Thursday, June 7, 2018

KOKO Returns

By Steve Weddle

The lovely and talented Kieran Shea has a new KOKO book out this week, KOKO UNCAGED. Buy it wherever KOKOs are sold.

Defeating a group of hijackers, Koko returns to earth a hero and gets a job as a personal bodyguard for a CEO. Her plan? To finance her revenge on psychotic bounty agent Jackie Wire. When Koko's boss asks her to participate in a dangerous rally on his behalf for half the prize money, Wire takes her opportunity to attack her nemesis...

I chatted with Kieran this week about the book.

Koko is now a hero? What's going on here?

Well, Koko Martstellar has always been more hero than an anti-hero. Standing back from the three books now, I think it's fair to say the series is about being true to one's nature. Since the first book Koko has tried to deny the killer angel inside her, but at last she has come to terms with this identity.

And Jackie Wire is back? Can't Koko ever get free?

Wire has way more space to breathe in the new novel. In book two--Koko the Mighty--Wire survived her confrontation with Koko so as a tenacious foil it only made sense for her to come back to finish the job. A third round, perhaps one martini too many. We get to see a deeper side of her character, even her romantic side.

This series is universally praised as "madcap fun, filled with profane violence." Will readers get more in this new installment?

Well, why stop now? I mean, I sometimes get static over the comedic violence and the salty language, but I always respond to such criticisms by saying, "Have you taken a good look at the world lately? Or ever?"

How did you go from writing east cost private eye fiction to what's now four published sci-fi romp/heist novels?

I just worked at it and kept reminding myself why I liked writing fiction in the first place. I want to tell a good story. Many people will never understand just how much luck is involved in getting this far, and I am bewildered by my success.

Who is the breakout character of this new novel?

Hands down it has to be Ronald Bailey Hesketh. I introduced him as an escape hatch if I ever get a shot at doing another Koko adventure. Hesketh is a joy to write, a real suave and dangerous bastard. I'd like for him to team up with Koko somewhere down the line. They've a contentious history so I see that partnership having comedic potential.

What's the story you're trying to tell in this new one? What will readers like?

As I said before, I wanted to get Koko to come to terms with who she really is as a killer, but there's plenty of allegorical potshots. Pop culture sniping and political LEADER assholery. There are new villains with bizarre idiosyncrasies, a cadre of vapid sportscasters, a humorless mechanical valet...

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