Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Author Interview: Gina Damico

Please Welcome Gina Damico!

Gina Damico debuted yesterday (!) with Croak, a book about a girl who finds out she's a grim reaper! Maybe it's my extreme terror at the idea of dying, or maybe it's because I've watched too many episodes of Supernatural, but I have a certain fascination with grim reapers. So the idea of a girl discovering she IS a grim reaper? Totally cool!

Gina was kind enough to stop by today and share some tantalizing bits about Croak. 

Q: If you were transported into your book, which scene would you most want to reenact?
A: Any scene involving the ether, which is a big, swooshy, wormhole-type break in the space-time continuum that allows the Grims to travel to and from their targets almost instantly, and where one can experience all the sights, sounds, and exhilarations of life all at the same time. I could easily hang out in there for a few hours, though it would probably end up driving me to the brink of sanity.

Q: Which one of your character’s brains would you want to pick the most?
A: I'd love to find out what Uncle Mort has rattling around in that noggin of his, because half the time even I don't know until it spills out onto the page. He keeps surprising me, that one. I should probably keep him on a tighter leash, but he's kind of scary. I mean, he has tattoos. And a scar.

Q: Which scene do you think will surprise readers the most?
A: I think readers will be surprised by the town of Croak, much like Lex is. It's not the sort of gloomy, scary place you might expect a bunch of Grim reapers to inhabit. It has bright green grass and rolling hills. It has a diner with a jukebox. It has nightlife. It also just so happens to have a portal to the Afterlife.

Readers should add CROAK to their To Be Read list if they like...

Books about:
Finding humor in death, witty banter, kickass teenagers, quirky settings, fantasy, and discussions on the cinematic merit of Titanic.

Books/movies like:
Anything Tim Burton-ish, TV series Dead Like Me, Six Feet Under, Pushing Daisies. It doesn't matter, however, whether you like or hate Titanic. Croak's characters fall into both camps, so there's something for everyone.

About Croak:

Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.

He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.

Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.

Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?

Author bio:

I grew up under four feet of snow in Syracuse, New York. I received a degree in theater and sociology from Boston College, where I was active with the Committee for Creative Enactments, a murder mystery improv comedy troupe that may or may not have sparked my interest in wildly improbably bloodshed. I have since worked as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker, and breadmonger. I live outside Boston with my husband, two cats, and a closet full of black hoodies.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Gina!

Huh, that ether place sounds awesome! I'm also loving the idea of being instantly transported somewhere (oooh to be able to avoid traffic!). Uncle Mort sounds pretty cool. I mean, I seriously doubt MY uncle is hiding a secret grim reaping profession. 

Plus, I'm all about the witty banter and kickass teens. But, honestly, it's the discussions on the cinematic merit of Titanic that is calling my name. I am firmly on the side of BEST MOVIE EVER, or, at least, one of the best. And when it comes to that standpoint, I will never let go.

Have you read Croak?
How would you answer these questions?

 (Remember, no spoilers please!)
Will you add it to your TBR?
(and YAY for no more waiting! Croak is out now!)

Who is your favorite fictional grim reaper?
(Mine is, hands down, this guy).
Where do you fall in the Titanic debate?


  1. Great interview! I think grim reapers is one of the few areas of paranormalcy that hasn't been explored much. I'm definitely a fan of dark humor. Speaking of dark humor, have you ever seen the movie Gross Point Blank? One of the best black comedies I've ever seen.

    1. I agree, we definitely could use more grim reaper books. I haven't seen that movie, but I'll add it to my list. Thanks!

  2. I totally forgot about the love/hate Titanic debates (I am in the love camp-can't wait to go see it in theaters and bawl!) That was a great use of humor in the story. Of course I also loved seeing Theodore Roosevelt in the ether!

    1. YES! I can't even remember how many times I went to see it in theaters when it first came out. I still cry every time I watch it. :P

  3. Oh, I loved Dead Like Me! I wasn't so much a fan of Six Feet Under, though. A little too dark and perverted. I loved the sets and costumes, etc., in the movie Titanic but not the plot and definitely NOT the acting. Sorry Small! Love me anyway!

    Oh, and I loved Death in Ketura and the Lord of Death. He was pretty awesome.

    1. I've only seen one episode of Dead Like Me, but I liked it. I love the concept. I didn't like Six Feet Under either. I had to write a psychological case study on one of the characters.

      Ha, you don't watch Titanic for the acting! It's definitely all about the costumes and the sets (and the cheesiness!). :) But of course I love you anyway. That just means more Titanic for me!

      OH YES! I totally forgot about Lord Death. Yum. :)

  4. I hope I enjoy this one! I rarely get to read about grim reapers, which is weird, because that's a total plus in my book. Still, I like Tim Burton's stuff so I'm happy to read a book that follows along those lines.


  5. "Anything Tim Burton-ish, TV series Dead Like Me, Six Feet Under, Pushing Daisies".

    Okay, so I literally LOVE all of these 4 things, so that is as clear an indication as any that I should check this out.

    1. I hope you like it! It sounds like a great blend of paranormal and humor.

  6. Great interview! I was thinking that it reminded me a little of Death Like Me - and I oddly loved that show!

    So I'm going to put this book on my wishlist!

    Thanks for the awesome interview, Smallsie.

    1. Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy the book. I think I need to check out both this book and more episodes of Dead Like Me. You have good movie/tv taste :)

  7. I don't think they call him a Grim Reaper, but my favorite Grim Reaper is Lucien from Gena Showalter's series Lords of the Underworld series. Not one for the YA crowd.

    I love Tim Burton! Hmm, might have to snag a copy of this one! But I don't know about that Ether stuff, Small. You might end up on the side you don't want to land in!


    1. Oooh Gena Showalter is an author I've been meaning to read for so long. I'll have to check out one of her books with Lucien. Thanks!

      Haha, well, just think of all the gorgeous YA bad boys who are also probably on the wrong side. That's got to be at least a little comfort. :P

  8. Ooo, I love grim reaper stories! This one sounds intriguing. I hadn't heard of it, so thanks for the heads up, and especially for the "recommended for" section--I ticked off just about every one of those qualifications, hah. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  9. I definitely want to read CROAK! It sounds like a funny read. Great interview :)

    1. It does sound very funny. I hope you enjoy it :D


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