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Shane! Come Back, Shane!

JEZEBEL:
Heya, Avid Fans! Welcome to Cat and Muse, the only Internet talk-radio show (that we know of) that is by and about author characters. I’m your host, the former demon Jezebel, coming at you live from the sordid depths of Jackie Kessler’s website. With me, as always, is the lovely, lamentable Muse of Tragedy, forced to speak in clichés and pop-culture references…Melpomene!

[APPLAUSE]

Hi, Mel!

MELPOMENE:
YO.

JEZ:
I’ve been crushing on our next guest ever since WICKED GAME debuted last year. The new book, BAD TO THE BONE, scored a starred Publisher’s Weekly review, which is a very huge deal. Says PW: “In Smith-Ready’s espionage farce sequel to 2008’s Wicked Game, Ciara Griffin and her vampire DJs face another threat to their Maryland radio station 94.3 WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ’n’ Roll. When the Family Action Network (FAN) disrupts WVMP’s Halloween broadcast by pirating their signal and jamming it with antivampire rhetoric, Ciara swears revenge. Under the aegis of the International Agency for the Control and Management of Undead Corporeal Entities, Ciara turns spy and infiltrates the cult’s fortress, armed with her wits and her vampire-healing “antiholy” blood. Aiding her are a crew of hip vamp buddies and vampire dog Dexter, whom she rescues after finding him chained to a cross outside a FAN enclave. Smith-Ready pours plenty of fun into her charming, fang-in-cheek urban fantasy, which frequently skirts the edge of parody.”

Boys and girls, say hello to one of the stars of Jeri Smith-Ready’s WVMP series…the vampire DJ, Shane McAllister!

[APPLAUSE]

BttB

Heya, Shane!

SHANE:
Hey, Jez. Thanks for having me on your show.

JEZ:
Thrilled you’re here, sweetie.

SHANE:
Your studio is pretty kickin’. It’s always nice to get out of my own little box, safe and opaque as it is. [CHECKS WATCH, LOOKS NERVOUSLY AT WINDOW]

JEZ:
Heh. Loving the way you fill out those ripped jeans, by the way.

SHANE:
They’re one of a kind. Jeans don’t really break in until they’re about three years old. By that point, you know each other like best friends. Also, they get those nice vents in the knees.

JEZ:
Me, I prefer when men wear chaps. Minus the jeans.

SHANE:
Uh, yeah. Thanks for the image. So a lotta people buy pre-worn, pre-ripped jeans, but that’s just bull[BLEEP]. That’s like buying a mail-order bride. You gotta work for that level of comfort and happiness.

JEZ:
Avid Fans, now might be a good time to mention that Shane is a man of the 1990s. Literally. So, sweetie, what goes against your fashion sensitivities?

SHANE:
It’s not a matter of fashion, it’s about comfort. So by this point I only own one or two ties, hidden in the back of the closet. I used to wear tuxedos all the time when I was a wedding DJ, and I swore I’d never wear another tux until the day I got married.

JEZ:
Mmm. Hopefully, it’ll be a long, long time before we see you in a tux.

SHANE:
Let’s see, what else. I can’t remember the last time I used a comb. Those things just destroy your hair, anyway.

MEL:
GIVE ME DOWN TO THERE, HAIR. SHOULDER LENGTH OR LONGER.

JEZ:
Mel agrees. Can’t comb those ringlets of hers. What other can’ts do you have, Shane?

SHANE:
I can’t wear hats. Every hat makes me look like Kid Rock.

JEZ:

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. So, for those listeners who aren’t familiar with BAD TO THE BONE, give us a one-line description.

SHANE:
Whoa, one line? Ciara’s more of the marketing maven, but I’ll give it a shot.

JEZ:
Good man.

SHANE:

In BAD TO THE BONE, Ciara and I fight a bunch of extremist whack jobs who hijack our station’s signal and try to set us on fire, and in our spare time we try to figure out all this relationship stuff, while taking care of our new vampire dog.

JEZ:
Hmm.

SHANE:
OK, that hook sucked. How about “Semi-reformed con artist and her OCD vampire boyfriend take on stake-wielding, torch-tossing [BLEEP]heads”?

JEZ:
Love it!

SHANE:
[SCOFFS] Yeah, Hollywood’ll be calling any minute now.

JEZ:
Don’t skip ahead, sweetie. That question’s later. What’s the worst thing about your situation in the book?

SHANE:
Geez, where to start? Those nutjobs would interrupt our broadcast whenever a woman was on the air—whether it was a recording artist or Regina, our female DJ. She got even harder to live with than usual, because she had nothing to do for weeks but simmer.

JEZ:
[BURSTS OUT LAUGHING]

SHANE:
Plus I had to take her shift, since none of the other DJs understood her music. She’d sit there in the booth with me, tell me what to play and what to say. Like I don’t know my punk and Goth? I grew up with that stuff. Okay, technically, I grew up with hair metal, a fact that Regina never fails to point out every day, but after college I went back and learned all about punk.

JEZ:
Great stuff. I loved the 1980s. Missed most of the 1990s, due to a little…misunderstanding Below. My former job wasn’t very forgiving of mistakes. But it sounds like that was the worst thing for you: job-related insanity.

SHANE:
Not even close. After Dexter the dog got Ciara evicted, she went to live with David.

JEZ:
[SCANS NOTES] David. The station manager. Got it.

SHANE:
That drove me [BLEEP]ing crazy, knowing their bedrooms were literally feet apart. They’re both too decent to ever let things get…you know.

JEZ:
Heh. I do indeed.

SHANE:
But he’s got that human thing going for him. I can’t give her that.

JEZ:
Oh sweetie, trust me. The human thing can be very overrated. [SLIDES CLOSER] So tell us some of the good stuff that happens to you in BAD TO THE BONE.

SHANE:
Finally shacking up with Ciara.

JEZ:
[SLIDES AWAY] Oh goodie.

SHANE:
I hope that doesn’t count as a spoiler.

JEZ:
Nah. If it did, our Spoilalert would have sounded. Right, Mel?

MEL:
[CHECKS SPOILALERT; GIVES JEZEBEL A THUMBS UP]

SHANE:
I love not having to leave her at five in the morning to keep from catching myself on fire. I love sleeping beside her. I love knowing that ‘home’ is where she is.

JEZ:
How lovely.

SHANE:
And in the book, there was this one night, she came to the studio while I was on the air and…

JEZ:
[PERKS UP] And?

SHANE:
Nah, I probably oughta just let you read about it.

JEZ:
[SIGHS] Fine, fine. Get a girl worked up, why don’t you? What’s one ridiculous thing that happens in the book?

SHANE:
That’s an easy one. See, there’s this inherent discord between me and Ciara. She grew up sort of a nomad, traveling across the country with her fake faith-healer parents. Never put down roots, never had a stable home.

JEZ:
[NODS] So she’s afraid of trust and commitment.

SHANE:
It’s not that. She doesn’t know how to load a dishwasher.

JEZ:
Hah! Okay, spill. You and Ciara. Who’s on top? Or are there other preferred positions?

SHANE:
[CHUCKLES] It depends on the prevailing mood.

JEZ:
Ooh!

SHANE:
That’s all I’ll say. Despite appearances, I am a gentleman.

JEZ:
Aw. Well then, what’s your romantic fantasy?

SHANE:
Um. [FOLDS ARMS; UNCROSSES AND CROSSES LEGS, ANKLE AT THE KNEE] Are guys supposed to talk about this? I mean, I’m allegedly Mr. Sensitivity and all, but even I have my limits.

JEZ:
Since when does “supposed to” stop a sexy beast like you?

SHANE:
It’s not a fantasy. More like a secret plan. You’ll all know when it comes true. [PAUSES] If it comes true.

JEZ:
Got to have faith, Shane. Which is better: sex or chocolate?

SHANE:
[BLANK LOOK] You don’t usually interview men, do you?

JEZ:
Sweetie, you’d be stunned by some of the answers I get. From men and women.

SHANE:
Well, since you asked, chocolate to vampires tastes like that paste we used to use in elementary school. Remember that stuff they’d give us before they’d trust us with glue?

JEZ:
Is it anything like massage oil?

SHANE:
Um, no, not the better massage oil brands. I guess you wouldn’t remember paste, since you didn’t grow up as a human.

JEZ:
Skipped right past the pimple stage. Just lucky that way.

SHANE:

Very lucky. So no contest. Sex is better than chocolate, before and after death.

JEZ:
Mmm. I love it when a man is so…decisive. So, in BAD TO THE BONE, were there any parts of the story where you were like, Jeri, sweetie, what the Hell are you making me do? Or were you and your Creator in sync the entire time?

SHANE:
Mostly we’re in sync, at least by the final draft—she puts some absolutely senseless [BLEEP] into those first drafts.

JEZ:
Heh. Must be a Creator thing.

SHANE:
But there was one scene in BAD TO THE BONE where I hated the rule about older vampires being so much stronger than younger ones. A certain hippie really needed his ass kicked.

JEZ:
If you had your way, what would you change about BAD TO THE BONE?

SHANE:
[GLANCES AROUND; LEANS CLOSE TO JEZEBEL] I would’ve had the Steelers lose that game to the Ravens.

JEZ:
You are such a tease. You know that, right?

SHANE:
I know, it’s total blasphemy for a fan like me, and it would mean changing the course of real human events. But at least David would’ve kept his clothes on.

JEZ:
Wait. Say what now?

SHANE:
Next question.

JEZ:
Yeah. You’re definitely a tease. Mm, mm, mm. [CLEARS THROAT] If you could make Jeri do anything, what would it be?

SHANE:
I would make her tell me and Ciara what’s coming up in the next book, BRING ON THE NIGHT. Usually, we know all about it ahead of time because it’s already happened to us. But this one takes place in Spring 2010, so we have no clue. Which makes me nervous. I think big things are going to happen, and not all of them good.

JEZ:
Oh, sweetie. My condolences.

MEL:
[PUTS ON FUNERAL DIRGE]

JEZ:
Come on now, Mel. It could be better than that.

MEL:
[CHANGES CDs—PUTS ON DEPECHE MODE’S “WAITING FOR THE NIGHT TO FALL”]

JEZ:
On that note, tell me one thing in the real world that you wish you could change.

SHANE:
I’d repeal the Telecommunications Act of 1996. It let big conglomerates buy up as many radio stations as they wanted. That’s why all the stuff you hear on most radio stations sounds the same.

JEZ:
Yeah, I remember getting the memo about that. One of the major demons of Greed got a huge promotion because of that…

SHANE:
I can believe it. It’s not just annoying and depressing for music lovers, it’s dangerous. You know that emergency broadcast system, the one that plays the booooooooooop! noise every once in a while?

JEZ:
Sure.

SHANE:
Well, there was a chemical spill in North Dakota a few years ago, and the 911 people told everyone to tune into the local radio station for emergency information. But guess what? No one was there. The company that owned all six stations in Minot was broadcasting a canned radio show from another city! Someone died because of it. [BLEEP]ers.

JEZ:
Ouch.

SHANE:
Sorry, I don’t mean to get on a soapbox, but that’s why we need stations like WVMP. Not just for great music, but in case some major emergency ever happened in Sherwood. [HORROR CROSSES HIS FACE] Oh, [BLEEP]. I hope I didn’t just give Jeri any ideas.

JEZ:
Not that a little emergency every now and then can’t be fun…What about in the publishing world? Would you change anything there?

SHANE:
[COUGHS] I think I’ve said enough about media consolidation. I won’t bite that hand.

JEZ:
Smart lad. If BAD TO THE BONE goes Hollywood, who should play you in the movie?

SHANE:
Ciara answered that one when you interviewed her. I bow to her wisdom. And like she said, they can make me from Belfast instead of Youngstown if they want. One urban war zone is pretty much the same as the rest.

JEZ:

Nice. So I understand that people can contact you and Ciara directly, not just go through your Dear Creator. Is that right?

SHANE:
[NODS] Ciara got me into Twitter, and at first I thought it was lame, but now I love it. Sometimes I do live-tweets of my show’s rebroadcast. I post links to the songs so people can listen along, and I add DJ-type remarks, as much as will fit in 140 characters. Eventually I’m going to do a live show and take requests. I play some new music, but mostly late eighties/early nineties indie and alternative. On Twitter I’m http://twitter.com/ShaneMcAllister and Ciara is http://twitter.com/CiaraGriffin. We’re also on MySpace, but like a lot of people, we hardly ever go there anymore.

JEZ:
Finally, if you could be evil for one day, and you were granted spiffy evil powers, what would the powers be and how would you use them?

SHANE:
Can that day be the Super Bowl?

JEZ:
Er. Sorry, no. (Hey, even Hell has rules.)

SHANE:
Oh. In that case, I would cast a spell that would simultaneously slam a two-by-four into the face of every man who ever hit a woman.

JEZ:
How…heroic.

SHANE:
Wait, does that count as evil, or is it just Batman-style vigilantism?

JEZ:
Batman, definitely. Although I’d pay good money to see you in that latex nipple suit that George Clooney wore…

SHANE:
That good money would have to go toward making me unconscious. Remember what I said about comfort? Speaking of Batman, Ciara thinks Christian Bale should play David in our movie. Now you know why I regret that Steelers game.

JEZ:
[THUMBS THROUGH BAD TO THE BONE TO GET TO PART WHERE DAVID IS NAKED, BOOKMARKS PAGE] I wouldn’t worry, Shane.

SHANE:
If my Two-By-Four of Righteousness isn’t evil enough, I could throw in the guy who invented Muzak. Or his closest male relative, if he’s already dead.

JEZ:
Heh. Done.

Avid Fans, give another hotter than hot round of applause to one of the stars of Jeri Smith-Ready’s latest novel, BAD TO THE BONE…Shane McAllister!

[APPLAUSE]

JSR

[No, this isn’t the yummy Shane McAllister. But it is his Dear Creator, Jeri Smith-Ready.]

You can buy WICKED GAME and BAD TO THE BONE at Barnes and Noble, Borders, Flights of Fantasy, Mysterious Galaxy and other independent booksellers, Amazon, and other bookstores near you.

That’s it for this episode of Cat and Muse! Until next time: love your inner demon.

7 Responses to “Shane! Come Back, Shane!”

  1. […] First, the amazing Jeri Smith-Ready’s fabulous Shane McAllister, the 1990s vampire DJ from BAD TO THE BONE and WICKED GAME, is in the hot seat with Jezzie over at Cat and Muse. Come check it out! […]

    by Jackie Kessler - Insert Witty Title Here on June 17th, 2009 at 9:08 am

  2. Great interview!

    A vampire dog…..that is so incredibly….awesome! Can’t wait to read it! 😀

    by Terri Q on June 17th, 2009 at 9:32 am

  3. Awesome interview! Love Shane 😀

    by BrookeReviews on June 17th, 2009 at 9:38 am

  4. Great interview, Shane! Good to know the independent spirit of radio is still thriving out there. 🙂

    by Alana Abbott on June 17th, 2009 at 9:54 am

  5. Hi 🙂
    Fantastic interview. Hearing Jezebel’s “voice” again makes me long for the next book like a junkie longs for er, whatever.
    🙂
    BAD TO THE BONE – can’t wait to devour it!
    Thanks for such a witty and fun time.
    Love From Canada
    xoxo

    by Rob Charron on June 17th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

  6. I found BTTB very scary. Those big crosses one sees around our countryside have to be even more frightening to you than they are to me, and they’re way scarier than any silly old vampire. Or young one. Not that you’re silly. You’re cute. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here in this interview.

    And, thank you, Jez. Another fine job!

    by joysann on June 19th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

  7. […] Shane, from the WVMP series by Jeri Smith-Ready, by Jackie Kessler’s Cat and Muse […]


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  • About

    So, A Demon Walks Into A Radio Studio

    The thing is, Jezebel is an active sort of former demon. She hates staying still for too long. And she loves people. (Just no longer in the “to death” sort of way.) So when she met Melpomene at the Voodoo Café one evening, it was probably inevitable that Jezzie would decide to be an Internet talk-radio host in her spare time.

    Now Cat and Muse has a dedicated audience (so Jezebel claims, loudly), and Jezzie has interviewed darlings of the print world, including MaryJanice Davidson’s Betsy Taylor, Rachel Caine’s Joanne Baldwin, and T.A. Pratt’s Marla Manson.

    Jezzie loves playing radio host. Mel laments being the producer. And Jackie? She just works here.




    The Staff

    Jezebel



    Jezebel is a former succubus. Quick with a joke, and to light up your smoke, there’s no place that she’d rather be than behind the microphone and interviewing other fictional characters. Okay, so maybe she’d rather be boinking the New York Giants. But that was a previous life (she swears), and she’s fully dedicated to being the best Internet talk-radio host she can be. (At least, until something else catches her eye.)

    Melpomene



    Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy, has nothing better to do than lament her fate—all but forgotten, the Muse has a tendency to sigh and fret and use her power to wreak havoc. At least, she used to do all that, before she got whammied but good and now is stuck speaking in clichés and pop-culture references, sans magic power. At least now that Mel is the producer of Cat and Muse, she gets airtime while she mopes.

    Jackie



    Jackie insists that she runs the joint. She’s just a slave monkey who does Jezebel’s bidding, but don’t tell her that.




    Contact

    Contacting Cat and Muse

    We love hearing from our fans! Email Jackie at with the subject “CAT AND MUSE” and rave about how much you adore Jezebel and feel for Melpomene. And let her know which characters you’d like to see on Cat and Muse. Who knows? Maybe we can oblige.

    If you’re an author and you’d like to set up an interview for your characters, email Jackie at with the subject “INTERVIEW ME.” Jackie would be happy to explain the process.

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