Jeri Smith-Ready is the author of the Aspect of Crow trilogy, REQUIEM FOR THE DEVIL, and the WVMP radio series. The first book, WICKED GAME, is out in in mass market today, for those who are cheap like me. (My review is here.) The second, BAD TO THE BONE, comes out May 16.
Available online is the site for WVMP radio, with includes special info about the vampire DJs.
You'll also want to get THE WILD'S CALL, a prequel to her trilogy, available for free to those lucky few with Kindles.
Guest Blogger Jeri Smith-Ready with 20 Questions for Shane McAllister
Hi, everyone, and happy birthday to Liviania! When I asked our lovely hostess for topic ideas, she suggested something about the month of March, or the number 20, since that’s the age she just turned.
I pondered, and pondered, and finally decided to interview the hero of my vampire novels Wicked Game and Bad to the Bone, Shane McAllister. For one thing, his birthday is March 1 (he was 41 this year, but funnily enough, still looks 27). Also, unbeknownst to him, his true “turning tale,” the story of how he became a vampire, was just posted to my website this past Sunday.
So I asked my friends on Twitter and Facebook to submit twenty questions they would ask their favorite obsessive-compulsive grunge vampire DJ. They came through with some great ideas, and I added two to the end:
1. Where did you grow up?
Born, raised, and died in Youngstown, Ohio. Proud Steelers fan.
2. When did you get interested in music?
In the womb? My family is hard-core Irish-American, so there was always a lot of music. My mom would sing constantly—she’d do happy songs while she cooked and then sad songs when she put me and my sister to bed.
But I was the only one of the four of us to actually pick up an instrument. And I mean literally pick up, because I stole my first guitar, from my uncle. He wasn’t using it. He didn’t even miss it for like two years.
3. Were you an outcast in school?
At home, yeah, but not at school. Then again, maybe I was, from the perspective of the perfect people. But it was a big school, so everyone could find their own niche. I hung out with the other art/music/drama weirdos. And sometimes with the stoners, because they had the best, um, albums.
When I was thirteen I got into a fight with some bigger guys (long private story), and even though they kicked my face in, I managed to take a couple down with me. So my dad got me boxing lessons (this was the inner city—no fancy-schmancy karate classes). After that, no one messed with me (or the person I was originally defending).
4. What is the appropriate way to style flannel?
The only appropriate way is not to style it at all. Just put it on, let it hang. Take it off, check your oil with it. Put it back on. Whatever.
5. How many drunks do you have to drink to get drunk?
Far more than will fit in this vampire’s belly. Sadly, it takes a lot extra of any drug to affect our bodies. We each drink a pot of coffee a day to help us wake up.
6. If you could spend the week in any rock star’s shoes, who would it be and why?
Tough question. I’m going to say Bono. He gets to fly around the world, meeting presidents and prime ministers, and having influence on important issues like poverty. I wouldn’t want to do that all the time, but for a week it would be majorly cool.
7. What made you go with Regina?
She made me feel alive at a time when I was close to dead. She was just, I don’t know. Magic.
8. Literary hero?
The guy from Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. I’d kill for his record collection. But not his luck with women.
9. Which fictional character would you like to be?
Wow, another hard question. Most fictional characters have really bad lives, or there wouldn’t be much of a story, right?
Except for James Bond. Bad stuff happens to him, but he never loses confidence, and everything turns out okay in the end. My James Bond wouldn’t wear a tuxedo, though. I did that enough when I was a wedding DJ. I vowed that the next time I wore a tux, it would be at my own wedding.
10. Do you play any instruments?
I play guitar—mostly acoustic but some electric, too. At the moment I’m trying to form a band so I can plug in more. I can also play bass, but I don’t know if that counts as a separate instrument. Drums are also a very satisfying outlet for frustration.
11. Does the toilet paper go OVER or UNDER? With the WVMP vamps being OCD, are there fights about this?
Regina says OVER, and she’s pretty much in charge. So, OVER it is.
12. If the TP question is moot, are there certain repeated fights where one vampire’s OCD trait clashes with another’s?
Ouch. Yeah. Regina actually wanted to arrange our communal record collection by catalog number instead of artist name. She was voted down five to one.
13. Boxers or briefs?
Please. Does any guy ever answer, ‘briefs,’ even if he really wears them?
14. Your own best feature?
My modesty. Next question?
15. Favorite concert you’ve been too... alive or undead.
Hardest question ever. So I’ll just say the first thing that came to mind: The Queen is Dead tour by The Smiths. It was the first concert I’d ever been to where the audience members weren’t trying to knock each other over. Everyone was just listening and loving it.
16. Favorite book from a genre you would not usually read from?
Probably I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert. I say, “probably” because I’m told it’s a “young adult” book. I didn’t know that was a separate genre. I’m really not clued into the book world, so for me, a book is either fiction or nonfiction and that’s it.
But anyway, I love that book. Even though I’m a guy, I could totally relate to Emily the main character. I remember what it was like to be young and bitter and so incredibly conscious of what everyone thought of me. And to always feel like I had to pretend to be cooler and tougher than I was.
[Ed. Read Stephanie's guest blog here.]
17. If you could have written any book which one would it be?
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. Except I’d have to be Scottish. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
18. What inspires you?
Music is the easy answer. But I’ll also add, at the risk of sounding outrageously sappy, that Ciara inspires me. She inspires me not to take life so seriously. She inspires me to stay in the present, which means thinking about the future, something I hadn’t done in a long time before I met her.
19. Do you listen to any new bands?
Oh yeah. Ciara’s helping me out on that front. I like Flogging Molly and The Killers a lot. The Black Angels have some heavy, trippy stuff I love when I’m in the right mood. Probably my favorite right now is Dead Confederate. They’re like Nirvana with a Southern rock edge.
20. Speaking of Nirvana, if you could tell your idol Kurt Cobain one thing, what would it be?
I don’t know. *long silence* Anything to make him laugh.
That’s twenty questions, right?
Yeah, we’re done.
Thank God. Tell Liviania I said, Happy Birthday, okay?
Shane can be found on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/shanewvmp/ and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ShaneMcAllister . His girlfriend Ciara Griffin, the books’ protagonist, is at at http://www.myspace.com/ciarawvmp/ and http://twitter.com/CiaraGriffin .
Oh, and I’m at at http://www.jerismithready.com/, at http://www.myspace.com/jerismithready/ and http://twitter.com/jsmithready . I love to hear from people who actually exist (as opposed to people like Shane), so please drop by and say hi!
You can also talk to Jeri here - she said she'd be around today and Wednesday so people can ask questions of both her and Shane. I recommend asking something, since one lucky duck will win either a signed copy of WICKED GAME or BAD TO THE BONE ARC, winner's choice.
I think Shane should listen to some Dropkick Murphys.