New real estate Saturday, Jun 19 2010 

I’ve moved here – kathekoja.com – to consolidate my blog and my website: please do have a look!  A link to the Under the Poppy blog/site can be found there as well, or you can simply go here.

I also moved that brown divan under the window, and the ficus tree is now out on the porch.

The Cipher: the movie Sunday, Jun 13 2010 

Very excited to announce that the film of The Cipher – titled “The Muse” – is now officially in development.  Names and more details when I can share them, but for now, excelsior!

Notes on The Cipher Thursday, Jun 3 2010 

The Cipher was my first novel, published in 1991 by Dell Abyss. The original title was The Funhole, but the publisher’s marketing department, or whoever it was, made us change it to The Cipher, a title I must confess I never quite understood, except for its suggestion of willed nullity. Or maybe they meant it to mean a total nonentity? Or a secret to be puzzled out? Maybe all three. Maybe it’s a good title. I still prefer The Funhole.


I loved the Marshall Arisman cover (still do) (still love Marshall Arisman); and Rick Lieder made me look badass and glam in the author photo, though the whole “oyster cowboy” thing sounds silly now, and I never wear leather anymore. (I do still have the jacket; maybe I ought to sell it, and donate the proceeds to PETA).

Someone recently told me what a great graphic novel The Cipher would make. Film, too (and more details on that soon…). “An almost painfully visual book,” he said. Someone else said it would make a fantastic game, a world to get lost in.  A 3D game …. Deliberately seedy, deliberately late 20th century, before any of the connective tech we take for granted now. A cheap video camera, a hole in the floor. Curious eyes.

Writing The Cipher was a thoroughly joyful experience; I had no idea what would happen, I only followed the story. Would people like it? Who would read it? Who would publish it? I asked none of those questions, I just wrote.  I did the same thing with Under the Poppy. Joy is a bellwether.

[For all those who have asked, signed copies of The Cipher are available from me, both original and reprint editions; email kathe AT kathekoja.com for details.]

See Emily play! Sunday, May 30 2010 

Oh, snap!

826Michigan is going to teach you a lesson Wednesday, May 26 2010 

But only if you sign up in time for the Fall Fiction Writers Conference, September 24-26, where I’m happy to say I’ll be part of “PUBLISHING IN GENERAL AND THE YA NOVEL IN PARTICULAR,” a Q & A session with Barbara Shoup, Lara Zielin, and Margo Rabb, where we’ll talk about, what else, publishing and YA.  For more details follow the link, or contact keithhood@mac.com for info.

Shopping for a top hat: Under the Poppy on Kickstarter Wednesday, May 19 2010 

You put your fishnets on one leg at a time, right? And then you reach for the top hat?  So will our talented actors, thanks to “Buy Some Knickers for A Floozy, our Kickstarter project that’s just gone live.  We’re asking for pledges to fund our costume budget for Under the Poppy onstage, coming to the Chrysler Theatre at the Detroit Opera House in early 2011.  The costumes will be a wonderful amalgam of Victorian, punk, Romantic, gothic style, as created by award-winning designer Monika Essen.

Kickstarter is a fun platform to use – you can tell we had a good time making that video – and our premiums are meant to be fun, too: everything from scratch’n’sniff cards to signed prints of the gorgeous costume sketches to a signed copy of Under the Poppy.  So if you want to have a share in the good times, come on over to Kickstarter and pledge $10, $25, or go wild and buy a whole costume for $500. It’s like playing dress-up with real live people!

The pungent mysteries of compost Friday, May 14 2010 

…or, what happens to old stories/novels/fragments? Mine go into drawers, or piles, or (if they’ve reached the almost-there phase, which may or may not mean the work itself is actually finished) files in the “Work” folder, to occasionally be examined later. And very occasionally mined.  But almost never do they climb back into the light to become more than interesting fodder, the detritus of experiments worked awry. Sometimes failing better really is the way to go.

Buddha Boy at ZHS Thursday, May 6 2010 

While you enjoy this outpouring of creativity from the Zephyrhills High School students who read, considered, and made Buddha Boy their own, please note that there was also music composed and performed, found poetry, writing, discussion, a letter from the Criminal Justice class detailing the civil and social costs of bullying, donations collected (via begging bowl) for a victim of bullying … the list goes on and on. Oh, and did I mention the engaged and energetic GSA? What fantastic kids! What a visit. I wish I could spend a week there walking the halls, taking in everything, and, especially, talking to the students.  Thank you, ZHS students and faculty and administration, and the tireless Kari Kadlub who worked so hard to make this happen.

One book, one school, Buddha Boy … Tuesday, May 4 2010 

… at Zephyrhills High School, near Tampa, Florida: look for me there Wednesday, May 5.  I’m looking forward to hearing all of the opinions and ideas, to answering questions and asking some, too, to rediscovering this story through the minds of new readers, all the students, teachers, staff. Every reader creates, recreates, a book anew.

Shared worlds with the beasts fantastic Friday, Apr 30 2010 

Shared Worlds asked some writers, including me, to invest some beasts for the students, and they did, and here they are. Chimerical, yeah, but if you close your eyes you can just about touch them; some of them you can even smell. And as the comments note, in August “the students of Shared Worlds 2010 [will] have illustrated entries with original artwork, and included their own thoughts on these beasts,” and that will be something to see with your eyes open.

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