Monday, October 17, 2011

Author Interview: Gini Koch

How did the Martian Chronicles come about?

I wanted to get into the DAW anthology, Love and Rockets. I wrote and submitted (a shorter version of) “The Royal Scam”, but the editor said she wanted something that wasn’t in my series’ universe. I explained that this wasn’t part of the Alien series, it was brand new. She felt it was too big, storywise, for the length limitations the anthology needed. I wrote and subbed something else that was accepted, but I really liked these characters and decided to expand and tell their full story.

But I didn’t have time to write a full novel that wasn’t under contract.

However, I never say never and I don’t stop thinking about characters and storylines just because they aren’t what I’m working on “today”. So, when I was in talks with Musa and I discussed this story and series with my editor at Musa, she was excited about the characters and the plotline, as well as the idea of serializing the storyline, and the rest is essentially history.

How many books will be in the series?
It’s me, so, you know, LOL, I have no idea. At least 6 to 8, but honestly, probably a lot more than that. I have a very big story set in the entire galaxy for these characters, so I don’t think it’s going to wrap up in just a few installments. Unless the bad guys win, of course.

How different is this series from the Kitty Katt one? 
To me it’s very different, while still being science fiction with a lot of humor, action and romance in it. The romantic elements in particular are very different in The Martian Alliance Chronicles, because I don’t really go into the steamy stuff (at least, not so far), and the crew of the Hummingbird have been together for quite a while.

Kitty’s world is set in present day, where most of Earth doesn’t even know there’s really intelligent life on other planets. For the Martian Alliance, we’re hundreds of years in the future, where faster-than-light travel is common and all the intelligent species know and interact with each other.

What the characters do is also different. In the Alien series, most of the characters are essentially working in approved governmental jobs, albeit the kick butt ones. In the Martian Alliance series, we’re following those who fall more under the “ragtag team” kind of mentality, even though they’re really the best at what they do. Someone compared them to the A-Team, the gang you hire when no one else can help and if you can find them, and I suppose that’s somewhat accurate. On most planets, they’re criminals, or would be considered so if anyone knew who they really were.

As with Kitty’s series, though, this galaxy is dealing with prejudice, but the idea of an “alien” being scary, bad or evil is pretty much nonexistent, because the galaxy has mingled for so long. However, there is species and talent prejudice that affects the galaxy and the Hummingbird’s crew in particular. The galaxy is also under a form of control that’s not governmental so much as the bigger, meaner, nastier guys are acting like they’re in charge and scaring everyone into following along. The crew of the Hummingbird have real, deeply personal, reasons for most of their actions, legal or illegal, and much revolves around them trying to restore the galaxy to what it once was. While making the big score whenever and wherever they can.

Was it fun creating a whole new world?
Oh yeah. I always love getting to find out something new about characters or settings, and this story universe is a lot of fun. As with fantasy, if you’re in the far future, you can get away with a lot, because no one can honestly say it couldn’t happen. Which means I can do pretty much whatever I want, which is always fun.

Because I write a lot, and under a variety of pen names, I create new universes all the time. It’s sort of my hobby. Nothing to do right now? Let’s dream up a completely different universe than the one you dreamed up yesterday, sort of thing.

It’s a party in my mind, but at least it keeps me off the streets.

Do you have a favorite Science Fiction Movie?
Lots. Lots and lots. Probably my top faves are “Galaxy Quest”, “Men in Black”, the new “Star Trek”, and “Transformers” (Michael Bay, I am your woman!). I have a lot more I like and watch repeatedly, and I’m sure we’ll finish up and I’ll remember one I just adore that I didn’t mention here, but such is life, right?

The hubs says I should be completely honest here -- I like many more fantasy, humor, superhero, action, and comedy movies than I do science fiction ones. However, I end up writing more science fiction than anything else. No, I don’t know why, but I think it’s because my grandmother was a HUGE science fiction fan (the hard stuff, too) and she considered science fiction to be the best writing out there. So, we rest the blame, such as it is, with her and accept that it’s my legacy and fate to write a lot of science fiction.

Where can we find you on the web?
Oh, everywhere. LOL
My website:
My blog:
Twitter: @GiniKoch
Facebook Fan Page, Hairspray and Rock ‘n’ Roll: