Wednesday, December 16, 2015


by Gerhard Gehrke

What would you do if you found a dead alien on a lonely highway?

Was it an accident, sabotage, or murder? And why is everyone blaming Jeff?

The extraterrestrials aren’t waiting for answers. They want revenge. And Jeff isn’t ready for company.

His only hope is an outcast mechanic from another world and a woman who might do anything to get off planet, including selling out her own kind. Jeff has to get to the bottom of why there are so many alien bodies piling up and who is really responsible.

A science fiction adventure novel, A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth tells the story of a reclusive ex-computer programmer who is the unwitting central figure of a plot to keep humanity from ever making first contact.

First contact with the humans wasn’t going as planned, as was obvious by the rank smells that choked the air of the alien visitorsʹ craft. But no one called them aliens where they came from.

Seven little Greys, short bipeds with large heads and big eyes and delicate limbs, sat in the flight seats of their ship’s crew compartments and listened as the Mission Commander lectured them from the Command Module. The harangue lingered in the air, not as words or even sounds but as a smell, a ripe one replete with pheromones and scent packets that the Greys used to speak with one another. A new string of curses from the Commander’s glands smelled of licorice. The Mission Commander composed itself. It wiped sticky sweat from its hairless frontal lobe.

The lights and displays in front of the seven crewmembers blinked and flashed. No one would so much as touch a button until the Commander was finished addressing the crew.

“I’ll hear no more of it,” the Commander said. “We’re on the human world. We go forward. Probability calculations for success show at 100%. The computer will be trusted.”



-What inspired you to become a writer?

I was weened on a heavy diet of comic books and cheesy science fiction and monster movies. As reading books came into the picture I started writing my own stories in a notebook for no one else to read but me. This blossomed into making Pac-man comic books in grade school with friends, which included a heavy dose of vampires and Shogun Warriors to please my fellow collaborators. Getting involved in local community television introduced me to actually finding an audience for things put down on paper, even though most of what we worked on was non-narrative in structure. Writing fiction evolved from all of this.

-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?

Some of it depends on whether any of the extraterrestrials from the book were still looking for revenge against anyone human. If this were the case I would be running. But the alien city Jeff Abel gets taken to has endless possibilities. It also has a brewery. So I would go have a beer from another world and try to avoid anyone identifying me as a human.

-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.

California doesn't actually have a quinoa festival but in my story it does. Exploring an area geographically makes for interesting research, especially getting eyes on the land, wildlife, and people of a given area. There's some gorgeous areas around the San Francisco Bay Delta that few know about and I got to see and look up plenty of the birds, animals, and fauna. Only some of this was used in the book but parts of the sequel take place here, too.

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

My character Jordan is the only correct answer as she knows the difference between a crappy American macro-brew and beer that tastes good. Jeff doesn't drink while Oliop is too likely to steal something from you or the pub. Meanwhile Jordan has connections from another planet that might make for an interesting evening.

-If you could go back in time and give your pre-published self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Get on social media immediately. I never touched the stuff until this past year and wish I had been more familiar with it. I'm getting better as my rate of folks unfollowing me is on the decline. A second piece of advice is “Stop splicing sentences with commas!”

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

Erotica. My love scenes would distill down to a few grunts, some sweat, and a foot cramp. But writing anything that requires a gratuitous level of sex would be difficult for me as so often excessive details can rob a story of all of its subtlety. Think of what Alfred Hitchcock accomplished by not dwelling on the graphic details. For example the final shot in North by Northwest shows the main characters Roger and Eve together in the train car. Ending it by showing them making love would have detracted from the movie. Rather we cut away to the credits knowing well enough what their up to. I understand the difference that erotica is not porn, but I also know that it's just not up my alley as a writer.


Gerhard Gehrke studied film at San Francisco State University. He wrote and produced several shows for community television. His Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror short stories have appeared in several publications, including an Editor’s Choice-winning short story at A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth is his first novel.

Find him online:

-Twitter @gerhardgehrke

~Follow the rest of the tour here


Gerhard Gehrke will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


-Kit ‘N Kabookle posts on Twitter @desantismt. Tag me for retweets.

Follow Kit ‘N Kabookle with Bloglovin


  1. What do you think makes a good story?

    1. Great question. I want to be engaged beyond the initial premise which got me involved in picking the book up in the first place. This means I want to know what happens to the characters and what happens next. This all needs to be communicated via language and the mechanics of writing. These elements form the foundation of a book/movie/show I'll finish reading/watching.

  2. Good morning all and thanks for having me today!

  3. To build (steal) Mai's question above: What do you look for in a good story? when do you know that a book is worth continuing to read?

  4. I'm away from my computer until noon (PST).

  5. I really enjoyed the excerpt, thank you for sharing!

  6. Thank you so much for the interview and hosting me today!

  7. Enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!