Today I am interviewing Kathe Koja, author of the new short-fiction collection, Velocities.
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DJ: Hi Kathe! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Kathe Koja: Hi, and thanks for the invitation! I’m a writer – working on my 18th book now – and an event creator, putting together creative artists from various disciplines to make immersive events.
DJ: What is Velocities about?
Kathe: Velocities is my second fiction collection, bringing together stories I chose that seemed to have a similar feeling, or mood, or attitude. It wasn’t a strict or even really conscious process, more like arranging a bouquet of strange flowers than assembling a construct.
DJ: What were some of the inspirations behind Velocities?
Kathe: I’ve written a lot of short stories. And my last collection, Extremities, came out quite awhile ago. And I had two unpublished stories I wanted to share, so . . . It was the right time to put together a new collection.
DJ: What kinds of stories can readers expect in the anthology?
Kathe: There are straight-up horror stories here, there are historical stories, there are totally unclassifiable stories. But all of them offer a reader a moment of connection with a character. All my fiction, stories and novels, begins always with a character.
DJ: Being an author, what do you believe makes a good short-story? How does it differ from wiring novel-length stories?
Kathe: A short story, at its best, is distilled, it’s like a shot of espresso, it hits the bloodstream right away. A novel is always a slower burn.
And I can pretty much tell, or feel, how long a work is going to be before I begin – some characters’ situations will require room, and some will flash by like a comet. And if I do my job right, that comet will light up the sky for the reader.
DJ: This may… this will be a difficult question to answer, but what are some of your favorite stories in Velocities? I don’t mean what you believe is the best, but perhaps some story has a particular setting, theme, message, or character that stood out to you?
Kathe: My own favorite is “La reine d’Enfer.” That story is told by Pearlie, an exceedingly streetwise young man, who’s already seen a great deal of darkness in his young life, and is determined not to be its victim, no matter what that takes. He’s very smart, and appallingly amoral, and I’m very fond of him.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Velocities?
Kathe: Being able to offer these stories to readers, especially readers who might never have read anything of mine before. A collection’s an excellent way to learn whether a writer’s voice is one you want to spend time with.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Kathe: I would love to know the answer to that! I hope readers will share their thoughts, reactions, reviews, when they’ve finished Velocities.
DJ: Now that Velocities is released, what is next for you?
Kathe: My classic novel The Cipher will be reissued ub September 2020, by Meerkat Press, who are also publishing Velocities. I’m pretty geeked for new readers to meet the Funhole. https://www.meerkatpress.com/books/the-cipher/
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Velocities that we haven’t talked about yet?
Kathe: That there’s also a wonderful audio edition of Velocities about to launch from Crossroad Press: much more performance than just narration, and it’s another way to fly at the speed of strange with these stories.
DJ: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Kathe: I’m working on an immersive fiction project called Dark Factory – it’s a mash-up of fiction and an immersive event, in one totally new way of working. Amazing graphic artists, graffiti muralists, musicians, they’re already involved, and there’s more to come as the project comes to life. People can check it out, and come join the party, on my Patreon https://www.patreon.com/kathekoja
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
Kathe: Very welcome, and thanks for having me 🙂
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***Velocities is published by Meerkat Press and is available TODAY!!!***
Buy the Book:
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$50 Book Shopping Spree!
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About the Book:
From the award-winning author of The Cipher and Buddha Boy, comes Velocities, Kathe Koja’s second electrifying collection of short fiction. Thirteen stories, two never before published, all flying at the speed of strange.
About the Author:
Kathe Koja writes novels and short fiction, and creates and produces immersive fiction performances, both solo and with a rotating ensemble of artists. Her work crosses and combines genres, and her books have won awards, been translated, and optioned for film and performance. She is based in Detroit and thinks globally.