Today at The Menagerie we are happy to welcome; Gail Koger! Welcome to The Menagerie. Hope you like it. :-D So let's get started: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in 1985. I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for the Glendale Police Department and to keep from going totally bonkers – I mean people have no idea of what a real emergency is. Take this for an example: I answered, “9-1-1 emergency, what’s your emergency?” And this hysterical woman yelled, “My bird is in a tree.” Sometimes I really couldn’t help myself, so I said, “Birds have a tendency to do that, ma’am.” The woman screeched, “No! You don’t understand. My pet parakeet is in the tree. I’ve just got to get him down.” Like I said, not a clue. “I’m sorry ma’am, but we don’t get birds out of trees.” The woman then cried, “But… What about my husband? He’s up there, too.” See what I had to deal with? To keep from hitting myself repeatedly in the head with my phone, I took up writing.
Yeah, it's a good thing otherwise you'd go a bit crazy dealing with other people's stupidity. What book are you reading reading now?
Karin Tabke’s Master of Craving. I read to escape (the psychotic neighbors) and I love a good historical where the good guy’s a bit on the scary side. Ya know, the big bad. And the love of the right woman turns him into a big ole’ pussy cat, with teeth.
LOL we certainly do understand. What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on The Warlord’s Comeuppance. It’s a prequel to Just My Luck which will be released July 10th. 911 Magazine is also publishing Reflections of a Demented Dispatcher, my true life story of the thirty-one years I worked as a 9-1-1 dispatcher and all the wild requests, screwy questions, bizarre behavior and outrageous demands I dealt with. The History of 911 will be published in August by 911 Magazine.
Wow, sounds interesting! Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The Warlord’s Comeuppance is a fast, fun science/fiction romance of how the ultimate big, bad pursues Detja, the best thief in the galaxy. Here’s a little preview:
Stealing from a warlord and giving him the one finger salute as I made my getaway was not the brightest thing I’d ever done. Okay, it was an incredibly stupid stunt. Did I mention that this particular Coletti warlord is the most feared in the entire galaxy? That Zarek’s the ultimate predator and even the other warlords are scared spit less of him? That he never ever stops until he either captures or kills his quarry? Yeah, I have the big, bad after me and all because of one little finger. Okay and a Ditrim crystal the size of my fist. Am I worried? Of course, only an idiot doesn’t fear a really angry Coletti warlord. But, I am very good at what I do. Bad news is, so is Zarek.
My name is Detja. The Enforcers call me the Ghost. As a master thief I must be a combination of magician and chameleon. The illusion of magic deflects attention away from the act and when things go to hell, like they sometimes do; the ability to blend into any situation or culture is a must. My looks are my biggest illusion. I’m a Farin, the fragile flowers of the universe. No one in a million years would ever expect me to be an extraordinary thief or powerful psychic. Everyone takes one look at my delicate frame and exotic features and dismisses me as harmless. Really big mistake on their part. I’ll admit that most Farin females are timid creatures devoted to domestic duties and incapable of doing harm to anyone. Me? I’m an anomaly, a genetic throwback to a time long, long ago when Farin females were warriors.
Wow this looks pretty good. How long does it take you to write a book?
My first book, The Ghost Wore Polyester, took a year. My second, Just My Luck, came to me in a dream. Scout’s honor, a dream. A dream, that wouldn’t go away until I wrote it. I whipped that sucker out in about six months. I have a really vivid imagination but most folks just think I’m nuts. Hey, you work 9-1-1 for thirty-one years and see how sane you are.
LOL that is a really interesting story. And now for our "absolutely-NOTHING-to do with writing" questions. What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?
Dogs, of course. They’re love on four legs and no matter how bad your day has been they always greet you with a kiss. Hey, a girl’s got to get it somewhere.
I have a dog and he's worse than the kids some days. LOL, but I love him anyway. Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?
Ewwwww. All those wrinkles! I know I earned everyone of them, but yikes. Scary! And it’s little depressing when the men running shrieking in the opposite direction. Aw c’mon, I got a bag over my head, what more do they want?
LOL, What’s your strangest habit?
Talking to myself. It’s a dispatcher thing. Okay, it’s also a sign of insanity, but we won’t go there.
I don't see anything wrong with talking to yourself. You keep each other company, dontha! When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
Eeeeek! Another wrinkle!
ROTFL. If you could wish for anything, what would it be?
World peace. Oh wait, that’s the Miss USA thing. I’d really love to go back to Australia and do the Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock
That was so funny, I was just thinking that about the Miss USA Pageant thingy. LOL....That looks like it's all. Thanks so much for hanging out with us today on the couch here at The Menagerie, Gail. It was a blast.
Gail was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for thirty-one years and to keep insanity at bay, she took up writing. Not to worry. The insanity isn’t catching – much. Other than the addiction to chocolate and the twitch in her left eye, she's good. She's had her weird but true stories published in newspapers and magazines. MHer first book was The Ghost Wore Polyester, a murder mystery/comedy set in Sedona, Arizona. Just My Luck is my second book and I’m currently working on The Warlord’s Comeuppance. I’ve also worked with producer, Bonnie Forbes of Fortress Features on several reality TV series.
Gail was gracious enough to share with us some reviews she's received from readers:
This is an article she was mentioned in:
Former 911 dispatcher stays tuned into action
In 2007, after 31 years as a dispatcher for Glendale Police Department, Peoria resident Gail Koger hung up the phone. But retirement just wasn't in the script. In collaboration with friend, Sally Smith, Koger wrote a book, "The Ghost Wore Polyester."
It got great reviews and it spurred Koger on to write more. And more. She now writes every free hour, which, these days is on weekends.
For more of this story, click on or type the URL below:
And one of her testimonials from a reader:
Bought Just My Luck yesterday and I've read it twice. Love it. Can't wait for the prequel. And I'll track down the Ghost wore Polyester soon.
Always love mention of Aussie - I haven't been to Ayers Rock either but the Great Barrier Reef is awesome. So is the Opera House, but thats local so it doesn't count.
I was laughing out loud, always a good sign. Keep up the good work.
And another one from Dorothy:
I love your books! I first read The Ghost Wore Polyester a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it. I laughed out loud so much, and just couldn't put it down. When I saw Just My Luck was written by you also, I just had to read it. It is very fast paced and another laugh out loud book. Please keep them coming!
Just My Luck by Gail Koger
Kaylee Jones is a trouble magnet. Chaos and disaster are her faithful companions. She belongs to the thin blue line protecting Earth from the Tai-Kok, alien predators who consider our world an all-you-can-eat banquet. Her crappy luck puts her on the alien freaks’ most wanted list and lands her in one of their prison cells. Her roommate? A very hungry vampire. Okay, Talree’s really a Coletti Warlord who decides to make her his mate. Kaylee’s definitely not willing but isn’t strong enough to fight him off and now he owns her mind, body and soul. She’ll admit the sex is hot and the bossy jerk has agreed to save Earth from annihilation. The bad news is, Warlords aren’t benevolent do-gooder types and there is a price for his help: the women of Earth. And the really bad news is, Talrees’ low-down conniving brother, Malik, has joined forces with the alien freaks and now Kaylee and Talree have to stop them from destroying both their worlds.