Hi folks! Tell you what, I´m totally in the right mood for Christmas! Over the last few days, quite a lot of snow has fallen, so everything is very scenis and beautiful. I´ve been baking Christmas cookies with my sister and I went to the Christkindlmarkt and as far as I´m concerned, it could stay that way for the rest of December.
Today, I have something special for you again!!! You probaly know that next week, the second book int the Katherine “Kitty” Katt series is being released and guess who is here today to talk about Kitty, Aliens and other stuff? You´re right, it´s Gini Koch!!! *yay*
Pleas help me welcome the amazing and incredibly funny author!
Hi Gini and thanks so much for taking the time stop by today!
You’re welcome! Happy to be here!
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.
From the science fiction side, we see much more of Centaurion Division that we did before, including more of how they work with government agencies. We also see Alpha Team under a variety of deadly attacks. A good portion of the action takes place in Florida at and around the Space Center, and we have a different kind of alien involved, as well as a different kind of enemy.
From the romantic side, in addition to some conspiracies that catch everyone pretty much by surprise, Kitty and Martini are having the ever-present relationship challenge of “does your family like me, and why not?” Plus there’s a romantic rival that Martini may have seen coming, but not like this, and whose presence could change everything for Kitty.
But I’m sure you’d like a little more than that. So, here you go.
Paul Gower joined us in the doorway. He was built like Martini, only black and bald. His father had married an African-American human. I often found myself wondering how happy she was, but I hadn’t asked. Yet.
“We have a bigger issue than your parents,” Gower shared, looking tense and sounding tenser. “Clustered activity.”
Martini and Christopher both flipped into what I considered Commander Mode. “Where?” Martini asked briskly as we all trotted inside.
“Paraguay?” Christopher sounded shocked. Martini grimaced.
“Why not Paraguay?” I’d been all over the world by now, killing forming fuglies and keeping the world safe from becoming super-being sushi. South America was hit as frequently as everywhere else, though in overall super-being activity, the U.S.A. was still number one with a bullet.
“In the Chaco,” Gower added.
“Of course,” Martini muttered.
I grabbed my purse from Hughes, told him that he and the rest of my flyboys were off-duty but on standby, and then we headed for the nearest bank of gates. The gates were alien technology that allowed us to move freely about the world by leaping from one gate to another. The majority of the gates were located in the restrooms of all the world’s airports. Having visited more men’s rooms than I cared to remember, by now I could attest to their placement being both effective and gross as the same time. But we could go from Nevada to New York in about three seconds.
“There are airports there,” I reminded them, as I tried to pull up how rainy or dry Paraguay was and failed.
“True,” Martini acknowledged. “But we’re not going there.”
“We’re not?” I wasn’t overly disappointed. We had dinner with my parents planned and super-being extermination trips tended to wreck any schedule.
Reader joined us. “They’re right on the line.” He sounded worried and the other men looked tense. I felt nothing other than confusion -- this was a new one.
The Mont Blanc pen and hairspray were some of the coolest and most original weapons EVER. What will use Kitty in “Alien Tango” to save the world?
*cough* Um. Alligators. She uses alligators. Among other things.
Jeff is empathic, which can come in handy in a relationship, but I can imagine it can also be difficult at times. What can we expect of Jeff´s and Kitty´s relationship in the future?
For that, you’ll have to read the book. Yes, I have a reason for being secretive. And I refer you back to the paragraph before the excerpt. And that’s all I’m saying about that. For now.
And hands down, would you like to date an empath?
Well, I’m happily married and have been for a long time. But yeah, there are times I wish the hubs was empathic, so that he’d catch on when he’s inadvertently hurt my feelings or pissed me off. LOL. Otherwise, I think it’s like being with someone with any other kind of uber-talent and/or disability -- you learn to deal with it as part of the entire package.
I loved Kitty´s family to death. I really hope we´ll see more of them in the next book?
My editor shares your family love, and yes, they’ll be in all the books, not just “Alien Tango”, but the rest down the line as well. Which I’m glad about -- I like all these characters, so it’s nice to get to spend time with them.
And what about Kitty´s best friend and alien fan Chuckie, is there a chance that we get so meet him in the next book?
ROFL. Oh yeah. You meet Chuckie in person. For sure.
Among my favorite parts were all the scenes with Kitty´s pets. Do you have pets yourself that inspired you?
Indeed I do. I have the Canine Death Squad, consisting of Li’l Leader, The Spotted Fiend, and Big Baby (we lost The Big Fella last year right after Thanksgiving); and the Killer Kitties, consisting of Dementia Kitty and Mr. Fluffykins. Yes, those are all aliases. Mr. F, in particular, doesn’t think his name applies, preferring Master of All He Surveys. Which is, truthfully, much more accurate, but too long for general use.
My animals are all trained to ‘bring it’, too.
I’ve always had pets and I love them. And they all have their own distinct personalities. So, probably more than any other characters in the books, the cats and dogs have the most characteristics from real animals in my life.
In your book, there are many descriptions of alien technology. How did you come up with those? Were you one of the science nerds in school?
Oh, I was an any-and-all-subject nerd, including metal shop and drafting. I never had the math/science versus language skills issues -- they all came pretty easily to me (other than fractions, which we shall not speak of here). I was also a jock. And I was also in student government. I also took ballet and dance and did choreography and directing when necessary. In other words, I did it all. Well rounded, we called it in my day, kiddies. LOL
Describe the alien you would fall in love with!
LOL. I did. His name is Jeff Martini. Hey, if *I* don’t fall in love with the character, how will my heroine or my readers fall in love with him?
Would you say that your mood has an influence on your writing and the story in general?
In some cases, yeah. If I’m seriously pissed off about something, I tend to write fight scenes. And kill a LOT of people. (Editing is a wonderful thing.)
Mostly, though, my mood is influenced by music. So if I need to be working on a specific manuscript, I put on the right music for that book or series and it always does the trick. I can spend more time figuring out the right music combos than doing regular research, but it pays off in the short and long term.
Are your characters fictional or are there based on real people?
I write fiction, not narrative nonfiction, so my characters are all fictional. Though I don’t think any author can truly be said to not take influences into their writing. You’re the sum total of all you know and have experienced, after all. But no character is based on any one person and most of my characters aren’t based on anyone other than the person I see in my head.
Even the animals are a conglomeration though, as I said earlier, they’re the most closely based on my own pets.
What is your major source of inspiration?
Rock and roll and good looking leading men. I’m a simple creature, really.
How does your typical writing day look like? Do you have a special routine?
The alarm goes off. I hit the snooze button anywhere from 1 to 12 times, depending. Then I drag out of bed with one of the older and more sluggish larks. I feed the Canine Death Squad and Killer Kitties their breakfast while I get coffee my wonderful husband has already brewed into my system. I choke down some sort of breakfast thing while going through my email and deleting all the spam that’s showed up (hey, there are some interesting things in spam). If there are things of interest to report, I do a Hook Me Up! email and a blog and related activities. I answer anything from my agent, editor, publisher, etc. Then I’m conscious, so I write. Then I do house-related work. Sometimes, just to mess it up and keep the body guessing, I go to the Post Office, the market, the bank, the pharmacy, or the vet’s office. Then I write some more. Somewhere in there I make dinner. If Castle is on, I watch it. Then I write some more, and do more promotion and catch up on more of the work side of writing. And then I write some more. I fall into bed normally between 1am and 3am. And then the horrid alarm goes off and the entire fantabulous process starts all over again.
Have you ever been to Roswell?
Nope, but I’d like to go.
Do you believe in aliens?
I absolutely believe we’re not alone in the universe. Do I believe that there are aliens here on Earth? Some days, yeah. Most days, no.
Tell us something about your favourites:
Lots, and since many of them are my friends now, I’m not giving you a list. We’ll stick with the big names, Terry Pratchett, Dave Barry and P.J. O’Rourke, and then a host of deaders -- Robert Benchley, Charles Dickens, A. Conan Doyle, O. Henry and probably a ton of others I’m forgetting.
favourite paranormal creature?
Aliens. Yes, I consider them paranormal until proven otherwise.
favourite all time hero/heroine?
Heroines: Ellen Ripley from “Aliens” in particular; and Sarah Connor from “The Terminator” movies. And Lady from “Lady and that Tramp”. (I kid you not.)
Heroes: Han Solo (the one who shot first, I’m forced to mention) from the first REAL three “Star Wars” movies; and Mal Reynolds from “Firefly/Serenity”. And, yes, Tramp from “Lady and the Tramp”. (Yes, this is actually my fave movie of all time.)
Sean Bean’s character from “National Treasure” because he wasn’t just a straight up “Dr. Evil” type of character, he was a real person, fully 3 dimensional, who cared about his guys as much as the good guys cared about theirs. To me, he’s the ultimate villain. And Sean Bean is a hottie, too, which doesn’t hurt.
Oh, and Bartelby from “Dogma” because Ben Affleck did an amazing job of showing us how truly heartbroken the character was, and how that pain drove him to do terrible things. Again, he wasn’t evil just for evil’s sake, there were clear reasons, shown and experienced by the audience, for why, and I think that makes an amazing villain, because you hurt for him, even while you condemn what he’s doing.
Which one do you prefer, book or e-reader?
Book. I write on a computer, I edit on a computer, I do beta reading and critiquing on a computer. When I actually get the chance to read for pleasure, I no longer can do it on a computer or anything that looks like a computer because my mind says, “Working now, need to look for what to fix!” and that’s no fun. I like to be anywhere BUT my office when I read. So for those reasons, physical books all the way.
Pictures of good looking leading men. It’s both inspiration AND distraction. And computer solitaire, which I play when I’m thinking. And when I’m talking on the phone. And when I don’t feel like doing anything that requires a lot of brainpower.
St. Swithun’s Day
Favorite alien themed movie/tv series?
Movies: “Galaxy Quest”, “Men in Black”, and “Starman”
TV: Probably all the “Star Trek” shows
Due to a recent event with my own laptop during NaNoWriMo: did you ever have a major computer catastrophy/problem during writing? And how many back-up copies do you usually have?
LOL. Many. If you read the acknowledgments in “Touched by an Alien” you’ll note that I thank my husband for handling a computer burn out by saying we’ll get another one. I’ve burned out a lot of computers. I use Carbonite backup (no, they don’t pay me to endorse them, more’s the pity) and I also have flash drive backups. And my crit partner and main beta reader tend to have copies of most of what I’m working on. I used to back up onto zip drive and CDs, but flash drives and Carbonite are a lot easier. They’ve reduced my OMG hysteria greatly.
Bottom line: Back your stuff up and hit save all the damn time. It makes all the terror much less if you KNOW you’ve got it saved and copied.
I’m currently waiting on a copy of the next book in Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, “An Artificial Night”. It’s already out, but I’m getting my copy straight from Seanan (signed and everything), so I’m waiting for it eagerly.
I also want to get Carolyn Crane’s “Double Cross” (also out) and Erin Quinn’s “Haunting Desire” (coming in April, 2011). And, hopefully in the near future, Marsheila Rockwell’s next book will be out. I don’t know what the title will be, but I loved “Legacy of Wolves” and I can’t wait for her next book.
Oh, and whatever Discworld book by Terry Pratchett is coming next and whatever book P.J. O’Rourke is coming out with next. But I’m ALWAYS waiting on the next ones from them.
And finally: Is there anything you want to say to your/my readers?
I love you all. You complete me. Oh, and buy my book, it’s a deal at twice the price! (Hey, you can NOT blame a girl for trying!)
I love my fans and readers, they’re the best in the world. They make it all worthwhile. I mean, it’s awesome to get an agent, get a book deal, go through it all, and see your book in print and on the shelves. But it means nothing if no one buys it, no one reads it, and/or no one likes it. Having readers means the world to me; having fans who love this series as much as I do means even more. Every day at least one of my fans does or says something that just makes me happy and reminds me why writing is the best, most rewarding job in the world.
Would I still write without fans and readers? Of course I would. But it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun, because a big part of the joy of writing is sharing it with others, and bringing them enjoyment and entertainment.
So, to my fans and readers, I simply say: Get down with your bad selves and keep on bringing the fun and funky to all that you do!
Thanks so much Gini for stopping by! It´s been so much fun and a great pleasure!
Now, the giveaway…
I´ve already pre-ordered my own copy of Alien Tango and you can win your copy here!!!
Fill out the form below, leave a comment if you want to and some love for Gini! :)
As usual, the giveaway is open internationally or wherever Book Depository ships. It´s open until the day before the release of Alien Tango, December 6th. I´ll draw the winner with help of random.org on the same day so that you get Alien Tango as soon as possible!
Good luck to everyone!!!!