Gini Koch’s second book, Alien Tango, was released two days ago and today I have the opportunity to ask Gini several questions about how she writes and manages her very busy day plus a bonus look at what we can expect from Alien Tango. If you have not read Gini’s first book, Touched by An Alien, you have missed a real treat. Click here for my recommendation posted on May 27, 2010.
Jo: I get your emails, check your web site and read your blog. You are a super busy person. When do you write? Do you have a clone? Ok that is two questions but I still have 2 to go.
Gini: LOL. No, sadly, no clone. And yes, I’m very busy. Time management becomes a huge factor when you have a lot going on, and it’s no different when you’re an author. I also don’t sleep a lot, so I think that helps. Sorta. Frankly, there are many days when I ask myself how I’m getting it done.
I did get some good advice about this from author Christina Skye — she said that everyone has a certain set of hours that are their most creative times, when, if you’re an author, your writing mind is working at its peak. She says to identify those hours and keep them safe, because you’ll get more done in those 2-4 hours than if you were trying to write all day long.
I’ve found that she’s right, and I’m moving my schedule around to protect my main writing hours. I’ve seen a dramatic increase in my number of words written, as well as words retained, so, you know, the “do what the multi-published author suggests and get positive results plan” is working for me!
Jo: I love all the facts that are part of the dialog in Touched by an Alien and how they keep everything moving. Did you have to do a lot of research while writing the books?
Gini: I’m glad you enjoyed it! And yes, I do research. I don’t know if I’d call it a lot — it’s a lot less than research I’ve done for other things, but still, there’s plenty. For most of the A-C traits, however, those came from the characters, as opposed to research. It’s a blend; there’s almost nothing I’ve ever written that didn’t require at least a modicum of research. Some books need more, some less, but research will always be there.
Jo: I am fascinated by the craft of writing and the different approaches authors take. How do you structure your novels and what is you typical writing day like?
Gini: What is this structure of which you speak? LOL. I’m an extreme linear writer. I start with the title and the first line and then go from there until the end, and I just “know” when it’s the end. I don’t structure so much as just roll with it and let the characters tell me what’s going on.
However, my novels do tend to fall along a 4-act structure. I thought I was 3-act for the longest time, but then realized I’m really working on four acts. I do it naturally. Basically, I finish the third act and realize I have another part to tell for the book to be complete.
My typical writing day is my typical day, pretty much day in and day out, unless I’m traveling or at a con of some kind. Then it’s all go-go-go.
The alarm goes off and I hit the snooze button anywhere from 5 to 15 times. (Seriously.) I then drag out of bed with one of the older and more sluggish larks. I give the Killer Kitties and the Canine Death Squad their breakfast, while getting a cup of coffee that my wonderful husband has already brewed. I choke down something for breakfast while I peruse my email, blog, Twitter, and Facebook. If there are things of interest going on, I do a Hook Me Up! email and a blog; I answer anything from my agent or editor, check in with my crit partner, cover all other business-related issues, and then it’s about lunch time. I eat something (usually anyway) then it’s writing time, because my best hours are (shocking to me, the Queen of the Night Owls) between 2-6pm. Then it’s dinner time. If Castle is on I’ll watch it. Then it’s back to writing, promotion and other business-related pursuits. In bed somewhere between 1am and 3am. And then the whole thing starts all over.
Sometimes, to mess it up and keep the body guessing, I go to the Post Office, the market, the massage spa, a doctor’s appointment, or the vet’s office. I’m occasionally dragged off to lunch by friends I treasure not only for their company but because they’re dragging me off for lunch. Other than that, I’m pretty boring, apparently. I put all the interesting stuff into my books, so it seems to be working for me!
Jo: Castle is one of my favorites too. I try to never miss it but on to the next question. What can we expect from “Alien Tango”?
Gini: From the science fiction side, we see much more of Centaurion Division that we did before, including more of how they work with government agencies. We also see Alpha Team under a variety of deadly attacks. A good portion of the action takes place in Florida at and around the Space Center, and we have a different kind of alien involved, as well as a different kind of enemy.
From the romantic side, in addition to some conspiracies that catch everyone pretty much by surprise, Kitty and Martini are having the ever-present relationship challenge of “does your family like me, and why not?” I think everyone can relate to that issue and the desire to impress the family of the person you love. Plus there’s a romantic rival that Martini may have seen coming, but not like this, and whose presence could change everything for Kitty.
Jo: Gini, Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me today. With all of that bonus information I’m off to check my mail box to see if Alien Tango has arrived so I can start reading.
If you would like to know more about Gini go to her web site, http://www.ginikoch.com.