PERSONAL: Born in Australia; immigrated to United States.
ADDRESSES: Agent—Robert Kirby, PFD, Drury House, 34-43 Russell St., London WC2B 5HA, England.
CAREER: Writer. Freelance journalist for fashion and news magazines.
Walk of Fame (novel), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2001.
The Thing about Jane Spring (novel), Viking (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor to periodicals.
ADAPTATIONS: Walk of Fame was adapted as a screenplay.
SIDELIGHTS: Sharon Krum is an Australian-born journalist whose first novel, Walk of Fame, reflects her view of the state of celebrity in the United States. Narrator Tom Webster is a native Texan who is now a business writer living in New York City. A year earlier, Tom's wife left him for his best friend. Forty-something Tom, a history buff, now takes on the challenge to become famous in one month. A glossy magazine has offered him 100,000 dollars to do so and then to expose himself as a fraud. He is aided by B-film actress Alexandra West, and their relationship advances his fame in the tabloids, which, in turn, motivates him to tell more lies.
In an interview with Kiersten Marek for Pif online, Krum noted that although her agent was able to sell her book in Australia, England, Japan, and Germany, U.S. publishers were not interested in an unknown author. "One editor said to my agent, if Jay Leno had written this, I would have it on the shelves yesterday…. So we couldn't find a publisher because I wasn't famous, and that is exactly what I was saying in the book. Fame sells things, and often they are junk…. That's the world we live in today. Fame is the currency, and I didn't have enough of it to move my book." Krum said that with Tom Webster, "I wanted to create a hero who would look with a jaundiced eye at the process yet ultimately become a convert."
Krum's debut was eventually published in the United States. Booklist reviewer Michelle Kaske felt that "Krum's sharp, funny dialogue and good characters keep readers wondering what will happen next." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that "there are no stunning revelations, but the end result is an agreeably smart and amusing story about what most sensible people already know: fame in America is not necessarily based on merit."
The protagonist of Krum's second novel, The Thing about Jane Spring is an aggressive prosecuting attorney who was raised by her general father and whose demeanor frightens off juries and judges and the men who never come back after a first date. Jane observes 1950s icon Doris Day in a classic-movie marathon and decides to borrow from the bouncy blonde who always landed her man. Jane trades her business suits for her grandmother's vintage pastels and her no-nonsense attitude for a fetching smile. Her new persona meets the approval of her secretary, a tough detective, and juries, among others, and may be a weapon as she faces a handsome defense attorney during a trial that is important to her career.
A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote that "this is a winning fable about the seemingly lost art of being a lady. Smart and bracingly funny."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 15, 2001, Michelle Kaske, review of Walk of Fame, p. 1732.
Entertainment Weekly, July 15, 2005, Jennifer Armstrong, Clarissa Cruz, review of The Thing about Jane Spring, p. 76.
Hollywood Reporter, June 13, 2005, Chris Barsanti, review of The Thing about Jane Spring, p. 12.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2005, review of The Thing about Jane Spring, p. 499.
Library Journal, May 15, 2005, Loralyn Whitney, review of The Thing about Jane Spring, p. 106.
Orlando Sentinel, July 20, 2005, Rebecca Swain Vadnie, review of The Thing about Jane Spring.
Publishers Weekly, April 9, 2001, review of Walk of Fame, p. 52; June 6, 2005, review of The Thing about Jane Spring, p. 39.
Pif, http://www.pifmagazine.com/ (September 8, 2005), Kiersten Marek, "Interview with Sharon Krum."