Friday, April 2, 2010

Welcome TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN author, Gini Koch!

I'm really excited to have Gini Koch as my guest today.  Gini's debut novel, TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN releases on Tuesday, April 6 from DAW books.  TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN is the first in a series that looks like it will be dynamite.

Here's what it's about: 

How can a sexy marketing manager join forces with an Alpha Centauri male in Armani to save the planet-using hairspray, a Mont Blanc pen, and rock n' roll?


She's Touched by an Alien

Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt steps into the middle of what appears to be a domestic dispute turned ugly. And it only gets uglier when the man turns into a winged monster, straight out of a grade-Z horror movie, and goes on a killing spree. Though Kitty should probably run away, she springs into action to take the monster down.

In the middle of the chaos a handsome hunk named Jeff Martini appears, sent by the "agency" to perform crowd control. He's Kitty's kind of guy, no matter what planet he's from. And from now on, for Kitty, things are going to be sexy, dangerous, wild, and out of this world.

I asked Gini some questions when she stopped by and this is what she had to say:

Erin:  I always love to hear the story behind the story.  Tell me, what was the original idea that inspired you to write TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN?

Gini:  The original idea was from a dream (I get about half of my story ideas from my dreams). The story was supposed to be a dark short story -- the original working title was "Killing Superman". I'd envisioned it much like the opening dialog between my heroine, Kitty, and the reader that starts TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN, only a lot darker and with no humor. In my dream and when I started writing it, it was like I was channeling the first person narrator, but had no idea who they were, or even if they were a man or a woman. By page 3, however, the character asserted herself, and when the male lead waltzed onto the page, he took over, told me his name, charmed me AND the heroine, and away it went.

This was the most organic thing I'd ever written to that date. I really felt like every single character, no matter how small, was telling me their part and I was merely writing it down as fast as I could. The characters even told me their names -- to the point where I literally stopped writing, looked away from the monitor, and said, "Really? Kitty Katt? Really?" To which the character replied, "My parents have a sense of humor. Keep writing." It was exhilarating, fun and exciting, and once the first book was done, I just couldn't leave the characters behind, so I rolled on and the rest is history.

Erin:  I love it when that happens.  I get a lot of ideas from dreams too.  I have VERY vivid dreams.  My husband is waking me up all the time because I'm running (scream, jumping, laughing, crying....)  Okay, next question:  What is your favorite part of the writing these stories?

Gini:  How much fun the characters are for me. To me they're very real, with personality quirks, likes and dislikes, and it makes writing about them a joy. I like that I can have them grow while still maintaining what they are at their cores. And, let's face it, writing about gorgeous aliens hanging out with fun, kickass humans who get involved in saving the world on a regular basis isn't exactly a painful way to spend your day.

Erin:  Gorgeous aliens saving the world does have its appeal.  :)  Okay, next question:  tell me something you're really excited about with the release of TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN?

Gini:  What I'm excited about?  My cover artist is amazing and captured the essence of  TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN in one image. Same with what he's done for Book 2 in this series, ALIEN TANGO. I'm incredibly lucky to have gotten one of the top artists, and a Hugo nominee, working in SF/F today (of course, since he's my artist, I naturally think he's THE best). Also, a reader in the Netherlands already got a copy of  TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN from her local bookstore, read it immediately, sent me an email telling me she loved it and can't wait for "Alien Tango", and did a great review of it on her blog as well. That made it all 'real' for me.

Erin:  That is such a great feeling when readers connect with your writing.  I can't wait to read your book!  Okay, last question:  Tell us why you think readers will love it?

Gini:  It's fun, fresh and funny, and a deal at twice the price! ;-D

Erin:  Oh, good answer!

Gini:  I think the characters are people readers will want to spend time with, and would spend time with in real life if it were possible. It's being referred to in a variety of ways in reviews and such, but I think of it as science fiction/fantasy romance, with a lot of action and humor tossed into the mix. You've got a regular girl who channels her inner accidental badass for a heroine, gorgeous and scientifically proficient aliens who don't have all the answers, tossed in with some wickedly cool villains on top of a lot of action and intrigue. Besides, who doesn't want to hang with a girl who can use hairspray and rock and roll to save the day, even when falling from a great height?

If you'd like to learn more about Gini and her great books, visit her site at  You can order your copy of TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders (Borders even has the preorder link for ALIEN TANGO!) or run -- don't walk -- to your local bookstore beginning Tuesday, April 6!

Want to win?  Tell us what you think of aliens--real or not?  Have you ever seen one?  Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a $10 amazon gift card!

Happy April!


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ChristyJan said...

Wonderful interview Erin!

Touched by an Alien sounds like a fun read and a great new series.

Aliens--real or not? And, have I ever seen one? . . . I'm a believer. I seen some real weirdo's in my life but I'm not sure if they were alien or not. lol

Gram said...

Aliens...I think I worked with them at one time...

Kelly said...

Waiting impatiently for both of my copies of TBAA to come to me! As for best friend and I were camping in the White Mountains, AZ and telling ghost stories, of course, when we saw a light in the sky that zig-zagged back and forth before shooting off in the distance at a speed I have never seen before. After we pee'd our pants, we decided it must be a military spy plane and left it at that! I have yet to meet one and I am not sure if I actually believe, but if we are alone in this Carl Sagan says..."It would be an aweful waste of space."

rednikki said...

OMG! This book looks like it was written for ME! I hadn't heard about it before - thank you for drawing my attention to it!

Marty Shaw said...

I'm looking forward to reading 'Touched by an Alien'.

As far as pondering if aliens exist? I think it's incredibly arrogant of us to assume our planet it the only one that produced a sentient race.

Keeping my fingers crossed for that prize ;o)

nightreader said...

Great interview Erin, loved the questions, and Gini's responses were so interesting.

I've definitely, each time with other witnesses, seen UFOs. Not quite sure if I've seen an alien or something more paranormal, but I do know several who have seen them. I had such a realistic dream one time that it scared the daylights (or probably in this case the nightlights) out of me!

I'm still trying to decide if the greys are from another planet or dimension, or if they are humans of the future. Scary, huh?
nightreader aka readerbynight, mothergoose3, or Betty
R&B: Read and Blog

Modokker said...

as to if i think aliens or real or not. hmmm... Who really knows. I haven't seen one... that i know of anyway lol

I like your comment Gina about your book being funny and fresh! That is something i love to find in a book. I like a nice mix of things and a good giggle or two in there now and then. Congrats on your debut novel! How exciting! Sounds like a interesting story! I love finding new authors to read too!


modokker at

HelenKing said...

It sounds great, I can't wait.

As for aliens, well, it would be arrogant to assume we're the only ones out there, but I haven't had any personal encounters. (we're not counting roommates that were 'out there', right?)


Amber Scott said...

Great interview! I can't wait for my copy.
So, aliens, huh?
In the movie contact, the father says to his daughter how, if we are the only intelligent life forms, it sure would be a waste of space. I'm with him.
Plus, being from Nevada, you grow up with a little Area 51 in the blood.

Anonymous said...

I haven't received my 'officially published' copy(s) yet, but I did read drafts. It's a fun, fast read that keeps you turning the pages to see what kind of trouble Kitty gets into next.

Mary in Scottsdale

Gini Koch said...

(Trying again, I don't think my last attempt stuck.)

Great comments, you guys!

I'm with Dark Wyrm and it looks like most of the rest of you on this one -- I think it's arrogant to believe we're the only life out there. I also don't know that most other intelligent life would be that interested in us, but it's a lot more fun to think that they are.

And I do promise a fun read with "Touched by an Alien". I hope you guys enjoy my take on aliens and why they're here...and what they look like. ;-D

Lisa Dovichi said...

Of course aliens are real. But then I believe in unicorns and mermaids and all manner of things that are supposed to be make believe. Just because we haven't seen them does mean they don't exist.

But then I still believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny!

If I do bump into one I hope they're hot like Gini wrote them *wicked smile*

Sullivan McPig said...

Ack! I'm being mentioned in an interview with a cool author. *faints*
I absolutely love 'Touched by an Alien' and am already counting the months for the next book.

As for aliens being real:
I love the quote from the comic 'Calvin and Hobbes':
The surest sign of live elsewhere is that none of it has tried to contact us'.

But seriously:
I think there's other live out there, but I doubt it's the same as earth live and if we even would be able to recognise it.

Gini Koch said...

Wow, everyone believes in aliens! At least, everyone here, and really, aren't the folks here the ones who matter? :-D

Thanks for all the nice words from everyone. It's really cool to see the book in print, but it's cooler that people other than me, the hubs, and the chicklet are excited that the book's coming out.

The hubs would like to mention that he is the physical model for Reader (he actually isn't, but he's close...;-D), which will mean something once everyone's read the book. But since he mentioned it just now, you guys get to hear it first. Yet another advantage to following Erin's blog!

Nina Pierce said...

Sounds like a fun read Gini. Aliens? It seems silly to believe we're the only intelligent (sorta) life in this universe.

Erin Quinn said...

GREAT comments, everyone. What a fun topic thi was. I did warn you that Gini was going to be a blast to have as guest. Nightreader, you gave me chills because I'm right there with you--I had a dream about aliens once that was so vivid I woke up convinced it was real.

I saw something once on the stretch of 1-25 between Colorado Springs and the Castle Rock that I know was not of this world. It's been 20 some years and I can still picture it in my mind.

As for the contest....keep the comments coming. We won't pull the winner until tomorrow!

Mitzi H. said...

The books sounds fun and sexy.

I've never seen a UFO but I have to believe that we are not the only beings in the universe.

And there are simply to many sightings to discount them all.

Sounds like this book was a blast to write. Looking forward to reading it!!!

mitzihinkey at sbcglobal dot net

Happy Easter to all!!!

Gini Koch said...

Happy Easter! May you get an alien in your Easter baskets. ;-D

Gini Koch said...

Okay all! In order to be fair, I assigned everyone who commented a number. Then I had the hubs, the chicklet, and one of the Big Dawg Pack (my beta/crit group) choose 3 numbers between 1 and 15 (without them knowing who each number corresponded to).

Out of those, they aligned with 13 & 14, and when forced to choose between numbers 13 & 14, the unanimous number choice and lucky winner of the $10 Amazon gift card is...

(drum roll, please)

Sullivan McPig!

Sully, congratulations! Please send an email to and let me know what email address you want me to send the gift card to!

Sorries and smootchies to those who didn't win this time. But you know, there's always NEXT time...

robynl said...

don't think there are aliens and have never seen any.

Sullivan McPig said...

Ooh! I won. Thanks, I just send you an email.

Unknown said...

yes i do

lots might think im crazy, but i do belive the skies are to full of other planets to not have other life forms

it sounds very intersting!!!!