Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eclectic Collective

Happy Tuesday!

Well, here it is, the day before I leave for World Fantasy Con. And I'm totally calm! Ahahahahahahahahaha! *cough* Okay, maybe not THAT calm. And, for those keeping score at home, I'm way more packed than expected. Like 85% packed, maybe 90%. Be impressed. Really.

Of course, after yesterday, any update's gonna seem slim. But, as my Hook Me Up! subscribers already know, this one still has lots in it. So, before we go to radio silence (other than Twitter, where those who follow me - @GiniKoch - have a shot of hearing what's going on) until Nov. 2nd, let's get to it!

First up, head over to Muddy Colors and check out what Dan Dos Santos, aka the greatest cover artist in the world, is up to. Hint: talking about, and I quote, "What's fast becoming the coolest series I get to work on." Yes! Yes, he's talking about the Alien series! Woot! (Yes, my cover artist loving my series makes so very, very happy. It's the simple things you treasure, really.)

Then, check out what our "Alien Tango" ARC winner got in the mail! My Five Monkeys has a couple of great shots of all her Alien Swag.

Remember that the Spooky Legends event at Dark Faerie Tales and All Things Urban Fantasy is going on through the 31st. And, if you haven't hit my entry, check out Aliens on Earth, get entered to win, and leave a comment!

You'll want to have your eyes on my website come Nov. 2nd, btw. Why? Oh, no reason. Other than you may want to really check out the Deathless Prose page. I've heard a rumor that there could be some kind of excerpt or something there that day.

Last, but in NO way least...the first review of "Alien Tango" is up! Check out what Merry Genre-Go-Round has to say!

Well, that's it for today, and, therefore, that's it for a whole week. A WEEK! What WILL y'all do with your bad selves while I'm gone? Hopefully, hit all the links, re-read "Touched by an Alien" in anticipation of "Alien Tango", and generally show your Alien Collective coolness in all that you do. You know, routine.


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Monday, October 25, 2010

Yet Another Manic Monday

Happy Monday! Well, as my Hook Me Up! subscribers already know, it's crazy time over here. I'm loaded with things to do -- like packing -- before I leave for World Fantasy Con (on Wed. morning much earlier than I like to get out of bed, but then again, since I'd like to stay in bed until at least noon every day, that's not really telling you much), and we're loaded with things going on in the blogosphere, too. So let's get to it!

First up, if you missed it yesterday, it's not too late to catch it today. Catch what, you ask? Why my entry into the Spooky Legends event going on at Dark Faerie Tales and All Things Urban Fantasy. Check out Aliens on Earth, leave some Alien Collective love, get entered to win a signed copy of "Touched by an Alien".

Next up, Locus Magazine has an interview with the greatest cover artist in the world, aka Daniel Dos Santos. Check it out, learn some more about Dan and his process.

Then, head to Babbling About Books and check out which upcoming covers are getting babbled about. Then, hop to another good review of "Touched by an Alien" over at What If Books. Then, check out what came in the mail for Thrifty Reader.

Catch your breath, and then head to Dark Wyrm Reads where he highlights some of the nominees for the Bookie Awards, including yours truly. Dark Wyrm also has a great contest going on right now that you'll want to enter, so after you check out his highlighted nominees, skip over to the Spooktacular Book Giveaway and get entered to win!

Speaking of the Bookie Awards, if you'd like to see all the categories and nominees, check out Authors After Dark. Congrats to everyone nominated and good luck to all, too!

Whew! I think that's all for today. So enjoy blog-hopping and I'll catch you on the flip side!


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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Spooky Sunday

Happy Sunday!

As I've mentioned and as my Hook Me Up! subscribers already know, it's Spooky Sunday time! Well, okay, it's not gonna be THAT spooky. But my guest blog for the Dark Faerie Tales and All Things Urban Fantasy Spooky Legends event is large and in charge over at Dark Faerie Tales.

So, check out Aliens on Earth, leave a comment, get entered to win a signed and personalized copy of "Touched by an Alien" ('cause I don't have copies of "Alien Tango" yet, that's why).

So, have a fun read, share some Alien Collective love, and enjoy all the spookiness abounding!


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Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Fun

Happy Friday! One big flurry on Monday and then...silence? What's up with THAT? Well, prepping and packing up 12 awesome prizes and then heading them to the Post Office takes a lot out of a girl. But as my Hook Me Up! subscribers already know, we have lots of fun stuff to get to today, so let's roll!

First up on today's hit parade is the announcement of the winners from the Janice Hardy interview and giveaway. The Gods of Random have made their choice, and here are the two lucky winners who get to pick which of her two awesome books, "The Shifter" or "Blue Fire", they want:

*drum roll, please*

Lisa Dovichi and Becky Boyer!

Ladies, respond on the blog or send me an email to confirm and I'll be sending you Janice's email address. Just tell her which book you want and she'll get it out to you!

Next, check out what Parajunkee's View is waiting for (hint: I think it starts with "Alien" and ends with "Tango"). Then bop over to My 5 Monkeys for her Friday fun...don't worry, she doesn't rub in TOO much that she's the winner of the "Alien Tango" ARC.

Have you been reading the cool, fun takes on all sorts of urban legends for the Spooky Legends event going on at Dark Faerie Tales and All Things Urban Fantasy? If you have, keep going, the event doesn't end until Oct. 31. If you haven't, check 'em out! And remember, my take on the UFO rumors goes up at Dark Faerie Tales on Sunday, Oct. 24. You don't want to miss it, especially since there's a contest attached to win a copy of "Touched by an Alien". (The giving ABOUNDS this month, dunnit?)

Event Reminders:
I'll be doing a table topic for my Desert Rose RWA chapter on Characters and Characterizaion at Macayo's Depot Cantina in Tempe, AZ on Tuesday, Oct. 26, starting at 5:30. I'll be at World Fantasy Con in Columbus, OH from Oct. 27th through Nov. 1st. And I'll be at TusCon in Tucson, AZ from Nov. 12-14.

Any aspiring or beginning authors in the Greater Phoenix Metro Area should plan to attend the Desert Rose Writers Workshop on Saturday, Nov. 20th. It's an all day event, with published authors as the only speakers, and...it's FREE. Even readers who are interested in the publishing industry and how writers write will find something for them, and again, it's FREE. This is the best deal around, so if you're in the area, make plans to attend.

That's it for today, I think. But no worries...there's always more coming, right? Of course right!


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Monday, October 18, 2010

And the Winners Are...


Okay, gang, it's what you've all been waiting for. And I know you've been waiting for it, 'cause most of you haven't been shy in telling me to hurry it up. LOL. SO...with no further ado...I give you...the winnahs!

Gator Pack Three: The Alliflash Pack
Winner -- Shiori

Gator Pack Two: The Gigantagator Pack
Winner -- Kai

Drum roll, please...

Gator Pack One: The Tango Surprise, WITH the "Alien Tango" ARC
Winner -- Julie Jones (from My 5 Monkeys)

Congrats to all the Gator Pack winners!!!

Now, before the rest of you head off, crying quietly into your coffee or beer, hope returns. Because the comments were so epically awesome, the Gods of Random and I decided that we should give out not one, not two, but NINE Honorable Mention prizes.

Honorable Mention Supreme
For amazing efforts in the area of smack talking and mouse flinging and generally making us laugh our heads off, the winner is: Dren!

Dren will receive a small pack of goodies including an Alien Collective baseball cap, an "Alien Tango" 6x9 spiral notebook, and an "Alien Tango" pen, all in an "Alien Tango" tote bag.

Honorable Mention Winners:
1. Felinophile
2. Van Pham
3. ParaJunkee
4. Marnie
5. SylviaSybil
6. Katie Dalton
7. Matt Payne
8. Becky Boyer

Honorable Mention winners will be choosing one gift from a selection (as quantities last) including Alien Collective baseball caps, tote bags, mousepads, 6x9 spiral notebooks, and pens.

NOTE TO ALL WINNERS: Please send your full name and mailing address to gini@ginikoch.com ASAP, by Monday, October 25th. If I haven't received your info by then, your prize will go back up for another random selection.

NOTE TO HONORABLE MENTION WINNERS: Once I have your addresses, I'll be advising you of what gifts are available for you to choose from.

Thanks to everyone for playing! And for those who didn't win this time, take heart...there's always NEXT time...after all, "Alien in the Family" releases April 5th...


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Random Ramblings of a Meaningful Kind

Happy Monday! I know what you're all waiting for, at least, what all my Hook Me Up! subscribers are waiting for...but as they already know, there's business to attend to first. And, you know, I like to draw it out. So, let's roll. (I know, I sound so street when I say that.)

First up, we have another great review of "Touched by an Alien" over at Panic in the Lingerie. Head over, have a read, leave some Alien Collective love, you know the drill.

Next up, as the avatar on the Blog has indicated, I'm taking part in a super-cool event -- Spooky Legends at Dark Faerie Tales and All Things Urban Fantasy. Lots of awesome urban fantasy and paranormal authors are all taking an urban legend and writing about it from their characters' viewpoints. Lots of your faves, I promise you. LOTS of them.

So you know what that means, right? You don't? It means Kitty's taking on the Aliens on Earth rumors. And, you know Kitty -- she likes to share the fun, so I can guarantee there'll be more than her over there *coughMartinicough*. My piece will be up at Dark Faerie Tales on Sunday, Oct. 24th. But the event starts today, so get over and have a cool read...every day through the end of the month! Here's an overview of what's to come at Dark Faerie Tales and at All Things Urban Fantasy.

Reminder: There's still time to get a comment in and so be eligible to win one of two books from Janice Hardy, either "The Shifter" or "Blue Fire". Contest ends Oct. 19th, so scroll down or jump to the Interview with Janice Hardy and get your comment in today!

There's also a meme blog post for those of you who want to get even more insights into what makes me tick (um, rock and roll and good looking leading men, but seriously, the meme asked different questions than that, so...). Scroll down and check it out on the blog post just under this one. Have a question for me? Send it to me with "Ask Gini" in the subject line, and I'll not only answer it, I'll post it on the Extra Me! page.

Speaking of winning...(oooh, I can just SEE some of you actually leaning closer to your monitors and screens)...yes, the votes are tallied and the Gods of Random have made their decisions in the "Alien Tango" ARC Giveaway.

But, I'm not gonna tell you yet. Nope, I'm gonna tell in a little while. Why? *cough* Um, 'cause I like to torture, of course! I mean, c'mon, that seems obvious to ME. So, check back a little later today...winners will be posted a little while.

But I'll give you this much. In addition to our three Gator Pack winners, the comments were so awesome that I decided to give out not one, not two, but NINE Honorable Mention prizes. So, that means we'll have twelve winners, not just three. Will you be one of them? Do the Gods of Random love YOU? Find out...soon...


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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Meme Fun

One of my good friends, Steve Sarber, hit me with the Meme Challenge this past week. A meme is basically a mini-interview, started by someone who picks a set number of people to answer a group of questions, those people copy the questions to their blog and pass them on to the set number (in this case 3) of unsuspecting victims, who pass it along, and so-forth.

So, since we KNOW I love to run the yap here we go:

1. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Why?
You know, I get asked this a lot, mostly because of "Touched by an Alien" and my also being a total comics geek-girl. My answer tends to vary, but these days, I think I have to go for the Flash's super speed, because I just cannot seem to get it all done and the only way to get more hours in the day is to be able to go faster than everyone else. Or something like that.

2. Who is your style icon?

ROFL. Style Icon? Who makes up these questions, Heidi Klum? But, okay, I agreed to play along. Marilyn Monroe. For all the obvious reasons and a lot of the not-so-obvious ones.

3. What is your favorite quote?
Oh, I have a lot of these. Most are listed on my GoodReads page. BUT, if forced to choose, I really have to go with this one:

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying." Woody Allen

4. What is the best compliment you've ever received?

I'm happy to say I've received a lot. I think my all time fave though was from when the chicklet was young. It was Halloween, and, per her request, we were dressed as tigers -- Mama Tiger and Tiger Cub. The hubs was with us, but not in costume. We hit the home of an older man, who proclaimed thus when he opened the door: "Awww, isn't that cute? A mama tiger and a baby tiger...and Mama Tiger's a KNOCKOUT!"

I was willing to stay with this gentleman and chat, potentially for hours, but the hubs, for some strange reason, ran up and dragged us off...

5. What playlist/CD is in your CD Player/iPod right now?
My Alien playlist, because I'm working on "Alien Proliferation". So, lots of Smash Mouth right now, particularly "Get the Picture?" For all playlist options and updates, hit my Playlist page.

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?
What is this morning you all speak of and why do you seem to like it so? Night owl, all the way. I'm a night creature and prefer it that way.

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
I love them both, but when forced to choose, cats. I also love horses, bunnies are just fine, as are ferrets, etc. I'm not much of a girl for birds, though...

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?
It's what my MC of my Alien series, Kitty, says all the time, kind of her catchphrase. I also felt it was fitting, since this is where I most consistently run the yap.

Choosing who to hit next was hard, since this one's limited to 3. So, I went for other authors:
Amber Scott
Marcy Rockwell
Weston Ochse

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Winding Up the Week

Happy Friday! It's been a busy week, and today's no different. So, let's get right to it, so y'all can get right to it, too, and also right into the weekend!

First up, as my Hook Me Up! subscribers already know, today is the LAST day (last few hours, really) to enter my "Alien Tango" ARC Giveaway. Contest will close at midnight Pacific time tonight -- so if you haven't joined Hook Me Up! yet, now's the time. Send an email to gini@ginikoch.com with "Hook Me Up!" in the subject line, you'll be in, get your entry instructions, and still have a chance to score the precious before it's too late!

Next up, we have another lovely review of "Touched by an Alien" over at Reading on the Dark Side. Check it out, leave some Alien Collective love, you know the drill. Then, head over to One Book Away from Heaven and see what happens when a reader is surrounded by books...perhaps too many books? You decide -- and share your "how many books at a time" numbers. (*cough* My max is 3...but who's counting?)

Then, cruise around my website for a while. Yes, it's true -- there are updates! Finally! Well, some of them have been around and I keep on forgetting to mention them (*cringes as Team Gini glares*) but otherwise, they're new. In no particular order of coolness check out the: new pictures and captions up all over Sightings in the Wild; new headlines up at Newsy Stuff; new swag up at Free Stuff; and new info at Datebook...and there's more to come there in the near future...read on...

Other Reminders
My interview and giveaway with author Janice Hardy is still going on right here, just a few blog posts away. Scroll down, catch the interview, leave a comment, get entered to win -- and since two books are being given, everyone gets two chances. My interview over at The Galaxy Express about my short story in the "Love and Rockets" anthology is still up -- if you haven't checked it out, head over and find out yet more new, interesting facts about the party that is my mind.

Last but in NO WAY least -- it's official. I'm going to be in NYC in April, 2011, yes, right after "Alien in the Family" releases (roughly from April 9th through 21st). Book signing info to come. (I'll also be in New Jersey and Philadelphia.) Alien Collective Members in the area, let me know who and where you are!


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Thursday, October 14, 2010

RinCon Roundup & Other Fun Facts

As my Hook Me Up! subscribers already know, as promised, and as the title declares, my somewhat overdue RinCon 10 update is finally coming to you. I know, jump back with excitement, right?

Well, it WAS exciting. I had a great time. This was a gaming con, and the first I'd ever attended. Made me want to go to many more. Both the attendees and the staff were great -- fun, welcoming, and interesting. I played several games (none all that well, but hey, it was still fun), but not as many as I wanted to. Why? Because I had panels and signings to go to!

I got to be on panels and visit with some awesome authors. In no particular order of awesomeness, I spent all or part of the weekend with (oh, minds OUT of the gutter, people!): Marsheila Rockwell, Michael Stackpole, Weston Ochse, Yvonne Navarro, and Jeff Mariotte. In addition, the wonderful Maryelizabeth Hart from Mysterious Galaxy (http://www.mystgalaxy.com/) was there, too. Shout outs to coordinators extraordinaire Lee and Nadine Whiteside, and awesome show-runner Bo Radakovich and his merry band of uber-staff who made it a great experience for all.

Got to hang with some of the Alien Collective and eat fab Spanish and Mexican food, and also an extremely delish and exotic PB&J, and in general have a really great working weekend.

Fun facts: Both Michael Stackpole and Jeff Mariotte have over 40 books published. Each. I'm in awe. And they're both really generous with their advice, both for aspiring and newer authors. Great dudes, get their books...with close to 100 between them, really, don't ask for a recommendation, just trot out and grab. Okay, okay, one recommendation from Jeff's list -- I came home with a copy of the Angel Omnibus, written by him and some others. Yes, it's a big, thick book of Angel comics. LOVING it (especially the sections Jeff wrote).

Marcy Rockwell's "Legacy of Wolves" is still available from her directly, and she gave me the happy word that her next novel should be coming out in a year or so. Love her writing, get LoW if you can, get the next one no matter what.

Got to see the lovely cover for Yvonne Navarro's newest, "Highborn", in person. Book looks amazingly awesome. Yvonne has over 20 books published, but I have to say, "Highborn" sort of screams "tell everyone to buy ME 'cause I'm so cool", so, um go get it 'cause it's so cool. (Hey, I do what the covers tell me to do.)

Also got to see my fave clandestine ops zombie author, Weston Ochse. Check out his blog...you'll find a pic of the two of us at RinCon (you shouldn't have to search all that hard, either, LOL). Weston's "Empire of Salt" is literally sold out in the U.S. If you can get a copy, do so -- great zombie book (and we do know the Collective likes zombies, don't we?). Copies ARE still available in Europe, and it's worth hunting for; a little clandestine birdy tells me that Amazon.uk is the easiest place to find and order from.

For all the Swag Hounds out there, I have bad news, though. The only swag I came home with is staying with me. ('Cause Bo gave said swag to ME, that's why! MY preciouses!) Call me selfish, I'll just cackle as I play with my cute little stuffed germ microbes. (Erm, don't ask.)

Speaking of drifts and all that, we have some more updates from the Alien Collective. Tale a look at the lovely blog re-do and what books Absorbed in a Book is waiting on, and then check out the overall SF/F/SFR roundup at Literary Escapism. Finally, head over to Queen of the Frozen North and see what books she thinks would make great movies.

Is there more? Oh, I'm sure there is. But that's what Friday and the weekend are for, right? Of course right!


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Happy Hump Day! There's lots going on today, so let's get right to what we're waiting for. Which is, um, what we're waiting for. (Yeah, I'll work on that phrasing. Later.)

As my Hook Me Up! subscribers already know, and many of you know, too (and now all of you will), I write under several pen names. My Anita Ensal pen name has two short stories coming out in the near months in two DAW anthologies. Check out my interview about the "Love and Rockets" anthology over at The Galaxy Express. And, you know, if you put "Love and Rockets" and "Boondocks Fantasy" on your pre-order lists, well, I wouldn't object. Right along there with "Alien Tango" and "Alien in the Family", of course.

After checking that out, see what books other members of the Alien Collective are waiting for. Hit That Bookish Girl, Pearls Cast Before a McPig, and Panic in the Lingerie to see what books they can't wait for, and share what you're panting for, too.

Speaking of "Alien Tango", the ARC Giveaway contest is still going strong, but not for very much longer (contest ends this Friday, Oct. 15th). It's also still for my Hook Me Up! subscribers only. So, if you're not on, it's not too late, but only just. Send an email to gini@ginikoch.com with "Hook Me Up!" in the subject line, you'll be in, get the rules, and be able to have a chance to win. Check out the prize packs at the Win Stuff page in case you're not sure it's worth it (it is, believe me, it is).

Also still large and in charge at the Blog is my interview with author Janice Hardy. There's still time to get entered to win (contest ends next Tuesday, Oct. 19th), and Janice is giving away TWO copies of her books, which from the excerpts alone have moved onto my Must Read pile. And don't think, Oh, Middle Grade, nothing for Me there, because the way Janice writes, there's something for EVERYone there! Gotta get 'em, and since there's a chance to win them, I strongly suggest y'all go for it! The beautiful covers are just icing on the cake (but they ARE beautiful...and we're all about the beautiful covers here!).

Last but in no way least, a reminder that I'll be in Columbus, OH at the end of the month, attending World Fantasy Con. Any of you who are nearby, please let me know. If you've already let me know, um, remind me again. I still have Con Jet Lag (my new term for the exhaustion that hits you when you're at and especially once you're home from a con -- like it?), so all I remember is that I'm going to WFC, not necessarily who I'll be getting to see there.

So off you go! Enter to win, enjoy the interviews, share your anticipations, and enjoy the downward slide towards the weekend! I'll see you tomorrow, with my overdue RinCon 10 update. See? Anticipation IS the name of today's game!


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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Interview & Giveaway with Janice Hardy!

Well, we have a special guest today at the Blah, Blah, Blah Blog -- author Janice Hardy! Janice is a voracious reader, which used to get her into a lot of trouble in school. Eventually, she figured out writing stories in class made it look like she was doing actual work, so her teachers left me alone. Since then, writing has worked out way better than algebra ever did. She now writes young adult fiction and no one ever tells her to cut it out and pay attention anymore.

For her debut fantasy novel, “The Shifter”, she tapped into her dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices.

She lives in Georgia with her husband, three cats and one nervous freshwater eel.

Q: An eel? Really? Wow. Okay, we’ll get back to the eel. First, though, in your debut MG fantasy novel in your Healing Wars series, “The Shifter”, we meet Nya for the first time. How did you come up with her?

A: I knew I wanted someone with the pain shifting ability to be the protag, but it wasn’t until I did the world building that Nya came to be. I needed to understand more about the world before I could put someone in there and make them suffer (which is very important to me as a writer). She evolved as I wrote that first book and learned more about her.

Q: Can we get a small taste of “The Shifter” for those who may not have read it yet?

A: Sure!

Stealing eggs is a lot harder than stealing the whole chicken. With chickens, you just grab a hen, stuff her in a sack and, make your escape. But for eggs, you have to stick your hand under a sleeping chicken. Chickens don’t like this. They wake all spooked and start pecking holes in your arm, or your face, if it’s close. And they squawk something terrible.

The trick is to
wake the chicken first, then go for the eggs. I’m embarrassed to say how long it took me to figure this out.

“Good morning little hen,” I sang softly. The chicken blinked awake and cocked her head at me. She didn’t get to squawking, just flapped her wings a
bit as I lifted her off the nest, and she’d settle down once I tucked her under my arm. I’d overheard that trick from a couple of boys I’d unloaded fish with last week.

A voice came from beside me. “Don’t move.”

Two words I didn’t want to hear with someone else’s chicken under my arm.

Q: ROFL, I love it! The second book in this series, “Blue Fire” releases on October 5th in hardcover. What’s new for the characters in this book?

A: They get to travel some (not all of them willingly) and Nya has her world view turned upside down. It was a lot of fun to write because Nya has a very small focus of what her world is like, and the world in general. She “knows” her right and wrong, friends and enemies, and those beliefs are challenged quite a bit in “Blue Fire.” Being able to push a character that far outside their comfort zone let me do a lot of interesting things with her.

Q: Is your Healing Wars series a trilogy or do you see it going on beyond three books?

A: Just a trilogy. Every once in a while I wonder about a prequel that deals with the war Nya lost her parents in, then think, “Nah.” A short story, maybe, but it’s not enough for a whole novel.

Q: You have distinctly different US vs. UK covers and titles for the first book. The blurbs for both are also distinctly different. Why was that, and will it be the same for the rest of the books in this series?

A: There are two different teams working on the covers and the blurbs, one in the US and one in the UK. What works for the one country doesn’t always work for the other, and they write/design what they feel will best sell the book to their markets. The US team wrote something new for “The Shifter” cover blub, but the UK team pretty much used my original query letter. Both used “Blue Fire” as the tile for book two, but this time the US team used the blurb I sent in, and the UK wrote something new. The UK also redesigned the covers of both books and they look amazing. So far, it looks like book three will be the same title for both, but different cover art. I’ve seen early sketches for book three and it looks awesome so far.

Q: I can relate to the joy of having awesome covers. So, other than Nya, who’s your favorite character in the series, and why?

A: I’m a huge fan of the bad guys, so Zertanik the pain merchant is my favorite from “The Shifter,” and a new character, Vyand, is my favorite from “Blue Fire.” Zertanik is fun because he’s so irreverent and practical, even though what he’s asking for is horrible. Vyand is similar in that she’s just doing her job, and she actually likes Nya a lot, despite what she’s doing to her. I also have a soft spot for Nya’s best friend, Aylin, because she always seems to get the best lines.

Q: Could we get an excerpt of “Blue Fire”?

A: Of course.

“Nya, you’ll hate yourself if you do this.”

I’d hate myself more if I let another chance to find Tali pass me by. I reached out a shaking hand out and wrapped it around his arm. Felt my way in. Similar wounds, but lower, piercing the liver, stomach. I stopped the bleeding, eased the shock. Fresh pain cut though me and I slumped against Danello.

The soldier stirred.

“As—” My throat wouldn’t let the words out.

Danello licked his lips and nodded. “Where are the Takers being kept? The ones deciding whether or not to serve the Duke?”

The solider looked around, confused and scared. “What?”

“The Takers. Where are they?”

I tightened my grip and pushed, just a little of his pain back. He screamed. I took a deep breath and gathered the pain in the hollow space between my heart and guts, held it there as best I could.

Aylin grabbed my hands. “Nya, stop. There’s ugly and there’s just plain wrong.” She locked her gaze on mine. “I can live with ugly if we get our people back, but I’m not letting you do wrong. Might as well turn yourself in to the Duke if you start that.”

Q: Love it! You scored the author’s “ultimate”, a hard/soft deal. What was that like, and how has it affected your writing, deadlines, promotion, etc.?

A: It felt pretty amazing, as you can imagine. And surreal. I kept waiting to wake up and find out it was all a mistake. I’d break into giggles and say, “I sold my book, I sold my book” at odd moments throughout the day. The deal gave me confidence that I didn’t stink as a writer, but then there was the typical second book struggle where I was convinced the first book was a fluke and I couldn’t really write, so it kinda balanced out. Now that I’ve finished book three, I think I’ve finally figured out how to fit it all into my schedule. But the day-to-day stuff? I dedicate a little more time to write, and when a book comes out I have to be pretty active in promoting it, but my life is basically the same now as it was before I sold “The Shifter.”

Having a deadline is both a blessing and a curse. It’s highly motivating and makes it a lot easier to make writing a priority. But it can put a lot of pressure on you if the writing just isn’t going well for whatever reason. I’ve always worked in deadline-heavy jobs (I’ve been a graphic designer for ages, with print deadlines to keep) so I’m comfortable with them.

Promotion has been new for me, and that’s been the biggest challenge. Like a lot of writers, speaking in front of large groups of people scares me, so I’ve had to overcome that for book signings and school events. They’re a lot of fun so it’s worth it, but I’m always a nervous wreck before them. I also feel bad about “pestering” folks about my book, but networking is all about making contacts and reaching out to strangers.

Q: When is the third book coming, and what’s its title? What can we expect for Nya and the other characters in this book?

A: October 2011. Right now it’s called “Darkfall,” (I think this is the first time I’ve ever said that publically) but the way my titles have gone, I would not be surprised if it changed. As the final book of the trilogy, it’s deals a lot with the war between Geveg and the Duke, and how Nya and her friends fit into that.

Q: Oooh, we got a scoop! Awesome! So, what do you like best about writing for an MG audience?

A: The freedom to do just about anything. Kids have great imaginations, and while they have well-defined BS meters, they’ll go with you anywhere you want to take them if you do it right. There’s also a wonderful sense of immediacy with MG fiction, because kids can get totally in the moment so much better than adults. Grownups have too much baggage and part of our brains are always thinking about the mundane stuff. Or at least mine is (grin).

Q: I see we both have pink laptops. Excellent choice! So, are you an outliner, linear writer, or scene sewer?

A: Outliner for sure. I need to have a general plot structure with my major turning points to help keep me focused. But within that structure, I let my characters run free. I always know where I’m going, but rarely how I’ll get there. This combination keeps me on target but still lets me be spontaneous. I do like to write linearly, since where my characters are at emotionally really dictates what they’ll do in a scene.

Q: Morning or evening, chaos or solitude, music or silence? What’s your perfect set up for writing?

A: I’m a morning person, so I usually hit the keyboard around 8am, and write until about 11am. If I’m on deadline (and have the time), sometimes I’ll write in the afternoons, but I’m most creative in the mornings. I like silence and solitude (except for the cats) since I get distracted easily. I don’t like to write every day though, or I get burned out. I prefer to write for a few days, then take a day off. Sundays I don’t work on my books at all, but I do write my blog posts for the upcoming week.

Q: So we’re exact opposites. No worries, your odd working habits will not affect our friendship. Your career seems to have been mainly arts-focused. Do you still do design work, or are you writing full time?

A: When I went off to college, I knew I had only two real skills. Writing and design. I figured I’d starve a lot faster as a writer than a designer, so I went to school for that. It worked out well, actually, and I still do both. I write in the mornings, then after lunch I work on the design jobs. Both sides have odd schedules, so I’ll have weeks where I’m swamped and weeks where I have nothing to do.

Q: You’ve SCUBA dived and skydived. What’s the next dive ‘thing’ you’re going to master?

A: Ooo good question. I really don’t know. What others are there? I tried regular old springboard diving as a kid, but hitting the pool from high up hurt. I’m also way too klutzy to do it well.

Q: Sadly, I can relate to the klutzy. Favorite musical artist?

A: Melissa Etheridge

Q: Love her music, too, so nice choice. Now…an eel? Really? Ho do your pets stack up against mine, The Killer Kitties and The Canine Death Squad?

A: I have three cats, and Eelbert the Eel. With those monikers, I think your pets could take mine any day. But my Nikita could smother you with kitty love. Or just smother you. She’s quite the butterball.

Q: She’s like my Dementia Kitty, then, at least in terms of size. So, the big question: What’s one thing about you that someone who hasn’t read this interview wouldn’t know?

A: That I’m a huge zombie fan. I even have a yard zombie in my backyard, crawling up out of the ground. I wanted to put him in the front yard, but my husband fought me on that. So it’s there under a tree in the back, right in sight if you look out my kitchen windows. New folks come over, look out, and say, “Wow, what a lovely view—oh my gads, what the heck is that thing under the tree?!”

Well, if that doesn’t show exactly why I love you, nothing will. Plus, zombie love is definitely going to endear you to a large chunk of the Alien Collective. So zombie and alien lovers alike, if you want to find out more about Janice and her awesome series, check her out on the web.

Her blog: The Other Side of The Story http://storyflip.blogspot.com/
Her website: http://wwwjanicehardy.com

Janice, thank you so much for being here today. And, thank you even more for what I’m about to announce!

Janice will be giving away TWO books to TWO lucky winners! (We’re all about the winning this month, aren’t we?) Just leave a question or comment for her on the blog, along with your email address. The two winners will be picked at random, and you’ll have a choice of either “The Shifter” or “Blue Fire”. (And if you’re nice, I’ll bet Janice will sign and personalize the books for you, too.)

Contest is open to anyone who leaves a blog comment or question for Janice and also leaves their email addy so we can get in touch with you. Contest is international, and will run through Wednesday, October 19th. Winners will be announced by Monday, October 25th.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

So Long, Farewell...Oh, Not For LONG

Happy Friday!

Well, as y'all know, I'm going to RinCon 10 today, and as my Hook Me Up! subscribers already know, we'll be going to mostly radio silence until I'm back (sometime on Monday).

If you're in the Tucson area this weekend, check my Datebook page, or my page at BookTour.com to see where I'll be when at the RinCon Games.

Remember that the "Alien Tango" ARC Giveaway contest is still going strong. And, no, it's not too late to get in on the contest action. That is, if you're on Hook Me Up! Not on yet? Well, now is certainly the time to change that status. Send an email to gini@ginikoch.com with "Hook Me Up!" in the subject line, and get in on this contest while you still can!

I leave you with a teaser -- come Tuesday, Oct. 12th, we'll have a special author interview with Janice Hardy right here at the Blah, Blah, Blah Blog, and come Wednesday, Oct. 13th, we'll have an interview with moi, or a side of moi, at The Galaxy Express. In other words, enjoy the down time, 'cause I'll be back with a LOT to keep y'all occupied!

So, keep it real while I'm gone and get down with your bad selves and have an awesome weekend! Peace out, li'l gangstas!


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Monday, October 4, 2010

The Love Keeps A'Comin'!

Happy Monday, everyone! Well, as my Hook Me Up! subscribers know better than anyone, it was a busy weekend, with lots of "Alien Tango" ARC contest entries and tons of awesome blog posts. The contest doesn't close until Oct. 15th, but if you're not on Hook Me Up!, you're not eligible to win. Rectify that situation and send an email to gini@ginikoch.com with "Hook Me Up!" in the subject line, and get in while the getting's really good!

There's more going on than my contest, of course. First up, we have another great review of "Touched by an Alien". Head over to That Bookish Girl, check out her review, leave a comment, show the Alien Collective love, you know how it goes.

Then, check out the latest on Project Pay It Forward at The Amber Scott Project. What are YOUR reasons?

Next up, the "Alien in the Family" cover is getting more and more love! Check out what Alien Collective Members in Very Good Standing ALPHA Reader, Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks, and newly minted author Diane Dooley have to say about the awesomeness that are covers by Daniel Dos Santos!

We have an Alien Collective Member in Very Good Standing speaking up, and paying up, for a great cause. Check out what Babbling About Books has going on to support anti-bullying foundations, leave a comment, do what you can to help.

Last but not least, congrats to our Alien Collective Member in Very Good Standing Patti/The Book Addict, for being the winner of the "Sheeped by an Alien" T-shirt from I Smell Sheep,. Some people use the random number generator...but not the Sheep People! Check out their (hilarious) way of choosing who wins.

Reminder: I'll be at RinCon Games 10 con in Tucson all this coming weekend. If you'll be there or nearby, let me know!


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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Alien Tango ARC Giveaway Gator Pack Three: Alliflash Pack


Gator Pack Three: Alliflash Pack

No ARC, but nothing to cry about, either. This has the Fight the Fuglies Starter Kit containing: a personalized, signed copy of “Touched by an Alien”; a pen; a signed can of “Everhold”; all in an exclusive “Alien Tango” tote bag. Completing the ensemble are 2 cover flats for “Touched by an Alien” and “Alien Tango”, “Touched by an Alien” and “Alien Tango” posters, postcards, magnets, an Alien Collective baseball cap.

It's a pack you'll want to race out like a crazed 'gator on the hunt to get.

Question: You've got to tame the 'gator in order to make it out alive. What do you use, how do you use it, and what does the gator do when you do it?

(Not on Hook Me Up! yet? It's not too late to enter to win. Send an email to gini@ginikoch.com with "Hook Me Up!" in the subject line. We'll send you instructions. You'll get entered, and maybe you'll get lucky!)

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Alien Tango ARC Giveaway Gator Pack Two: Gigantagator Pack


Gator Pack Two: Gigantagator Pack

No ARC, but still pretty impressive. This has the Fight the Fuglies Starter Kit containing: a personalized, signed copy of “Touched by an Alien”; a pen; a signed can of “Everhold”; all in an exclusive “Alien Tango” tote bag. Completing the ensemble are 2 cover flats for “Touched by an Alien” and “Alien Tango”, “Touched by an Alien” and “Alien Tango” posters, postcards, magnets, an Alien Collective mug.

Hey, if you can't have the ARC, this is a darned good substitute.

Question: You're faced with the largest alligator in, as near as you can tell, existence, and it's looking at you like it's snack time and you're a Snickers Bar. What do you do, dudes & dudettes...WHAT DO YOU DO?

(Not on Hook Me Up! yet? It's not too late to enter to win. Send an email to gini@ginikoch.com with "Hook Me Up!" in the subject line. We'll send you instructions. You'll get entered, and maybe you'll get lucky!)

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Alien Tango ARC Giveaway Gator Pack One: The Tango Surprise


Gator Pack One: The Tango Surprise

The big Kahuna. This Pack has the ARC (my precious, my precious, my ONLY precious), which will come to you signed and endorsed, along with a complete Fight the Fuglies Kit containing: a personalized, signed copy of “Touched by an Alien”; a pen; a signed can of “Everhold”; all in a Limited Edition Gini Bag. And if that’s not enough, toss in 2 cover flats for “Touched by an Alien” and “Alien Tango”, posters of “Touched by an Alien” and “Alien Tango”, postcards, magnets, an Alien Collective baseball cap, and an Alien Collective mug, in an Alien Collective tote bag.

What's not to love? Or more importantly, what's not to fight through an alligator to get?

Question: What would you fight through in order to win this Gator Pack, and what mad skillz and ordinary household items would you use to fight with?

(Not on Hook Me Up! yet? It's not too late to enter to win. Send an email to gini@ginikoch.com with "Hook Me Up!" in the subject line. We'll send you instructions. You'll get entered, and maybe you'll get lucky!)

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Whole Lotta Lovin' Goin' On

Happy Friday, everyone! Well, as my Hook Me Up! subscribers already know, we have a lot going on today, and not JUST the "Alien Tango" ARC Giveaway contest. There'll be more info on that as we go along, but first, let's get all the other fun stuff out of the way.

There is lots and lots of love going 'round the blogosphere for the awesomeness that is the "Alien in the Family" cover. Check out what Alien Collective Members in Very Good Standing The Book Addict, Bibliognome, and Pearls Cast Before a McPig have to say about the new cover.

Then check out Larissa's Bookish Life's Countdown Page where she has a countdown going for both "Alien Tango" AND "Alien in the Family". (They're also proudly displayed on her main page, if you scroll down a bit.)

Remember, if you want the images to display, for any of the covers, just drop me a line and we'll get them right out to you.

Now, on to the Giveaway. You're on Hook Me Up!, right? Then you'll be knowing what to do. What's that? You still AREN'T on Hook Me Up!, the free subscription that let's you hear it first and get in on all the cool stuff? Well, you'll want to rectify that pronto. Send an email to gini@ginikoch.com with "Hook Me Up!" in the subject line. And do it fast -- the contest is starting in 3..2..1...


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