Saturday 1 November 2008
My second author guest today also has alot to do with death. Well actually the main character in her Aspect of Crow Trilogy, Rhia, has alot to do with the dead or dying and her vampire DJ's are of course all dead! Please welcome, for the second time on Amberkatze's Book Blog, the lovely Jeri Smith-Ready!!!

Read to the bottom of the interview to enter the contest!!!
(only open to people in the US! Sorry!)


Amber - Thank you Jeri for coming back to Amberkatze's Book blog to celebrate the release of The Reawakened ! I loved the book and it was a perfect end to an amazing series. Maybe you can start things off by telling us a bit about the Aspect of Crow Trilogy?

Jeri – Thanks for having me, Amber—I love your blog!

The Aspect of Crow Trilogy takes place in a world where everyone has magic bestowed by their Guardian Spirit or “totem” Animal. I always say it’s sort of X-MEN meets CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR. ;-) The main confrontation throughout the trilogy is between the Animal Spirit people and those they call the “Descendants,” who have rejected the Spirits, built cities, and created their own pantheon of human gods. You could loosely compare it to the European invasion of the Americas and the conflicts with the Native Americans, or with any colonial occupation of a less “advanced” populace. Except this time the colonized have magic and the Spirits to help them fight back!

Eyes Of Crow is mostly a coming-of-age story (a “delightful” one, according to one of my favorite authors Charles de Lint). It’s told from the perspective of the main heroine Rhia as she learns to accept her powers as a Crow woman. She’s still the primary character in Voice Of Crow
and The Reawakened , but those books are also told from the points-of-view of secondary characters.

It’s full of magic and action and romance, and it’s quite a bit darker and more serious than my vampire books. I really loved doing these two series simultaneously, because it let me bring out both sides of myself.

Carol asked -

How did you come up with the idea for the Aspect of Crow Trilogy?

Jeri - I’ve always loved crows and ravens and wanted to write a book that featured them. Then I had the idea for someone who could predict when people were going to die. I put the two together, along with the shamanistic concept that everyone has a Guardian Spirit Animal, and that’s how the idea came together. Then it was a lot of sitting around thinking how the story itself would go and what kinds of conflicts the world would bring to the characters.

Speaking of Spirit Animals, my website features an interactive personality quiz ( to show you which of twelve Animals from the book you'd be. E-mail me your results and you’ll automatically be entered into a prize drawing during your animal’s month. The drawings will continue until October 2009.

Amber - The Reawakened is the last book in the trilogy. Will we ever see Rhia or any of the other characters from the series again?

Jeri – A short story called “Storm Reaper” will be featured on my publisher’s site beginning November 17. There’ll be eight weekly installments for people to read online for free. I really enjoyed writing this story about Kiril and Filip and Alanka (from VOICE OF CROW) stirring things up in Ilios. It was an aspect of the world I’d wanted to include in The Reawakened but had to be cut so that the book was less than 800 pages long. ;-) “Storm Reaper” takes place about two years before The Reawakened, but it’s in a different area with different characters, so there are no spoilers if you read one or the other first.

Besides that, I think Rhia and her friends and family would like to be left alone with their happy ending.

Amber - Who are your favourite characters from the Aspect of Crow Trilogy? Are any of them like you or based on people you know?

Jeri – My favorite characters, not surprisingly, are the heroes. Marek in Eyes Of Crow , Filip in Voice Of Crow , and Lycas and Dravek in The Reawakened . Out of all of them, Filip was the most fun and in many ways the easiest to write. As an Ilion, he’s a lot more like us than the rest of the characters.

Some would say Rhia is like me, in that she loves to eat, questions everything she’s told, and, at the beginning of her life at least, is kind of a scaredy cat. But she’s a lot more selfless and focused on others than I am.

Amber - Did you have to do alot of research for the Aspect of Crow Trilogy?

Jeri – I tried to be careful about keeping the books “ecologically correct,” i.e., getting all the biological/ecological/geographical details about the animals and plants right. As a former biology major, I try to do this with any book, but since the Aspect of Crow world is so deeply tied to nature, it was particularly important.

For The Reawakened , I did a ton of research on guerrilla warfare. It’s amazing how much can be accomplished by so few warriors, as long as they have the people on their side. I studied everything from the American Revolution to the French Algerian war to Vietnam to Cuba to China to the current conflict in Iraq. I learned that it’s nearly impossible to occupy a country when the population is determined to kick you out. You can’t overcome them with force alone—you have to win them over by other means.

Carol asked - Was this (Aspect of Crow Trilogy) your first series and do you find it is easier or harder to write a series than it is to write a single title?

Jeri – It was my first published series. I had a stand-alone novel (Requiem for the Devil, 2001), for which I wrote half a sequel that was never published (which is probably a good thing). Everything else I’ve written has been part of a series. I think particularly with fantasy, when you build a world and create compelling characters that continue to grow, a series is almost inevitable.

Kimberly B. asked -

You've written fantasies set in both the real world (Wicked Game, Requiem for the Devil) and an imaginary world (the Aspect of Crow Trilogy). Which do you find more difficult to write, and is there one you prefer?

Jeri – Imaginary world fantasy is more difficult for me, even though the Aspect of Crow Trilogy takes place here on earth in the same part of the country in which I live (the mid-Atlantic region). The most challenging part is the dialogue—while my characters don’t talk in high-falutin’ “fantasy-speak” with lots of thou’s and thy’s, certain modern colloquialisms would sound very jarring coming out of their mouths. To put it bluntly, when I write contemporary fantasy, I can use all the words I know (including cuss words, of which there is only one in the entire AOC trilogy).

ddurance asked -

What brought on the aspects of music and radio in your book Wicked Game? What importance is music to you and in your own life?

Jeri – Music has always been a part of my life. There was constantly a radio or stereo on in the house when I was growing up. My family was an early influence in my musical tastes, but by the time I got to high school, it was usually friends and/or boyfriends who had the most influence. Now I pretty much find music on my own. I just couldn’t live without it, and I feel extremely lucky to be able to share that love of music in my work with the vampire DJs. Not only in the book, but also on my website ( and that of the WVMP radio station (

Amber - What is next? More fantasy? More paranormals? Upcoming projects?

Jeri – Bad to the Bone, the second in the WVMP series, will be out in May 2009, and I have high hopes that there’ll be more of those coming down the pike in future years. *fingers crossed* I also have a young adult urban fantasy in the works, so let’s hope it finds a home with a publisher who loves it.

Oh, and there’ll be more vampire DJ turning stories coming soon! Monroe’s ( and Spencer’s ( are already on my site. Jim’s should be up by Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to that one—should be deliciously weird. ;-) Then I’m planning for Noah’s around New Year’s, Regina’s mid-February, and finally Shane’s at the beginning of April.

Michelle asked -

How is your progress on Bad to the Bone!? What is this story about & where did you get your inspiration from for the story?

Jeri – Heh. My deadline is next Wednesday. I’m in the final polishing stage right now, and I’m really happy with where I’ve taken the story in the rewrite—more action, more conflict, more vampire DJs!

The story focuses on a new threat to the station—this time from a religious broadcaster who pirates WVMP’s signal and claims that anyone who glorifies the occult (by, for example, pretending to be vampires) is going to hell. It also features a stray dog named Dexter who turns out to be a lot more than meets the eye.

I got the idea for the story from the real-life so-called “culture warriors,” who always seem to rear their heads this time of year railing against the evils of Halloween. Dexter was based on a foster dog I knew and loved, whose name was Foots. We wanted to keep Foots for our own, but he wanted to eat our cats, so there was a basic conflict of interest. ;-) He went to live with another foster family who adopted him the next day.

Amber - What have you been reading, watching or just enjoying lately?

Jeri – I’m a political junkie, so most of my tiny spare time has been absorbed by reading, watching, and talking about the upcoming election here in the States. I’m looking forward to getting past that event, finishing this book, and returning to reading and movie watching. I am nowhere near my goal of fifty books and fifty movies for 2008!

Our current Netflix DVD is the final season of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, possibly my favorite show ever. I’m in the middle of two very funny books right now: Chuck Klosterman’s DOWNTOWN OWL and Beth Ciotta’s ALL ABOUT EVIE. They are keeping me sane through the crazy times.

Amber - Thank you again for stopping by Amberkatze's Book blog! I hope you will come back again when Bad to the Bone comes out!

Jeri – I absolutely will! Thanks so much for having me, and thanks to you and your readers for the great questions. Please feel free to ask me more questions in the comments, and good luck in the book drawing!

You can visit my website at Also, I have signed bookplates for anyone who wants a quick-and-easy way to get an autographed copy of the novels. Just e-mail me at jeri AT jerismithready DOT com and tell me which ones you want. (Please include your mailing address with your request.)

Happy Halloween, everyone!


Contest Time!

Jeri has kindly said that she will send the winner from this contest a signed set of the Aspect of the Crow trilogy!

That means you get all 3 of these amazing books in the trilogy!

This contest is only open to US mailing addresses!

To enter the contest go to Jeri's site and fill in the interactive personality quiz ( and then post here which of twelve Animals from the book you are!

To get an extra entry post about this interview & contest somewhere on the internet and leave the link here so I can confirm your entry!

The contest will stay open until Sunday 9th of November 4pm CET and all entrants should check in to see if they have won! I will draw another winner if the prize isn't claimed within 7 days!


Labels: , , ,

posted by Unknown at Saturday, November 01, 2008 |


At 1 November 2008 at 15:07, Blogger darbyscloset

I am awolf and I agree with the write up. No wonder I have always had a soft spot in my heart forthe wolf!
I love to win this set of books!
Thank you
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com


At 1 November 2008 at 15:28, Blogger ArkieRN

I am a crow. Which is kinda neat as resurrection is listed as a quality of the crow and my name (Stacie) is a variant of Anastasia and the meaning of it is resurrection.


At 1 November 2008 at 17:27, Blogger Unknown

I am a swan. I'm certainly not as "graceful as a swan", but I agree with the spirit animal description!


At 1 November 2008 at 18:12, Blogger StyleVamp

This quiz was fun..I'm a wolf & I couldn't agree more with the description. I even had my boyfriend take the test & turns out we're


At 1 November 2008 at 21:15, Blogger Michelle

You are a Hawk! (your score: 25)
Characters: Galen, Thera, Zilus in Eyes of Crow; Maxine in "The Wild's Call"

Powers: Communicate with the divine, discern powers in others, photographic memory

Hawks are the messengers of the Spirits. Adept with language, you might be a writer or a teacher. Your ability to assess situations impartially means that people often seek your guidance before making decisions. A brilliant visionary, you sometimes forget the mundane details of life like eating, sleeping, or paying bills.

Best matches: Owls, Foxes, Spiders

Watch out for: Otters, Bears, Horses


At 1 November 2008 at 21:43, Blogger Pamk

I am crow. love this interview.


At 2 November 2008 at 04:04, Blogger Caitlin Hoy

Great Interview! I am a Spider. ? I find this deeply ironic since I'm scared of them.


At 2 November 2008 at 06:17, Blogger Angela @ Reading Angels

I'm a Hawk! And the description fits me well!


At 2 November 2008 at 06:26, Blogger Ruth Schaller

I'm A SWAN! Swans are idealistic, open-minded, and passionate. Your good nature often leads people to think they can take advantage of you, but they should be careful—beneath that serenity lies a fighting spirit. Your love is fierce and unconditional, fueled by the certainty that it should last forever.

That would be me! Hi Jeri!


At 2 November 2008 at 06:28, Blogger Angela @ Reading Angels

Blogged about your contest here


At 2 November 2008 at 09:39, Blogger Carol M

You are a Horse! (your score: 25)
Horses are beautiful animals! :)

Thank you so much for answering my questions! I enjoyed your interview!

Carol M
mittens0831 AT


At 2 November 2008 at 11:03, Blogger macbeaner

You are a Wolf! (your score: 31)


At 2 November 2008 at 12:17, Blogger Kathy

My spirit guide is a Swan. This was fun!

I posted the contest and link to spirit guide quiz on my blog:



At 2 November 2008 at 14:14, Blogger Stephanie

I am an otter. Fun quiz & great interview! =)


At 2 November 2008 at 14:36, Blogger Kimberly B.

I took it a long time ago, but I am a fox! Which doesn't necessarily bode well, from the first book in the series, but oh well!


At 2 November 2008 at 19:41, Blogger Lori T

I am a wolf...I have to agree with what it says. Family is definitely number one for me.


At 3 November 2008 at 01:38, Blogger Dawn M.

I'm a Swan! (your score: 27)


At 3 November 2008 at 08:16, Blogger CrystalGB

I am a wolverine. :)


At 3 November 2008 at 09:46, Blogger Fuzzmom

I'm an Otter! Great for me!


At 3 November 2008 at 17:18, Blogger Asylumgirl

I'm a crow! LOL

deidre_durance at hotmail dot com


At 3 November 2008 at 22:13, Anonymous Anonymous

You are a Crow! (your score: 24)
Characters: Rhia, Coranna in Eyes of Crow; Damen in Voice of Crow; John in "The Wild's Call"

Powers: foreseeing death, communicating with the dead, resurrection

As a Crow, you are analytical, adaptable, and exceedingly clever. You like solving problems, sharing a hearty laugh with friends, and most of all, enjoying a good meal. Your inquisitive, philosophical nature leads you to constantly question authority and the status quo, sometimes just for the sake of asking, "Why?"

Best matches: Foxes, Wolves, Swans

Watch out for: Wolverines, Bears, Hawks


At 4 November 2008 at 02:38, Blogger LadyVampire2u

My match was the wolf which actually did not surprise me as I am part Native American Indian and my totem spirit animal actually is the wolf. I enjoyed the quiz and loved the interview. I defintiely need to read these books!!


At 4 November 2008 at 06:23, Anonymous Anonymous

I like this one.

You are a Wolf! (your score: 21)
Characters: Marek, Alanka, Kerza in Eyes of Crow; Lance in "The Wild's Call"

Powers: Stealth, hunting ability, enhanced senses of smell and hearing, as well as strength and stamina

"Family comes first" could be a Wolf's motto. You form deep connections with close friends and family members, and they know you'd do anything to protect them. You're loyal, devoted, and passionate. Your worst fear is being alone, but be careful not to drown your loved ones in too much emotion.


At 4 November 2008 at 06:26, Blogger Book Sp(l)ot

"You are a Wolf" (and my score for that is 26..and one of my best matches is a swan which I suppose is good because the next one I have-with 24-is a swan with a best match of a wolf ;) so I match myself well).

(This bit on the swan description: "but they should be careful—beneath that serenity lies a fighting spirit" is actually rather funny because there was jutt a picture of some people in the paper putting trackers on some swans with their necks swinging around...and I wondered if the swans wouldn't try to peck them or something ;))


At 5 November 2008 at 18:15, Anonymous Anonymous

Oohh Ooohhh.....I did this over at Ann Aguirre's page a couple of days ago (she's having a contest for these three books as well). I really need to read what you're giving away. :) I want in.

You are a Swan!
Characters: Tereus, Kalia in Eyes of Crow
Powers: Foretelling future through dreams, dream-walking

Swans are idealistic, open-minded, and passionate. Your good nature often leads people to think they can take advantage of you, but they should be careful—beneath that serenity lies a fighting spirit. Your love is fierce and unconditional, fueled by the certainty that it should last forever.


At 5 November 2008 at 20:24, Blogger caseykelp

You are a Swan! (your score: 24)
Characters: Tereus, Kalia in Eyes of Crow

Neat little quiz, i like doing them from time to time.
Thank you


At 6 November 2008 at 18:21, Blogger javacatz

I'm a bear. :-)

Great quiz!


At 6 November 2008 at 19:36, Anonymous Anonymous

I'm a spider which is pretty cool, since spiders are lucky and I have a green glittery one on top of my computer.


At 7 November 2008 at 05:42, Blogger MsValerie

This was VERY cool!

I'm a Hawk (wow!)...with the Owl a close second.


At 7 November 2008 at 05:44, Blogger Brooke Reviews

I'm a hawk, with owl a very close second. Which I think is awesome because I love owls. :D

I also posted about this on my blog here:

Great interview as always!


At 7 November 2008 at 06:18, Blogger Katie

I have taken this quiz a couple of times and every time I get something different. I am a little concerned about what the says about me.

This time I have the Owl.

Jeri - Thanks for the interview! I loved "The Reawakened"!


At 7 November 2008 at 06:49, Blogger Liviania

I'm a hawk!
Powers: Communicate with the divine, discern powers in others, photographic memory

Hawks are the messengers of the Spirits. Adept with language, you might be a writer or a teacher. Your ability to assess situations impartially means that people often seek your guidance before making decisions. A brilliant visionary, you sometimes forget the mundane details of life like eating, sleeping, or paying bills.


At 7 November 2008 at 06:53, Blogger cortinaplantada

I got the hawk. I posted about the contest here


At 7 November 2008 at 11:27, Blogger LeighSavage

I was a swan I thought the description fit me very well.


At 7 November 2008 at 14:15, Blogger KisaKat

I got the spider, and the write up was pretty spot on for me :)


At 7 November 2008 at 18:31, Anonymous Anonymous

You are a Spider! (your score: 27)
Characters: Arcas in Eyes of Crow

Powers: Artistic genius, ability to see patterns and sense trouble from a distance

As a Spider, you're artistic, intuitive, and independent—maybe even a little eccentric. You can become so absorbed in your endeavors that you lose track of the outside world and the people in it. But what you give in return is magic, pure and simple.

Best matches: Cougars, Hawks, Owls

Watch out for: Wolves, Otters, Bears

I find this funny as my husband is scared of spiders.

Shartyrant@livejournal since I can't get this to post under my ID


At 7 November 2008 at 19:57, Anonymous Anonymous

LOL! I did this quiz eons ago on Jeri's site. I am a Swan. No words from the peanut author gallery. And don't enter me in the drawing. :) I just like to come poke Jeri every now and again.


At 8 November 2008 at 05:24, Blogger Pam P

I'm a crow, am the analytical type.
Great interview, Jeri, I have the first book I'm reading now, so love to get the whole set.


At 8 November 2008 at 08:36, Blogger catslady

I too am a wolf at 21 but swan was right behind - I liked both of them :)


At 8 November 2008 at 11:20, Blogger Kirby

I am 24% wolf and 22% otter

Kirby K.


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