Good afternoon, everyone and welcome! Today we are speaking with USA Today bestseller author Kory M. Shrum. Come over and meet this amazing woman.
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
Tell us about yourself and your USA Today Bestselling books.
Hi everyone! My name is Kory M. Shrum, and I write supernatural thrillers. Some of these fall under the umbrella urban fantasy (badass ladies with a job to do) and others have a more Stephen King-esque horror feel to them.
Because of my range, I prefer the term ‘supernatural thriller’ because you can count on the world building, strong characters and supernatural elements – regardless of the variation in the genre. I currently have eight novels published (in the Dying for a Living and Shadows in the Water series) with at Welcome to Castle Cove coming out May 8, and Under the Bones, coming out June 12.
How did it feel seeing your name for the first time on the list?
It was very cool. While I don’t think it’s important to have a list “verify” your skills and ability as a writer, it is a good indicator that people are reading and enjoying your work. And that’s all I want – to share my stories with the people who love them.
Me: Thank you for pointing this out. Too many times writers get discouraged over these lists.
Let’s talk about your ‘Dying’ series.
The Dying for a Living series is complete with seven books in all. There are also two short stories (one appeared in the Badass and the Beast Anthology that I edited with the amazing writer Angela Roquet and the other appeared in her collection Limbo City Lights).
The series follows Jesse Sullivan, a death replacement agent, who discovers that not only can she serve as a death surrogate –dying in place of others—but that she has special abilities meant to be used for a higher purpose. What began as a story about a sarcastic, quirky woman with an interesting job, quickly spiraled into a plot about saving the world from dark forces (however reluctant).
You get the call about making your first “Dying” book into a movie. Who would you cast as the main players?
Ksenia Solo would make a great Jesse Sullivan and Jennifer Lawrence a great Ally. Liam Hemsworth would be my pick for Lane. Jensen Ackles for Brinkley (yes, part of the Supernatural Fandom here ;). And Viola Davis or Danai Gurira for Gloria. Jason Mamoa might pull off Caldwell.
But this being said, I love it when casts are really diverse. So maybe Zendaya should be cast as Jesse, then Idris Elba could be Caldwell.
What keeps you in the zone when writing?
Good music. I have a subscription to Pandora (because nothing takes you out of the writing mood faster than a commercial for weight loss or Viagra). And on this Pandora, I have a Nine Inch Nails station. Oh yeah. That’ll keep me in the zone.
Have you ever been in love with one of your protagonists?
Kind of. Louie from Shadows in the Water is hands down my favorite, followed closely by Gloria Jackson from the Dying books–both are just such strong, admirable women. It’s hard not to be impressed by them. And it’s hard not to be team Ally because of her unfailing loyalty and her willingness to do what’s hard.
But apart from characters I like, falling in love might also mean characters I came to appreciate. My original opinions of characters have definitely changed over time. For example, I used to think Brinkley was the overbearing control freak…then I learned his backstory and his reason for guiding Jesse as he did – and I came to really respect and admire him. He went from that a-hole boss to a hero at the end of Book 2, Dying by the Hour, which is why I ended up telling his story in Book 3, Dying for Her.
What excites you about writing poetry?
Language and visually are really important in poetry. A powerful image and turn of phrase can create such profound meaning and resonance. Amazing stuff.
How has teaching writing to students enriched your life?
You learn so much from your students. About yourself and about your writing. It’s definitely an exchange.
How do you stay optimistic?
Therapy. Lots and lots of therapy. And chocolate. And yoga. And Debussy’s Clair de Lune.
Where is a place you’ve always wanted to visit? Have you been there?
I always wanted to go to Italy and France (and I’ve been to both several times). But a place I haven’t been that I want to is Kyoto. It’s on the list.
What is your favorite month in Michigan and why?
October is my favorite month for lots of reasons. First, because I love all things fall: cider, donuts, falls clothes, the cool weather, the changing leaves, pumpkins, Halloween, etc. But it also happens to be a really romantic time for me because it’s also when my wife and I fell in love, got married, and celebrate our anniversary every year.
What would you recommend for visitors to see in Michigan?
There are many beautiful places in Michigan. I love Saugatauk, (where we got married) and the lake/beach. The Au Sable River is lovely to kayak down in the summer and it has some of our favorite camping spots. The UP (upper peninsula) is also gorgeous as well as the national forests. If nature/the beach isn’t your thing, I recommend Kalamazoo for the art/culture scene or Grand Rapids for the museums. Ann Arbor for the good food and downtown area.
Do you like to get out into nature? Where is a favorite place and why?
I really enjoy laying on Oval Beach (Saugatauk) in the summertime. A bag of potato chips, drinks in the cooler and a book—yes please!
What was the last live music performance you saw?
Yo-yo ma played at the Wharton Center this past Monday. A few weeks before that Postmodern Jukebox at the Fillmore. Both were great.
Do you have any funny stories about your pug, Josephine?
One time she got into the trash, trying to eat something. This trash also happened to have paint materials in it (I think I was touching up the kitchen cabinets). I came home to have painted dog with trash stuck to her and white paw prints all over the wood floors…wait, was this supposed to be funny?
What is next for you?
More books in the Shadows in the Water series(Under the Bones is out June 12) as well as a new series about Castle Cove—a creepy town with dark secrets.
Me: This is a chiller and I can already feel shivers down my back. Do keep us posted, Kory. Be sure to follow her website for news when this will be released. Also, check out her other links and follow her other links and follow her.
Kory’s Amazon Author Central page
I want to thank Kory for stopping by. It has been a real pleasure. Stay tuned for next week when I’ll have more exciting news to share with you.
Until Next Time,
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