Today we have Jeri Smith-Ready, the author of the WVMP series (check out my reviews of her books Wicked Game and Bad to the Bone) which has some of my favorite flawed vampires ever and a vampire dog! Jeri's book Wicked Game was the first book I ever reviewed so I figured that she was the best person to invite for a guest post during my Favorite Firsts week and thankfully she agreed! I hope you enjoy her guest post as much as I did! Don't forget to comment to get more entries for my Favorite Firsts contest where you can win Wicked Game!
I don’t know about other authors, but to me, writing the first book in a series is like falling in love. It’s that time of discovery, when we meet the characters and many of them meet each other. Subsequent books are loved just as much—if not more—but they fall into the “deep, mature love” category. There’s nothing like the rush of that first time.
Last fall I was on the way to speak at a book club, mulling over my rewrite of BRING ON THE NIGHT (WVMP Book 3, coming out July 27). In this installment, events take a dark turn, and the emotions become more complex. The heroine, Ciara Griffin, is forced to ask and answer some hard questions about what she wants in life, and discovers that much of it is out of her control.
So as I was driving, “Read My Mind” by the Killers came on the radio. This song appears near the beginning of the WICKED GAME playlist. I chose it to be the “latest Killers song” (as described in the text of Chapter 3) blaring in the background at the Smoking Pig, the bar where Ciara’s best friend Lori works. Ciara stops by after a really crappy first (and last, or so she thought) day at her new job.
Here she has her first conversation, then first adventure, with Shane McAllister, the man she’ll later fall in love with, a man who happens to be a vampire and, even more problematically, an obsessive-compulsive (later that night he’ll pause his seduction to alphabetize her CD collection).
Hearing “Read My Mind” made me ache for the “good old days.” Hearing it again and again and again (I have satellite radio and can replay songs for up to half an hour) made me ponder that innocent beginning. Back when all Ciara had to worry about was earning tuition money and evading the attack of a vengeful bachelorette. Back when she was merely a recovering con artist and Shane was just a hot, mysterious DJ. Before a communications conglomerate and later a group of anti-vampire vigilantes tried to destroy the station. Before the vampire dog came along needing a new owner. Before the zombies arose. Before the infamous dishwasher scene.
It’s dangerous to fall in love with falling in love. When I was in my teens and early twenties, I tended to abandon relationships when they evolved into long-term situations, because I was so addicted to the rush of romance. When I started writing, I shied away from creating series, for the same reason.
Luckily I’ve grown out of that infatuation with infatuation, in both real life and in writing. I stick with things now, even when they’re not all flowers and fun and bouncy songs. Even when they require change and growth and a melancholy tune. And yes—even when the dishwasher is improperly loaded.
Because long-term love is worth it.
The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun
When you read my mind.
Jeri can’t read your mind, but she would love to read your e-mail! Come visit her at www.jerismithready.com, or even better, at www.facebook.com/jerismithready or http://twitter.com/jsmithready.
Don't forget to comment to get more entries for my Favorite Firsts contest where you can win Wicked Game (or if you already have it you could chose Bad to the Bone or a pre-order of BOTN)! What moments do you love going back to - the first meeting, the first fight, or the first time making up? (I'm naughty and go back to re-read the smexing scenes ;)