March 31, 2009

Interview with 'Shane'

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.

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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.

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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?

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Shane can be found on MySpace at and on Twitter at . His girlfriend Ciara Griffin, the books’ protagonist, is at at and .

Oh, and I’m at at, at and . 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.


  1. I think it's great to do an interview in the voice of the character! Was that hard to do? It totally made me intrigued to check out the books!

  2. I am always interested in seeing how authors picture their characters. Which actor would you pick to play Shane in a movie and why?


    By the way, I am a follower

  3. Enjoyed the post and I'm loving your reads!

  4. Hi everyone! Thanks to Liviania for having me, and Happy Birthday!

    Violet: I'm glad you enjoyed your time with Shane! :-) I find it fairly easy to slip into his and Ciara's characters, since I know them so well. "Being" them on Twitter and MySpace really helps, too. I actually find that it helps me in writing the books. When I was writing Book 3 (no official title yet), if I got stuck I'd go play on Twitter for a while as them. It wasn't procrastination, it was research/character development--yeah, that's it! ;-)

    Lesley: Ooh, I'd pick the Irish actor Cillian Murphy. His pale blue eyes are so haunting. I can't even think of a backup, so I hope he's available. ;-)

    tetewa: Thanks! I had fun writing it--I've never done a whole interview with Shane before. Glad you're enjoying the reads!

  5. That was fun! I haven't read your books yet, but you are on my TBR list.

  6. Oh. My. God! Cillian Murphy is way yummy!! And yes, there is something about his eyes that draws you in and makes you think that you are the only one he is looking at! And those lips are to die for!!

    Who would you pick to play Ciara and Regina?


  7. Chris: Yay! If you get a chance to check them out, I hope you enjoy them. :-)
    Lesley: So great to meet another Cillian fan! For Ciara I would probably pick Scarlett Johanssen (sp?) or maybe Isla Fisher. For Regina, hmm, I loved the girl who played the friend in SAVED (the one who became Macauley Culkin's girlfriend)! She's Susan Sarandon's daughter in real life. Eva Amurri is her name.

    But I'm wide open to suggestions. Anyone else have ideas for who would play characters in the books?

  8. I'll have to read your books to choose characters, but I don't know enough actors (or remember their faces) to even cast anything.

    Fun interview! Shane seems like a yummy vampire, but what vampire boy hero hasn't been? :P

  9. I love Flogging Molly too and I really need to read I wanna be your Joey Ramone!

  10. Hi Jeri!
    I really look forward to all of the new books you have coming out in the near (not near enough!) future. I loved Wicked Game and can't wait for Bad to the Bone! Using the WVMP radio station as their "home" was such a great idea. Since all the vamps have different tastes in music, which one is the most like yours?

    Best wishes to you. I'm sure you will have much success with this series and all that is to come!

  11. Hi Jeri ~~

    I'm really looking forward to reading Bad to the Bone. It feels like I've been waiting for soooooooooo long to read this one!

    How does it feel to have so many people love your books?

    ruthiesbookreviews AT yahoo DOT com

  12. Epic rat: Yeah, the vamp boys do tend to be dreamy these days. :-)

    Erika: It's a great book! Stephanie has another one coming out in July called BALLADS OF SUBURBIA. The cover is way cool.

    Wrighty: Thanks for your kind words! I'd have to say my favorite musical eras would be Shane's, Regina's and Monroe's.

    Ruthie: Aww, you're so sweet! I'd say it feels wonderful, and I'm so very grateful. I'll never get used to it. :-)

  13. Happy birthday?


  14. Don't you find that an important part of the process with flannel is to soak in degreaser and run thru the wash after checking your oil?

  15. I never imagined Shane as Cillian Murphy. I think I've got him stuck in my head as "Weird Scarecrow Guy" though. But now that you mention him, he'd make a great vampire. A little lighter hair, and Hmmm. I love Shane. =))

  16. Oh, and Shane...does beer still taste quite as good as you know, before? I've often thought that would be my only saving grace from stupidly saying "yes" I wanna be dead...I like the way my beer tastes now. Heh.

  17. Love character interviews and this is a great one! Now I simply have to pick up (as in library or buy lol) a few of her books!

    Now I'm sure I'd have tons of questions if I'd actually read these books before. Well I'm moving into a new house so I have paint on the mind so what is your absolute favorite color (sorry, lame I know)?

    Now for a question for the author that you've probably been asked a few times: what was your inspiration? A book, a movie, or did it pop into your head? What kind of research did you do? Visit any radio stations?

  18. I have a lot of musician friends in the Pacific NW who are still wearing flannel and don't have the excuse of being dead. My question for Shane: If you MUST wear two flannels at once, should they be the same color? the same size square? or different? Maybe you shouldn't even notice, but when people's eyes are bleeding around you, it's a dead giveaway.

    I can't wait for BTTB!

  19. Ah, I loved this. These books are amazing and Jeri soon became a favorite author of mine. I need to finish her trilogy and then read the Devil one, it looks awesome.

    I can't think of anything to ask. No need to enter me either though as well. :)


  20. Hey guys, sorry I'm late. I had to get a few hours sleep in the middle of the day.

    Karen: Definitely the degreaser and laundry are important. Eventually.

    Shadows: Yeah, I don't know this Cillian Murphy guy. Ciara seems to think he'd work great, too, but I think she just feels kinship with him because they both have Irish names that start with 'Ci'. Then again, maybe I think about the alphabet too much.

    As for beer or any other liquids, we can taste them fully, but it really helps if it's a strong flavor, like a rich ale or a dry wine. But we're real sensitive to beer that's gotten skunked or wine that's turned vinegary. Luckily we don't leave those things around long enough for that to happen. ;-)

    Ladytink: Favorite color? Probably greenish-blue. Which is not the same as teal. Gotta maintain some modicum of manliness.

    Jessa: Not sure I've run into a situation where two simultaneous flannels were necessary. The key is to restrict the flannel to one layer and stick with it. Long-sleeved shirts, but no short-sleeved, and no jackets.

    But if the choice was either that or hypothermia, I'd recommend at least one common color between the two flannels.

    Oh, and thanks. I can't wait to see what people think of our new tale. I wish I could claim Jeri made most of it up.

  21. Ladytink: I was actually inspired by a song ("Bad Company" by Bad Company). I heard it driving down the road and thought it would be a great title. Then I thought, ooh, all the books in the series could be songs with "Bad" in them, and it would be a paranormal book with a main character who had a shady past. In the next half-hour I came up with the idea for vampire DJs and a human female trying to live the straight(ish) life. It developed from there. Of course, my publisher asked me to change "Bad Company" to something new (I came up with Wicked Game), but they let me keep Bad to the Bone for Book 2. :-)

    I did visit a tiny radio station owned by one of my friends. The DJ explained how all the controls worked, and my station-owning friend (who was a DJ for many years back in the day) read the manuscript to make sure there were no mistakes.

    Lauren: Glad you're enjoying the series! I think if you liked the vampire books you'll like Requiem for the Devil as well. It's a similar style and genre (urban fantasy). And like Ciara, the main character is also a bit shady, what with being the Devil and all. ;-)

  22. Jeri - Loved reading Shane's "turning tale"!(I think I want to give him a hug...) I just checked my public library account and I'm 2nd in line for Wicked Game. Eeeee, almost! So, how did y'all decide that Shane was going to do this interview as opposed to say, Ciara? Was there a battle to the undeath?

    Shane - Happy Belated Birthday! Are you a fan of flannel itself or just flannel clothing? We recently bought a set of flannel bed sheets and pillowcases and I don't think I'm a big fan of them.

    Liviania - Oh yes, I agree! Shane should totally listen to some Dropkick Murphys! They're so awesome!

  23. A pot of coffee? Oh my. xD I wish I could get that much coffee throughout the week. I only have coffee once a month, it's depressing.

  24. Pissenlit: Oh yay, hope you enjoy Wicked Game! Ciara's already done a number of interviews, so I thought it should be Shane's turn, especially since it's his birthday and almost deathi-versary. :-)

    I definitely agree about Dropkick Murphys. I think he'd like them a lot.

  25. Diana: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. I would be lost without coffee. I once wrote a book entirely without the help of caffeine (due to health reasons at the time). It sucked and was never published. ;-p

  26. Pissenlit: Love flannel sheets. As you might expect, my body temperature is usually a little below normal for a human, so the extra warmth on a winter's night is very welcome. The key is to get good quality ones, because the cheap ones get really itchy after you wash them a few times.

    You wouldn't think I'd think about these things, but I do.

  27. Pissenlit: My family breaks out the flannel sheets every winter. Mine have penguins wearing scarves on them - I love them because they're cozy. When I came to college, I found that several of my friends had similar sheets.

  28. Jeri, you already know that I am a huge fan and have been talking the book up to the librarian tonight and she is game for anything we can set up!! I loved Shanes interview and his story was awesome. TTYL

  29. Thanks, HockeyVampiress! Glad you liked the interview and his story. He's been working hard lately. ;-)

  30. Great interview. Its cool to find out more about Shane.

    And Cillian Murphy would be so perfect for the part.

  31. Hi Jeri and Shane~

    I am really looking forward to reading Bad to the Bone.

    I have I Want to Be Your Joey Ramone in my tbr pile. I am looking forward to reading it.

  32. donnas: Thanks! It was fun to do. Ciara's had a lot of attention, now it's Shane's turn. ;-)

    Lori T: IWBYJR is a wonderful book! I hope you enjoy Bad to the Bone as well. :-)

  33. Fun interview, I loved Wicked Game and can't wait to read Bad to the Bone. I never would have thought of Bono but reading your reasons I totally agree he would be a great choice.
    Thanks for the chance and I am a follower.

    waitmantwillie AT hotmail Dot com

  34. Thanks, Icedream! Glad you enjoyed Wicked Game. I can't wait to see what everyone thinks of Bad to the Bone. :-)

  35. Great interview! And I loved IWBYJR, too...and think I might have loved that Smiths concert, too ;) (Though I do think Dropkick Murphys were at a Sex Pistols one I was at--no, I don't know why I don't know for sure :P)

  36. Question for Jeri...

    If you could use only one word to describe BTTB what would it be?

    Question for Shane...

    What's your fave song to "make out" to?

    Awesome interview and I absolutely must obtain the soundtrack!


  37. RuthI recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  38. whoops, I missed these comments, sorry!

    BookSpot: Ooh, I envy you being at that Smiths concert. I wish I could've seen them live.

    Kerri: That's a tough one! If I could only use one word, I guess it would be "fun." If I could use 3 words, it would be fun, sexy, dark. So can I invent a word called "sexydarkfun"? ;-)


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