I have a teensy-weensy obsession with Gini Koch and her space opera series, 'Katherine "Kitty" Katt'. Sexy alien men in Armani, thumping Metallica and bad-guys from outer-space! BOOYAH!
I was obsessed from the get-go with 'Touched by an Alien' and I am excruciatingly excited for 'Alien in the Family'. Koch's third book comes out on April 5th ... and I was lucky enough to pick her brain about the upcoming book (and even squeeze an excerpt out of her!)
So without further ado, I give you GINI KOCH! Woo-Hoo!
Q: ‘Alien in the Family’ is the third book in the ‘Kitty Katt’ series. Can you give us a little run-down on this new installment?
Planning any wedding is hard enough, but Katherine “Kitty” Katt and Jeff Martini have a lot more to worry about than seating arrangements, because multiple interstellar invasions, Alpha Team in mortal peril, and inter-alien conspiracies are all on the guest list -- and the gifts they’ve brought explode.Kitty and Martini should be happily finalizing their wedding plans. Kitty’s biggest worries should be about winning over Martini’s mother, finding the right dress, and lining up her bridesmaids. But protecting the Earth from assorted alien threats seems to keep getting in the way.The discovery that Martini is actually a member of the Alpha Centaurion Royal Family carries additional news -- emissaries are on their way to see if Kitty’s royal bride material. And they’re not the only things coming from the Alpha Centaurion system.Amazonian assassins, spies, alien beasties, shape-shifters, and representatives from the Planetary Council, combined with a tabloid reporter who’s a little too on the mark, create a deadly situation for Kitty and the rest of Alpha Team. When the assassins strike far too close to home for anyone’s comfort, Kitty realizes it’s going to come down to more than flowers -- she’s going to have to face an entire planetary consciousness and dethrone a monarch in order to make it to the church on time.
Kitty’s handling wedding plans exactly how you’d expect -- haphazardly and without any real plan that anyone else would follow. Martini’s not dealing well with the fact that, now that the cat’s out of the bag, Chuckie has absolutely no qualms about calling Kitty into meetings whenever necessary. The families are complaining that they haven’t met each other yet. And someone out there really doesn’t like Kitty, making the folks who didn’t like her in “Alien Tango” seem like amateurs.
All the old characters are back, and there are a lot of new ones. Some of my favorite secondary supporting characters in the series are in this book. Not saying that I don’t love all my characters, ‘cause I do, even the villains, but there are some in “Alien in the Family” that are just so much fun to write that they’re really up there for me on the favorites list.
Q: Can we have a little teaser for what’s to come in “Alien in the Family”?
The shockwaves hit and the sky lit up. Animas, Hatchet and Chiricahua Peaks formed a very shallow triangle in the southern parts of Arizona and New Mexico. But this area was a hotbed of alien activity -- most landings happened here, both intentional and of the crash landing kind. No one knew why. I just figured aliens were attracted to mountainous desert areas. Martini said they were attracted to me, but I didn’t really believe him.If the parasitic super-beings the A-Cs had originally been sent to Earth to deal with kept to this area, too, our lives would be a lot simpler. Sadly, they landed all over the world, but still seemed to prefer the United States in terms of overall percentage of attacks. The U.S. was the immigration country of choice even for alien jellyfish things that turned humans into scary monsters. It made you proud, really.But what we were seeing didn’t resemble a parasite or a super-being in any way. The lights were a bizarre pattern, but we were high enough up that we could see them clearly. Geometric shapes, interesting and different, but not Earthly. And yet, they were vaguely familiar.Walkies were crackling. “Jeff, what do you see?” Christopher was shouting.“Same as you, I’d bet,” Martini said.“Is Kitty okay? I can’t raise her!” This from Tim.“She’s fine, Jeff’s got one hand, Reynolds has the other,” Reader replied.“Nice,” Jerry said sarcastically. “And thanks to the C.I.A. for the head’s up on this one.”“You all okay?” Martini asked, his voice crisp, annoyed, and all-business. He went into Commander-mode a lot around Chuckie, but always when any of us were in real or perceived danger.Everyone was confirmed to be still standing on terra firma and seeing a pretty laser light show. “All we need is Pink Floyd playing in the background.”“You’ve got it on your iPod, I’m sure,” Chuckie said. “You have everything.”“True.” Chuckie did know me very well. Martini hated that, as well.
Q: In ‘Alien Tango’ fans were introduced to Chuckie, Kitty’s oldest (and previously platonic) best friend . . . can fans assume that Martini won’t appreciate this new man in Kitty’s life?
Not at all. Not only is Martini the jealous type, but because he’s an empath, he’s aware of how Kitty feels about Chuckie. Things Kitty is clueless about, including her own emotions, Martini is not, and, of course, he can read Chuckie’s emotions clearly. Chuckie’s also brilliant and rich, meaning, in Martini’s mind, he’s got nothing special that makes him better than Chuckie. Martini, while an amazing man, is also not really aware of how amazing he is. He’s spent most of his life with a family “keeping him humble for his own good”, and Christopher was more popular with the ladies when they were younger. Kitty’s also intensely proud and protective of Chuckie, making it harder for Martini in some ways. But, you know, part of what makes novels novels is that characters have to change and grow, even if it means taking baby steps. Besides, I like seeing Martini have to work for it.
Q: The character of Christopher has quite the following amongst your fans. I must admit, I have a bit of a soft-spot for him as ‘the one who didn’t get the girl’. Do you have any plans to mate Christopher up with someone? A lucky human or smoking-hot A-C, perhaps?
Yes, Christopher will score a love connection, but I will not say when or who or what book, because I like to live spoiler free. I can say that there’s a lot coming for Christopher in the future, and not just scoring a chick.
While every character has potential to pair up with someone, and the books are science fiction romance, making a love connection isn’t the main priority for most of the main and major supporting characters -- saving the world is. If they happen to find that special someone along the way, booyah!, but it’s not any of their driving forces. Love finds them, basically, they aren’t searching for it, beyond the hopeful “one day my prince will come” sort of thing.
Christopher, btw, having lost his mother and Lissa to death and Kitty to Martini, is of the mindset that he’s going to be single permanently. So he’s really not looking for love in all or any of the right or wrong places.
Q: Your secondary characters are wonderful and plentiful. Gower, Reader, Lorraine and Claudia, not to mention the newbie characters like Kevin and ‘ACE’. Do you have any plans to write spin-off books or short stories for any of these characters?
At this point, no spin-offs are planned. Not saying they can’t happen somewhere in the future, but they’re something that I’d be discussing with my editor and we’d be looking at a lot of things, not only if I actually want to write a spin-off, but is it telling a story separately enough that it would be interesting and exciting for readers.
Right now, I could do an Angela prequel story much more easily than I could do a current supporting characters concurrent story. I am considering who else I could focus on as a spin off, but right now, no one’s doing anything “away” from Kitty enough to be compelling. Depending on how things go in later books, and by later, I mean after Book 6, I could see a possible spin off, but again, it’s something my editor and I haven’t really discussed at this time.
Bottom line: The better the books sell, the more leeway an author has to react to fan requests like spin-offs, one-offs, novellas outside the main storylines, and so on.
Q: Okay, be honest. What are you bribing Daniel Dos Santos with to get him churning out such AWESOME covers for your books?
Awesome is just what Dan does, no bribery involved. He reads the books in full before he does the covers. I think that’s part of why they’re so great -- he’s really capturing the essence of each book, because he’s read each book and so can bring everything into play. (Yes, I won the cover artist lottery, and no, I didn’t bribe anyone to do it, either.)
Q: Music plays a big role in all of your books . . .. especially when it comes to pumping Kitty up for some major alien ass-whooping! Can you tell us what sort of play list we can expect from ‘Alien in the Family’?
Lots of Aerosmith, some Elton John, Billy Idol, the Ramones, some softer rock choices, AC/DC. Oh, and a surprise, live musical guest. (Just because I live spoiler free does not mean I live teaser free.)
Q: DAW have bought book #5 and #6 of the “Katherine ‘Kitty’ Katt” series (which is awesome and well-deserved!). Are there any plans for beyond #6?
I hope so. It all depends on how the books do. I’m mapped out (as much as I map) through Book 12, which my editor has, and I can see through Book 16 at this time. Basically, when I’m writing one book, I can see the next several forming in my mind. As for where I’d end the series by choice (presuming and hoping the series sells well enough for DAW to continue buying books), I’m not sure yet. There’s a wealth of options for Kitty and Company to deal with, especially where I know they’re heading, and I love the characters. So, my guess is that the characters will tell me when they’re tired of the daily grind.
Kitty, btw, shares that she doesn’t intend to get boring or less awesome or stop listening to rock music, so she feels she’ll be rocking in the free world for a long time to come.