Author Interview: Gini Koch ~ Kitty Katt Series

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!

New!

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!

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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
  • Squirrel

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!

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Read the SSV reviews on the Kitty Katt Series. Links will be added as review posts are made.

  1. Touched by an Alien:
    1. Review by Soo
    2. Review by Sonja
  2. Alien Tango by Soo
  3. Alien in the Family by Sonja
  4. Alien Proliferation by Sonja
  5. Alien Diplomacy by Sonja
  6. Alien vs Alien by Sonja
  7. 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.

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Enter the Alien Contest

Win a Book from the Kitty Katt Series!
Read the contest post for rules and information.

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One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Book Seven

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.

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Touched by an Alien ~ Gini Koch

  • Title:  Touched by an Alien
  • Author:  Gini Koch
  • Series:  Katherine “Kitty” Katt, #1
  • Genre:  Science Fiction
  • Format:  eBook
  • Source:  Own Copy
  • Reviewed by: Sonja
  • Rating:  3.5 out of 5

Description:  How can a sexy marketing manager join forces with an Alpha Centauri male in Armani to save the planet-using hairspray, a Mont Blanc pen, and rock n’ roll?

Easy…

She’s Touched by an Alien

Marketing manager Katherine “Kitty” Katt steps into the middle of what appears to be a domestic dispute turned ugly. And it only gets uglier when the man turns into a winged monster, straight out of a grade-Z horror movie, and goes on a killing spree. Though Kitty should probably run away, she springs into action to take the monster down.

In the middle of the chaos a handsome hunk named Jeff Martini appears, sent by the “agency” to perform crowd control. He’s Kitty’s kind of guy, no matter what planet he’s from. And from now on, for Kitty, things are going to be sexy, dangerous, wild, and out of this world.

Review:  This book has been on my TBR list for quite a while. I haven’t read it sooner for the simple reason that my daughter refuses to read books about aliens. (They are too real, go figure.) I did, however, manage to get the gals (and guys) over at the GoodReads group Girls, Guns, & Grimoires to make this Book of the Month, so reading along was kinda obligational. And, I am glad I did. I enjoyed it. Probably not quite as much as I wanted to, but I did enjoy it.

I loved the “Men in Armani” set up for the story. It definitely brought along vibes of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones and the accompanying grins and giggles. There is definitely snark to be found between the pages. Our heroine’s family has 4 (big) dogs. And, ya just gotta love Kitty.

But, somehow, somewhere along the way it became just a bit too contrived with too many beautiful people for me. All the Alpha Centauris, or A-Cs as they are more often called, are gorgeous. I mean heart-stoppingly good looking. Now, push out your bottom lip. Really, really, REALLY ridiculously good looking. Yet, the gorgeous women (scientists) want nothing to do with the A-C men because – wait for it – they are not smart enough. They prefer less attractive earth men. Yep. It is a geek paradise buried down in Area 51 – all sorts of gorgeous females looking for nothing beyond intelligence in their men. This, of course, leaves all these hunks looking beyond their race for their love interests. Enter one Katherine, Kitty, Katt.

Mr. Armani immediately falls for Kitty. I mean immediately. This goes beyond love at first sight. Mr. Armani’s cousin also has a ‘thing’ for her. Let the eye rolling commence.

These guys immediately take Kitty under their wing. They also immediately take her parents under their wing. And their menagerie of pets. Which, did I mention, includes 4 large dogs? These dogs include a pit bull named Duchess. Ok, I must make mention that I am a sucker for dogs. Especially pit bulls. So, I really appreciated this view of this misunderstood breed: “I thought pit bulls were deadly killers,” he said as he put her down.” “Only if they’re trained to it. Otherwise, you’re in greater danger of being licked to death.” Yep. That fits the ones I’ve known.

Back to the story – There is a lot of action as we chase after the supreme bad guy, auspiciously named Mephistopheles. There really isn’t a lot of mystery or suspense, just kick assery. And, our Ms. Kitty is quickly elevated to the leader of our expedition to take out the villain. With hair spray. Extra hold hair spray. I must admit to enjoying the ride – there is much snark to be found.

However, the amount of belief that must be suspended to ‘buy’ that all these guys are ridiculously good looking yet want intelligence in their ‘significant others’ was more than I could easily do. Added to that, the speed with which these advanced beings with talents and experience beyond our years throws out their game plan and starts listening to Kitty was mind-boggling. Yes. I can believe in aliens. And parasites. Just don’t give me gorgeousness and leadership. Those I cannot swallow.

In addition to being gorgeous, these dudes are apparently the best lovers ever to have graced the planet. And, with two hearts, they have lots of stamina. Sigh. Moreover, we are shown all this in glowing detail. I much prefer the sex to go on behind closed doors. A private moment for people to share. Furthermore, it really felt like the sex was thrown in not to advance the story, but just for the sake of putting sex in. While I can tolerate it if there is purpose, without purpose it just annoys me.

I really, REALLY wanted to love this book. In fact, it may well have suffered because I anticipated loving it more than I did. There are already six more nice sized novels in the series, amply providing me a refuge from life. I’m not entirely convinced I care enough to seek said refuge here.

I would rate it 3.5 stars – but I am rounding down due to extraneous sex.

Edited One Week Later:

Funny thing about this book . . . Even though I did an immense amount of eye rolling while reading it, it did make me smile. And, here a week after I finished it, I still think about it with a smile on my face. So, feel free to roll your eyes, but prepare yourself for a wild ride.

Touched by an Alien ~ Gini Koch

  • Title: Touched by an Alien
  • Author: Gini Koch
  • Series: Katherine Katt #1
  • Genre: UF, Sci-Fi, PNR
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewed by: Soo
  • Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:  How can a sexy marketing manager join forces with an Alpha Centauri male in Armani to save the planet-using hairspray, a Mont Blanc pen, and rock n’ roll?

Easy…

She’s Touched by an Alien

Marketing manager Katherine “Kitty” Katt steps into the middle of what appears to be a domestic dispute turned ugly. And it only gets uglier when the man turns into a winged monster, straight out of a grade-Z horror movie, and goes on a killing spree. Though Kitty should probably run away, she springs into action to take the monster down.

In the middle of the chaos a handsome hunk named Jeff Martini appears, sent by the “agency” to perform crowd control. He’s Kitty’s kind of guy, no matter what planet he’s from. And from now on, for Kitty, things are going to be sexy, dangerous, wild, and out of this world.

Review:  I decided to take a slightly different approach to my review for this book. I had a lot of fun reading it and wanted to write a review without any spoilers. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Part 1 – My impression of Gini Koch’s brainstorming process for creating the Triple K series.
  • Part 2 – A brief blurb about the story, a few character descriptions & thoughts.

Part One

I’m going to pretend I’m the author Gini Koch and here’s my brainstorming process for the K. Katt series:

How do I get a superhero, hunky boyfriend that’s a god in bed and it’s okay?

Who wants fugly aliens? Not me!

MY aliens are going to be hot hot HOT! Doesn’t matter which gender. They’re gonna be beautiful with a capital B!

Not only are they going to rock it on the physical plane, they’re going to be smart, compassionate and totally attracted to brains and personality. When everyone looks good, who cares about looks? Right? RIGHT!

Can’t have a boring story. Hmmmmm… how am I going to spice it up? Not a lot of conflict with a bunch of nice guys and gals.

OH! I know! Let’s add a kickass heroine! Let’s have fun with this…

A-HAH! I have it: Katherine “Kitty” Katt ~ Unlikely heroine, spunky, non-linear thinking, tomboy extraordinaire who can dress nice if need be and one that’s genetically inclined to take chances to save others.

Good Aliens vs Bad Aliens

Bad guys, bad men, bad things, bad monsters, bad aliens, I hate snakes, slime is nasty. Who likes bat wings–nobody! Ugh! Huge ears are a nightmare! *shudder* Gray is neutral and safe. Classy waiters dress in white and black. It’s standard. Suits. Aramani? Gucci? Asian tailored made to go? Polo? Nah, too golf. No golf boys. Cabana boys! Wait–that’s a different story. OR maybe a substory-dream-fantasy-nightmare? Note for later…

Gotta have a few twists. Love triangle? Huh? Love? Who needs insta-crush? TOTALLY unbelievable. Well but if he’s a nice guy–oh yeah! Who’s gonna be Mr. Hunk? I mean, main squeeze. Er *scratches stuff out* I mean God in Bed! Yeah! That’s a great title! No one needs to know this part… Mwahahahah~

Planetary disasters – Check
Good Guys – Check
Bad Guys/Fuglies – Check
Quirky Katt Family – Check
Too good to be true Hot Alien Race – Check
Brains+Brawn only need apply – Check
Sneaky Twists – Check
Action – Check
Lots of GOO – Check
Love of Family – Check
Love you forever – Check
Totally Blind Dense Moments – Check
Life Threatening – Check
Snark – Check

OKAY! I think I’m ready to roll!

Part Two

The triple K series is about a quirky, forthright female who is blessed and cursed with the right genetics that lead her to be extraordinary in crazy situations. Meet Katherine “Kitty” Katt, the lead of triple K. I don’t know about you but I may have to kill my parents if they landed me with a name like that! It’s like asking to be punked immediately by all snark contenders and those who love to spout bad jokes and puns.

Right from the get go, Kitty jumps into the fray when she witnesses a man transforming into a monster and causing massive damage and death. Without thinking too hard, she runs in and wacks the fugly with a pen. Everyone knows that all writing tools can become deadly objects of death. Straight away, Kitty is taken in by a group of drool worthy men in official attire and whisked away to classified destinations. There ends the life Kitty has always known to be true and thus begins a new phase that totally rearranges her worldview. Nothing will ever be the same but that’s okay because it’s definitely become much more interesting!

Let’s meet some of the characters:

Sol: Kitty’s Dad is super eco-friendly, a professor, smart, devoted husband and totally growly Pop to all potential boyfriends of his only daughter.

Angela: If you want to know where Kitty’s crazy comes from, you’re at the right place. It may be safe to say her mom’s genes are a bit more dominant in the mix. She’s super mom! Not to spoil anything but she can shoot like a pro. You’ll find out why. Most of it is classified.

Reader: An ex-cover model that’s become a part of the secret group to defend earth against invaders. He quickly becomes a friend that Kitty can count on.

Martini: One of the leaders of Alpha Centauri, strong empath and contender for Kitty’s heart. It’s a standard for Martini to ask Kitty for her hand in marriage. You’ll see. =P

Christopher: Martini’s best friend, cousin, one of the strongest imagers, another leader of Alpha Centauri and a royal pain in Kitty’s delicate behind. Why? Read the story to find out!

This book was chosen to be the Book of the Month for Girls, Guns, & Grimoires. I’ve never heard of this series before and this is the first book by Gini Koch that I’ve read. It’s a great book! I had a ton of fun reading the story and really enjoyed the characters, plot, snappy dialogue, action and the plot twists. It’s hard to pull the wool over my eyes. I enjoy it immensely when a story can surprise me or have me involved enough that I don’t foretell everything that’s going to happen.

I now have a new book on my list of favorites and a new author to hunt down and explore! Yay! I’m eager to see what else is in store for Kitty and the gang.