Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gina Damico Author Interview & Kick Butt Characters Blog Hop



BookNerd Interview
Kick-Butt Characters Hop
Book Nerd Interview  

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, which may or may not have sparked an interest in wildly improbable 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. Croak is my first novel. I live in Boston with my husband, two cats, and a closet full of black hoodies.


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Tell us your latest news.

Reaper Madness is happening right now over on my Blog. All throughout March I'll be doing fun Croak-related stuff, plus interviews and giveaways and other such hijinks, all leading up to the big release date. OH, and I just bought a new office chair, so that's exciting too.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

So much hair.

What fiction most influenced your childhood, and what effect did those stories have on your writing?

I guess looking back it must have been books that were really creative but also kind of dark - like Dr. Seuss and Where the Wild Things are - and then later, the funny stuff like Bunnicula and anything Beverly Cleary, and I also really loved Calvin and Hobbes and the Far Side. And I read all the Babysitter's Club books, but they don't really seem to apply to death...so much...

What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?

I did a highly uncoordinated dance when I got the news about the deal. When the finished copies arrived and I got to see the shiny pretty cover, I did the same dance, but this time with more flailing, and a bit of cat-like screeching. It wasn't pretty.

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Croak, how would you introduce it?

It's the story of a teenage girl named Lex who's recently turned into a terrible brat, so her parents send her to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer. Turns out, he' a grim reaper. And he lives in a town full of other Grims, some of whom are teenagers just like Lex. Adventure, mystery, and MURDER ensue.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about Lex?

Lex comes off as a pretty big jerk at first, but deep down she's a good kid who likes to question authority. She has her own sense of what's wrong and what's right, and isn't always sure that what she's told to do is what she really should do. Also, she secretly loves musical theater, but she will never admit to it.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?

The second book in Croak series, Scorch, will be coming out in the fall. After that, I hope to do one more to make it a trilogy. And after that, who knows? I have a few ideas for other books floating around, although some of those may be fruit flies.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite YA book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of the YA genre?

All-time...that's too hard. I can say that my favorites in the last six months were The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Outside of YA, I absolutely loved Room by Emma Donoghue. Oh, and everything by Kurt Vonnegut.

What is the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?

Back when I was working on the first draft, I had just moved to a new city and didn't have a job. So technically there were very few distractions, but on the other hand I was constantly looking for work and worrying about money, so that's not exactly the best mindset for writing funny stuff for teenagers.

Do you have a book trailer?

I do!


Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?

My editor forwards me all the big industry ones, but other than that I try to stay away. Reviews are for readers, not writers. Most that I have read have been good, but of course no book is for everyone, and I've found it's generally better not to worry about it. If we writers read all of our reviews, we'd all be playing in traffic together.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Yes!

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

"Can you share a little of your current work with us?"

Any recent appearances that you would like to share with us about/any upcoming ones?

I will be appearing at NYC Teen Author Week, as well as the Houston Teen Book Conference in April, the New England SCBWI Conference, and the Muse and the Marketplace in Boston. April is insanely busy!

If you could be any mythology creature, what would you be?

A dragon, because I'd like to be able to warm up my food without worrying about whether it'll explode in the microwave.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?

Any combination of three cast members of Lost would work. If they can escape from that island, they can probably escape from any island. Plus I could ask them lots of questions and share my theories and ask for a million autographs and tell them exactly what I thought about the whole statue thing. I'm sure they'd just love me.

What would I find in your refrigerator right now?

Not cream cheese, I can tell you that. I just threw out three opened packages that were really old. Why did we keep buying them if we already had them in there?? Life is a mystery.

Where can readers stalk you?

Lots of places! At my website, my blog, on Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and anywhere else you can find me. Don't try breaking into my house, though. I have a moat.

Thanks for having me, and happy reaping reading!



Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-year-old Lex’s 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 shoveling manure.
He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach Lex the family business.
She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. But Lex can’t stop her desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she encounters a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. Will she ditch Croak and go rogue with her reaper skills?


The plot of Croak by Gina Damico follows troublesome Lexington Bartle. Better known as Lex, her out-of-control and wild behavior at school led to her parents sending her off to Upstate New York in a town called Croak to stay with her mysterious Uncle Mort. After moving in with her uncle, she quickly realizes why she is so wearisome: she is an idyllic candidate to be a Grim Reaper-in-training.

Damico gives us a fascinating story of how the world of Grims works. There are a lot of questions that arise about their world but I felt that the book had answers for all of them. From death detection to how Grims carry out their job, the details were vivid and it’s evident that Damico put in a lot of thought and research into creating this remarkable world.

Although there is a dark theme that surrounds this book with the whole Grim Reaper thing and the mysterious town of Croak, I found this book to have an incredible sense of humor. I always find death and comedy a difficult task to put together. However, this combination in Croak worked well and Damico knew where to draw the lines.

Croak is a dark comedy with a very original plot. You will encounter many twists throughout and the one that is so wild that it’s almost unbelievable. Since a second book will continue the story of Lex, the ending does not bid for a happy ending and the lead into book 2 is revealed. I was certainly entertained throughout even though it had to deal about death. An easy and enjoyable read that is a change of pace with all the other paranormal books.

You can purchase Croak at these following Retailers:  


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Gina for making this giveaway possible.
I Winner will receive one copy of Croak, Bookmark, Bookplate & scythe pendant by Gina Damico.
2 Winners will receive one Bookmark by Gina Damico.
1 Winner will one Signed Bookmark by Gina Damico.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

97 comments:

  1. Waah, I've seen this book all over the place recently, I really want to read it! >.<
    The book I'm reading right now is Havoc by Jeff Sampson. :)

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  2. I'm currently reading Ember by Madison Daniel

    Thanks for the giveaway

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  3. Ive wanted this book since I found it on the last YA Scavenger Hunt.
    Im reading right now Airel by Aaron Patterson && Chris White! Review will be coming soon :)

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  4. Thanks for another awesome giveaway, Jean!! I've been dying...errr...or should that be 'croaking' to read this book :)

    I just recently finished reading The Day of First Sun by Sheryl Steines. Next on my list is Lies Beneath :)

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  5. Thanks for making these giveaways possible Jean :)
    I'm reading Eternal Starling by Angela Corbett this months BNC
    Nathiel

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  6. I am currently reading Carribean Cruising....

    Looking forward to reading your book too!

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  7. I'm reading Clockwork Prince!

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  8. What am I reading well a few books...:/ and I need to finish them!! Soul Screamers, Clockwork Prince, Seasons of Distractions. IAM VERY VERY EXCITED for this book and i love the blog post as well thanks a million for this!!;))

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  9. dragonfly by julia golding :) thanks for the giveaway

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  10. Cinder by Marissa Meyer and Pretty In Black by Rae Hachton

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  11. Cool! I'm reading Water Wars.

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  12. re reading hunger games.. because i will watch the movie tomorrow..so excited:)

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  13. I'm reading A game of thrones, Storyteller and Fifty shades of grey

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  14. Im rereading Catching Fire and on my Knidle Im reading Blood Past by Samantha Young

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  15. Switched (Trylle Trilogy, #1) by Amanda Hocking!

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  16. House of Night Series by PC & Kristin Cast

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  17. Christina Kit. in the rafflecopter

    Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook! It's awesome!

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  18. i've just finished daimon by jennifer armentrout and i will start distracted

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  19. Just finished The Hunger Games. Not sure what I'm reading next yet.

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  20. Thanks for the giveaway! I just finished The Hunger Games and I'm about to start When the Sea is Rising Red.

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  21. I'm reading A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison. :)

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  22. I'm reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner

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  23. right now i'm reading born wicked by jessica spotswood : )

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  24. I'm reading The Book of Lost Fragrances by MJ Rose. :-)

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  25. Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi, thanks to the fabulous giveaway here on your blog! :-)

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  26. I'm really looking forward to reading Croak!

    I am currently reading Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Timeless by Gail Carriger.

    Thanks!

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  28. Thanks for the giveaway :)

    I'm reading two books about magic... Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman [I plan to finish it today] and Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood [The cover isn't the only thing beautiful about this book]. Can't wait to see how it finishes.

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  29. I'm reading Waterfall, the first in the River of Time series, as my print book, Darkhouse on my kobo, and XVI on my kobo with a friend. I can't seem to just pick one to stick to...:)

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  30. Right now I'm reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. It's pretty hilarious! <3
    -Heather M.

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  31. Now I am reading Shatter me.
    thanks for the giveaway
    xoxo

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  32. The book i am reading now is "Dark Heart Forever"

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  33. The Ghost and the Goth and Spellcaster. :)

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  34. I just started reading the Descended By Blood trilogy.

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  35. I'm reading Article 5. I don't really like it :/ It's taken me three days to read 60% of it. But I *am* going to finish it.

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  36. Currently reading "Invisible Sun"! It's pretty good so far.

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  37. Hi Jean and Gina! Thank you, ladies, for this fabulous post :) I loved the interview and was super excited to read that Scorch is due to publish in the Fall :) Wooohooo! I've read a few fab reviews of this book and would definitely love a copy! Thanks so much for a chance <3

    I'm reading Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale right now. It's a YA contemporary from Random House and it's just.. amazing :) My blog tour with a giveaway is coming up on 26th, make sure to stop by and check it out <3

    Evie @Bookish

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  38. Right now I'm reading Forgotten by Cat Patrick :)

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  39. I am currently reading Anne of Green Gables.

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  40. Right now, I am reading Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer. I was a little skeptical at first because it is just so different from the books that I have read, but I really like this book. I really do. It is a great read and I highly recommend. Probably more for the older YA just because of some of the content. After that, Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen, and then Tempest by Julie Cross.

    Thanks for the kick nutt, Kick Butt giveaway!

    Jaime Lynn GFC

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  41. I'm reading "The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights" by John Steinbeck. (:

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  42. A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

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  43. A Dark Endeavor-The Apprenticeship of Dr. Frankenstein
    tmdahle@centurytel.net
    GFC-Tammy

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  44. I'm reading the Iron King by julie kagawa and it's really good

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  45. I'm reading Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull.
    Jennelle S

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  46. I'm finishing my re read of Torn by Amanda Hocking.

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  47. I'm reading The Hunger Games and Sire

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  48. Matched by Ally Condie!

    I would love for you to come sign up for the Friday the 13th blog hop. Sign ups available now! Drop by and check it out.
    http://redheaded-bookworm.blogspot.com/2012/03/friday-13th-blog-hop-giveaway.html

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  49. I'm reading the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

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  50. I'm reading Cast in Silence by Michelle Sagara (Chronicles of Elantra) -- one of my absolute fave series!

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

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  51. demons like it hot

    flanagan@mebtel.net

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  52. I'm reading The Catastrophic History of You and Me.

    Thanks!

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  53. forbidden by tabitha suzuma

    thanks jean for the lovely giveaway

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  54. Nocturnal by Chelsea Cameron

    Thank you for another awesome giveaway!!

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  55. Thank you so much for another giveaway!

    I´m reading Legend by Marie Lu

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  56. I'm reading Blood Ninja by Nick Lake.

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  57. I am reading Amethyst Eyes by Debbie Brown.

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  58. Thank you for the giveaway!

    Currently I'm reading So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane.

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  59. im currently reading Im in no mood for love..
    is this international!!
    if is im in!!
    thanks!!!

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  60. I just finished The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

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  61. The Killer Angels for history class xD

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  62. I am reading Mercy by Rebecca Lim
    sqwalker2@hotmail.com

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  63. I am reading Tiger's Curse- Colleen Houck. I am really enjoying it. Love the story as well I have already fallen in love with all the characters.
    Shaina
    shaina333@comcast.net

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  64. I'm in between books atm but I will probably start The Immortal Rules or The Paladin Prophecy next.

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  65. Right now I'm reading The Weepers by Susanne Winnacker...I'm not quite sure how I feel about it yet...

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  66. I am currently reading Wicked and Practical Magic

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  67. I'm currently reading Pandemonium. Thank you so much for the giveaway.

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  68. I just finished Smokeless Fire by Samantha Young! AMAZING READ!

    Thanks for this AND omg! bwahahaha her answer...-Too much hair- hahahaha

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  69. I'm currently reading Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  70. I've just started The Hunger Games!
    Thanks :)
    kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

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  71. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. :)

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  72. I'm reading Nobody's Baby but Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

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  73. I'm bouncing between The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn and ReVamped by Ada Adams.

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  74. I'm currently read Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. :)

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  75. I just completed the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, which I loved,and am reading an arc of a new book. Thank you for sharing today and for participating in this fun hop and giveaway.

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  76. I'm reading Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater and rereading The Hunger Games!

    thanks for the giveaway!

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  77. I'm reading now a Hungarian book with title "A boszorka fénye" (The light of the witch) by Benina. :)

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  78. I am reading Curse the Dark by Laura Anne Gilman!

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  79. I am reading Hell's Horizon by Darren Shan

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  80. I am not currently reading anything. Finished Blood Harvest Moon by Kelly Abell this morning and will be starting on Always You by Shilpa Mudiganti tonight, though I've already read it before. LOL

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Pam

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  81. WHY MEN LIE by Linden McIntyre.

    Zara. D. Garcia-Alvarez

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