Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Interview with G.J. Koch

Today I have a special guest over on my blog:

G.J. Koch, aka Gini Koch.
She's here to answer my questions about pen names, space pirates and pigs.

Welcome G.J./Gini! It's always good to have you drop by.

Great to be here as always, and thanks for having me…us…um…this interview!

- Let me dive right into my questions: G.J. Koch, Gini Koch, Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase (and I'm sure I missed at least one other). You have a lot of different pen names. Did you get to pick them yourself or did your publishers pick them?

LOL. A.E. Stanton and J.C. Koch. So far. I have a lot of different pen names because I write in every genre, and in different voices. Because I have a lot of voices in my head. (It’s a controlled form of schizophrenia -- I make it work for me.)

So far, I’ve been the one picking my pen names. None of my publishers have asked me to change a name, or create a new one.

- And is it hard to keep track of your pen names and to decide what story fits what pen name?

When I first started writing, yeah, it was harder. I’d write something and then try to figure out “who” had written it. Or I’d write it as Pen Name A and my critique partner would gently say, “This is Pen Name B” or C, or D…

Now, I don’t work like that at all. I know who’s writing the story when I sit down to do it. So that makes it a little easier. It’s also important so I stay on-genre and on-voice.

- What can readers expect from Alexander Outland and his crew?

Laughs. Lots and lots of laughs.

Trouble’s brewing out in space, and Alexander Outland -- the least likely hero in the galaxy -- and his eccentric crew have to save the day, despite the fact they’d prefer to take the money and run.

There are aliens, explosions, telepaths, donkeys, space pirates of all kinds, and a galaxy-wide conspiracy. And the most horrifying “underwater” trip any crew’s had to face in a long, long while. But mostly, there are laughs.

- How would you describe Alexander Outland?

Alexander Napoleon Outland is the best pilot, and ladies’ man, in the galaxy. But Nap, as his friends call him, is more than that -- he’s a schemer with a heart of gold he desperately wants to hide, a soft spot for other people’s cargo and his exotic weapon’s chief, and the unerring ability to find the biggest misfit on any planet or space station and somehow join that person onto his crew.

Nap’s not your classic hero, but that tends to make him the right guy for the job… whatever the job happens to be.

He’s a little bit Han Solo, a little bit Malcolm Reynolds, a little bit Captain Jack Sparrow, and, in terms of outlook and smart mouth, a little bit Kitty Katt.

- How would Alexander describe himself?

Better looking than Ryan Reynolds and Chris Evans. COMBINED. And the best lover in the entire galaxy, guaranteed or you get a second tumble just to be sure.

- Will this book be a standalone or the start of a series?

The book stands alone but it’s definitely the opener for a series. I’d love to do more with these characters. But that’s up to Night Shade Books. They’re waiting until August to determine if sales warrant them going for a series. (So, um, please pre-order and race out and buy lots of copies when it hits the shelves on June 5, 2012!)

- Alexander Outland: Space Pirate is SciFi just as your Alien/Katherine 'Kitty' Katt series. Can we expect some characters or creatures from that series to make an appearance or is it a completely different universe?

No, there is absolutely no crossover at all. These are two completely different series, with completely different characters and universes. Alexander Outland is set in the far, far future, versus the present day setting for the Alien series. And their universes don’t touch, so to speak.

In terms of the series’ themselves, they’re both loaded with action, humor and romance, but I think Alexander Outland is actually funnier than the Alien series, and while its romance is absolutely prominent, it’s not as graphic as in the Alien series.

- More importantly: will there be pigs or zombies in this book/series?

ROFL. I knew that was coming. In this first book? No, sorry. In later books? Maybe. (Your best bet for pigs is currently my Martian Alliance series with Musa Publishing, btw.) Well, maybe for pigs. There might even be some pigs in very minor, supporting, walk-on roles in this first book, as I think of it. So pigs are a definite maybe!

Not so sure about zombies in the Outland universe. But we shall see. In Touched by an Alien I’d have told you we wouldn’t have zombies in the Alien series and yet they showed up in Alien Proliferation. So you never can tell.

- And last question: what's next for G.J Koch? More Alexander Outland or are you planning other SciFi books under this pen name as well?

Right now I haven’t given other titles for G.J. a lot of thought, mostly because I’ve been on deadline for Alien vs. Alien and now am on deadline for Alien in the House for DAW Books/Penguin, as well as Three Card Monte (the next in the Martian Alliance series) and other pieces for Musa Publishing.

However, I’m a prolific writer and none of my “personas” ever like to feel like one trick ponies, so I’m sure G.J. will look around and say, “Hey! I want more!” and then I’ll be writing it. I’m a slave to the muse, me.

- Thank you for answering my questions and I hope many people will buy your books, so I can look forward to many more in the future.

About Alexander Outland: Space Pirate:
"Captain Alexander Outland of the Sixty-Nine (short for Space Vessel 3369, of course) is the best pilot in the galaxy. He's also a pirate, a smuggler, and loved and loathed by women in umpteen solar systems. His crew of strays and misfits includes an engineer of dubious sanity, a deposed planetary governor, an annoyingly unflappable Sexbot copilot, and a slinky weapons chief who stubbornly refuses to give the captain a tumble.

Outland just wants to make a decent living skirting the law, but when an invisible space armada starts cutting into his business, he soon finds himself in hot water with the military, the mob, mad bombers, and an extended family of would-be conquerors. And that's not counting an occasionally telepathic spy . . . .

Like any sensible scoundrel, he hates heroics. They're risky and they don't pay well. But to keep his ship and crew in one piece, and make time with a certain hard-to-get weapons chief, he might just have to make an exception--and save the galaxy in spite of himself!"

(Night Shade Books, June 2012)

About G.J. Koch:
G.J. Koch writes science fiction. Not the hard stuff, though. Because that requires actual scientific knowledge or at least actual scientific research. Knowledge may be power and research may be cool, but they take time away from writing jokes, action, and romance, and being witty in the face of death is what it’s really all about. Check out G.J.’s rollicking Alexander Outland: Space Pirate series from Night Shade Books and reach G.J. at Space…the Funny Frontier (http://www.ginikoch.com/GJKbookstore.htm).

PS: at the moment Night Shade Books is having a 50% off sale (until April 19th) if you buy at least 4 books. So head over there and pre-order Alexander Outland: Space Pirate and pick up 3 other books all for the price of 2!


LM Preston said...

Wow G.J. Koch! Love your stuff! I don't like Hard Scifi but really like the mix of action and scifi that you bring to your series.

Danielle said...

Great interview!
I can't wait to 'meet' Alexander Outland (Malcolm Reynolds / Jack Sparrow!? Hells yeah!)

Have tweeted this fab interview :)

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

Another terrific interview with Gini, thank you Sully for asking the great questions! (And Gini: please listen to the masses (or at least only Sully and me for the moment, but I'm sure others will join our ranks): we want pigs!! seriously! I'm not kidding. :-D

I'm also verry curious about Alexander, you had me at part Malcolm Reynolds, part Jack Sparrow :-D lol

Congrats on another terrific-sounding premise, and good luck!! :-)

ps. um.. I keep racking my brain but can't recall the zombies in Alien Proliferation...does this call for a re-read?

Jess Haines said...

Han Solo? Jack Sparrow? Malcolm AND Ryan Reynolds?!

I must get my hands on a copy of this book. :D


Aurian said...

Absolutely wonderful interview. Thank you for all the information. And I agree with Stella, there were Zombies? Really?
Looking forward to trying some of your other pennames books soon.

Gini Koch said...

@LM - thanks! I'm so glad you enjoy my books!

@Danielle - yeah, I really think you're gonna love the Outland. ;-D

@Stella - I am keeping pigs in mind, I promise. And yes, Alien Proliferation had zombies. Not, perhaps, YOUR kind of zombies, but zombies they were.

@Jess - yes, you must! You absolutely must! :-D

@Aurian - hey, Kitty even calls them that BY NAME. So, you know, I do think an Alien Proliferation re-read is demanded.

Though, for those wanting their "real" type zombies, my novella series, The New West, by A.E. Stanton (at Musa Publishing) does indeed have zombies showing up in the second installment. You need to get "When Josie Comes Home" in order to understand the world and characters, I think, but "Deacon's Ark" is where your favorite undeads show up in full force.

Sullivan McPig said...

Yup: Maybe not your typical zombies, but there were zombies! Might have been the reason why I loved AP so much ;-)

And Deacon's Ark is a must read for zombie fans.

Thanks for dropping by Gini!

Jessica Subject said...

I can't wait to "meet" Alexander! Great interview GJ (Gini) & Sullivan! :)

Gini Koch said...

@Sully - thanks, mah precious piggy! Always happy to spend time here!

@Jessica - I know you're gonna love the Outland. :-D