GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ *Interview with author Gini Koch* | I Smell Sheep

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

*Interview with author Gini Koch*

Amber and I recently got the chance to interview Sci-Fi Princess Gini Koch, Author of Touched by an Alien. We both love her work and jumped all over the chance to pick her brain for a while. Grab your popcorn and drinks sit back and enjoy!

Arizona desert. Undisclosed location. 2 Sheep and 1 Alien meet.

Katie: We know you dreamed about Touched by an Alien and then created the story, but what part of the story did you specifically dream about?

The opening sequence, basically the courthouse scene, including Martini arriving -- in complete detail, though not what he looked like, nor any names, etc. In the dream I only saw his back. The dream was very dark, almost noir-ish. Obviously, when I wrote it, it came out differently, but the entire superbeing formation and everything else about that scene was in the dream.

Amber: Are any of the characters in your books, the HOT men in particular lol, inspired by anyone in your life?

If yes, are any of them single???

LOL! In this particular case, no. They all came out of my head. There’s no one out there who looks exactly like Martini, or Reader, etc., because I can “see” them in my mind, and they’re themselves, essentially. I can come up with actors (or models) who could play them in a movie or on TV, but there’s no one these characters were specifically based on.

Amber: Can you tell us who the actors or models are? I’d love to know if the image I have in my head of Martini matches up. Lol

Well, see, that’s sort of the problem. No one out there matches up to the characters, as I see them in my mind. I also sort of hate to list actors, because who *I* think could play Martini isn’t always who the reader is thinking of when they read the book. And I prefer to have the readers keep whatever images they create in their minds than shove them down a particular path. (Because whoever you “see” in your heads is right, because, um, well, that’s who YOU see, so that’s who’s right for YOU.)

That said, right now, if I had to cast someone to come close, the two characters I have the easiest time matching to an actor at this time are Reader and Tim. Reader could/should be played by Matt Bomer (of White Collar) and Tim could/should be played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (of Inception, 3rd Rock from the Sun, etc.). But that’s me fitting an actor to the character, not the character to an actor.

Katie: I've heard from a little birdie about a possible story on how to kill super heroes, is this something we can look forward to in the future?

Well, that was essentially the dark, short, horror story I’d intended to write when Kitty and the rest of the gang took over. I might still do the short story, but it’s not at the top of the list right now -- galley edits on “Alien Tango” and finalizing edits on “Alien in the Family” are what’s on the docket.

Amber: What was your favorite book or series to read when you were a kid? (Mine was Amelia Bedilia)

Sherlock Holmes. I read the complete Sherlock Holmes at least 8 times when I was a kid. I was also into (dating myself alert!): The Happy Hollisters, Trixie Belden, The Three Investigators, and Nancy Drew, as well as Ellery Queen‘s Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock Presents; moved from one to the next as I got a little older. All were mystery series. Mysteries were my first reading love, basically.

I was also hugely into O. Henry (and still am) and read his complete works at least 8 times growing up, too.

I didn’t get into SF/F until I was an older teenager/early 20-something.

Amber: If mystery was your favorite genre why did you choose to write Sci-fi? Does it have to do with the dream you had about the book?

Yes. I think it’s funny that people assume I “choose” what I’m writing about. The stories and the characters choose me. The ideas come on a very regular basis, the ones who scream and whine the loudest get written. The ones who scream and whine the loudest and the longest get finished, edited, finalized, and sent to my agent. Basically, the Alien gang were extremely persuasive.

BTW, mystery isn’t my favorite genre. I don’t HAVE a favorite genre. I like them all, for the most part. I have some I read far less than others, but mystery isn’t my be-all, end-all any more. Nothing is, other than maybe humor. Though, if you notice, there is a mystery or two in “Touched by an Alien”. There’s usually a mystery sub-plot in any novel I write. I do it naturally, and it’s not the main focus of this story in any way, but it’s there, and that’s because mysteries were my foundation.

Katie: In Touched by an Alien there is a very um "intense" elevator ride, or two, did you write these scenes based on any personal experience?

*cough* I’m not at liberty to say. Lawyers are so picky, don’t you find?

Amber: What is the most spontaneous thing you have ever done?

Wow. Gotta think on that one. You mean other than sex in an elevator? Huh…

Went to Santa Barbara with a baby and nothing more than 1 bottle and 2 diapers and no credit card. (Never, ever, be that spontaneous, kids. Unless you live to find markets on a late Sunday afternoon. In a panic. When they aren’t open past 5pm.)

I don’t do spontaneous, partly because I think very fast and so tend to already have weighed the pros and cons before I take action or say, “Sure, let’s go to Vegas over Thanksgiving Weekend with no reservations!” Did that one, too, with my cousin. We had a great time. We got the last room in the entire city and only through connections, but we couldn’t stop winning and came home with more money than we’d left with, so it all worked out.

Hmmm…maybe I should be spontaneous more often…lemme think about it…

Katie: How did you come up with Airport restrooms as travel portal doorways? We love random, was this just a random "why the heck not" type of thing?

No. The characters told me how they transported. Honestly, though, if you think about it, it makes a certain amount of sense. People go in and out of airports, most people aren’t looking at the other people in a restroom, there are stalls with doors which ensures privacy, etc.

Amber: If there was one moment in your life that you could relive, which would it be?

Hmmm. There are a few. I’m really suspicious of the whole “do over” kind of reliving, though, mostly because I love my husband, child and life, and any do-over from the past could mean I don’t get them.

If there was one I’d like to relive to just enjoy fully, probably the first phone call from my agent, when she said she loved “Touched by an Alien” and wanted to represent me. I didn’t scream and jump up and down nearly enough (I went for a calm, cool, professional reaction, to the point where my agent asked if I actually WAS excited) and I’d like to do that all over again.

Katie: What's something (or someone) that impacted you as a child that led you to being the person you are today? Was there one event or a sequence?

Oh, there were so many. Every event, really, shapes you into the person you are. There isn’t one thing I can point to and say, “This one incident is the reason I’m the way I am.” Every incident in my life, and my reactions to them, are the reason I’m the person I am. Though my maternal grandmother was definitely the reason I’m a decent human being and not a complete head case.

Amber: Is there a particular author that inspired you to start writing?

How did they inspire you to start writing?

Truthfully? No, probably not. There are authors I love, respect, admire and, honestly, loathe, but none of them were what made me start writing. The voices in my head made me start writing. My characters finally demanded life so loudly that I had to give in.

Katie: You mention in your books and life that music is a huge part of what makes you tick, Aerosmith being at the top of your music list, but are you musically inclined?

I can sing, and I did learn how to play piano and guitar long, long ago, and used to be able to read music. I cannot play either any more, and was never very good at them anyway, and the musical notes look like so many pretty pictures these days. I do have rhythm, though, and am quite a good dancer.

Katie: can we get a little dance demonstration? Its just us ladies here.

Sure, though I prefer dancing for men -- they’re usually more appreciative of my style. *does the dirty boogie*

Amber: We know you will be attending the upcoming World Fantasy Con, can you tell us a little more about that?

Sure. World Fantasy Con is the big industry con for the Fantasy genre. Science fiction and horror get in there, too, but fantasy is the main focus (as opposed to World Science Fiction Con, or WorldCon as it’s more commonly called, which is more SF focused). I enjoy going to this con because it’s different from most of the others I attend -- it’s not a fan con, or a learning con…it’s a business con and so far the only one like it I go to, so I really love it. Everyone there is networking, wheeling and dealing, catching up with old friends, and so on. It’s really fun and it’s really cool to be standing at the bar next to my heroes and getting to talk shop, as it were. It’s also the con where I normally get to see my editor, and I get to hang out with my agent and a lot of other industry friends I have, in a more relaxed way than we get to at fan or writing cons.

Katie: We are all about Marvel at I Smell Sheep, if you could be any Marvel character who would you be and why?

Whoever’s getting to bang Wolverine. Because then I’d be banging Wolverine.

*Amber and Katie simultaneously agree: Amen Sister!*

I knew I liked you girls.

Otherwise, I think part of why I’m a writer is I’ve never been an “Oh, I want to be HER” kind of person. I’m an “Oh, I want to be in this MYSELF” kind of person. I’d love to create my own Marvel Superhero, and that would be the character I’d want to be.

I actually have several superhero characters I’ve played around with for a few years, that aren’t a part of my Alien series in any way, in case any comics companies are reading this.

Amber: What is your favorite letter of the alphabet? Why?

Ex. Mine is ‘P’. It names all my favorite foods like pasta, potatoes, pizza, poultry, peanut butter and Oreos, etc. lol

I have real challenges with most of the ‘favorite’ questions, ‘cause I tend to have more than one, and letters of the alphabet would fall into this category. I’m a writer -- I love ALL the letters. If forced to pick, the letter “V” because that’s what my daughter’s name starts with.

Katie: So I have noticed in your books Coke is the drink of choice; to once and for all settle the Coke/Pepsi debate between Amber and I which one do you choose?

There’s a debate? One of you likes that swill they put into Pepsi cans? Really? Wow, I guess it really does take all kinds to build a village, or something like that.

Coca-Cola ALL THE WAY. The only Pepsi product I can stand is Mt. Dew. Dr Pepper straddles that weird line where it’s with the Coke products AND with the Pepsi products, and I do love Dr Pepper as well. But when it comes to colas, there is one king, and all the others aren’t worth my time. The only cola I’ll drink is Coca-Cola.

Oh, and the Mexican Coke in glass bottles, aka Crack Coke, is the greatest drink IN THE WORLD and I guard my stash of it more carefully than my jewelry.

And I loved the Coke-Espresso combo, Coke Black, they had for a while. It was seriously like drinking crack and cost the same. But I LOVED it and am almost thankful it’s not available any more -- my bank account couldn’t handle that addiction. (But if the Coca-Cola Company has some of that elixir of so bad it’s goodness available, um, I pimp your products in my books and a little Coke Black wouldn’t be looked at as a bribe but more of a thank you for years of Coca-Cola product addiction.)

Geez…I just yakked about Coke for like 20 minutes. Can we say “passionate” (aka “addicted”), boys and girls? I knew we could…

Katie: Ok time for some rapid-fire questions, don't think just answer…clear your mind…and GO!

I never clear my mind. For me, that’s literally asking the impossible. But, I can do rapid-fire…

Katie: Coffee or Tea


Katie: Shower or Bath

Shower at home, bath at hotels

Katie: Baked or Fried

Baked (don’t really care for fried foods)

Katie: Cereal or Oatmeal


Katie: Cake or Pie

Cake, preferably chocolate or marble with vanilla butter cream frosting

Katie: True Blood or Twilight


Katie*-hey hey hey…not a choice…but I guess we'll let it slide lol

Hey, that’s my answer, and I’m sticking with it. Besides, I learned a long time ago -- just because someone only offers you two choices doesn’t mean you have to pick one, the other, or either. Make your own choice and get down with your bad self, that’s MY motto.

Amber: Dog or Cat

Both, and horses, too (but, if FORCED to pick, cats)

Amber*-I knew I loved you for a reason! lol. My little man (Deke) is the cutest kitty in the world!… If you couldn’t tell I’m slightly obsessed about him.

Oh, I worship, WORSHIP, He Who Rules All (aka Mr. Fluffikins, aka my male cat). But I love my other babies, too. Basically, if it has fur and four paws, or if I can ride it, I’m probably gonna at least like it.

Amber: Crest or Colgate

Colgate, ‘cause my dentist insists

Amber*-I gave in to the pressure too! I’m not sure why since Crest has much better flavors. lol

Because we live in fear of making the dentist, and the DRILL, angry.

Amber: Boxers or briefs

FINALLY! ‘THE’ QUESTION! FINALLY! I’ve been waiting since my first interview for someone to ask me this! And, my answer is:

Thong or Commando

Amber*-Uhh….are we talking about men or women here? lol. But so EXCITED that we got the question right! I told you we’re geniuses (and if I didn’t than it was definitely implied!)! Haha

I was talking about me. For men, I like boxer-briefs. Or commando. Or, depending on the man, a thong. So I guess I was answering for both. LOL

Amber: Chevy or Ford

Lexus (used to be a Chevy girl, but now I’d have to pick Ford ‘cause they didn’t take the bailout and after owning a Cadillac, Chevy’s dead to me)

Amber: Blonde or Brunette


Amber*-I’d ask Pepsi or Coke but everyone knows PEPSI is the winner! ;)

Coke or nothing, babe (So, Amber’s the weirdo of the team. Got it.)

Katie*laughing so hard she cant breathe*

Amber: I am not weird! I simply have a more developed pallet than you.. *Ahem* Ladies…. lol.

I hate lemon (Pepsi’s “secret ingredient”) and love cinnamon (Coke’s “secret ingredient”) so it’s BECAUSE my palet is developed and sensitive that I cannot stand Pepsi and its products (other than the Dew)

Amber: Rain or sunshine


Amber: East coast or West coast

I’m a California girl who now lives in the Arizona desert…what’s this East Coast you all speak of? Can’t be nearly as nice as living on the WEST COAST, baby!

Katie: This has been an honor Gini and a ton of fun for us, you're better then we could have imagined, thank you on behalf of I Smell Sheep and all your fans.

Thanks, you guys! This was a lot of fun. I’d make a crack about how clearly you could imagine quite a bit, but I’ll just save the brainpower it would take and let it pass on by and merely say I had a blaaaaaaast.

*Touched by an Alien is out now and can be found at a bookstore near you.

Alien Tango releases December 7, 2010 and we recommend you pre-order a copy today!

While Amber and I fight over who is going to marry Gini (her husband just better deal with it) lets move on to the giveaway.

One lucky winner will get a fabulous Sheeped by an Alien T-Shirt. In the comments below leave two things to be automatically entered to win.

1. Your email address

2. When kicking Alien butt what song would you rock out to?

Contest ends Sunday October 3rd at Midnight.

Good luck everyone!


  1. Not eligible to win but I definitely wanted to post my song choice.
    I would kick Alien butt rockin it to some Rage Against the Machine. :) Killing in the Name comes to mind, but Bulls on Parade or Testify would work too.

    Good Luck everyone

  2. I'm not eligable to win either, but I had to contribute my alien but kicking music... especially after visualizing and drawing those goopy little things!

    The first song that came to mind was: "Prodigy - Smack my Bitch Up" in reference to me smacking these aliens around.

    A more politically correct 2nd choice would be "Crystal Method - Keep Hope Alive" which starts out kinda slow but builds up a good butt-kicking crecendo after about 40 seconds.

  3. Great interview! And I'm on Team Coke as well.

    As for song......
    Bloodsport by Skold Vs KMFDM
    Body Count by Funker Vogt


  4. ps: Katie: now it's my time to congratulate you on winning the Sparks giveaway :-p

  5. I love this interview! I love that the characters really did make choices like the bathroom stalls! I miss Martini and can't wait for Alien Tango this December.
    I seriously hope I win the T-shirt even if that makes me a greedy stalker.
    Song? Tell 'Em by Sleigh Bells or Smack My Bitch Up by Prodigy
    amberscottbooks at gmail dot com

  6. Team Coke all the way! LOL (I knew I loved my McPig!)

    Needless to say, my Fight the Fuglies soundtrack is pretty much in the book. Future butt kicking choices will be in...wait for it...the future books. (I know, who could've seen that coming? LOL) But I want a t-shirt anyway! *whines*

    BTW, the hubs is all over everyone else's song choices. I think he's sick of hearing mine over and over and over again.

    Amber, the characters make all their own decisions. I merely report them. LOL And remember -- the Alien Tango ARC giveaway starts Friday. You, Sully and Katie have all been lucky before, so who's to say y'all won't be lucky again?

  7. Hello ya'll. You KNEW I would be by.

    Kick butt song?
    "Bodies" by Drowning Pool.
    Or "Break Stuff" by Limp Bizkit.

    And seriously Coke? Gini, dude there is no way you are getting Grasshopper now, he is total Pepsi boy, the only Coke he likes is Diet.

    And commando or thong makes perfect sense to me.

  8. Coke baby Coke!

    Ok get a shirt too! Gini gets whatever she wants....spoiled.

  9. *sees Gini's husband in a whole new light now* commando or thong *snicker* along with his knee high black socks and shorts. *rolling on the floor dying of laughter* I can't breathe. Gini your rapid fire answers should be illegal!!!

    Let's see, I'd kick alien butt to the old "I'd like to buy the world a Coke" jingle


    "We Are the World"

    Cuz really, that'd just be HILARIOUS!!!

    I want a shirt! I want to be spoiled! :D

  10. Oh man! What an awesome interview! Love the Q and A's, ladies!

    I used to agree with Pepsi, but not so much anymore. And sorry, but no Coke either. I'll stick with the Dr. (Pepper, that is), if I have to choose one. (Course, I really prefer it with spiced rum!)

    Butt kicking tunes...hmmmm...Dancin With Myself by Billy Idol. Cuz I'm just good that way! LOL Or I F***ing Hate You by Godsmack. That would work, too.

    Can't wait for Alien Tango!

  11. @Lily - well, for GRASSHOPPER I would stock the crap, I mean Pepsi. But only for him.

    @Katie - spoiled is good. I like spoiled. Make it so. (SO, if I'm getting a t-shirt...WHERE IS IT? LOL)

    @Lisa - dude, I'm just ignoring you, really. *makes note to put "We Are the World" into future Alien book in a completely inappropriate place*

    @Lanae - well, I love Dr Pepper, too, so it's all good.

    Everyone's songs are so great, though the hubs says that Lisa's choices, like her comments, should be ignored... ;-D

  12. @McPig--wait what? I won something? how do I find out?

  13. Gini reminds me of the children's book: If you give a Mouse a cookie.

    LOL but what a cute mouse. ;) Let the hubs know that 2 more sheep have been added to the Alien fam. He's gotta deal with us. :)

    Keep the comments coming folks!

  14. Fun and fantastic fast paced interview! Gini sounds like a lot of fun! Having been a Sherlock Holmes fan as a kid also.....I can totally relate!

    Again, I can't qualify to win T-Shirt (can you post a picture of it BTW?) Just would love to know what I'm missing!

    My fav alien kick butt music choice: "Barracuda" by Heart.... fast paced, rockin', great guitar "twangs" for emphasizing contact with alien butts!

    Mom (Katie's)

  15. And Katie's Mom (like Stacy's Mom, only cooler) comes up with a song I TOTALLY agree needs to be in one of the Alien books while they kick butt! Not that the other choices aren't good and all, but I really have to agree on "Barracuda"! *races off to play Heart for the rest of the afternoon*

    Oh, and Katie? The hubs says that he's alright with sheep. So long as you eat the weeds and keep the grass trimmed, you're good to stay. ;-D

  16. Hi, great interview.

    When kicking alien butt I would definitely rock out to the following 3 songs:
    "Nugget" by Cake, "Know Your Enemy" by Green Day and "Move Bitch" by Ludacris.

  17. Ah man, just realized I didn't include my email. Got to tangled up picturing those Kitty and those HOT guys kicking some fugly butt!

    Lovin the songs!

    ftatman5 at yahoo dot com

  18. @Katie: See! Now you understand why I was so confused a while ago!?
    In case you're still searching - supernatural underground!

    @Gini: Lucky person, to get a sheep-shirt!

  19. Interviewers were great. The questions were intelligent and I enjoyed it very much.
    My song choice is Sting: I'll be watching you

    PS- I am Katie's Step Mom

  20. Muwahahaha Gini can try to ignore me all she wants but I still say "We Are the World" is totally a kick butt song to do some alien butt kicking.

    Or perhaps,

    "Accidentally In Love" by The Counting Crows. *snicker*

  21. Awesome interview folks, congrats!

    BTW, Mexican Coca Cola *is* confirmed to be amazing. :)

  22. Hahaha - this interview was amazing! Love the questions and answers :) Team Diet Coke all the way!!!

    song: Bodies by Drowning Pool, definitely!

    bookaddictpatti at cox dot net

  23. I think Martini should rip off his pants during the next Fuglie fight so we can see for ourselves what the undie choice will be - I vote commando! I am also all about the Dr. (Pepper)...even thought it's techincally a Pepsi product, that shouldn't be held against me.
    As for my song choice - "Dirty Deeds" by AC/DC, don't know why but that song makes Alien ass-kicking seem all kinds of fun!

  24. Love all the musical suggestions, and Kelly, I'm with you on the AC/DC one. I know there's AC/DC in Book 3, but I don't think I call out "Dirty Deeds" by name. But there are always other books.

    Good to see my girl Patti's also on the Coke team. And Moazam is obviously a true Coke connoisseur like moi. We claim the Dr. Pepper girls for Team Coke, too, so we have Kelly and Lanae.

    Becky & Vivian didn't pick a soda side. :-( So I'm picking for them! The Undeclareds are also Team Coke! (Hey, tell me I'm wrong. LOL)

    Amber, Team Coke is WINNING. By a lot. Step away from the Dark Side and embrace the Coca-Cola goodness!

  25. And this is why I love Gini so much. :)

    PS my girl Amber is in a wedding this week so she has no idea what comments await her. lol this is gonna be good. :)

  26. Okay. LOVE Barracuda. Bodies, too! Kudos on those ones.
    I did think of LL Cool J's Mama Said Knock You Out.
    Also, being the 'other' Amber, I must say Pepsi, all the way and none of that diet crap.

  27. And now I know why I prefer Coke to Pepsi (though any cola will do in a pinch...)

    Song? I was gonna say "We Will Rock You" by Queen, but I'll go even more classical and say, "Ride of the Valkyries" by Wagner. Yay, Space Opera!

    ruthcooke (at) hotmail (dot) com

  28. So I'm not sure if I can even win the shirt since I did a guest video review of the Paramore concert. Which by the way I am still working on my law suit for posting the unedited version when Katie clearly stated (it's even in the video) it would not be posted without editing first. :p lol As for the interview I liked the banter and casual fun nature of it. Coke, Pepsi, hello people that stuf rots your teeth. Give me a glass of ice water thank you. lo My song would be Toby Keith- Courtesy of the red white and blue.

  29. @Mike waaahahahahaha you're too funny! And YOU of all people know that a law suit against me will not gain u much. lol A bunch of romance books is about it. :P
    My (male) BFF finally adding a little country to the mix. yeeee haaaaaa

    xoxox My best man ALWAYS *big hug*

  30. @Michael: I think you did a great job, even in the unedited version!

  31. Ooh, Amber, Ladies do Love the Cook J! And I do love that song. I think it needs to be in the Alien song list, yes I do!

    Ruth, I see you are a cinnamon girl! Way to go! And I love all of Queen, and that's an awesome choice. I like classical, but for me, it's all about the lyrics (even lyrics I can't understand...LOL).

    Michael, you're like the hubs. He's all Mr. Natural, water's better for you, blah, blah, blah. Takes all kinds. ;-D

  32. Holy Good Gracious! This is insane! Thank you everyone for coming to our site and sharing the love! Love all the song choices!
    I'm not much of a rocker (I'm a country girl through and through) but I would think "We are the Champions (you know the one they play at the end of Mighty Ducks?lol) would be a really good one... Although you should probably knock on wood before kicking trash. Just in case :)

    And for all you Coke lovers... You are all WACK! Pepsi is the only way to go!!

  33. I do bring the crazy, Amber. It's my "thing".

  34. @Gini...
    Watch Katie and I's video review of the Paramore concert and you can clearly see I like beer even more then water.;) lmao

  35. LOL yup thats my BFF. Damn proud of him too. Chug it! Chug it! :)