Gini Koch writes novels, novellas, novelettes, and short stories under a variety of pen names. Her works include science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, space opera, urban fantasy, mystery, suspense, romantic suspense, weird west, and more. According to her website, “if it’s a genre, she writes it.” She’s also interested in pop culture, comics, and animation. Her debut novel, Touched by An Alien, was one of Booklist’s Top 10 adult SF/F novels of 2010.
Daily Dragon (DD): What inspired your Alien series?
Gini Koch (GK): I had a dream, and thought I’d write a short, noirish horror story. Instead, that turned into a fun, snarky science fiction novel with a lot of action, romance, and humor. I’m grateful for the dream, and even more grateful that, when the story instantly turned itself into something that I hadn’t planned, I let it ride and went with it.
DD: What was your first published fiction, and how did that come about?
GK: My first paid sales were humor shorts, in, I think, 2007 and 2008 (it’s been a minute), and they came about because I had a friend constantly nagging me to “write funny” and, when I finally did, she was proven to be correct (and she never lets me forget that). My first short story sale was “The Last Day on Earth” writing as Anita Ensal, which was published in the Book of Exodi from Eposic in 2009. Touched by an Alien came out in April 2010.
DD: What is the Alien Collective Depot, and what inspired it?
GK: The Depot is where fans can buy Alien and other series merchandise if they so choose. I’d gotten a lot of requests for this early on, so that was all fan-driven.
DD: You write under several pen names. Please tell us about the series you write under each and why you decided to use different names.
GK: I use different pen names because my voice changes. As Gini Koch (The Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series, The Necropolis Enforcement Files series, the Martian Alliance series) and G.J. Koch (the Alexander Outland series) I have to be funny.
But being funny is hard work and sometimes a girl just wants to kill things without having to make her readers laugh within the next chapter. So, as Anita Ensal (the Belters series, The Neighborhood series, short stories) I can write SF/F with a different bent. As Jemma Chase (The Disciple and Other Stories of the Paranormal) I can write paranormal that, unlike the Necropolis Enforcement Files, isn’t required to be hilarious. As J.C. Koch I write short horror pieces for a variety of great anthologies. And as A.E. Stanton I write Weird West, far future dystopian SF in an Old West setting (The New West series), and novels set in the Old West (The Legend of Belladonna series).
I have other pen names that aren’t published…so far. 😀 It’s a controlled form of schizophrenia and I make it work for me.
DD: You’ve also written a humor collection, Random Musings From the Funny Girl, or How To Make the Most of Multiple Personality Disorder. What inspired you to write this book?
GK: Funny and weird stuff happens to me all the time. All. The. Time. And I turn it into funny stories to tell people and then I turn those stories into humorous essays. I say it all the time, too, but people don’t believe me—every story in that book, bar a small, select few, is true.
DD: Please tell us about your interest in comic books. Which ones do you particularly enjoy?
GK: I’ve been a comics geek girl for a long time. I wasn’t allowed to buy them when I was young, so while my mother or grandmother were shopping in the market, I stood at the comics rack and raced through as many as I could. The Fantastic Four were my first love because, in my reasonably small town, they were the only comics I saw that had a female lead.
As I grew older I got hooked big time on the X-Men, which remains my favorite. I added on every Marvel hero/team that crossed into X-Men territory, meaning I got hooked on Captain America, Daredevil, and so many more.
Due to the Batman TV show, I was also a Batman fan from a young age, and I read most of the Bat titles for a while. I’m particularly fond of Nightwing.
DD: How did you decide to write about space pirates? Why pirates?
GK: Because that’s what the name—Alexander Napoleon Outland—said to me, that he was a fun space pirate living in the far future and I should write his adventures. I rarely to never question the voices in my head, I just write the stories they want me to share. Some of my fans don’t agree and think the Alien series is my funniest, but I think Alexander Outland: Space Pirate is, so far, the funniest thing I’ve ever written.
DD: What sorts of animation interests you? Is there any variety you don’t like?
GK: I have also loved animation since I was little, all kinds, really. When I was young they were live-action comic books in my mind. There are some artist’s styles I don’t care for, and plenty of animated shows that aren’t my cuppa, but I go from classic Disney and Pixar to the early anime we got in the U.S. (Speed Racer, Gigantor, Kimba the White Lion) to Akira, to Robotech and Voltron, to Cowboy Bebop, to WB/DC and Marvel, to Mortal Kombat… and more. Most animation I’ll give at least a shot to. I just love the form and I love what can be done with the form. To me, animation is as believable as live action if it’s done well.
DD: Is it true that you’re interested in archery? If so, who’s your favorite fictional archer?
GK: I learned archery in junior high and I was quite good at it. Haven’t picked up a bow and arrow in ages, but I still think it’s an exceedingly cool weapon/sport. My favorite archer is Oliver Queen of TV fame, mostly because of those salmon bar exercises. But I adore Jeremy Renner’s take on Hawkeye, too.
DD: What’s a good starting point for someone interested in exploring your work?
GK: Touched by an Alien. That’s the book that gave me a career, and the first in a currently 16 books and going to 20 series. For those that don’t like to laugh, I have a new release coming out later in September (and it’s available as an early release buying from me personally – Booth 2125 in the Mart – because the publisher got me early release copies for Dragon Con) by me writing as A.E. Stanton, The Dawning of the New West, which collects the first three instalments of my New West series in one volume.
For more information about Gini and her work, check out these sites:
Facebook Fan Pages: Hairspray & Rock ‘n’ Roll (https://www.facebook.com/GiniKochAuthor/), Author of the Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt Series (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063357780579)