Snarktastic Sonja and I are happy to have a chance to catch up with Gini Koch, the author of Katherine “Kitty” Katt series, for SSV’s Author Interview and Review series! We’re going to keep it interesting with the Triple K series by posting a book review for it for the next couple of days. We already have reviews posted for the first two books in the series. Follow along with us as we post the others!
Gini has just released the seventh book, Alien in the House, and celebrating with a blog tour. Let’s get comfortable and settle in to get a behind the screen view with the popular author and her zany alien series. Don’t forget to enter the contest!
At present, how many different pen names do you write under? How do you keep them straight?
I’m currently published as Gini Koch, G.J. Koch, Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, A.E. Stanton, and J.C. Koch. And I keep them straight because I, um, do. It’s a controlled form of schizophrenia, I make it work for me. 😀
When did you start writing?
At least a decade before I got published, but a good twenty years after I’d really had a lot of story ideas. Because I listened to a teacher who said you could only write if you outlined, and I believed her. By the way, she was wrong. You can only write if you write, and find the right way to write for you.
Can you point out the moment or event that made you think, “Yes! Writing. This is what I want to do!”
Yeah, I can. I’d passed on yet another party on a weekend, that my husband and daughter had gone to, so that I could write. This was before I really knew that I was going to go for publication. It was a beautiful day, and they had a wonderful time. Even though they had fun and everyone at the party had missed me, I realized that I hadn’t felt like I’d missed out on anything because I’d really gotten some great stuff written. I realized then that I’d rather write than do anything else. At that point in time, I decided I had to do what was necessary to get my writing to a publishable level, because it was clearly my “one thing” and I never wanted to stop.
Do you write more than one story at a time?
It depends, but usually. I have the kind of “jump around” mind that makes that fairly easy. When I’m on deadline (which is always now — and I am not complaining about that!) I do have to prioritize, so I don’t get to jump around as much these days.
How’s your Spyder and what’s it’s name? No way it’s Poofykins, right?
LOL, no, it’s not. I don’t actually own a Spyder, though I’d like to. Long story about why that pic of me on a Spyder ended up without me taking a Spyder home — let’s just say that men who ignore the only interested customer because said interested customer is a woman are men who don’t make a sale.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
Linda “The Terminator” Hamilton. But they’d probably cast Bette Midler. And who could complain about being portrayed by the Divine Miss M?
What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
Lots of stuff. LOL I’m on deadline, so no time to list the contents. Besides, if I did, the hubs would instantly conclude there was more than enough food in there to make for dinner and I’d be screwed.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week (famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional) with whom would it be?
I don’t want to trade places with anyone. I’d like to trade bank accounts with J.K. Rowling or Bill Gates, though.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Pretty much anything that happens. LOL! Everything that happens is as much a surprise to me as it is to the characters. That’s the fun of being an extreme linear writer.
I love the Poofs and the Peregrines. Kitty always had her animal menagerie. Based on your bio, you and Kitty obviously have that in common. Are you similar in other ways?
I get this all the time, with any main character I write, for any series, really. And, of course there’s some of me in Kitty. I think what readers tend to not realize is that every character created by an author has part of the author inside them. They come from out of our heads, we are the Gods, they are all reflections of us. Including the villains. Perhaps, especially the villains.
As a dog lover, I gotta ask: What kinds of dogs do you have? Names? Breeds? Cats? Other animals?
The Canine Death Squad consists of:
- Li’l Leader, an American Staffordshire Terrier
- The Spotted Fiend, a Dalmatian
- Big Baby, an American Pit Bull Terrier
The Killer Kitties are:
- His Highness Lord Ebol
We have no other animals because the hubs feels that we’re already far too outnumbered.
Why Armani as the uniform?
That’s what the characters told me they were wearing. And you know, men look good in Armani. Pretty DARNED good! ;-D
The Alien family is becoming quite large. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Keeping track of every character and all my various plot points. It’s what I do, but it’s still got challenges associated with it. I have a spreadsheet that lists every character, including when they joined the series. Wish my editor had suggested I do that during Touched by an Alien, as opposed to during Alien in the Family — the catch up was painful. LOL!
Will you continue adding to the family?
Of course. People don’t go through life without adding new people in, losing people along the way, and so on. Does this mean that sometimes a fan favorite doesn’t have as big a role? Yes it does. But said favorite will be back, next book.
Will we see stories with a different POV?
Not in this series, no. This is a first person POV series, and, as I say a lot, if I’d wanted to write it from, say, Christopher’s POV, I would have done it already. Not to say that I never will — I’ve learned to never say never — but this is Kitty’s series, and so it’s from her POV.
By the way, there are reasons I don’t want to show other POVs. When you’re choosing the POV for a story, it’s important that you pick the one that will best serve the story. In this case, the stories would not be served in the right way if I was in someone else’s head or heads.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I have infinite freedom with this series. My editor at DAW is amazing and wonderful. Pretty much anything I want to do she is 100% behind, only ensuring that we do it right and that it fits within the series. So if, for instance, I created a minor character I really liked, I have the freedom to bring them back any time. That’s why three minor characters who were introduced in Alien in the Family came back, full time, in Alien Diplomacy — I liked them, and I missed them, and I wanted them back full time. As for themes and ideas, any I want that I haven’t touched on yet or fully finished with are coming up in later books.
Have you ever hated something you wrote?
Of course I have. Every writer has. But no reader of mine will ever see what I don’t like, because I don’t submit or publish what I don’t like.
Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
I’m married and therefore have someone else living in the house with me, and it was important to set a good example for our daughter, the chicklet. So, yes, I make the bed every morning. It’s not that much work and it makes the room nicer. And the Killer Kitties prefer to lounge on a made bed, thankyouverymuch.
I love Kitty’s play list. How much of that music plays in the background as you write?
All of it. Every song mentioned in every book is on my play list for that book and more besides. My Alien series play list, at this moment, has over 1,170 songs on it. Some are repeats within the list, but that’s a lot of music. I add more in for each new book.
Ever have a song play that inspired a plot line?
All the time. About 50% of my ideas come from my dreams, and at least 30% come from music.
Which typically comes first, the plot or the song?
Depends. I truly can’t say every time. Writing tends to be very organic for me, so I don’t try to nail down all the inspirations lest they lose their effectiveness. However, I can absolutely say that you can consider that, despite never getting a shout out in any book in the series, Smash Mouth’s “Get the Picture?” album could be the called the Band That Wrote Touched by an Alien.
I also love that her iPod comes equipped with several appropriate playlists.
Well, that’s the beauty of being a writer — you get to equip your characters with the things they’ll need to survive, even if they’re things the characters wouldn’t think they’d use to survive, like hairspray or a Mont Blanc pen.
What is your biggest writing weakness, and what do you think you need to change to work on it?
As of right now, my biggest weakness is being late on my deadline for Alien Research and time management is the answer. Part of that would be not doing interviews and guest posts and such. LOL! You see how well I’m doing with that.
Out of the A.C. abilities, which one would you like to have?
Hyperspeed. Hands down, hyperspeed.
Out of the extended friends and families that spans the galaxies, which race would you be if you had to choose one that’s not A.C. or Earthman?
I’m a cat person, so the Feliniads all the way.
Can you share with us a wild adventure you want to have?
I want to have every book in this series on the New York Times Bestseller list, preferably several of them on at the same time. And sooner as opposed to later. That would be a wonderful, wild adventure, believe me.
Thank you for joining us on SSV, Gini! Sonja and I really love Kitty, the gang and the growing animal kingdom. We hope this isn’t the last we see of you on Silk Screen Views and look forward to reading future works!
Read the SSV reviews on the Kitty Katt Series. Links will be added as review posts are made.
- Touched by an Alien:
- Alien Tango by Soo
- Alien in the Family by Sonja
- Alien Proliferation by Sonja
- Alien Diplomacy by Sonja
- Alien vs Alien by Sonja
- Alien in the House*
*Review for book seven will be up in a few weeks.
For more information about the author and her various work, check out Gini Koch’s website.
Win a Book from the Kitty Katt Series!
Read the contest post for rules and information.
If you’re already a fan of the Triple K series, I’m sure you’ve already made plans to buy the latest addition! Here is a brief synopsis of the series:
Katherine “Kitty” Katt’s world turned inside out and upside down after the Event. What’s the Event? It should have been another day on the daily grind, but it wasn’t. While heading back to the office from a meeting, Kitty witnessed an angry man turn into a monster and attack. Instinct kicked in and Kitty raced over and made a vital strike with a Mont Blanc pen! A group of extraordinarily handsome men converged on Kitty and whisked her away. The rest is history.
Aliens are real. Kitty’s parents are much more than “normal” parents. It’s almost impossible to resist the urge to slobber over the heart stoppingly handsome Alien men. Improbable connections are Kitty’s secret weapon and her roaring need for justice is her chosen steel. Let’s not forget the battle purse or her Ipod. Kitty’s music always sets the mood to defend Earth against bad aliens.