Interview: Kory M. Shrum, Author of Dying for a Living

ShrumDyingForALivingEveryone, please welcome Kory M. Shrum to the blog. You can catch my review of her book, Dying for a Living, over HERE. It is one of my favorite reads of 2014! Sit back and be entertained by this talented author as we chat about Anita Blake, Stephen King, Joss Whedon, and much more!

1) If you could, what book/movie/TV series would you like to experience for the first time all over again and why?

If we are talking movies/TV: I’m a pretty big Joss Whedon fan, so if I could, I’d love to relive the magic that was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. All that tension between her and Angel in the first series… YES PLEASE! But honorable mentions: Charmed, Supernatural, and Futurama.

If we are talking books, the Anita Blake books by Laurell K. Hamilton, or of course, Harry Potter.

2) The Jesse Sullivan series puts a new spin on the undead/zombies: what did you struggle with the most and what did you enjoy the most in giving this ancient horror monster a new face?

I found writing a novel in general to be hard. There are many, many threads to pull together in a novel: setting, character, POV, plot (which in itself has many threads), and so it can get tangled pretty quickly. Working to make sure everything is tight and functional can be really hard. Using my imagination to create something totally unique–that was the easy part. (But then again, I’ve always been more of an idea person myself).

ShrumDyingByTheHour3) How does modern pop culture influence your work? Do modern cultural references date a piece or add touchstones for the reader?

I’ve heard it both ways. There are some writers (I’m looking at you Stephen King) who are able to use a multitude of cultural references with great success. I remember listening to The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, in which the narrator’s cassette player “dates” her story/experience. But at the same time, it was really nostalgic and heart-warming. So I think certain references can really take us back–in a good way. But there is always the danger that someone will read this (God I hope so) 20 or 50 years in the future and be like “what the hell is an iPad?”

4) Conventions, book signings, blogging, etc.: what are some of your favorite aspects of self-promotion and what are some of the least favorite parts of self-promotion?

I must admit I’m pretty terrible at self-promotion. I don’t like it when people ask me to buy things, and so I always feel pretty scuzzy when I do it to others. But blogging and cross promotion (if only for the pleasure of mingling with other creative types) have been the most enjoyable so far.

5) If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you chose to do?

Die.

Nah, I’m kidding. I can be a bit dramatic. I would be explorer.

ShrumBlind6) If you could go enjoy a meal in a fictional world, where would that be, and what would you eat?

I would like to eat a soul. I watched a demon butler do it once and have always wondered exactly what it would be like. Seems interesting, right? 

7) In Dying for a Living, the main character has a less than vanilla mainstream love life; how important is it to build in nonstandard adult relationships in modern fiction?

I don’t know if it is important to be “nonstandard” as much as it is to be real to your characters. I mean, shock-and-awe just for its own sake can definitely backfire. The good news is that love and attraction are naturally unpredictable and complicated. And when you’ve got an attractive, funny girl with commitment issues and an open sexuality–what do you think is going to happen? 😉 ANYTHING. 😉

8) Care to share an awkward fangirl/fanboy moment, either one where someone was gushing over your work…..or one where you were gushing over another author’s work? 

Anne Rice read my blog one time and said nice things. I cried.

9) What is the first book you remember reading on your own?

It was a book about sea creatures in which I proudly announced that a squid was nothing like an octopus. I was about 3.

ShrumDive10) You have to run an obstacle course (you can compete one-on-one or team up). Who do you invite along (fictional or real, dead or alive)? Will there be a tasty libation involved?

For some reason, when I first read this, I thought “three-legged race” and then reread it and realized you said no such thing–so height is not as important as I first thought. Whether I team up or go solo is really dependent on what kind of course this is…I can move faster alone and I’m hella competitive so that might work better for me. But if it’s like a maze full of monsters or something, I’d best take someone with me–Anita Blake or Louie (from my short story Dive) maybe. They are both ruthless, capable heroines far more versed in weaponry than I, so…

11) Finally, what upcoming events and works would you like to share with the readers?

I’m working on an anthology with my co-editor Angela Roquet (author of the awesome Lana Harvey Reapers Inc series), which is fun on a bun. I’m also working of the third book in my Dying for a Living series as well as producing the audiobook for the second title Dying by the Hour. In February, I will be at my ‘ol Alma Mater Austin Peay State University giving a reading/talk. And then in May, I’ll be at the RT Booklovers convention with my fellow Horsemen of the Bookocalypse (You may call me Conquest).

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