Gini Koch is the author of the funny and wonderfully exciting Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series about Kitty and her adventures with the aliens from Alpha Centauri. In English the sixth part of the series, „Alien vs. Alien“, will be out in December.

Thank you for taking part in this interview.

Thanks for having me!

How did you start with the Sci-Fi genre? Has that always been your favorite one?

You know, I really didn’t start out in science fiction. From a reading standpoint I started with mysteries, and from a writing standpoint I started with novels set in the American Old West. However, it just seems that most of the time, when I write, the story comes out in science fiction, fantasy, or urban paranormal. Not all the time, but quite a bit of it. So, you know, I go with what works.

Why Aliens? Did you love „Men in Black“ so much?

Actually, I did and do love “Men in Black”, and “Galaxy Quest”, and many others. As for why aliens, when I was writing “Touched by an Alien”, literally the characters were telling me what was going on. So, I found out that most of the cast were aliens when Kitty found out. The aliens are aliens because, um, that’s what they are, not because I chose to have them be aliens.

It’s a party in my mind, but I make it work for me.

Is the humor in your books planned or is that an intrinsic part of yourself that you just can’t turn off? 😉

Well, I’m a funny girl naturally. It helps to actually BE funny when you’re trying to write humorous anything. But as for the humor in the books, some of what I write is funny, and some of what I write is not. “Touched by an Alien” came out funny, and so the entire Alien series will be funny. Humor is much harder to do and do well than drama. The adage that dying is easy but comedy is hard is very, very true. However, when it’s your “thing” you go with it, and apparently I’m the Funny Girl, so I’m sticking with it. (But this explains in part why, the moment I’m done with a Gini Koch book, I take time to write a horror short as J.C. Koch. ‘Cause sometimes you need horrible things to kill people in terrible ways without once cracking a joke to get your humor mojo back. Or maybe that’s just me.)

How did you come up with the hairspray which seems to be a very effective way to get rid of aliens?

I wish I had a cool answer, I truly do. “Touched by an Alien” has been out since 2010 and my answer is still the same: It’s what was in Kitty’s purse and made sense at the time. LOL I’m a very linear and organic writer, so I tend not to over think what comes out first draft, and then I refine it and ensure that it makes sense. So, I’ll put it down to my deep comprehension of what goes into beauty products and leave it at that.

Music is an integral part of your novels. Do you listen to the soundtracks while you’re working? Do you like the same music as Kitty?

I like more music than Kitty likes, and that’s saying a lot. Yes, I do listen to the soundtracks, but I also have other music interspersed, much of which doesn’t make the books for a variety of reasons – lack of easy-to-understand titles that fit into the right scenes being the biggest. But also, many times the lyrics are what’s driving my writing, but they don’t “fit” the book or the scene – they just work for me.

For instance, my go-to band for this series, the band I put on anytime, anywhere and am instantly in this world, is not the band everyone would think it is (Aerosmith), but is in reality Smash Mouth. But they’re never name-checked in the books because the titles of their songs aren’t “right” with most of what’s going on. But I love them. I have this series because of their inspiration.

Talking about the same taste in music – how much of Kitty is in you and vice-versa?

Oh, all of Kitty’s in me. So is all of Martini. So are all of the villains. I’m the God, the Creator, the author – they’re ALL from out of my mind. Every character is in me and therefore has a part of me in them.

How do you do your research for the scientific details and the military stuff?

As little as possible. LOL I use the internet, mostly, though I have a lot of books, as many authors do, on subjects as wide-ranging as the Civil War to how to kill people in many different ways. Thanks to the internet, military information is very easy to look up, and so is most everything else.

Most of my research, honestly, falls into location research – because almost every location in the books is a real place whose streets and buildings and such can be confirmed or denied — and then take what strikes me and use that in the stories. For example, when I was looking up the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for “Alien Tango”, I discovered their alligator preserve and how proud they are of it. That tidbit was filed away and then, when the gang was trapped, it made sense for Kitty to ask for Martini and the other guys to go get some ‘gators. (Well, it made sense to me and Kitty, and if we’re happy about it, that’s good enough for me.)

If you had to put Kitty in a different genre – how would that look like and which genre would be your favorite?

I’d put her into mysteries, my first love, and it’d look like Kitty, only without the science fiction trappings. She and Chuckie and Amy and others would undoubtedly be solving crimes. The down side to this scenario is that there would be no Martini, Christopher, White, Lorraine, Claudia, etc. And, worst of all, no Poofs. So, let’s keep Kitty right where she is.

I have had some readers say that Victoria Wolfe, the main character in The Night Beat (Book 1 of my Necropolis Enforcement series), is similar to Kitty, and she probably is. The smart-mouthed, gather-people-in-your-wake-and-hold-onto-them, quick-witted stuff is pretty natural to me. Shocking no one, I have sarcasm down to an art form, collect friends in any and all walks of life, and have been known to figure things out quickly. So I guess you could say I put Kitty into another book already – only Victoria’s a werewolf and a cop and more, and beyond some trappings, I don’t think she’s anything like Kitty at all. Though I think both characters would get along just fine with each other.

What are you reading in your spare time?

What is this “spare time” of which you speak? I have no knowledge of it. I have three novels due by the end of this calendar year – I have time to write and occasionally sleep, and that’s all. I have books I’m longing to read (The Shard Axe by Marsheila Rockwell and the latest in Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, to name only two), but there’s nothing I’m reading right now, other than Book of Poisons, and that’s for research.

Thank you very much for participating in the interview! 🙂

Thanks again for having me, this was a fun one!