Title: Touched by an Alien
Author: Gini Koch
Author's website: http://www.ginikoch.com/
Available to buy at Amazon
My review can be found here.
First off, Gini I would like to welcome you to Hanging With Bells. Thanks for being here!
Happy to be here! As you know, I live to run the yap.
What made you want to write about aliens?
A dream. I didn’t set out to write about aliens, per se. I set out to write about how to kill superheroes. Kitty and Martini took over the story, though, and the rest is history.
When I think of your book I think of one thing, the movie Men in Black. Have you others said this to you as well?
LOL. My editor at DAW described “Touched by an Alien” to my agent as “Men in Black meets True Lies”. So, from pretty much Day One I’ve heard the comparisons. They’re very apt. I mean, Kitty makes the comments about the similarities throughout the book. I don’t feel the book is a copy of “Men in Black”, though. At most it’s an homage, but then again, I could say that about a lot of other movies I like. Basically, Kitty’s a child of pop culture, so it’s going to infuse what she does, says, thinks and acts.
So who would be the cool agent, Will Smith's role, versus the seasoned yet spry agent, Tommy Lee Jones role?
Richard White and Angela and Sol Katt are covering the Rip Torn role. I see Martini, Christopher, Reader and Gower as handling the Tommy Lee Jones role. Kitty, of course, is covering the Will Smith portion. However, I don’t see them as that closely aligned to the movie.
That movie also featured bugs. Is that a coincidence or do you really think there is a pest problem in the universe? Personally I hate bugs! My brothers used to try to but beetles on me as a girl so I have a real fear of them. *eyes look glazed* Oh sorry, I was asking a question. *clears throat*
I’m not afraid of bugs. Anything I can stomp and send to oblivion doesn’t frighten me. They can and do gross me out, however. And it’s not like I want them crawling on me. I want them ground under my shoes. I think the bugs should stay in their own place (the great outdoors that I am not in) and I’ll stay in mine (inside, thankyouverymuch) and then we could all get along. Since the bugs INSIST on coming into my house and car, I have no choice to but to retaliate using superior firepower.
I, however, share Kitty’s fear of snakes. Hey, let’s get off this icky subject and onto something that won’t make both of us shudder uncontrollably!Why Armani for the suits? Why not let's say...Tom Ford?
Good, Tom Ford. Let’s focus on a hunk, I’m good with that.
The characters wear Armani because that’s what they told me they wear. (You think I’m kidding, but I’m not.) I do think Tom Ford’s hunky and all that, but there’s something about Armani…
(Personally I think Tom Ford is one of Gini's agents. I mean LOOK at him!)
Official Team Gini Statement: We cannot disclose the true identities of any working agents lets we endanger their lives. Go on about your business, citizens, nothing to see here.
Let's talk Comic Con. You went this year and were on an actual panel there! Tell us what you were talking about.
I was on the Superhero Superfiction panel - With Great Powers Come Great Stories. We were talking about how all of us (the authors and editor on the panel, including Jackie Kessler, Caitlin Kittredge, Kevin Andrew Murphy, and Lou Enders) were using, subverting, paying homage to, and creating new superhero tropes, clichés, powers, etc.
It was really cool to see how many of us were doing different things in the same sub-genre, and how excited the audience was with what we were writing. It was very cool, and I can’t wait to go again next year!
It sounds like you had a great time at Comic Con this year! I'm sorry that you didn't get a chance to kidnap Nathan Fillion. (pats your back) I know how you feel. I was hoping that @jaymzangel could get her hands on Joe Manganiello for me. Anyhoo I heard there was some excitement this year. I have a feeling some of your agents were in on the excitement. The Pen incident. A nerd, wearing a Harry Potter t-shirt, stabbed another nerd in the face. I don't think they were nerds at all! I'm thinking one of your Agents got word that a parasite was there, and had to take matters into his own hands. What do you have to say about this?
I was indeed foiled in my plan to kidnap Nathan. I was also foiled in my plan to kidnap Matt Bomer. I was foiled in my plan to SEE Matt Bomer, but that’s another whine altogether.
Considering it was Comic-Con, when you’re AT the Con, you’re not actually a nerd -- 160,000+ people cannot be wrong, especially when we’re all together. The non-comics-geeks are the nerds when you’re with your own Army.
That said, I do have warring feelings about “the incident”. Legally, the dude STOLE MY SIGNATURE MOVE! The lawyers are all over it, believe you me!
On the other hand, I could understand his confusion -- there were a lot of people there in epically awesome costumes. Could be that the perpetrator felt that his seatmate had been infected by a parasitic superbeing and he was trying to save the day and join Centaurion Division.
I know it wasn’t one of MY agents, because they would have moved too fast to be spotted AND would have altered the footage so no one would be the wiser. At least, that’s what Christopher’s insisting to me. Of course, he and some others were on site with me at the Con, but I’m sure they weren’t up to anything. Of course, Christopher is looking at his shoes while he’s telling me they weren’t involved…
Excuse me…I have to go have a chat with my characters. Be right back…
(Waiting for Gini to come back. Whistling.)
Okay, um, we can now offer no further comment on the “Pen Incident” at this precise time.
There are other books that will be released in the series, can you tell us what those books are?
Alien Tango, releasing Dec. 7, 2010; Alien in the Family, releasing Apr. 5, 2011; and Alien Proliferation, releasing Winter 2011. I have more books in the series planned and in process as well.
Alien Tango releases on December 7th, 2010 and I for one can't wait to read it! Can you give us a little info on the book?
For Katherine “Kitty” Katt, Alien Super-Being Exterminator, anti-alien conspiracies, threats from outer space, and a couple of killer alligators are all in a day’s work. But internal alien schemes and some major romantic complications bring new meaning to the term ‘chaos and confusion’.
It’s been five months since Kitty joined Centaurion Division, working with the aliens from Alpha Centauri. She and Jeff Martini have grown closer as a couple and life looks rosy. But when an experimental spacecraft is mysteriously returned to the Kennedy Space Center, Kitty and the rest of Alpha Team are called out to investigate and are immediately embroiled in life or death situations that scream ‘political conspiracy’.
The team must survive repeated murderous attacks, remove a mysterious space entity from a group of astronauts, and avoid an unhinged woman with a serious crush on Kitty’s old high school boyfriend. And that’s all before the masterminds decide Kitty’s extermination is vital -- and take matters into their own hands.
More please, I'm greedy! *sheepish grin*
It’s all about the ‘gators, baby! LOL More action. More aliens. More Kitty.
In addition to the gators, and everything else in the blurb, Kitty and Martini’s relationship is tested in ways neither one of them expected, the threats in this book are far closer to home, and the changes that happen have long-lasting ramifications for Centaurion Division.
Kitty still handles what life throws at her with a rockin’ soundtrack and a willingness to use the crazy when the sane isn’t cutting it.
I’ll be doing an ARC giveaway for my Hook Me Up! subscribers only in the near-ish future. Details for how to join Hook Me Up! are at my website, www.ginikoch.com.
Well Gini it's been an absolute pleasure chatting with you. Would you mind if I asked some of the agents a couple of questions?
Same here, had a blast. And, as for the characters, sure, go for it. They love doing interviews. A little too much, if you ask me, but that’s what happens when your characters take over. So, have at it!
*Get's excited at hearing "have at it"*
If you wouldn't mind I'll like to start with Martini. *feeling nervous* Hello Jeff Martini! Welcome to Hanging with Bells!
Hey there, how’s it going? Nice dress. Love what you’ve done with the décor here, too. I see you have kids! I love kids, can’t wait to have a ton of my own. You know, once Kitty comes fully around. You’ll have to show me pictures when we’re done with the interview.
Could you start off by telling us what your main role is with the agency?
I’m the head of the Field for Centaurion Division, meaning I’m in charge of all active situations whenever and wherever they happen, anywhere on Earth or in the solar system. My cousin, Christopher White, is in charge of Imageering. Together, Field and Imageering control what our people do on Earth. My uncle, Richard White, who’s our Supreme Pontifex, leads our people from a religious standpoint. In most things, the Pontifex makes the rules and we enforce them. However, when we’re in our version of war -- fighting a superbeing or other threat to Earth and/or our people -- I’m in charge, with Christopher as my right-hand man.
It’s a lot of responsibility, but we owe it to the planet that allowed us safe harbor.
Now I know that you are an empath, could you explain that a little more for my readers? *bats eyelashes*
Sure. Empathic skills mean I’m able to pick up the emotions of anyone in my range. Since I’m the strongest empath on Earth, I have a pretty wide range. In order to stay sane, we have blocks -- mental, medical and chemical -- we use to allow us to keep the emotions down to a dull roar. Under normal circumstances, I can tell when someone’s emotions spike -- fear and the other negative emotions are the easiest to pick up, usually because they’re stronger. Which is too bad, when you think about it.
I, uh, do have to say that your emotions are really clear right now.
So tell me Martini, how would you describe how I'm feeling right now. *I'm staring lovingly at him*
Err, um, Kitty’s not around, right? I’d say you’re high on the lust meter, with a lot of strong affection emotions, and…uh, really, Kitty gets kind of possessive during interviews. I think we’ll just leave it with you think I’m hot and let it go at that.
But, here’s a signed picture. Kitty insists that I have to keep my pants on for the pictures, sorry.
You do know that I have placed you on my book boyfriend list. You don't have an actual number yet, but I'm sure I'm fit you in there somewhere. I also own several clones of you Martini. (Big thanks to the Creator!) How do you feel about being on the list?
It’s an honor to hit a book boyfriend list, but excuse me? I don’t have an actual number yet? You just sort of tossed me onto the list, devil-may-care, wherever is good enough sort of thing? I’m flattered I’m on the list, not so flattered that I’m just tossed on somewhere. A man’s got his pride, you know.
And, what’s this about clones? I don’t know anything about clones! No one said anything to me about clones.
(He's on the list now. *wipes brow* Whew!)
So why don't you tell us what happens in Alien Tango? You know tell us what really happens. The Creator didn't want to share too much. *bats eyelashes at Martini*
Well, there’s lots of action, humor, romance and…you know, I hate talking about what goes on in the latter half of the book.
Kitty: Oh, it’s not that bad.
Martini: Yes, it is. At least from my perspective.
Kitty: It all works out.
Martini: Yeah. But HE shows up.
Kitty: Oh, stop. I don’t understand why you don’t like him.
Martini: Please. I don’t suppose I can just beat him into a pulp, can I?
Kitty: Over my dead body.
Martini: And you wonder why I hate him.
*Looks at Kitty* Kitty, I know that it must be hard to deal with women throwing themselves at Martini. (I know, I'm one of them!) How do you deal with all the attention that he gets?
My mom’s been teaching me how to shoot a gun really, really fast.
I don’t really mind the attention he gets -- I think it’s kind of cute how flattered he is by it. Even gorgeous people can be unaware of how droolingly hot they are, and most of the A-Cs really don’t get that they’re the hottest things on two legs. So it’s really sort of sweet, how excited they are when a human tells them they’re gorgeous and desirable.
And, I have to admit, the pics Jeff’s handing out are pretty awesome. What did he write on yours? ‘To Bells, my biggest fan, all my love, Jeff. P.S. I think I deserve to be in the Top 3, Top 5 at the very least.’
Wow, pushy much, are we, Jeff? Oh, wait. I forgot who I was talking to and about . Bells, just put him up in a top slot now, save yourself the constant badgering. He’s GOOD at that.
Well I just want to say that I hope there is no hard feelings regarding my love for Martini. He is a great guy and an asset to Earth.
Nah, I know who he’s in love with. And, let’s face it -- he’s totally awesome. I can’t really blame all of you for being in love with him. Heck, I couldn’t resist him, why should any of you?
What? Oh. Christopher’s whining that he’s totally available right now and a brooding hero-type who just needs love to make it all right again. There, happy? I passed it along. What? Oh. He wants to know why he’s not on your list, too, Bells.
What? Oh, are you kidding me? Sorry, Bells, but I now have like 50 agents standing here whining that they, too, are hotties and deserve the love of a good, human woman. Really, have at ‘em girls.
I had a great time with everyone today. Gini, thanks again for the interview. I feel like I could chat with you for days. Kitty and Martini, thanks for being here as well and for being such great sports and answering the questions. Keep up the good work keeping us safe!
It was great being here today, we all had a blast! And, the protecting and serving shall continue on!
I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did! Thanks again to Gini for having fun with me! She truly is one of the nicest author's I've ever had the pleasure of chatting with. I totally have a girl crush on her now!
I'm giving away Touched By An Alien as part of my Share the Love Giveaway this month! It ends August 20th and it's only open to followers of my blog. If your interested in trying to win, you can enter here and the follow button is on the right hand column.