Sophie Kim on her enthralling new fantasy novel, The God and the Gumiho

"There’s just something about a crotchety fallen god, who hates everything but coffee, that speaks to my soul."


With romance, demons and a murder mystery, Sophie Kim’s new fantasy novel, The God and the Gumiho, is an absolute gem of a read. Set to the backdrop of a 90’s Korea inspired setting, The God and the Gumiho follows a delightfully quick-witted cast of morally grey characters. It’s funny, action-packed and thoroughly immersive.

To celebrate the release of The God and the Gumiho, we had the joy of chatting to Sophie about her writing process, inspirations and a certain grumpy cinnamon roll God.

Hi Sophie! I’m thrilled to have the chance to chat to you today about your newest novel, The God and the Gumiho, which I absolutely adored! For readers who may just be hearing of it, how would you best entice them to pick up a copy?

Thrilled to be here! Thank you so much for having me, and for such kind words about The God and the Gumiho!

For readers who perhaps haven’t heard of my novel before, The God and the Gumiho is a witty contemporary fantasy following a fallen trickster-god-turned-detective and a wily gumiho as they’re forced to team up to prevent a demon of darkness from devouring the mortal world. If these readers are fans of shows like Lucifer or Tale of the Nine-Tailed, The God and the Gumiho will surely entice. There’s murder, mayhem, mystery, and magic . . . along with a hearty dose of a bickering duo who are absolutely determined not to fall in love. But we’ll see how that turns out for them.

Can you tell us a little about your inspirations and how the story came to be?

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of K-Dramas, especially fantasy shows like Goblin, Hotel del Luna, and Tale of the Nine-Tailed. When I set out to write this novel, it was truly me penning a love-letter to my favourite dramas. I wanted to add my voice to the pile of incredible storytellers in the K-Drama sphere, but through my forte: literature.

There’s something so magical about Korean dramas. They have the unique ability to make you cry, laugh, and undergo a midlife crisis all in a single episode (I’m looking at you, Goblin). You feel so connected to the characters and their storylines—to the slow burns and rivalries—and to the world in which the story is set. These dramas are dimensional. It’s so easy to lose yourself in them, and these are the feelings I wanted to encapsulate in my book.

To me, The God and the Gumiho is the perfect Korean drama. It’s the one I wanted to exist at the time of writing it. It’s everything I love about my favourite shows, but in book form.


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Both Hani and Seokga were such witty and exciting perspectives to follow. Did you have a favourite voice to write or one that you found slightly more difficult?

I have to be honest! Although I adore both Seokga and Hani, I must admit that Seokga (fallen trickster god extraordinaire, and the grumpiest grump known to man) has been my absolute favourite perspective to write. Probably out of all the characters I’ve ever written, including characters from my YA series.

There’s just something about a crotchety fallen god, who hates everything but coffee, that speaks to my soul. His tone is so distinct. He’s sarcastic and can sound quite withering, but inside, he’s really just a cinnamon roll (or, at least, a cinnamon roll who staged a coup and attempted to murder his brother). When Seokga loves, he loves hard, which is why he tries not to at all. This character is so complex, and penning his journey has been the most fun I’ve ever had.

The God and the Gumiho is your adult debut. Did you find that your writing style or process changed at all when writing for an older audience, compared to YA?  

Writing for an older audience proved to be a great deal of fun! I was able to take certain liberties with Seokga and Hani that I may not have been able to do in YA, which was important for their character development. I also experimented with a new tense for this novel, which has quickly become my favourite. While my YA series is set in first person, present-tense, The God and the Gumiho is read through third-person, present-tense, which I absolutely adore.

Although the ending to The God and the Gumiho was a solid 10/10, I have no doubt readers would be more than happy to read more from its characters and world (I know I would!). Is it something you vision yourself returning to in the future?

Yes! I’m happy to announce that I’ll be returning to this world very soon, with the second instalment of the Fate’s Thread series. Seokga’s story isn’t over yet, and neither is Hani’s.

Do you have any fantasy recommendations for readers who loved The God and the Gumiho?

Absolutely! If readers loved how The God and the Gumiho felt like watching a TV show, I would recommend Indexing by Seanan McGuire. Originally written in serial format, Indexing feels like watching episodes of Once Upon a Time, but with an almost Criminal Minds twist. For readers who couldn’t get enough of the Korean mythology, the YA books Wicked Fox and Vicious Spirits by Kat Cho, and The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh will hit the spot.

Finally, would you rather be a God or a Gumiho and how do you think you’d fare if it were up to you to save the world from wrathful demons?

This is the toughest question of them all! I think I’d rather be a gumiho, seeing just how utterly dysfunctional the pantheon is in this series. But I’m also not too keen on the idea of eating male livers, though, so I’ll pass up on that aspect of being one of the fox-shifters.

If I had to save the world from wrathful demons as a gumiho, I might revert to digging a very large hole and then luring the demons into said hole to trap them. Is this the best idea? Certainly not. It’s actually a pathetic idea that probably wouldn’t work.

But saving the world isn’t my specialty . . . That belongs to Seokga and Hani.

Get your copy of The God and the Gumiho by Sophie Kim here.

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