Interview & Giveaway: Gina Damico on Grim Reapers & CROAK

March 12, 2012 Giveaways, Guests 41

Today we are excited to welcome Gina Damico who is introducing her debut YA novel; CROAK (available on March 20th from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) about a teen who is sent to live in Croak, a town populated entirely by Grim Reapers.  Julia reviewed CROAK yesterday calling it, “a hysterical parody of YA boarding school genre.” Check out the giveaway below to win a CROAK Prize Pack & let us know your favorite thing about reapers or your favorite reaper book in the comments below.

Croak (Croak, #1)ATUF: What inspired you to write a YA about Grim Reapers?

GD: The characters of Lex and Uncle Mort just sort of popped into my head one day. I liked the idea of a grim-reaper-in-training, and since her parents probably wouldn’t approve of that, it only seemed fair for her to be trained by her wacky uncle. And then of course, I couldn’t let her tackle this task all by her lonesome – there had to be more teenagers, each wackier than the last. And before I knew it, the town of Croak had been populated, and a story was born. I really had very little to do with it.

ATUF: How is your Grim Reaper mythology unique?

GD: As far as I’m aware, no other Grim Reaper story consists of jellyfish, spiders, computer-type devices called Smacks, or spazzed-out hair, all of which play a significant role in Croak. Plus, Croak’s Grims are hip to the times – they wear hoodies, they use the latest technology, and they use their scythes to slice through the space-time continuum, rather than that big hooded guy who uses it to…farm? …Harvest…souls? Contemporize, man!

ATUF: If CROAK were ever made into a movie, who would your dream or, to keep things interesting, nightmare cast be?            

GD: For the kids, I’d want them all to be actors we’ve never seen before. No offense to the lovely/slutty casts of any given CW drama – I’d just like to see some fresh faces. As for the adults, I’d love Colin Farrell for Uncle Mort – badass, snarky, and that perfect hint of scary. Everyone else could be up for grabs – though Morgan Freemen would be perfect for Corpp. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

ATUF: What are some of your favorite titles/authors in the paranormal genres?

GD: I’m a big fan of anything funny, like Kiersten White and the Paranormalcy books, and Rachel Hawkins and the Hex Hall series. If you can make me snort things out of my nose, we’re besties for life. And I don’t know if it counts as paranormal, but Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone knocked my socks AND shoes off.                                                             

imageATUF: Finish this statement with as much/little detail as you like: You’ll like CROAK if you like…

GD: Snark, pointy objects, awkward flirting, death, mystery, and the bitter emo dead version of Edgar Allan Poe 

Thanks for having me, and happy reaping reading!


About the author:

imageI 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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Giveaway provided by Teen Book Scene

A Prize Pack including a scythe pendant, signed bookplate, and signed bookmark.

Croak (Croak, #1)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery 

Available on March 20, 2012 from Graphia


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?