Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Gini Koch Interview
6/17/2012 7:39:50 AM
Prolific author, Gini Koch discusses her sci-fi romance novels and the writing life!
LTS: Do you enjoy rollicking, fast-paced, cheeky sci-fi romance? Then get ready to meet this week’s featured author, Gini Koch! I’d like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers, Gini. What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
GK: Wait. We can do things OTHER than write? Who knew? Not me…
I enjoy my family and pets, reading, listening to music, hanging out with my friends (the rare times when I get to do that), reading comics, and watching Castle. Sometimes I fit in watching movies, too. That about sums up the excitement that is my non-writing life. Since I started writing, my characters lead exciting lives but mine’s gone kind of boring. But I’m good with it. :-D
LTS: Has writing stories always been a part of your life and becoming a published author a life long dream?
GK: Honestly, no. Making stories up and hanging out with a ton of characters who were lurking inside my brain? Yeah, been doing that since I can remember. But writing didn’t start until much later, because I’d been told you had to outline to write, and I am NOT an outliner. So, no, being published has only been about a decade-long dream. :-D
LTS: By my last count, you have five novels published in your Alien/Katherine series. What was the inspiration behind your heroine Katherine “Kitty” Katt?
GK: I had a dream, a dark, noir-ish, scary dream. And I was going to write a dark, short, noir-ish horror story. Only by three pages in, the voice didn’t sound all that dark -- it sounded quirky. I let it ride, and Kitty showed up, basically. So, the inspiration came out of my head and from that dream. Kitty created herself. At least, that’s her opinion…
LTS: Without giving away too much, can you reveal what’s in store for the readers when they crack open the first book in this series?
GK: Kitty discovers that the Roswell rumors are true, but with a twist. The aliens are here to help us, and as a side benefit, they’re all gorgeous. Kitty gets involved in the fight to protect Earth and she does it in her own way, using hairspray and rock ‘n’ roll.
LTS: Hairspray and rock n’ roll? I love it! ;-) How does this series differ from your latest release, Alexander Outland: Space Pirate?
GK: The Alien series is science fiction with a lot of romance, action, and humor. Alexander Outland is science fiction with a lot of humor, action, and romance. And yes, I flipped where romance and humor are in the lists on purpose.
The Alien series is set in present day Earth. There’s a strong romantic subplot and it does get steamy in between all the action, adventures, and humor.
Alexander Outland is actually funnier than the Alien series. It’s set in the far future, when space travel through the Milky Way Galaxy is the same as driving your car cross-states or flying to another country. There is romance in it, but it takes a lesser role and sexy times aren’t really shown. But there’s a lot more innuendo in Alexander Outland than there is in the Alien series.
They are also entirely separate universes and don’t, and won’t, cross over.
They’re also both a lot of fun.
LTS: The road to publication is difficult at the best of times. Was it difficult for you to land an agent? Do you have any advice you’d like to share with the author struggling to find representation?
GK: Yes, it was difficult to land a good agent. I took a lot of rejections and kept on going. I wasn’t to Louis L’Amour levels, but I took more than my fair share of “not for us”. At least, until I wrote the right book. Once Touched by an Alien was written, landing an agent was fairly easy.
The advice I’d give is two-fold. One, accept that you have no idea what will land you an agent and what will sell, so always be working on something else because that something else may be what “does it” for you. Two, if you love writing and can’t imagine not writing whether or not anyone else ever reads what you write, then never, ever give up.
LTS: Can you share that moment when your agent told you he/she sold your manuscript to DAW Books?
GK: Yeah, if I can remember it now. ROFL. It was a few years ago now, because Touched didn’t come out until two years after it was sold.
You know…I’ve wracked my brain, and I honestly can’t remember. I remember the moments when my agent offered representation -- that entire experience is burned into my memory. But the call to tell me that DAW had offered a two-book deal? Um…I don’t remember it, not really. Just the hazy feeling of incredible happiness combined with the urgent need to get a website up and a blog going so I could tell the world I’d scored a two-book deal with DAW.
LTS: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on the road to publication?
GK: Patience, professionalism, and perseverance are the most important skills and personal traits to have and master.
LTS: Still on the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser? The readers would like to know if you tend to plot out your story line in great detail or if your writing is more organic with the characters and events unfolding as you write.
GK: I’m an extreme linear writer. When it comes to writing, I’m incredibly organic. I greatly prefer the characters to tell me what’s going on, versus me telling them. The stories come out a lot better that way.
However, when I write short stories, I tend to have those plotted out more in my mind. I literally will never outline on paper (because it flips a “we’re done” switch in my mind, meaning the story will never appear) but for most short stories, I do know where I’m going and how I’m getting there, though, as always, I let the characters tell me if I’m wrong.
LTS: Some authors meditate, others need to fuel up on coffee or listen to music. Do you have any rituals, ones that can be shared with the readers, that you must do before you hunker down for a writing session?
GK: I tried meditation. Doesn’t work for me. I mean, it’s GREAT if I need to work out a plot point or something, but I’ve never been one with the slavish devotion to one word or thought, and I’m not really a “sit still for a while” girl, either.
LTS: I need rock ‘n’ roll of any and all kinds (right now I’m on a major rap kick), and having Coca-Cola on hand helps a lot. And, computer solitaire and/or mah jong for when the characters and I are stuck and need to look at something other than the page so my forebrain can be occupied with something that doesn’t matter while my hindbrain runs and works out whatever’s tied me up.
LTS: At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writer’s block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?
GK: I have the secret for how to get past writer’s block and over the wall. I really do. And it’s simple, really.
Sit down with whatever it is you write with (computer, laptop, pad and paper, typewriter) and…write. It doesn’t have to be genius or perfect, because that’s what editing is for. Sometimes hard to achieve, because life loves to get in the way, but sit, listen, write, edit, write some more is pretty much my entire process, whether I’m in the zone or can’t see the zone from my current state of mind.
I’ve found that, many times, what I struggled to get out is as good as anything tossed out during an “it’s all FLOWING” time. And even if I cut everything I wrote, at least I wrote and now know how that particular scene is NOT going to go.
Action breeds action. Inaction breeds inaction. I do my best to stay on the action side of the house. Even if it stinks on ice, writing something is better than writing nothing.
And if that doesn’t work, I look at my vast collection of internet pics of good looking leading men (and when I say vast, I mean VAST), and somewhere in there, one of them will spark something and I’ll be right back to writing.
LTS: Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?
GK: Terry Pratchett is my favorite living author. When I was first writing I could really see the Pratchett influence, particularly in how I laid out stories, but as I stretched my wings, it left and I moved into my own styles. But every author I’ve ever read has inspired me in some way, even if only by writing a book I loved, liked, hated, or was indifferent to.
LTS: What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out from science fiction into other genres? Can your fans expect another novel in the Alien/Kitty Katt series in the near future?
GK: I’ve already branched, but as Anita Ensal (science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal), Jemma Chase (paranormal), A.E. Stanton (post apocalyptic), and J.C. Koch (Horror). I have ebooks from all of these pen names with Musa Publishing. Their voices are different than when I write as Gini, or G.J.
But, as Gini Koch, the next Alien book coming is Alien vs. Alien, releasing December 4, 2012. Alien in the House and Alien Collective will release in April and December 2013, respectively.
However, before any of those, I have my first self published title coming. It will be available in trade paperback and ebook formats, worldwide. I’m very excited about it because my fans have been asking for this for a while, so I think they’ll be happy and enjoy the story. And I’m being vague because all the ducks are not quite yet in their pretty rows, but the official announcement will be coming shortly.
So, in five year’s time I expect to have a lot more books on the shelves. That’s my goal: Total World Book Domination. LOL Which is a great goal, but it’s really the readers who decide whether or not you make it. So, ultimately, I want to write books I love that hopefully others love as well and keep on doing that forever and ever and ever.
LTS: Wow! What an impressive, diverse line! And congratulations on your latest release and thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us, Gini.
GK: Thank you and thank you so much for having me! I had a blast!
For more information about Gini Koch and her novels, check out:
Follow Gini on Twitter: .GiniKoch
Where to buy the book: any bookstore or online
Gini Koch lives in Hell’s Orientation Area (aka Phoenix, AZ), works her butt off (sadly, not literally) by day, and writes by night with the rest of the beautiful people. She writes the fast, fresh and funny Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series for DAW Books and the Martian Alliance Chronicles series for Musa Publishing. As G.J. Koch she writes the Alexander Outland series for Night Shade Books. She also writes under a variety of other pen names (including Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, A.E. Stanton, and J.C. Koch), listens to rock music 24/7, and is a proud comics geek-girl willing to discuss at any time why Wolverine is the best superhero ever (even if Deadpool does get all the best lines). She speaks frequently on what it takes to become a successful author and other aspects of writing and the publishing business. She can be reached through her website at www.ginikoch.com.
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