Welcome to Dark Factory! You may experience strobe effects, Y reality, DJ beats, love, sex, betrayal, triple shot espresso, broken bones, broken dreams, ecstasy, self-knowledge, and the void.
Dark Factory is a dance club: three floors of DJs, drinks, and customizable reality, everything you see and hear and feel. Ari Regon is the club’s wild card floor manager, Max Caspar is a stubborn DIY artist, both chasing a vision of true reality. And rogue journalist Marfa Carpenter is there to write it all down. Then a rooftop rave sets in motion a fathomless energy that may drive Ari and Max to the edge of the ultimate experience.
Dark Factory is Kathe Koja’s wholly original new novel from Meerkat Press, that combines her award-winning writing and her skill directing immersive events, to create a story that unfolds on the page, online, and in the reader’s creative mind.
Thanks to publishing house Meerkat Press, I got the chance to interview Kathe Koja about her latest book.
INTERVIEW WITH KATHE KOJA
1) Hi Kathe, Congratulations on the release of your newest book. How did the idea for Dark Factory come about? What was your inspiration for the club?
All my novels begin with a character, and for Dark Factory that’s Ari: the club’s wild card floor manager, the bright heart of the party. Ari is the first one we meet in the novel, the one who introduces us to the club and the world of the story. Once I met Ari, Dark Factory was good to go.
2) Unlike your other novels, Dark Factory is interactive – the ebook provides the reader with links to follow and engage, the website is filled with activities to explore. How challenging was it to create a multidimensional novel that goes beyond a story?
It took a minute – a long minute – for me to really understand what I was making, writing the main narrative and a lot of bonus material, about the characters and their world, and the ways that all the material could mesh. It was my experience as an immersive event creator, where the task is blending many elements together to create one event, that helped me to understand how to make it all happen.
3) What challenges, if any, did you or your publishers face while bringing this book to fruition. What reader audience did you have in mind, considering the final product moves beyond reading?
The fun and challenge for Tricia Reeks of Meerkat Press, and for me, was, How do we present to readers this complete experience that’s operating on multiple levels? We wanted to make sure readers could engage at every step, so whether you choose to read the print book, bonus content, the DarkFactory.club site content, you’ll get a satisfying narrative, and if you want to add your song to the playlist, or participate in one of the fan art contests, you can do that too. If you want more, there’s always more.
4) Your writing is known for being experimental. Who are your literary influences? Any favorite authors or books?
Shirley Jackson was a great influence on me, her insistence on narrative economy, and she taught me to always trust the reader to be able to keep pace with the story. Emily Bronte and Emily Dickinson taught me about honoring the story’s own intensity, and never being afraid to tell it your own way.
Two new writers whose work I love and recommend are Maryse Meijer (Heartbreaker) and Lindsay Lerman (What Are You). I read for voice, and these are two very strong, very different, voices that readers should meet if they haven’t already.
5) The mask-making contest was an interesting build-up to the book’s release. Do you have any other hobbies or creative pursuits besides writing?
I’m always open to new disciplines and new ways of telling a story – who knows what might be next (VR)?
6) The storyline talks about the creative bonding between the main characters. And another central character is the club itself. How do you conceive your characters, situations and themes while working on a new novel? What sort of research does it entail, or do you rely more on imagination?
The story grows from, and flowers through, the characters and their feelings, conflicts, interactions – the same way we experience our own lives. So it’s a very organic process, and sometimes surprises me with the directions it takes along the way. As far as research, I took a deep dive into club culture, specifically techno clubs like Berghain in Berlin, and learned about mushrooms, and performance philosophy, and current VR/AR trends, and. . . . Basically it’s everything that the DF world needed to come alive. And all of that was immense fun.
7) With such an immersive and interactive novel, how did the cover come about – to include all these multi layers and present the story you wanted to tell?
Tricia and I went over cover concepts together, and we both fell in love with our cover boy dancer, who became the Dark Factory paper doll. She has a superb eye for design, and an intuitive sense of what makes an image come alive.
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 multiply translated, and optioned for film and performance. She is based in Detroit and thinks globally. She can be found at kathekoja.com.
DARK FACTORY by Kathe Koja
RELEASE DATE: May 10, 2022
GENRE: Speculative Fiction / SciFi / LGBT / Literary
BOOK WEBSITE: https://darkfactory.club/
GIVEAWAY: $50 Meerkat Giftcard
GIVEAWAY LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7f291bd832/?