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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Giveaway, Review, & Interview: All things Kory Shrum!

I've been DYING to do this giveaway! Kory Shrum is one of my favorite new authors. We began talking online a few months ago, and since then, we've started a critique group together (shout-out to the horsemen!) and we're making plans to take over upcoming book conventions. I LOVE Kory's first novel, and I'm pretty tickled that I've gotten to read quite a bit of book 2 in our crit group! Here's my official review of book 1, DYING FOR A LIVING.


"This book and author are now among my favorites! Wow! I might be a little partial to this story because I love morbid comedy, urban fantasy, and a good mystery. I'm also a big fan of original ideas, since they're so rare anymore. 

Jesse is a Necronite, though people still use the z word (zombie). She dies for a living... literally. She's a death replacement agent. Psychics (another dirty word) find people who are near death, via remote viewing, and Jesse gets paid to take their place. As a Necronite, she reanimates after a few hours, heals after a few days, collects a paycheck, and does it all over again. The world isn't quite ready for this heap of awesome, particularly the Church, who have started petitioning for Necronites to be decapitated after death so they can't come back. After a client tries to off her during a death replacement and her handler goes missing, Jesse soon finds herself in the middle of an investigation. With trust issues off the chart and danger around every bend, her only option is to do a little digging of her own. 

This is a spectacular introduction to a series I'm definitely going to be following all the way through. Jesse is a riot, and yet very complex and lovable. All of the characters are really great, and though it's on the back burner, the love triangle was a refreshing twist too, since Jesse is bisexual. Both of the love interests are exciting and sincere, and it makes it so much harder to decide who to cheer for. I'm so torn, but I can't wait to see how it all unfolds."

I had a lot of questions for Kory after I read her debut...

Q: Dying for a Living is a really original take on zombies. How did you come up with the idea? And what kind of research did you do to evolve the idea?

KS: I actually did not set out to write a zombie story—and many would argue that Jesse isn’t a zombie story at all. I wanted a heroine who discovered and came to term with her powers, but I wasn’t sure what that would look like exactly. I read a craft book about how choosing your protagonist’s occupation is really important and that is when I realized what I was missing. So I started to approach it from the position of what is the most interesting job ever and it sort of evolved from there. And the research evolved naturally. As I tried to solve the questions/complications of Jesse’s occupation and world, I sought to answer those questions. 

Q: Love triangles are pretty common in urban fantasy these days, but it's much rarer to find a bisexual love triangle. What inspired this part of the story?

KS: Apart from my own sexuality, bisexuality is a good fit for Jesse’s personality. Sexuality is a part of a person’s personality and I try to match sexuality and personality for my characters in a realistic way. 

Q: Jesse lives in Tennessee, but you're in Michigan. Have you ever lived in Tennessee? Did you have to do anything special to research setting?

KS: I was born in the Midwest—my father’s family is from Granite City, IL near St. Louis—but I was raised in the South, Tennessee in particular—where my mother’s family is from. I also went to college in Clarksville, and drove into Nashville often to visit family, friends, or visit the good bars. So most of what I describe in the book is from personal experience. 

Q: If you died and woke up to discover you were a Necronite, would you sign up as a death replacement agent? Or would you hide your ability to be safe?

KS: I would sign up for as a death replacement agent. I am not good at “playing it safe” and I would love the challenge that death replacing poses. But I am also a bit of a rule-breaker, so I would probably have a hard time following all the rules and would likely do a few things that would get me into trouble later. 

Q: How long did it take you to write Dying for a Living? And how long did it take to write the second installment, and when can we expect to see it?

KS: I banged out the first draft in about 5-6 months. And then I spent a year revising on and off before I got an agent. But several other revisions happened over the span of four years. It took me about 10 months to write the sequel, which should be out September 2014. 

Q: If Dying for a Living made it to the big screen, who would you love to see play your characters and why?

KS: I’ve answered this one in other interviews, and often my ideas change, but here is a good list: 

Jesse:     Emma Stone 
Ally:       Jennifer Lawrence 
Lane:      Liam Hemsworth 
Gabriel:   Ian Somerhalder 
Herwin:   Tom Hollander 
Rachel:    Jena Malone 
Brinkley:  Mark Ruffalo 
Garrison:  Woody Harrelson 
Caldwell:  Tom Cruise 
Kyra:       Emmy Rossum 
Kirk:        Morgan Freeman




If you haven't read DYING FOR A LIVING yet, you're missing out. But fret not! Here's your chance to win an autographed copy!




5 Things About Kory:

1) She once spent the night in the trunk of a car
2) She has a BB pellet lodged in her arm
3) She has a black belt in Uechi-Ryu
4) She rescued an epileptic pug
5) She can read fortunes

Learn more about her and her work at: www.korymshrum.com

If you too would like to stalk Kory Shrum, you can find her all over the interwebs:





26 comments:

  1. Great interview, I also love Kory's novel! I purchased it as an ebook a while ago & can't wait for the release of number 2! Thanks for the chance to win a paperback!

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    1. I'm anxiously waiting to read more of book 2 too! Have you read Kory's short stories Dive & Blind? They're available as ebooks too, and so fantastic! Thanks for entering & good luck! : )

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    2. :D I've not had chance due to exams, but as they're over now I'll definitely check them out soon! Thank you!

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  2. Very fun interview to read, and Dying for a Living sounds like an amazing book. I'd love to get a chance to read it!

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    1. Thanks for entering and good luck! : )

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  3. i'm usually 900000% against love triangles but a bisexual one?...hm great interview!

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    1. The love triangle has gotten a little stale, but Kory gives it a good kick in the pants! lol Thanks for entering and good luck! : )

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  4. Awesome interview,and giveaway! I also think that I would hire a death replacement agent! :)

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    1. I'd hire one too! Can you really put a price tag on cheating death? Well, I believe in Kory's book the sum is around 50k. Still, totally worth it. ; ) Thanks for entering and good luck!

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  5. I would hire one. Cheating death is worth 50k, if only I could afford it, lol. Love the sound of the book, very unique. Can't wait to read it.

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    1. Maybe they would offer a payment plan. Or take it out in trade. I only need one kidney, right? lol Thanks for entering and good luck! : )

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  6. I think I'd hire one, why not? :) Thanks for the giveaway chance!

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    1. Thanks for entering and good luck! : )

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  7. No, I think when my time came I would be ready.

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    1. I don't think I'd feel like it was my time unless I was a hundred and twelve... and I'm still holding out for science to manufacture immortality. I have too many good books left to read! lol Thanks for entering and good luck! : )

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  8. Ok...seriously I have been dying to read this..love the premise!!!
    I'm not ready yet...I'm kinda up in the air about whether or not I'd be ready to accept my date it if I'd prolong it...Hmmmm, interesting to think anything??! That's why I want to read this!!!!!

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    1. Thanks for entering and good luck! : )

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  9. I'd love to read this it sounds very original. Would I like to hire a death replacement agent? Of course I would!

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    1. Thanks for entering and good luck! : )

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  10. I would definitely hire a death replacement agency.I want to die on my own terms, when I'm ready.

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    1. I want to die NEVER! Lol But seriously. They'll have the technology to make that happen soon, don't you think?

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  11. Great interview. I would absolutely hire Jesse-would love to meet her!

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    1. Thanks for entering and good luck! : )

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  12. Have not had a chance to read anything by Kory. heck I own over 1000 books and have a full time job. Still, we talk and she sound like an amazing person. I am dying to read her work

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  13. Kory found me through our mutual interests and I have been dying to try out her work. She is a wonderful person.

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    1. I agree; Kory is wonderful! : ) I hope you get the chance to check out her work soon. It's fantastic!

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I'd love to hear what you think! Comment below! : )