The gentlemen on the road

November 22nd, 2015

It’s a lot of fun, creating the bespoke editions of THE BASTARDS’ PARADISE: each inscribed with a personal note, and pages from my research materials, then individually bedecked in twine or velvet or torn silk; each with its one-of-a-kind memory box, a cache of the sweet clutter we keep to remind us of times that filled our hearts  . . . And off goes the book on the road to its reader.


And the BASTARDS had great fun in NYC, with a launch reading at KGB that concluded with the first scene from UNDER THE POPPY, Istvan reunited with his love, Rupert: because that’s what these books are about, those circular leavings and greetings again, the journey that ends, always, with lovers meeting.

[Photo: Rick Lieder]


See you in Paradise

October 25th, 2015

THE BASTARDS’ PARADISE preorder link is live: so I may meet you there, sending a book your way, creating a bespoke package for you . . . Creating each one-of-a-kind package, the book wrapped, the mementos chosen, is going to be a huge amount of fun.


Or we may meet at the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, in the hallways or at the bar, or at my “Intoxication of Fantasy” gathering, where we’ll share the books that make us drunk with pleasure; I know I’ll be reading from Riddley Walker and A Dead Man in Deptford.

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Or maybe we’ll meet at KGB Bar in NYC, where I’ll be doing a launch reading of THE BASTARDS’ PARADISE on November 18.

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Or maybe we’ll meet when you tell me what you think of something I’ve written that you’ve read, whether you loved it or didn’t: through Facebook or Twitter or emailing me (kathe AT kathekoja dot com). Fierce readers, friends of the Poppy, lovers of intoxicating prose, get at me, let’s have that conversation, let’s visit Paradise together.

You get what you pay for

October 16th, 2015

Creators create, that’s a given. Words, music, motion, visuals: they make.

And appreciators appreciate, when what that creator’s made hits and pleases their own receptors: they read, listen, watch, attend; they take part with their energy, because art is a full contact sport.

Somewhere in this equation, there’s payment.

Creators pay with their lives (does that sound melodramatic? A life is made of days and hours; so is art). If you do appreciate a piece of art – if you want it to exist – you should pay for it. The forms that payment can take are varied, and the transaction ought to be satisfying: give till it hurts is bullshit. Give because it’s fun.

No one has to pay for art. No one has to have art. But if you do want it, then you know what to do: help it happen, make it happen. Pay for it.



“I loved this book. It broke my heart.”

October 9th, 2015


The first review of THE BASTARDS’ PARADISE:

“I loved this book. It broke my heart and gutted me and made me cry, but it also made me grin, and shake my head, and turn the pages faster.

And when I walked blinking out into the light, it stayed in my head. And that, not-so-fucking-gentle-reader, is what makes a story.”

Yes. Because this is the reason to write: to be read, to be able to tell that story, have that conversation, communication, with one reader at a time. Many thanks to Cat Hellisen, and to all readers to whom this book, this Poppy world, speaks true.


THE BASTARDS’ PARADISE is forthcoming from Roadswell Editions, November 2015.

Always a miracle

October 2nd, 2015

BASTARDS' proofsProofs and jacket in hand for THE BASTARDS’ PARADISE.

It starts as an idea, a pile of sticky of sticky notes, a file – in this case, three times that process, as UNDER THE POPPY led to THE MERCURY WALTZ and now the final journey of the BASTARDS’ PARADISE – and then it’s complete. This is my 16th book, and it’s still and always a kind of miracle: to open the envelope and take out the proofs, the smooth and crackly jacket. And the ebook is a different kind of miracle – that books can be so accessible, so easily.

What a process, what a journey, what a joy.


Appetite must be fed

October 1st, 2015


It’s a book I’ve read and reread throughout the years – the very first authentic horror novel I encountered; I think I was ten – and now, I’ve written an adaptation, performative fiction that asks the most essential, the simplest of all living questions: for what do you hunger?

Eternal life? Endless beauty? The security of total surrender?

If you come to the table, you can ask yourself that question, too. Tickets to DRACULA are available here. 

And here’s a conversation about the production, in the space where dinner will be served.

My definition of hunger has changed throughout those years.