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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jeri Smith-Ready’s Top 10 Signs You’re on Deadline

Please welcome guest blogger Jeri Smith-Ready

Thanks to FF&P and especially Jennifer for inviting me to guest blog today! I’ve done a number of posts lately about my YA debut Shade and about Bring on the Night, the third in my adult urban fantasy series about a vampire radio station (a copy of which I’m giving away to one lucky commenter).

But I figured since this was a writing-oriented blog, I would talk about my experience with my current work-in-progress—the fourth vampire book, Let It Bleed, which is due on Monday—thereby offering a glimpse into my oh-so-glamorous life as a full-time author.

There’s a special place we writers often refer to in our blogs, on Twitter/Facebook updates, and in our belated, cringingly apologetic e-mail responses: “Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply, but I’ve been in….”

The Deadline Cave.

It’s a dark, lonely place. I’ve been here for months. Between June 1 and October 15, I will have turned in two novels, gone through three rounds of edits on one of them, written two anthology short stories (four rounds of edits between the two), and one anthology essay. I’ve had no more than a day or two of rest in between each deadline, most of which were overlapping, meaning I didn’t have the luxury of finishing one thing before starting the next. Crazy time!

So this list (updated from a June 2008 post written for the Maverick Authors blog) is close to my over-caffeinated heart:

Top Ten Signs You’re On Deadline

10. You fantasize about cleaning the bathroom.

9. Your hair comes in three alternating styles: ponytail, rat’s nest, and wet.

8. Th “E” has worn off your laptop’s kyboard.

7. Your Food Group Pyramid turns into a Food Cube, consisting of equal parts coffee, chocolate, frozen pizza, and Funyuns.

6. Sleep mostly comes in the form of long blinks.

5. You give the cat a can of food, but forget to open it.

4. Your garden weeds have been designated a National Forest.

3. Frightened by the snarling, your family approaches you only to slip food under the door.

2. Your neighbors call the police to investigate that smell.

And the Number One way to tell you’re on deadline (drum roll)….

1. You can’t remember ever having worn another pair of pants.

What’s your deadline cave look, sound, and smell like? Add to the list here, make a comment, or ask a question, and be entered to win a signed copy of Bring on the Night.

Edited to add: International Entries are welcome and the deadline for entry is 11:59pm Eastern time on Tuesday, October 12


What's Blood Got to Do With It?

Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin seems to finally have it all. A steady job at WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock 'n' Roll. A loving relationship with the idiosyncratic but eternally hot DJ Shane McAllister. A vampire dog who never needs shots or a pooper-scooper. And after nine years, it looks as if she might actually finish her bachelor's degree!

But fate has other plans for Ciara. First she must fulfill her Faustian bargain with the Control, the paranormal paramilitary agency that does its best to keep vampires in line. Turns out the Control wants her for something other than her (nonexistent) ability to kick undead ass. Her anti-holy blood, perhaps?

Ciara's suspicions are confirmed when she's assigned to a special-ops division known as the Immanence Corps, run by the Control's oldest vampire and filled with humans who claim to have special powers. To a confirmed skeptic like Ciara, it sounds like a freak fest. But when a mysterious, fatal virus spreads through Sherwood—and corpses begin to rise from their graves—Ciara will not only get a crash course in zombie-killing, but will be forced to put her faith, and her life itself, in the hands of magic.

Read an excerpt here: http://www.jerismithready.com/books/bring-on-the-night/excerpt1/


Jeri loves to hear from readers, so visit her at www.jerismithready.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jerismithready, or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jsmithready. Her next release will be the short story “Thief,” in the YA vampire anthology ETERNAL: MORE LOVE STORIES WITH BITE, coming October 26. Her most recent release is BRING ON THE NIGHT, #3 in the WVMP RADIO adult vampire series. Her debut YA novel, SHADE, was released in May 2010, with a sequel, SHIFT, coming May 2011.


Heather Long said...

Lol! Jeri, I wore off the E, T, A, and S keys! So I totally get it! Grats on the new books! P.S. My hair is in the wet style now.

Kylie Griffin said...

I know I'm in deadline hell when... the A, N, S, E buttons have worn of my keyboard.

Unjumbled the letters read as SANE,so without that I must have gone - yep, INSANE!

The end result of deadline hell.

Alexis Morgan said...

I know when I've been in the deadline cave when I surface only to be surprised the people around me aren't really sporting fangs or carrying swords. Heading back into that cave today--

But before I go, I wanted to say how much I loved Shade and you vampire deejays!


Suzanne Johnson said...

My deadline cave is littered with empty Diet Coke bottles that roll around on the floor as I swivel around in my chair looking for inspiration. There's also at least a four-inch stack of paper on top of everything. Thanks for a morning laugh, Jeri--look forward to the new releases!

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

Ahh, the deadline cave that small cramped place where my fingers bleed, my mind hurts and caffeine rules all. And the only one brave enough to come in is my daughter who informs me my hair is in massive need of color and they've run out of food to cook.

Sporting the ponytail :)

Jessa Slade said...

This'd be funnier if I wasn't in the cave too.

But my cave is really quite comfy. After a few weeks in there, the dog hair has become a warm & cozy felt rug; the nertles descending from the ceiling could fetch millions on the modern art market; and the wall of empty pop cans has created an impenetrable barrier against the world. I heart my deadline cave!

Way to rock the deadlines, Jeri!

Melissa Mayhue said...

I just crawled out of my Deadline Cave a couple of days ago. I'm actually freshly showered [doesn't always happen IN-Cave] and presentable to fellow-humans again. Except it just occurred to me this morning that I only have 3 1/2 months before the next book is due. You know. The one I haven't even reached Chapter Two on...

Best of luck on the upcoming releases!!

~ Melissa

Anonymous said...

Is it sad that I envy the "deadline hell"... lol I'm not an author, but an avid book reader. I would love to write a YA book, but I don't know where to start. I started one chapter, and now I have the urge to write a totally different genre. Best of luck with all your accomplishments!! Love your blog!!!

Jeffe Kennedy said...

Loved this post, Jeri! I only have self-imposed deadlines, but I notice my brain really operates differently when I've been submerged in a book for days on end. Amazing how simple daily tasks become exotic and impossible things...

Jeri said...

Thanks, everyone, for commenting! I will answer all remarks on Tuesday after--you guessed it--I make my deadline. :-)

But for those wondering, and since I forgot to mention it, here are the rules for the giveaway:

International entries? YES
Deadline: 11:59pm eastern, Tuesday, October 12


Jess said...

My deadlines are self-inflicted to build my discipline! Aren't I just the bright-eyed optimist here?

That said, I use the American Simplified Keyboard (Dvorak) so the keys that have worn off for me are K, L, N, M, and some of S and A. Which when I type are ACTUALLY N, T, B, M, and some of O and A. (Some are faded from pre-Dvorak days.)

My deadline cave looks like this:
Back pain at the end of the day from sitting too long and headache from staring at the screen, blankly, all day. Really gotta work on that. :(

Carolyn Crane said...

This is hilarious. Yes, I know when I have been in the deadline cave forever when my husband looks at me startled and says "wow! you look nice!" and it's only because I've put on clothes that would be considered appropriate for going outside the house.

Heather (Book-Savvy) said...

My "Deadline" giveaway sign is my kitchen. I haven't utilized an appliance or gadget in...6 weeks (?!?!). I now know the names and general schedules of every employee at every restaurant with carry-out or delivery within a 10 mile radius of home. There may actually be a layer of dust on my stove. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

No deadlines here there likely should be but i am retired. I read and if you lived near me I would deliver you pop and or coffee and I might even cook you a meal after all need you to meet your deadlines so I have something to read.

Darcy Drake said...

My writing cave is made out of piles and piles of poor, dissected trees with ink all over them. Pads, notebooks, sticky notes abound! For the smell, I have candles... which of course, I have to keep away from the sea of papers and books. Oh, and my 'N' and 'M' keys are rubbed bare now.

Darynda said...

OMG! Too funny!!! Since I am on deadline as I type this, I can relate to every single one of these.

Awesome post, Jeri!

Unknown said...

I sincerely appreciate authors in their caves. While not a writer myself, I'm an avid reader. The fact that writers have multiple deadlines means there is more for me to read!

Jeri, I thoroughly enjoyed your Aspect of Crow series, and am ready to devour the rest of the books you have written. So glad I have my Kindle by my side, time to download Wicked Game so I can start reading it at lunch.

Happy writing!

Lisa Kessler said...

Wow! You've been insanely busy this summer! Yikes! LOL

I've had "writing marathon weekends" before where I can relate to the hairstyles and pants! LOL

Good luck witht he deadlines Jeri!!! Thanks for stopping by...

Lisa :)

SandyG265 said...

When I'm on a deadline it seems like everytime I look at the clock time seems to have sped up.

Seanna Lea said...

I don't do that much writing, but my deadlines still leave me looming over my computer with a cold cup of coffee (too busy to drink it) at hand. I blink blearily at web code and kick the computer like it will make a site ADA friendly.

lingeorge said...

Well, I am not a writer. I am really really glad that writers exist because I an a Reader! A whole bunch of that can be said about me when I am close to the end of a really good book. My family miust yell to get my attention, and hate the phrase, "just one more page".

Christine S said...

The only manuscripts I write are for scientific journas. It's still cool to see "accepted for publication". Not so cool when that phrase is followed by "with major revision".

The real reason you're list made me laugh is that alot of it reminds me of what it's like to have a newborn in the house. Heck, it reminds me of what it's like right now with three small boys.

BTW, Love your books.

Linda Poitevin said...

Wow. So I'm facing my first round of edits any day now, and frankly? I am now terrified. And NOT letting my family see this post. Thanks. Really. :)

Laura Kaye said...

Ugh--this was so great and so timely! I am so in the cave right now--I have a manuscript I'm only half way through that one editor and two agents have requested, second-round edits on a novella due, querying on a new short I need to work on, and galleys for my first novel that have to be returned yesterday. You can tell I've been in there when no one in the house has clean clothes, I'm living in sweats, and oh--the ponytail thing is SO true, I don't fix any food that can't be microwaved, and I'm dog tired from staying up WAY too late to try to write when everyone else is asleep. Congrats on your books--sounds great!

whitewolfreads said...

This is too funny. I can always tell I`m on a deadline if people start giving me weird looks because I keep mumbling to myself!