Last week you were introduced to today’s guest, Karina Fabian. I was fortunate enough to conduct an interview with her via email about her writing interests and the characters in Magic, Mensa and Mayhem.
Amber: I feel like I’ve known Vern forever because I’ve heard about him for quite some time. I’m surprised Magic, Mensa and Mayhem is the first book featuring Vern and Sister Grace. How long has Vern been in your life?
Karina: The first Vern story (as my kids call them) appeared in Firestorm of Dragons in 2008, but he’s pretty much taken over a huge hunk of my imagination. I have 12 stories in, shall we say, various stages of being published, plus one more book coming out in late 2009 from Swimming Kangaroo–Live and Let Fly, a super-spy spoof. I also have another dozen stories and books that are just waiting to come out. The DragonEye, PI world is a playground of amusement-park proportions!
Amber: In Magic, Mensa and Mayhem the reader comes across many types of Faerie. It mentions that Vern is a rare sight. Has Vern met other North African Faerie Wyverns?
Karina: There are only a set number of dragons in the Faerie world. They are immortal, but do not reproduce. Each has its own territory. Vern is the only North African. I have a story coming about Grssla (called Gisselle in English), who is a Western European dragon. I hope to write that one to get it out for Valentine’s Day.
Amber: Does Vern have a working visa to live on the Mundane side of the Gap?
Karina: No. Vern is not considered a “person” under US Law–it’s a long story that has to do with bureaucracy in general and an overworked bitter bureaucrat in particular. That’s one reason he was working as a PI instead of doing something more academic. He can’t get a legit job. Before Grace, he was solving crimes and getting his pay under the table or in trade.
He wasn’t able to return to Faerie, however, because the Duke decided it’d be fun to tell the US, “You know that “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled souls longing to be free? Here ya go. Keep him–or face an Interdimensional Incident.” The Duke still laughs in his beer when he thinks about that one.
Amber: Do you think St. George may make an appearance during one of their cases?
Karina: Oh, no! St. George is long dead, and neither Vern nor Grace are likely to have apparitions (visitations of the saints). Vern did reminisce about him in the latest newsletter, “A Dragon’s Eye View.” If anyone’s interested, they can register on the website and get a copy: www.dragoneyepi.net.
Amber: I think it’s great the way Vern and Sister Grace balance each other. Vern is so straight forward with his thoughts while Sister Grace is more tactful. How did you get the idea to put them together as a team?
Karina: Actually, it wasn’t my idea. I wanted a mage for Vern’s partner, and Grace took the job. I guess he needed some Grace in his life.
Amber: You’re multitalented. You’ve written short stories, novels and edited anthologies. Each format requires different skills. Is there one that comes more naturally than the others?
Karina: Not really. It depends on the needs of the story. However, I have greatly enjoyed writing Vern. He has an easy voice for me to write. Maybe he’s the personality I wish I could have sometimes. 🙂
Amber: You’ve been a presenter at the Catholic Writers Conference Online and The Muse Online Writers Conference. It’s a lot of work to prepare for conferences and clear the time into your schedule for a week or two. What do you find rewarding about being a presenter?
Karina: I love presenting and taking the workshops. I meet great people, share some fantastic ideas, learn as much as I teach, and usually develop some friendships in the deal. I highly recommend online conferences, especially for those who cannot travel easily.
Amber: There is already another novel featuring Vern and Sister Grace planned for publication by Swimming Kangaroo Books. Do you have a writing schedule?
Karina: Yes and no. I have a schedule, but it tends to get tossed aside as outside demands or that idea I can’t shake intrude. However, I’m very good at meeting outside deadlines, and when inspired, I can write a novel in a month.
Amber: Where do you write?
Karina: At my computer in the study. I used to be able to write in bed, but now my back won’t take that.
Amber: Any memorable moments while on book tours?
Karina: My first book tour was for Infinite Space, Infinite God, a sci-fi with Catholic themes. I had some incredible, intellectual people interview me. I found I had to do research to answer some of their questions. I loved the experience! www.isigsf.com
While touring Leaps of Faith last year, I had my first experience with what I considered a damaging review. (The person claimed to love the book, then said it alienated about half the audience.) I was able to find ways to turn that review to my advantage, and even wrote a few blogs about the experience. www.leapsoffaithsf.com
This time, I’ve just been amazed at the number of people who love Vern! I did a chat on The Writers Chat room and the number of attendees flowed off the page. We get some big names at that chat, too, so I was flattered.
Amber: Anything else you’d like to share?
Karina: DragonEye, PI, as you observed, is more than just a book or series of books. There are stories, a website, a newsletter, and a forum. I invite folks to come play in my world at www.dragoneyepi.net.
Also for those who get the book, I’m having a trivia contest. I’ll post the questions around April 15 and keep them up through May 15. Whoever answers them correctly gets into a drawing to win a free copy of Live and Let Fly.
Finally, in case you have authors who read this: if you are looking for some help in marketing, please go to www.fabianspace.com and check out the Marketing Mentor menu. I have some free e-books and offer classes and programs as well.
Finally, thanks for hosting me!