Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Interview with Gini Koch and Kitty & co. + Giveaway

I am very happy to welcome back to the blog the fantabulous
Gini Koch
who was gracious this time and brought along Kitty and co. to answer today's inquisition (=interview). As I knew we'd be having such a great party I invited along my good friend and fellow blogger Susi (aka The Geeky Lover), so read on to discover more about the Alien/Kitty Katt series and all the adventures Gini has in store for us! 

Stella: Hi Gini, welcome back to Ex Libris! *gives welcoming hugs and hands out Margaritas*

Gini: Whoo hoo, margaritas! Make mine a double. And it’s great to be back!

Stella: The 4th book in the series Alien Proliferation was released on 6 December 2011, yay! Gini, can you please tell us a bit about this newest installment and what excitements we can expect?

Gini: Absolutely!

A new set of conspiracies, old enemies, and a dangerous new drug being tested on unwilling subjects are more than enough to deal with, but new parents Jeff and Kitty Martini have an even bigger problem -- the bad guys want their newborn baby.

Jeff and Kitty are happily expecting their first child. Having children is normal, but inter-species deliveries are not. After almost losing Kitty in childbirth, the last thing anyone needs is the discovery of a conspiracy to kill the heads of the ETD and P.T.C.U., otherwise known as Charles Reynolds and Kitty’s mother, Angela Katt.

Misdirection, confusion and evil plots are business as usual for Kitty since joining Centaurion Division, but turning into a superhuman is new. As key members of Alpha and Airborne start disappearing, it’s up to Kitty to rally their few remaining associates, including her old friends, Amy Gaultier and Sheila Lawrence, to figure out what’s really going on.

Sooner than anyone likes, it’s up to Kitty and her surprising new partner to determine if the secret drug Surcenthumain and Kitty’s transformation are connected, while rescuing the rest of the team and also thwarting a super-soldier program that hits much closer to home than anyone expects. Of course, the big question is whether they can save the day before the event Kitty dreads most -- an Alpha Centaurion baby shower.

Stella: Alien Tango was all about the ‘gators, Alien in the Family was all about the poofs, and Alien Proliferation is all about the baby! Can you tell us a bit about Kitty and Martini’s baby (of course I’m not asking you to reveal its gender, name, etc.). Any cool superpowers the little one will have (and thus freak out mommy and daddy)?

Gini: ROFL. I love how you’re asking me to not reveal gender or name, BUT want a run down of any powers. Erm, wouldn’t my telling you the baby’s powers absolutely help identify gender? Oh, yes, I think it would. So, nuh uh, not sayin’.

But the baby WILL freak out Mommy and Daddy, guaranteed.

Stella: Music always plays a huuuge part in the Kitty Katt books, so tell me, what song would little Baby Martini go to sleep? What song would be able to rock it to sleep like no other?

Gini: Baby Martini, being Kitty’s child, will go to sleep to the appropriate baby tunes -- namely, Aerosmith’s ‘Toys in the Attic’ album.

Stella: I always like to ask you about a favourite scene, so let’s not skip it. ;-) Which scene was your favourite to write or the favourite to share with the readers from Alien Proliferation? Was there one you were waiting excitedly to hear back from readers what they thought of a specific scene?

Gini: You know, in this book in particular, there are so many things where I’m really eagerly awaiting reader reaction that it’s hard to pick just one. I CAN say that something that was hinted at in Alien in the Family is shown in more detail in Alien Proliferation…and it will have huge ramifications for the characters down the line.

I know, I know, that was a real ‘non-answer’. So, let’s go for a clearer answer as well. I loved writing Kitty’s surprising new partner, and all of their interaction. The character totally shocked me and just made all of those scenes incredibly fun to write.

Susi: Did you imagine the poofs as Daniel Dos Santos depicted them? What do you call yours?

Gini: Honestly, no. I see the Poofs as fluffier and more kitten-like, in that sense, with MUCH bigger heads. Much more of a stuffed animal look. However, I think Dan made them look more like an animal that could actually exist, which is very cool. And I call mine Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, of course! LOL

Susi: Can you give us a short rundown of the political and social hierarchy of the A-C society?

Gini: Nope.

LOL, no, I can’t because it’s not really a short answer. The easy answer is that the Supreme Pontifex is responsible for all religious and moral issues, and the Head of the Field is responsible for all military and procedure issues, with the Head of Imageering as the right hand person. But that’s only a small part of the story. (For more details, I point you to Touched by an Alien, Alien Tango, and Alien in the Family…for starters.)

Socially, there’s a lot more going on, and, in part due to Kitty’s involvement and interference, a lot of changes going on, too.

Susi: While reading the scenes when Kitty is on a roll I always unconsciously increase my reading pace. Do those scenes actually flow faster while writing too?

Gini: Usually yes. I’m usually listening to one particular song or album when the action scenes hit, and if necessary, I’ll listen to one song over and over and over, on continuous repeat, until the entire action scene is done. For example, I listened to The 69 Eyes’ ‘Perfect Skin’ for hours while I was writing the big chase scene in the desert for Alien Tango. And I listened to Tina Turner’s ‘Steel Claw’ about the same for one of the big fight scenes in Alien Proliferation (and anyone who reads it will know exactly which scene I’m talking about. AND when Kitty tunes her iPod to another song, it’s the song I actually tuned to in order to calm down a little to get the next parts done right).

Smash Mouth’s ‘Get the Picture?’ album basically was on continuous the entire time I wrote Touched by an Alien. So, yeah, I write faster when I’m doing those scenes, but only if the right music’s going.

Since you were such a dahlin' as to bring our favourite A-Cs and their significant others, let's not neglect them shall we? So Jeff and Kitty, can you give us 3 tips on how to keep it sizzling in a relationship?

Martini: I like to always try to do something nice for her every day. Compliments go a long way toward making a woman feel special and loved, as do little gifts. And a backrub is rarely refused.

Kitty: I think a pushup bra, thong underwear, and four inch hooker heels do the trick.

Martini: She has a point.

Susi: Tell our readers: what to expect when expecting?

Martini: That your wife is going to need a lot of extra tender loving care. And to remember that food cravings exist because the mother and baby need specific vitamins, minerals and nutrients, so they need to be treated as important.

Kitty: That you’re going to be very, very sick, especially any time you use a transporter gate, and that supposedly turning the size of a hippo doesn’t make you a real hippo.

Martini: You’re not that big.

Kitty: Right. I can still look into mirrors. I DON’T right now, but I CAN.

Stella: What was the weirdest craving Kitty had while being pregnant?

Martini: I didn’t find any of her cravings to be weird.

Kitty: That’s because the A-C Elves can always come up with whatever I want. My vote goes for the week I wanted only seeds -- sunflower seeds, pomegranate seeds, poppy seeds. Which sounds normal until you realize I didn’t want the poppy seeds on anything, just…poppy seeds. I’m really glad my ‘seed craze’ only lasted a week, believe me.

Stella: Kitty, did you have any crazy returning dream/nightmare while being pregnant? (my mom had one of dancing and singing cutesy frogs when she was expecting my little sisters, she had that dream at least 5 times during her pregnancy)

Kitty: My crazy dream was that no one would attack us, try to kill us, or try to steal my newborn baby. Needless to say, that was indeed a ‘dream.’

Susi: Reader, random question: did you ever watch How I Met your Mother?

Reader: Ah…no, not really. We don’t have a lot of time to watch TV. I hear it’s a great show, but it’s not something Paul and I ever watch.

Susi: Tell us 5 things every good party needs.

Reader: Seriously, how did I become Captain Party Planner? I have an extremely high-level job, that requires one of the highest security clearances in the world, I routinely help save said world, and yet all anyone wants to know about now is how to plan a party?

But, fine, whatever. A good party needs a good host, good guests, a relaxed atmosphere, good booze, and either a specific end time or enough sleeping areas that guests don’t have to drive home if they aren’t able to.

Stella: Chuckie, what is the thing you love the most about Kitty? Is it her unique humour? Crazy courage? Or her taste in music perhaps? :-)

Chuckie: I love everything about Kitty, other than her choice of spouse. I assume this question was asked so Martini and I would start fighting, right?

Stella: mais oui, it isn't just guys who love a cat fight, we like battling alpha males just as much, right ladies? ;-) 

But back to you Gini, Paris seems to be a hot spot in Alien Proliferation, really what’s there? (besides the Eiffel tower, EuroDisney and croissants?)

Gini: Lots of bad guys, and the seat of yet another conspiracy aimed at Centaurion Division. And some of the best food and wine IN THE WORLD.

Stella: You have exploded into lots of pennames and graced the world with different stories, genres, tones. Has the thought ever crossed your mind to make a spin off of the Kitty Katt series? (and isn’t it weird that the story is called Kitty Katt, while she became Kitty Martini? Was a bit unfamiliar every time she was called Martini in the story.. though I loved all the Gladys-confusion talks ;-p)

Gini: LOL, well, see the actual series name, per me and DAW is the Alien series. The Katherine ‘Kitty’ Katt series was created by some reviewers and libraries. I refer to it now as the Alien/Katherine ‘Kitty’ Katt series so no one gets confused. But the series is not the Kitty Katt series to me or to my publisher, hence Kitty getting married didn’t really register as a naming ‘issue’ until well after Alien in the Family was written.
Oh, and don’t worry about the name confusion -- it confuses Kitty, too. ;-D

As for spin-offs, I’ve considered them and talked to my editor about them, but right now is not the time to do a spin-off, and I’m not really excited about doing one at this time, either. BTW, the spin-off everyone seems to ask about -- will Christopher get his own series -- is never going to happen. I rarely say never, but in this case, I can positively, absolutely state that Christopher is never spinning off anywhere, at any time. I know who I’d spin off, and it’s not him.

Also, the reason I write under different pen names and in different genres is to write something different. Ergo, a spin-off would, for it to interest me, have to be something different. As in, very different, or why do it? So, again, not the right time, but yes, the thought has crossed my mind more than once.

Stella: So far you have confirmed that there will be at least 8 books in the Kitty Katt series, right? Any news on that front? When should we be on the lookout for the next books?

Gini: Yep, I’m contracted through Book 8 as of this time. I’m mapped out, as much as I ‘map’, through Book 12. And I can ‘see’ through Book 16. So, as long as readers are buying, DAW says they’re happy to publish.

As for what’s coming, Alien Diplomacy releases April 3, 2012; Alien vs. Alien releases December 2012; Alien in the House releases April 2013; and Alien Collective releases December 2013. So, plenty more of Kitty and Company on the way!

Stella and Susi highfive each other and scream in sync: Yaaay!!

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. She also writes under a variety of 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 also speaks frequently on what it takes to become a successful author and other aspects of writing and the publishing business.

You can find Gini at her website / blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Alien Collective Headquarters

Buy Alien Proliferation at Amazon / Kindle store / Book Depository


Gini has generously offered a signed and personalized Limited Edition 2012 Gini Calendar to a lucky commenter!

All you need to do is

1) leave a comment/question for Gini or any of the characters, and
2) leave me a way to contact you should you win (e-mail address, Twitter handle, etc.)

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 22 December 2011!

Good luck!

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