Episode 485 – Kathe Koja

Virtual Memories Show 485:
Kathe Koja

“Making Dark Factory was like trying to put together the puzzle without the picture on the box.”

Storyteller Kathe Koja rejoins the show to celebrate the launch of her new project, Dark Factory (Meerkat Press)! We talk about how Dark Factory combines a fantastic new novel with immersive fiction elements to create a new world, and how — no matter what the innovation — it all begins with character. We get into her history of building immersive events and watching what the attendees do with the environment, how the process of writing this book differed from her past ones, the way readers bring their own resonances, what it means to have an immersive experience in the pandemic era, and the resonance of Alexander McQueen’s Inferno show. We also discuss the technology & fetishization of print books, the pressure of money, the metaverse & its implications, where identity really resides, & more! Give it a listen! And go read Dark Factory (and experience it)!

(And go listen to our 2015 and 2020 conversations)

“One of the things that I was so struck by working on Dark Factory in such awful, awful times, is how much the book is about joy.”

“I like that feeling of expansion, where everybody is part of something, but it’s bigger than everybody there and just keeps going and going in the world.”

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes!

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About our Guest

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. Her new novel/immersive fiction is Dark Factory.

Follow Kathe on Twitter and Instagram and follow Dark Factory on Twitter and Instagram.

Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded remotely via Zencastr. I used a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photos of Kathe by … someone else. It’s on my instagram.

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