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I had decided to retire the literary Would You Rather series, but didn't want to stop interviews on the site all together. Instead, I've pulled together 40ish questions - some bookish, some silly - and have asked authors to limit themselves to answering only 10 of them. Kathe Koja does just that.... check it out!
The 40 but 10
Interview Series: Kathe Koja
Q: What songs would be on the soundtrack of your life?
A: This list would definitely spool on longer, but these special
songs begin it:
Inner City/Kevin Saunderson – Big Fun
R.E.M. – Discoverer
New Order – Slow Jam
Sinead O’Connor – Just Like U Said It Would B
Bowie – Heroes
Perfume Genius – Describe
Shearwater – White Waves
Nina Simone – Feeling Good
Sigur Rós – Glósóli
I’ve also sworn an oath to dance to the Weather Girls’ eternal
banger “It’s Raining Men” whenever and wherever it’s played, so that’s in the
Q: Would you and your main characters get along?
A: In Dark Park (and
Dark Factory) everybody gets along
with Ari Regon, the star producer, except the people who try to control him—an
impossible task—so he and I would do just fine. Ari’s always up for what’s
next, no matter what it is, a new club, a new reality, and I find that kind of
DJ Felix Perez is very talented and very mercurial: either
we would vibe right away, or give each other a wide berth—though I would
respect his intense work ethic, and dance to his beats.
Filmmaker Sergey Kendricks is equally intense, but his is a
calm intensity, like the ocean rolling in. I would love to tag along and
observe him at work—though he’d be observing me, of course, along with
everybody and everything else around him. Because Sergey misses nothing.
Marfa Carpenter is a journalist, so we would have writing in
common. And she’s not afraid to say what she thinks, and I’m not either, so it
would be a lively conversation. But she’s always ready to ask the question
you’re not sure you want to answer.
Max Caspar, the reality artist—oh Max.
Q: If you met your Dark
Park characters in real life, what would you say to them?
A: I’d really love to know what they would say to me!
Q: Do you read the reviews of your books or do you stay far
far away from them, and why?
A: Oh I always read them, if I see them. I want to know if a
conversation has taken place between that reader, that reviewer, and my book—that’s
the whole point of writing and reading, to facilitate that shared engagement. Whether
a review is positive or negative, if I can see that a conversation happened, if
the reader/reviewer truly read and reacted to the book I wrote, then I’m
I do believe that to make art professionally, the artist
needs to come to terms, their own terms, with public reviews and reactions to
their work, good and bad, and do that as early in their working life as
Q: What genres won’t you read?
A: The more hyphenated a genre gets, the more striated, the
more I worry. If a book is primarily about its genre, how much attention will
it give to its characters, to its use of language, its voice? But it’s a moot
question really because I read fiction for voice, and if the voice is there,
genre doesn’t matter to me at all.
Q: If you could spend the day with another author, who would
you choose and why?
A: A twofer: Emily Brontë in the morning, for a long
wordless walk on the hills, then all-night clubbing with Christopher Marlowe. What
a total fangirl thrill, to contemplate spending 24 hours like that!
Q: What are some of your favorite websites and social media
My favorite social media platform doesn’t exist. I’m on IG
and Facebook and Threads.
Q: If you could remove one color from the world, what would
it be and why?
A: That terrible babyshit brown. Call it sunset khaki, call
it desert yellow, it is a color without excuse and it has to go.
Q: What’s the single best line you ever read?
A: “Though in Kyoto . . . I long for Kyoto,” by the forever-astonishing
Bashō. Everything about life, about longing and desire, permanence and
restlessness—it’s a novel in seven words.
Q: Why do you write?
A: Because it’s what I am.
The only thing wilder than a night at the club is the morning after, in Paradise . . .
DARK FACTORY opened the doors to a reality-bending dance club, an online immersive portal, and the feeling that the whole world is on the brink of something new. DARK PARK follows visionary filmmaker Sergey Kendricks as he tracks Ari Regon and Felix the DJ through the fever and chaos of stardom and celebrity culture, while Max Caspar quests deeper into the unstable gaming landscape of Birds of Paradise: pursued and idolized by fans, acolytes, haters, and schemers, all dazed by beauty and searching for the end of the world.
Kathe Koja writes award-winning fiction, and creates and produces live and virtual immersive stories that cross and combine genres. She lives in Detroit and thinks globally.