Thursday, April 28, 2011

SHIFT Blog Tour - Deleted Scene Guest Post with Jeri Smith-Ready

I'm so excited to have Jeri Smith-Ready on the blog today as part of her SHIFT tour. Jeri will be around the blogosphere plus there's daily prizes & a grand prize too! Last year, I fell in love with SHADE and have been dying (no pun intended) ever since to read SHIFT. The combination of love, music, a unique spin on a supernatural world (should I mention a hottie with an Irish accent?) had me hooked. Take it away Jeri!

Thanks to Mel for hosting me today on the SHIFT blog tour! After the post, check out your chance to win books and a special prize.

I’m insane about revising. I don’t just revise or even rewrite a book—I dismantle it and rebuild it from the ground up. A first draft is just a guess.

That means that when I delete a scene, it’s usually because I’ve changed the story. Sharing it requires lots of explaining. (“Um, okay, imagine that instead of a ghost in the woods, they meet a shotgun-toting survivalist with a pack of dogs consisting of two deerhounds, a beagle, and a Jack Russell Terrier. She holds them hostage and demands they make her a baby to replace the kid she lost in a government siege.”)

So I was stumped as to which scene I could share with you. Then yesterday, someone on Twitter told me how much they loved SHIFT’s first chapter. I was thrilled to hear this, because I rewrote that chapter approximately a million times. It seemed like the perfect choice for a deleted scene.

So this was the original opening for SHIFT, from Logan’s point of view (warning: if you haven’t read SHADE, this contains a subtle spoiler, but nothing you can’t figure out from reading the back cover of SHIFT):

I. Intro

While I was a shade,
I could see everyone
And no one.
An empty eternity of souls,
Alive, dead, crying, laughing.
I thought I saw her face
But it was devoured by the dark.

While I was a shade,
I went everywhere
and nowhere.
Following the shrinking shadows
Like stepping-stones across a rising river.
I thought I found her bed,
But it was lost in the light.

While I was a shade,
I heard everything
and nothing.
All sounds in the world,
Whirled inside me at once.
I thought I heard her voice,
But it was swallowed by the silence.

Until now.

Later, Logan has two interludes, the non-spoilery parts of which I’ll include here:

Interlude #1

While I was a shade,
Aura started sleeping
On her right side
On the right side
of the bed,
So she couldn’t see the empty space
where I used to lie.

Now that I’m a ghost,
she still sleeps on her right side
on the right side.
So I lie here talking to the back of her head
Until she sleeps.

Then I walk the streets of Dublin
or New York
or Washington
or even here in Baltimore.
But it’s not the same as before,
when I knew I’d return to her side.
Now I’m just killing time,
Since time can’t kill me.


Interlude #2

While I was a shade,
my family pictured me in hell.
I wasn’t, not really.
But that didn’t stop some of them
from trying to join me there.

I watch Mickey and Siobhan
walk across our high school stage
where we once performed.
The adoring crowd whistles and claps.
But my brother and sister
hold no instruments
and sing no songs.
They collect their diplomas
and stride into the future,
on a path I can never follow.

Why did I originally include these?

  1. The book needed more Logan than I had scenes to give him. Though he’s dead, he brings loads of life and energy to the story.

  2. In the first draft, SHIFT’s scenes were clustered into three time frames: Spring Equinox, Prom, and Summer Solstice. The interludes summed up the events occurring in those six-week gaps.

  3. The interludes give SHIFT a three-act structure and a musical feel, which fits with the drama and themes.

  4. I just plain liked them.

Alas, none of my early readers really got what I was going for. They thought the
interludes were Logan’s poems or songs, not realizing they were part of the narrative, just told in a different voice and style. When I explained them to my editor, she felt that SHIFT should be consistent with SHADE and keep to Aura’s point-of-view, to avoid confusing readers.

She was probably right about that. A writer creates expectations with the first book, and the sequels should fulfill or exceed them, not totally mess with them.

The bigger issue: the story’s time gaps. The events Logan mentions in the interludes— the spoiler-y parts I cut out for this post—deserved to be shown, not just summarized. I had to smooth out the transitions between those chronological “lumps of action.”

Ultimately, those “between times” ended up being some of my favorite scenes. I made Logan part of the action, not just an observer. I made Aura live through the post-Prom pain in person.

In short, I made the book better. That’s what rewriting is all about. While it was tough to cut these pieces that I loved in themselves, it was definitely for the best. I’m so glad I could share them with you today!

P.S.: For more of Logan’s lyrical musings, check out the short story “Bridge,” in the upcoming ENTHRALLED anthology, out September 20.

What do you think of this deleted scene and my decision to cut it? (For comparison, the final version of Chapter One is on my website . In general, do you enjoy reading deleted scenes and hearing the stories behind their “disposal”? Do you watch the deleted scenes section of DVDs?

Also, do you agree that each novel in a series should have the same feel, or is it okay for authors to “color outside the lines” and try new things with each book? What about when an author starts a new series—are you disappointed or excited when it’s a little different from what they’ve done in the past? What is it about a series or an author that keeps you coming back? Inquiring minds are dying to know!

Answer one or more of these questions, or ask Jeri a question, in the comments below to enter today’s drawing. There will be two winners.

The Prizes:

Winner # 1 gets a signed copy of SHIFT, plus a Keeley Brothers button (autographed on the back), courtesy of Jeri.

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 SHIFT (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 next 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, or better yet, on Facebook ( or Twitter (@jsmithready),where she spends far too much time.


  1. I love when authors start new series. It's the excitement of new characters and new worlds that intrigue me.


  2. I get sad when authors finish a series..but love the idea of something new and fresh. It does not bother me for authors to change it up a bit...otherwise they'd all be the same.

  3. Yes sometimes I watch delected scenes from movies and thats me understand a scene at times

    aprilmom00 at gmail dot com

  4. Jeri has been my favourite author for about 2 years now and i love this series. i cannot wait to get SHIFT in my hands! :)

    i dont think every book in the series should have the same feel. i think they should be similar but have their own themes. :)

  5. I always watch deleted scenes from movies, and I love to hear about deleted sections of a book - the author's creativity shines even more so when you read why they deleted something and what it was. It shows their "path" that they originally thought of - but it helps you understand how it got to where it is now

    And as for a series of books - I have one series I'm reading by another author that each book is written from the view point of a different character in the story - they are all intertwined - but each book carries its own quirks from the different characters. I think that how an author sets up a series is also indicative of their style and where they want the series to go. The direction of a series and how its written is just as much a part of the writing process as the book contents themselves.

    and can I just say that Jeri Smith-Ready rocks?

  6. Thanks for having me, Mel! Looking forward to reading comments and answering any questions.

    Have a great day, everyone!

  7. I will admit to being unsure about reading a series for YA but since I love Jeri I thought I would give it a try and fell in love with it. I cannot wait for SHIFT.
    As for reading deleted scenes I enjoy reading them and yes I watch them on dvds as well.
    Great blog Jeri!!!

  8. I really loved the first chapter for Shift, it really got me pumped for the next book, but i'm a little said these logan POV's didn't make it he's such an integral part of the story and it's awesome to get his POV. As a reader it helps you connect with him better. I think it's great when an author switches up their style as long as it's still entertaining. Also deletd scenes rock, i always go to the authors website after i read a book and look for deleted scenes, also playlists reading and music just go together! Thanx for the giveaway!

  9. I love the idea of deleted scenes from books; it shows the progression of the character/storyline development but maybe offers some insight into things that only you, as the author, are aware of. I totally watch outtakes on DVD's!

    That being said, these clipped parts are lovely yet sad, and definitely lyrical. It's a bit reminiscent of Ellen Hopkins in format, and would be great in a different series, but staying consistent with the first book is important. Thanks for sharing these!

  10. I hate it when a series I am reading suddenly changes drastically. I know that the author is trying to bring something new and keep the series fresh, but as a reader, I keep reading because of consistency of the writing.

    I'm not a deleted scenes person most of the time. I find that deleted scenes are cut for a reason and they don't add to my enjoyment.

    bigferret at email dot com

  11. I love new series, And i love the Shase books


  12. I love deleted scenes & outtakes! I think it gives a little more insight to a particular scene, character or just the story in general. I only wish there could be deleted scenes added to the back of the book like dvds have at the end of the movie. ;)


  13. Well - no surprise here but I love those scenes and yes they made me tear up :-)
    I don't mind if the books don't have the same feel and I've been reading so many books recently from multiple points of view that I'm used to it and actually miss not knowing what everyone is thinking when they don't have that.

    (Don't enter me in the contest)

    Great job Jeri & Mel!

  14. Oh my gosh! I wish you would have kept those in the book! They are AMAZING Jeri. I'm obsessed with music and lyrics and we all know I'm in LOVE with Logan <33 That's amazing! Thanks for letting us read it! :)


  15. I agree that each novel in a series should have the same feel. I mean of course use other colors but if you started off using pastel colors as the cover background color please don't come out with the 5th book in the series being a dark ruuby color its straight up confusing to a reader.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. I love deleted scenes. When authors post them I read them and I always watch them on dvds. I like to decide if it should have been part of the final product or if it was good that it was deleted. When it comes to books I think that authors should be able to "color out of the lines"

    Thank you for a great giveaway!

  18. I hate when a good Series ends but I love it when a new series starts. I think authors can color outside the box and still make the story excellent. And any book or series by my fav authors Like JERI SMITH READY all of the books I own of hers so far have been reread and will be reread over and over again.PS I LOVED LOGAN"S INTERLUDES.

  19. I love reading deleted scenes, it is always nice to get another viewpoint, same goes for movies. I don't think I would mind if an author changed style within the series as long as I could follow what was going on. As far as a new series I don't think they should be the same as a previous one, that is when an author should do something new if they want.

    What keeps me coming back to a series or an author is that they have characters that I like, connect to, and actually care about. Also having good plots is something that keeps me coming back. I can't wait to read Shift because I loved Shade!

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  20. I love to read deleted scenes. I think they usually bring more depth and understanding to the characters. I also think it works well when an author changes perspective within a series. It brings a better overall picture.

    I can't wait to read Shift♥!

    patriciamendoza AT gmail DOT com

  21. I love deleted scenes and hearing the story behind them. I like the idea of all books in a series having the same feel. But I dont mind at all when an author changes it up for a new series. What makes me keep reading is liking their writing style and the story.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  22. I love deleted scenes. I always find it interesting what changes are made and what the author/director feels is important and unimportant to the plot.

    I can't wait to get my hands on shift!!!!

  23. I love reading deleted scenes. Thanks!

    Jeri, I'd like to know who is your favorite literary crush?

    findjessyhere at gmail dot com

  24. Logan breaks my heart and that just made it worse. That poor boy. Deleted scenes are fun little tidbits, the what coulda-happened(s)? I like it but I have to agree with your editor, it would have stumped me thinking it was a song or poem. Sad loss though.

    Email's on profile.

  25. I enjoy to read deleted scenes and I always watch the deleted scenes section of DVDs .
    I like when authors try new things with each book in a series.
    I always looking forward a new series because I like to find new characters and new worlds.
    That who makes me come back in a series is the good story and especially if it has a character where I love.
    Thanks for the giveaway!!!

    artgiote at gmail dot com

  26. I ike reading deleted scenes and hearing how the author went about editing a book. But if I'm reading a series I like all of the books in it to have the same feel. If an author starts a new series than I'm OK with an entirely different feel.

    sgiden at

  27. Thanks for all the great comments! It's interesting to hear people's different opinions on deleted scenes and consistency in series.

    Jessy wrote: Jeri, I'd like to know who is your favorite literary crush?

    Great question! Right now my favorite literary crush is Tybalt in Seanan McGuire's October Daye series (I'm reading Book 4, LATE ECLIPSES, right now). He's a Cait Sidhe, which is a catlike kind of fae. His whole manner is like a cat's--he's smooth, tough, and super sly. (He also has tiger-striped hair and wears leather really well.)

    He's just pure animal magnetism, but not in an overbearing way. You get the sense that he'd leave you alone when you were cranky--I like that in a guy. :)

  28. I adore deleted scenes; they always give depth to characters. It's like seeing a secret side to the story.

    In general, books in a series should have the same general feel. But there are a few series of late that have gone ahead and changed narrators in each book. It does require a mental adjustment on my part, but it hasn't stopped me from continuing the series.


  29. I like this, but prefer the final version.

    I always watch the deleted scenes on DVDs and in some cases I wish they didn't delete them.

    I'm a little nervous, but mostly excited when an author takes a different direction than before.

    I always come back to series when I feel for the character/s. And if the previous book ended with a cliffhanger, which always makes me anxious for the continuance.

  30. I really enjoy reading deleted scenes. They're really great. I love seeing what changed, and figuring out why it changed.
    As for the feel of the novel, I don't really mind if they want to switch it up a little bit. However, there was a time when the last novel of the series has a perspective from a character that we've never had before. I found that really frustrating. So I don't mind some changes, but not major ones.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. I love this scene! But I think I like the first chapter better. I can't wait for the short story because I can finally read something in Logan's pov.

    I love when authors start new series. Since I already know their writing style, I probably would love any book they write!

  33. I think that each novel in a series can be a bit different-but not so much that it differs from the actually story. I dont like it when an author weaves too many things into the story that makes it confusing for the reader to try and figure out, though there are some authors that can do that very well. I like a little color outside the lines-i think it keeps things fresh and new and fun. I think its exciting when an author starts a new series and its different from previous works. It like a fresh new world you can dive into. Its exciting. I think that what makes a reader coming back is not only the writing style-but the premise and story line. It really just dependsm but most of the time if i liked an authors previous books i know im going to like their new stuff! Awesome giveaway! I hope i win!! =)

  34. Wow. I really liked Logan's interludes. It really lets the reader get into his head and his heart a little to see him from the inside. Seeing him through Aura's eyes is different. I am feeling a little more love for Logan today. Love it!

    AmethystDaydreams at zoho dot com

  35. Those are so lovely! Without reading about what they were beforehand, though, I definitely read them as lyrics. I could even sort of hear a tune for them. They reminded me of the part of Logan that I really like, but I can understand why they were taken out, and the book is probably better for it. However, I love the explanation of the book having a three act structure and a musical feel, but I think it still has those aspects to an extent.

    I think series should definitely have the same feel to them. It just makes sense that way, you know? You wouldn't start a series with a really simple prose style and then write the next novel in verse. There is an expectation from the audience, and I think to completely change things up breaks that trust a little.

  36. I have to admit, despite the amazing reviews, I was a little unsure about SHADE. The first few pages of shade were hard for me to get into, so I wanted to give up but I'm so glad I didn't! this series is AMAZING and I can't wait to read SHIFT.

    Logan is one of my favourite characters, he just breaks my heart.

    PS: the third book is called shine not SHIFT.

  37. I a mixed on the changing things up in different books thing. I think that as long as it makes sense, that there's a purpose and it fits, I think it's great. Personally, I like seeing something new and I think as long as the tone of the books/series stays the same, that they don't feel like something completely different, I love it (am I making ANY sense? LOL).

    I'm one who loves to see inside different characters heads.

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. Jeri :D hi waves! Its Jaime! I absolutely love reading deleted scenes :) I'd like to read some more with Zach ;) since you know how much I loves him. I am going to be so sad when I finish Shine knowing there won't be another book :(

  40. Adding more...

    There's an adult series I have read for years. They're paranormal romance. The first few books, though there is still fighting, bad guys, action etc. the romance was always a huge part of it. After a few books in the series, it shifted to where romance took a backseat. It's in situations like this that I'm not for changing things because it didn't feel like the same series I fell in love with.

    But, adding in different POVs, giving us a little insight on someone else I love.

    That's what I was trying to say all along. LOL

  41. I like that each novel in a series should have the same feel, but it's also okay for authors to “color outside the lines” and try new things with each book. It really depends on the author and the series.

    I have no problem with an author who starts a new series and it's a little different from what they’ve done in the past.
    Almost all authors leaves some kind of "print" on their books, so no matter how different, there will still be some on them in them books and that's what matters.


  42. I LOVE reading deleted scenes and watching the deleted scenes on DVD's. :) idk why though, I just love trying to figure out why the cut stuff out and what it could have been if they kept it in. I love Logan's interludes, but I admit I thought they were songs or poems too lol.

    I think it's okay for authors to "color outside the lines" (well, it is *their* book). I will always keep on reading an author's works no matter what they write if I just love their writing in general.

  43. I do enjoy watching deleted scenes of films, but I am not so sure about deleted scenes in books... I mean, they're not really deleted. They have been changed, because the author felt the need to word things in a different way. I have not read Shade, so I don't know if that particular deleted excerpt above would have told me anything new about the character.

    As for keeping the same feel in a series, I think it's rather important... The feel you get is usually from the way the characters act in the book. So if you change the feel, then you change the characters' personalities.

    Thanks for the chance!!


  44. I love to watch deleted scenes on a DVD or read scenes that have been cut from a book. I think as a reader, if you've enjoyed a book it's because you can;t get enough of it and also because you get to see how a scene COULD have played out or what an additional scene would have been like had it been kept in the book. It's also interesting to find out the reasons behind the cut.

    Now to answer another question, what keeps me coming back is a good romance in a book, i especially LOVE love triangles, though i know everyone won't agree with me!

  45. It's great to keep a certain feel through out a series, but if the author is bored, so is the reader, am I right? I have no problem with changing up the feel of each book, I mean, each plot and scenario is different, so why shouldn't the feel for each series book take a different approach? I love it when authors go out on a limb and take risks.

    And yes, authors should start new series'. It's sad when one ends, but so exciting when they try something new. LOVE!

    Lisa B.
    angel28140 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  46. I love reading and watching deleted scenes, it gives people a new perspective on things. I think that it is important for author to go outside of the box in books, "color outside the lines", because it keeps things new and the characters don't get predictable.

    elainareads AT aol DOT com

  47. It's so sad to finish a series but at the same time it's so good to se new things and ideas coming.
    Thanks for the chance!

    desapd (at) gmail (.) com

  48. It's no surprise i ABSOLUTELY LOVE the interludes! They are raw, they are deep, they are Logan <3

    of course i think every book/chapter/scene should include Logan... when i read i'm like, "Where's Logan?....oh, thats right...he's not in this book....oops! *drops that book, picks up Shade*"

    & I personally like when authors keep the series the same, but throw in little twists! & The interludes are definitely something cool & extra! but at the same time i think cutting them was the right thing to do! Like your editor said, then SHIFT has the same insight & feel as SHADE! I feel it mades it more painful & sad not to know where Logan is & how HE feels. It keeps MY mind wondering!

    I am eagerly counting down the days until ENTHRALLED! 145 days! eeep! <3

  49. Commenting for Krysta who was having problems:

    I liked the deleted scene :)
    But I like the scene that ended up in the book better, I don't how to say it better :)
    Awesome button, love the skull and crossbones!


  50. This is fantastic. Thanks for sharing the deleted scene.

  51. Wow! Love the deleted scenes! Thank you so much for sharing. I'm going to have to check out the anthology just to get some more of Logan's lyrical musings (:


  52. Love it!! Can't wait for Enthralled (and Shift obviously)! I only read deleted scenes from books I absolutely loved, an can't remember th last time I watched one from a movie (lack of interest I guess). Love Logan!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  53. I like to be surprised when reading a book, but a series still needs a feel on consistency. You still need to feel this element that keeps everything together.

    And I'm not into deleted scenes, eitehr for movies or books. My reasoning? If it was cut, there's a reason.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. I love reading deleted scenes from books because it shows what the authors original thoughts were!!! I think when authors start new books they should give a good back story in the book. some books can get by but others not so much.

    I have a question? How did u come up with the charcters (did I spell tht right?) personalities?? Did they right themselves or did u hav to think about them and research ideas????Thx for listening hope u anwser!! (Did I spell tht right too? I'm not a good speller!! Srry!!!)

  56. I'm never disappointed when authors start a new series, if I liked their work before I almost assuredly enjoy their work after :) Many times an author has had more experience and time to create a potentially even more impressive and good book as well. Thank you so much for this great giveaway!

  57. I love deleted scenes! I love how they have you comparing versions and making you wonder about the other side and "What if..."

    I like how you get an extra piece of the wonderful events of a story and you can decide what version you like best!

    My husband and I always watch the deleted scenes from movies. Sometimes they can add something special to the already great story.


  58. I read both Shade and Shift last week in a 36hour period. It's safe to say Jeri is now one of my favorite authors! Now I need book #3!

  59. Oh, and my email is oops!

  60. I do always watch the deleted scenes, I always wanna know what I am missing!

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  61. I want to read these books sooo bad. Thanks for this giveaway.


  62. Do you watch the deleted scenes section of DVDs?

    Yes definitely! deleted scene are exciting, it is somehow part of a story/movie but was cut in the process of editing it to make it more exciting, its somehow great to read/watch deleted scenes since you know that this scene shouldve happened or was it really not essential for the book.

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

    email: fallendream03(at)gmail(d0t)com

  63. I keep reading on the same author when the previous one really blown my mind of great story. I happened not to like one book fro an author that I love but I keep on reading her next book because I know she'll write better eventually. And my wish sometimes granted!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    darlyn225 at gmail dot com

  64. In general, do you enjoy reading deleted scenes and hearing the stories behind their “disposal”?
    Yes! I love how the book is shaped, and I always wonder how the inclusion of such scenes would have worked, whether it added or detracted from the story. It doesn't just give me more of the book, but hearing the stories of why it didn't make the cut is more meaningful, as it gives more insight into the character.

    Do you watch the deleted scenes section of DVDs?
    Every single one of them, especially series I love. Some of them stand so well on their own, that it's wonderful just as a standalone piece, and not part of the episode/ movie.

    Also, do you agree that each novel in a series should have the same feel, or is it okay for authors to “color outside the lines” and try new things with each book?
    I would like a little familiarity with the tone and style, but yes! Colouring outside the lines is what shows us the development of the story, and also the development of the author's writings. ;)

    What about when an author starts a new series—are you disappointed or excited when it’s a little different from what they’ve done in the past?
    EXCITED. he hunger for more stories is never sated. ;)

    What is it about a series or an author that keeps you coming back? Inquiring minds are dying to know!
    The story. Simple, but true.

  65. What is the first book you read that made you want to become a writer?


  66. Bailey asked How did u come up with the charcters (did I spell tht right?) personalities?? Did they right themselves or did u hav to think about them and research ideas?

    Different characters grow in different ways, but in general, I learn about them by spending time with them, the same way I'd get to know a real-life person. By the end of the first draft, I have a pretty good idea what they're like because I've seen the way they act. Of course, there's always some research involved, like Logan's guitar-playing or Zachary's Scottishness, but all that just helps me build the character once I've started, like it helps me fill in the details. Does that make sense?

    Llehn asked What is the first book you read that made you want to become a writer?

    I'm not exactly sure, but I can tell you the last book I read before I finally got the nerve to start putting "pen to paper" (or fingers to keyboard, as it were): THE ROBBER BRIDE by Margaret Atwood. The way it was told (the same events through the eyes of three different characters) really fascinated me and made writing seem like it had limitless possibilities.

    Thanks for the great questions!

  67. I return to a series if I really enjoyed the characters or I know that an exciting event is just around the corner. I have my favorite authors and I usually give their books a guaranteed try. What I was wondering, why does an author decide to turn a book into a series? Thanks for this chance to win! I have responded at all of the blog stops so far! Krystal L.