.

DEATH:
Do tell!

LOGAN:
SHADE starts out on what was supposed to be the greatest night of my life—my seventeenth birthday.  The Keeley Brothers—that’s my band—did the best concert ever in front of A&R reps from two different labels.  Those guys were drooling to sign us up.

DEATH:
There’s nothing like good music.

LOGAN:
Then at the after-party at my house, Aura and I were going to, you know, do it.  It would’ve been the first time for both of us, and it was going to be perfect—I even wrote her a song.  But I’d had way too much to drink—I was totally nervous and still jacked up from the concert.  And then I did something really, really, I mean REALLY stupid, and I died.  And now I’m a ghost.

DEATH:
Yep, you certainly are. By the way, for those living people who haven’t read SHADE yet, none of that was really spoilerish, since it all happens in the first chapter or two.

LOGAN:
SHIFT, the sequel, is about what happens after the big thing at the end of SHADE. And how it makes everything better and worse. Um, I guess that’s the one-line description you asked for.

DEATH:
Heh. That’ll do. What’s the worst thing about your situation in SHIFT?

LOGAN:
The worst thing about being dead? You know, I’m really glad I get to tell you about this, because it’s like taking my complaint to the top.

DEATH:
Or, depending on your world view, the bottom.

LOGAN:
The worst thing is not being able to touch Aura. I can see her, hear her, and sometimes I think I can even smell her. But I’ll never be able to feel her get goose bumps when I run my fingers over her—

DEATH:
Her what?

LOGAN:
Ah, forget it.

DEATH:
Hey—ghosts can blush!

LOGAN:
I also hate being invisible to everyone over seventeen, and annoying to everyone under seventeen.

DEATH:
Well, now you just sound like a teenager in an adult world. Even with being dead and all, there has to be something good about your situation, right?

LOGAN:
Being able to go anywhere I ever went during my life, just like that. [SNAPS FINGERS SOUNDLESSLY] Free trip to Dublin whenever I feel like it.

DEATH:
And without the hassle of getting onto an airplane! If you could be anyone, who would it be?

LOGAN:
I’d be you.

DEATH:
Such flattery! Why would you want to be the not-necessarily grim Reaper?

LOGAN:
Because at least you made it to 27 before you became a dead rock star. I got cheated by 10 years.

DEATH:
Heh. Yeah, well. I get that a lot. So what’s the standard outfit for ghosts these days?

LOGAN:
I still rock the skate punk look—spiky bleach blond hair, Quiksilver cargo shorts, and Vans, always Vans.  I wanted to be buried in them, but they’d already dressed me—my body, I mean—before I realized I could put in a request. Anyway, I don’t skate much anymore since I got obsessed with music, but the look stayed. I mean, REALLY stayed, because when you become a ghost, you get frozen in the happiest moment of your life, which I guess was right before I died.

DEATH:
That could lead to some…interesting looks, depending on what floats your boat. So tell me: what’s a ghost like you most afraid of?

LOGAN:
I’m afraid that when I finally pass on, it’ll suck. Instead of some big reunion with all the people I love, dancing on clouds with a giant disco ball in the sky, there’ll be nothing and nobody, but I’ll still be aware.

DEATH:
Yeah, I could see that.

LOGAN:
It could be like in that play we had to read in French class, NO EXIT, where that dude and those two ladies went to hell and ended up in a room sitting on couches with people they thought were [BLEEP]. But man, that’d be heaven compared to being alone.

DEATH:
Loneliness can eat at you, this is true. What’s one thing about you that no one else knows?

LOGAN:
That I’m secretly glad Aura’s met someone like Zachary.

DEATH:
The living boy Aura is spending a lot of time with, right?

LOGAN:
[NODS] He’ll never do anything stupid and make her cry like I did by dying. He seems like he’d be good for her.

DEATH:
That’s very considerate of you…

LOGAN:
Hah, just kidding! I hate that guy. Can’t wait til he moves back to Scotland.

DEATH:
Hah! In either SHADE or SHIFT, were there any parts of the story where you were like, Jeri, what on earth are you making me do? Or were you and your Author in sync the entire time?

LOGAN:
Nah, Jeri gets me. I think she gets me better than she gets any other character. Maybe that’s why she’s so mean to me, because I remind her too much of herself, and people like us…I don’t know. Next question?

DEATH:
If you had your way, what would you change about SHADE or SHIFT?

LOGAN:
I’d have Zachary die instead of me. Duh.

DEATH:
[DIES LAUGHING]

LOGAN:
He’d die slowly, so he wouldn’t come back as a ghost.

DEATH:
Vicious! I like it! If you could make your Author, Jeri, do anything, what would it be?

LOGAN:
Um, what did I just say?

DEATH:
Heh. Duly noted. Tell me one thing in the real world that you wish you could change.

LOGAN:
I was going to say something dorky like make the Orioles win the World Series, but that reminded me of what I really want: I’d like to make Baltimore as awesome a city as its people deserve. Sometimes it almost gets there, but then [BLEEP] things happen and it’s in trouble again. I don’t have a clue how I’d fix it, but you didn’t ask for a plan.

DEATH:
I’m not a Big Plan sort of entity. If the SHADE series goes Hollywood, who should play you and Aura in the movie?

LOGAN:
It’d be cool to see Zach Efron and Vanessa Hudgens team up again to play us, but I think by now they’re too old. As long as things take in Hollywood, we’d probably be played by people we haven’t even heard of yet.  Maybe people who haven’t even been born yet.

DEATH:
Heh. Good point. If there’s anything I haven’t asked that you really want to talk about, go for it!

LOGAN:

Yeah, I got my own short story coming out this fall.  It’s called “Bridge,” and it’s in the ENTHRALLED anthology. It takes place sort of in the middle of SHIFT, but there’s no book spoilers in it, other than I’m still dead and still fighting with my brother. “Bridge” is the story of how we finally got talking again. Sort of. It’s written in free verse, I guess because I’m a songwriter. Also, I kinda ramble on sometimes, I don’t know if you’ve noticed.

DEATH:
Who, me?

LOGAN:
Telling the story in verse kept it from going off in a million directions and being as long as a novel. Oh hey, you’re mentioned in the story, by the way.  Jimi Hendrix and Elvis, too.

DEATH:
Yeah. I get that a lot. [WINKS] If there’s one piece of advice you could give to your fans, what would it be?

LOGAN:
Don’t swallow any mystery drinks, especially if they’re called “Liquid Stupid.” I mean, seriously, I shouldn’t have to tell anyone that.

DEATH:
You’d think.

LOGAN:
On a related note, never trust a drummer.

DEATH:
I am so telling John Bonham you said that. Finally, who’s your favorite Horseman of the Apocalypse?

LOGAN:
Easy—you, dude.

[ETHEREAL FIST BUMP]

DEATH:
Knew there was a reason I liked you!

Living people, give another huge round of applause to one of the stars of Jeri Smith-Ready‘s latest novel, SHIFT…Logan!

[APPLAUSE]

No, this isn't Logan. But it is his Author, Jeri Smith-Ready

Special announcement for Thursday, May 5, 2011! Leave a comment—preferably your own question for Logan, because he loves to talk—below to enter today’s drawing.  There will be two winners!

The Prizes:
Winner # 1 gets a signed copy of SHIFT, plus an iTunes copy of Logan’s “Sucks to Be a Ghost (Sometimes)” playlist (see below). Note: because of iTunes rules, the playlist is only available to US residents. The signed copy is open to all.

Winner #2 gets an unsigned copy of SHIFT, courtesy of Jeri’s publisher.

Additionally, all commenters will be entered into a draw to win the Grand Prize: annotated copies of SHADE and SHIFT, an early copy of SHINE (book three of the series, of which there will be no other ARCS) and an iPod Shuffle!

Open to international entries!  Winners will be drawn after 24 hours.

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 (which just came out in paperback April 5).  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.


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

This playlist is available—with Jeri’s preferred choice of Flogging Molly song—for purchase from iTunes’s iMix site: http://c.itunes.apple.com/us/imix/sucks-to-be-a-ghost-sometimes/id434290107. Note: Jeri makes no money off the sales of her iMixes—she just likes to spread the word about bands she loves.

And don’t forget to buy SHIFT and SHADE at your favorite local indie, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or other fine bookstores near you!

That’s it for this episode of Post Mortem. Until next time, go thee out unto the world–rock on!



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72 Responses to “Ghost In The Machine”

  1. Krysta Banco says:

    This is a stupid question but please bear with me Logan. Which villain do you like Voldemort or Sauron, more importantly Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? :)

    Morganlafey86(at)aol(dot)com

  2. Kristina shields says:

    Awesome contest! I can’t wait for the next books to read!

    Spicedice45@gmail.com

  3. Yiling says:

    Hey Logan! I love the interview – you’re freaking hilarious! I’m wondering… when did you know that you liked Aura?

  4. Logan Keeley says:

    Cristina asked: i’m just starting to discover irish music, any recommendation for a newbie like me?

    Great question! I’d start with the Chieftains and the Clancy Brothers and some Paddy Keenan. Those are all pretty “traditional.” If you like more rock-type music, there’s Dropkick Murphys, the Pogues, Flogging Molly, and the Tossers. Oh, and early Carbonleaf, although my favorite album by them, NOTHING RHYMES WITH WOMAN, isn’t Irish-sounding at all.

    Then you’ve got U2, Snow Patrol, and Damien Rice, who are also Irish, but they don’t really do Irish-type music. Still, they rule.

    Enjoy!

  5. Logan Keeley says:

    Hey Brooke! Wow, I should totally write an autobiography. Of course, I’d have to dictate it to someone who can, you know, TYPE. (Kind of like I’m doing now–I won’t say who is acting as the fingers on the keyboard, though. It’s a secret. But obviously not Aura or Dylan this time, because that’d be weird, especially after Alexis’s question.)

    Anyway, yeah, I don’t think we can hang out unless you’re part of my universe, and trust me–you do NOT want to live here. But I think it’s awesome that you care.

    I can’t give away any spoilers for the next book, so–oh, what the [BLEEP]. I will have a presence. And there’s no way Aura and Bagpipes get to be happy the whole time. That’s not how Jeri rolls, you know that.

    *zips lips again*

  6. Logan Keeley says:

    Krysta asked: Which villain do you like Voldemort or Sauron, more importantly Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? :)

    Well, I pretty much hate both villains. I mean, there’s really nothing to like about either of them. They’re just evil.

    If we’re talking books, definitely Harry Potter. If we’re talking movies, definitely Lord of the Rings. No contest on either choice.

  7. Logan Keeley says:

    Yiling asked: when did you know that you liked Aura?

    That I *liked her* liked her, you mean? Probably when I was twelve, that time she almost got run over skateboarding. I don’t think I would’ve thrown myself in front of a car for any other girl. Including my sister.

  8. Logan, I noticed a lot of your answers were censored with bleeps, is your dialogue in the books censored too?

    Thanks for the contest :)

  9. Alison says:

    Very nice interview! You know, we’re gonna have to get some more fictional characters on here! Logan, I loved your interview! You know if you weren’t dead I could see you and your band doing interviews for magazines and talk shows.

    Logan, I have a question for you: Boxers or briefs?

  10. Logan Keeley says:

    Carrie asked: Logan, I noticed a lot of your answers were censored with bleeps, is your dialogue in the books censored too?

    [BLEEP], no.

  11. Logan Keeley says:

    Alison said: You know if you weren’t dead I could see you and your band doing interviews for magazines and talk shows.

    Believe me, being dead hasn’t stopped me from doing interviews.

    Logan, I have a question for you: Boxers or briefs?

    I’ve been told not to answer that, since technically I’m still a minor. Forever 17, dudes!

  12. Logan Keeley says:

    OK, time for my typist to go to bed and for me to go haunt stuff. I’ll check back in the morning for more Qs.

    Thanks to Death for the interview, and thanks to all y’all for giving me one of the best days of my afterlife!

  13. Great interview! I love character interviews. I have heard nothing but wonderful reviews about this book. My question for Logan is: Deep down are you sad?

    Thanks!
    andreat78@yahoo.com

  14. Krazzyme says:

    My question for logan is……
    If you could kill or save anyone who would you kill or save ?

  15. Krazzyme says:

    ohh i forgot to add if you souldn’t save yourself that is

  16. Dovile says:

    My question for Logan:
    can you travel outside the Earth or are you stuck on this planet?

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  17. Logan Keeley says:

    Andrea asked:Deep down are you sad?

    Some people say there’s no deep down with me–what you see is what you get. Yeah, I’m sad, and angry, and full of guilt. I pretty much suck at hiding my feelings. So there it is.

    But I still try to have fun, and mostly succeed.

  18. Logan Keeley says:

    Krazzyme asked: If you could kill or save anyone who would you kill or save ?

    I was going to say I’d save Aura, but she’s actually pretty capable of saving herself, even after all I’ve put her through. So I’ll say I’d save my older brother Mickey. He’s the one I’m most worried about, the most…diminished since I died. I’ve gotta figure out how I can save him when he can’t even hear my voice.

    Interruption from Jeri: see Logan’s short story “Bridge” in the ENTHRALLED anthology (coming September 20) to see how he figures this one out.

  19. Logan Keeley says:

    Dovile asked: can you travel outside the Earth or are you stuck on this planet?

    I’m stuck going only to places that I went when I was alive (dunno why–it’s a ghost rule thing). So no, I can’t go to another planet. But that would be awesome!!

  20. Wulfie says:

    Oh I’ve been dying to read these. Ok poor choice of words. Can ghosts turn pages?

    Logan: Is it possible you’re an actual ghost communicating your story to Jeri? :)

    (what? Muses can be anything!)

  21. Logan is so great. It’s impossible not to love him.