Monday 19 April 2010

Interview with Author Gini Koch

Even though 'Touched by an Alien' is a bit of a girly book with the romance stuff and Voodoo Bride and my owner made me read it, I loved it as it has a kick ass story and lots of cool action. I was wondering how anyone can come up with the weird, but fun ways in which Kitty handles things so I decided to ask the author Gini Koch and ask her some other questions too.

Gini, welcome at Pearls Cast Before a McPig and thanks for dropping by and letting me pester you with questions. Let me dive right into them:

So Gini, how did you come up with this story?

It started as a dream -- about half of my story ideas do. I’d originally intended it to be a dark short story, probably horror. The original title was “Killing Superman”. Needless to say, Kitty’s voice took over, and the moment Martini stepped onto the page it was all over for dark, or short, or horror. LOL

I must say I’m glad Kitty and Martini took over and made your short story into a whole book even though the horror part sounds cool.

Thanks. I tried to go back and actually write that short horror story, but it just didn’t want to cooperate. I think all the horror in it went into the fuglies in “Touched by an Alien”, particularly the first one Kitty kills and Mephistopheles.

Any first hand experience of having to fight nasty critters of any kind?

Hmmm…well, I do teach all my pets to ‘bring it’, but…well, there were a few ex-boyfriends, but I think the hubs would prefer if I not relive the past in that way. ;-D

And what's up with Kitty's purse? Is Kitty really related to Mary Poppins?

*cough* Um, are you insinuating that Kitty’s purse might be too large and/or heavy? ‘Cause I based it on, well, my own purse…(and, yeah, the hubs feels it’s too large, too heavy, and impossible to find anything in…)

And, you know, she *could* be related to Mary Poppins. I mean, I consider Kitty practically perfect in every way, and I know the boys from Alpha Centauri agree. Besides, well, you know, you never know when you’re going to need, really need, something like a can opener, a bottle opener, your iPod speakers, a slide rule, the latest X-Men comic, a Glock, and so on. Really, being prepared is half the battle when fighting the fuglies. You need a big purse for that sort of thing.

All very good points I must agree. As a purse like that really exists, can you tell me where Kitty and you get your purses as my owner never can fit all her stuff into her purse.

Let me stress that I have no endorsement deal (sadly, especially considering the money I spend there), but Kitty gets her big ol’ bags at Target. These days, she’s sporting a Limited Edition Gini Bag, too. It’s all in how the mood, and the fuglies, strike her.

A more serious question:

Dang. LOL

There's going to be a sequel in December 'Alien Tango', which me and Voodoo Bride already put on our list of books we must buy. Can you give us a teaser?

December 7th, to be exact. (Did you know it’s available for pre-order right now? No? Well, it IS.) And, since it’s already on both of your book lists, I think I can be persuaded.

For Katherine “Kitty” Katt, Alien Super-Being Exterminator, anti-alien conspiracies, threats from outer space, and a couple of killer alligators are all in a day’s work. But internal alien schemes and some major romantic complications bring new meaning to the term ‘chaos and confusion’.

It’s been five months since Kitty joined Centaurion Division, working with the aliens from Alpha Centauri. She and Jeff Martini have grown closer as a couple and life looks rosy. But when an experimental spacecraft is mysteriously returned to the Kennedy Space Center, Kitty and the rest of Alpha Team are called out to investigate and are immediately embroiled in life or death situations that scream ‘political conspiracy’.

The team must survive repeated murderous attacks, remove a mysterious space entity from a group of astronauts, and avoid an unhinged woman with a serious crush on Kitty’s old high school boyfriend. And that’s all before the masterminds decide Kitty’s extermination is vital -- and take matters into their own hands.

BTW…you heard it here first. This all isn’t even up on my website yet. (What can I say? I have a soft spot for McPigs.)

I’m feeling honored. Thanks for this great teaser, I’m looking forward to the book even more now, especially the killer alligators sound very cool.

I am very partial to the alligators myself, but I think I tell no secrets when I say that my crit partner loves them even more than I do.

Your crit partner is a wise person.
On to a follow up on the last question: Are you planning more books in this series after 'Alien Tango'?

Oh, heck yeah. Stay tuned to my website ( for up-to-the-minute breaking news. I’m hoping to have such news in the May/June timeframe, but can make no guarantees. I have a LOT of books planned for this series. Hopefully I’ll get to share them all.

That is great news! I’ll be stalking your website.

Awesome! I love website stalkers, they make all the work we put into the website worthwhile!

Have you got any other books planned besides this series?

Yes, I write all the time. What gets bought isn’t up to me, however. So, again, watch my website. As soon as there’s news, it’s posted there. Or, if you want it even faster, sign up for my Hook Me Up! subscribers list -- send an email to with Hook Me Up! in the subject line and you’ll hear it all first and fastest.

On your website it says you are inspired by Louis L'Amour, mostly because of his persistence. Any other authors who inspire you or who you admire? And have you got any recommendations for books to read while waiting for 'Alien Tango'? (No need to mention the possibility to re-read 'Touched by an Alien' as that option is already covered.)

Well, dang, you beat me to my best answer, re-reading “Touched by an Alien”. Now I have to think and all that…lucky I like you.

Like with my musical tastes, my reading tastes are also wide-reaching. I adore Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, and since there are a LOT of books in that series, a reader could at least get a start on those before “Alien Tango” comes out December 7th (probably sooner in the Netherlands…I’m just sayin’, based on some prior experience).
(Have I mentioned “Alien Tango” is available for pre-order right now? I have? Well, let me mention it again. Hint, hint.)

(I must say your book being available in stores here in the Netherlands before the official release date must have been an all time first as normally I have to wait much longer or even order the books I want online, so I think I’ll go for pre-ordering ‘Alien Tango’ just to be sure.)

I have three authors highlighted on the Spotlight page of my website. Would recommend their books (and I’m going to make you go there to see who they are, ’cause that’s just the kind of girl I am:

I’d take a look at what websites Dark Wyrm Reads, The Galaxy Express, and Dark Faerie Tales recommend, too. And, since I love the funny, Dave Barry, David Sedaris, and P.J. O’Rourke are always great.

As for who I admire besides L’Amour and why, I have a variety of answers to that. I could go and look at all my books and list the authors I like best, but we don’t have all week. So, I’m going to go for the same kind of thing as why I admire L’Amour.

I admire ANYone who’s got a book on the shelves, ‘cause it’s harder than you can imagine to do that. And then I admire those authors who have more than one book in them and keep on writing and writing, book after book, entertaining millions along the way. Perseverance is more impressive to me than talent, because writing is a craft as well as an art, and to become a craftsman takes work and an unwillingness to quit.

BTW, in terms of non-authors, in that sense, I admire Winston Churchill and Eleanor Roosevelt immensely. Their biographies are fascinating, and they’re two people who NEVER gave up, even when it would have been far easier to do so. So I recommend reading up on them, too.

I’m stopping here, because, as more and more authors and public figures pop into my mind, clearly I could go on about this question for the foreseeable future.

If faced with a zombie, would Kitty be able to stand her ground and more importantly will we get to read about it? Maybe an idea for a book 3: The aliens and Kitty get to fight zombies! And while I'm giving suggestions: fitting in a pig is always a good idea too.

I actually have an undead series being shopped. So, you know, you might get your wish, or at least part of your wish, somewhere down the line. And while Kitty absolutely could and would take on a zombie army if such reared its ugly heads at her, her stories won’t be going into undead territory.

Don’t worry…there will be alligators, more and different aliens, and some other interesting beasties in the coming books in the Alien series. And, I will indeed consider adding in a pig, or at least a pig-like creature. So, keep your eyes peeled and snout sniffing.

An undead series?! And a possible pig-like creature?! You made my day! If I wasn’t stalking your site already I’d be doing so now. You sure know how to please your fans, well…this one at least.

:-D We do our best here at Team Gini.

Back to 'Touched by an Alien'. Music is an important ingredient to the story and I must say I loved the musical choices you made. Was the music picked to fit the story or was it the other way around and did the music influence the story? And will there be more music in 'Alien Tango'?

Music is a vital and integral part of Kitty’s life and she runs her life on a soundtrack, so absolutely there will be more music in “Alien Tango”, and lots of it.

As for music picked for the story or influencing it, the answer is both. In terms of what I listened to most of the time while writing “Touched by an Alien”, it was actually all of Smash Mouth’s CDs, particularly “Get the Picture?”, all the time. And I DO mean all the time. Individual songs were played, particularly to ensure they’d fit into the scene as it was being written. And, of course, if there were gaps, Aerosmith filled them.

Music affects everything I write. There are some bands and/or albums that only work for one book or series. If I hear them, I’m writing on that book or series in my mind, or I’ll flash to certain scenes, etc. There are other bands, like Aerosmith and The Counting Crows, that work for me for almost anything and everything.

I’m glad you liked the music in the book, so to speak. This is a case of write what you know, and Kitty’s tastes match mine pretty much 100% in terms of music. If a song or artist is mentioned in the books, then it’s on my personal iPod, as well as Kitty’s. I post play lists and albums of the week up at my website, too, for those interested in what I’m listening to at any given time.

And the final question:

Oh nooooos! This was fun.

I've read you wanted to buy a fridge to celebrate the publishing of your book. Did you get it and is it black?

*LE SIGH* No. The hubs has been mean and cruel and miserly and has REFUSED to allow me my precious new, black fridge until the old one dies. I was really working the whining on this one, too, but then I had to get my edits on “Alien Tango” done and in and the promotion for “Touched by an Alien” started, and dang it all if the last thing I have time for right now is whining about the fridge.

But one day I SHALL have my new precious. But, um, if the old one could hang on a little longer, at least for a couple more months, that would be nice, ‘cause I just don’t have the time to measure and shop and all that right now. (Watch…new fridge, coming right up, because I KNOW how these things work…)

I’ve heard that overstuffing a fridge and leaving the door partly open from time to time are important factors in getting a fridge to give up the ghost. Just saying, I never did anything like that on purpose.

*cough* I am NOT going to tell the hubs I read that…(tucking the idea away for later, though)

Gini, thanks again for dropping by and I must say it’s been great fun to have you here. I’m really looking forward to your next book, be it ‘Alien Tango’, the yet unnamed undead story or something else. Even if they’re only half as fun as ‘Touched by an Alien’ I’ll enjoy them.

As for those of you out there who haven’t read ‘Touched by an Alien’ yet: What are you waiting for?


Anonymous said...

Awesome interview! Thanks so much for the sneak peek at the new cover and story, too! I only have one complaint: December??? Too long!
So, will there be a third in the series, say, in January?
I must say, I too have a well packed purse and, much like Kitty, I know exactly where everything is and what is in it at all times. Giving my hubby 'driving' directions into it for something is always an adventure.

Hammie Hamster said...

Wow! What a nice interview! It's so cool that you were able to interview her! Congratulations Sullivan!

Gini Koch said...

Glad you guys enjoyed it! Sully asked some great, fun questions!

And, for those who like the Limited Edition Gini Bag and covet one for yourselves, you may want to join my Hook Me Up! subscribers list sooner than later. 'Cause, you know, I have another contest on the horizon, and it'll be for my HMU! readers exclusively...(and, again, you heard it here first...yeah, I really do have a soft spot for McPigs...). So, head over to my website -- -- and sign up now!

--Gini Koch

Sullivan McPig said...

@Amber: I know! Such a long time to wait!

@Hammie: Thanks :-D

@Gini: I think got a soft spot for you too! Writing about zombies and piglike creatures and giving me exclusive news... What more can a McPig ask for ;-)

And I think my owner will enter that contest as she really needs a new bag that fits more of her stuff.

Lisa Dovichi said...

"I am very partial to the alligators myself, but I think I tell no secrets when I say that my crit partner loves them even more than I do."

Oh yes I heart the alligators. They are by FAR my favorite of Gini's characters. Which is saying a lot.. cuz I heart them all.

"Your crit partner is a wise person."

You really are one GREAT pig!!! :D

Danielle said...

ARGH! December is far too far away. What's with the alligators?!?!
I'm really interested to read of the progress made between Kitty and Martini in their relationship -I can't wait to read about them being all loved up!
Great interview!

Gini Koch said...

I will not tell about the alligators -- other than to say that they're integral to the plot -- but I CAN tell you that you won't be disappointed. Alien Tango is more action, more aliens, more conspiracies, more complications, and more Kitty.

It'll be worth the wait. :-D (And isn't that cover AWESOME?)

--Gini Koch

Adrian said...

Thanks for posting this great interview. I'm glad to hear that the aliens and the undead will remain in ther own realms - there's only so much "suspension of disbelief" I can endure before I pick up something else.
BTW - I've read and enjoyed Touched by an Alien. I'm looking forward to Alien Tango.

Sullivan McPig said...

Thanks for dropping by everyone!
I almost can't wait for 'Alien Tango'!

Gini Koch said...

Almost can't wait? So, um, that means you can wait? Dang...


--Gini Koch

Sullivan McPig said...

Be glad I can wait, even though I'd rather not. Because if I couldn't you'd be harrassed by me daily, trying to push you into giving me Alien Tango and all your other finished stories to read. Then I'd be Sullivan, the Gini Koch Stalking Fiend!

Lisa Dovichi said...

I'd take bribes from those who can't wait for Alien Tango to be released. :D Just DON'T tell Gini. :D

Trust me. You're all going to LOVE Alien Tango. It's my FAVORITE!!! (Probably because of the Alligators!!!)

Brandy said...

I have already added Alien Tango to my list. And was wondering? Does Kitty, and her author carry a compass in that large purse? *G* If do....... *G*

Gini Koch said...

Kitty carries many things in her purse. As her adventures go on, she has to carry more and more things that help her deal with life as a super-being exterminator. (No alligator repellent, though...which is really a pity...)

I refuse to admit to what I carry in my purse, on the grounds that the hubs will make me take some of it out.

--Gini Koch