Friday, 3 May 2013

A Visit from Karina Fabian

Today I'm welcoming an old friend to my blog on the occasion of her new book's release! After reading it I had some questions for Karina, and you can follow our conversation below.

But first, the book:

Being a private detective in the border town of the Faerie and Mundane worlds isn’t easy, even for a dragon like Vern. Still, finding the wayward brother of a teary damsel in distress shouldn’t have gotten so dangerous. When his partner, Sister Grace, gets poisoned by a dart meant for him, Vern offers to find an artifact in exchange for a cure. However, this is no ordinary trinket—with a little magic power, it could control all of mankind. Can Vern find the artifact, and will he sacrifice the fate of two worlds for the life of his best friend?

And now, here's Karina! First question...Even though you say this story is more serious than other Vern tales, it's still crammed with one-liners and groan-worthy puns. My favourite is the one with the filet, but I won't spoil the rest! Tell me, have you always been such a veritable fount of puns, or is this something you had to study up on for Vern's stories? Do you have a trove of gags where you collect things for later use?

I love puns, and have from a very young age. Growing up, my favorite cartoons were the ones with the plays on words. When I was in speech and debate in high school, we’d spend much of the bus trip on puns, and in college, we used to have challenges during lunch—we’d wax philosophical about the stacks of dishes, pretending they were modern art. I ran with a weird crowd. Rob and I fell in love over pizza and puns at Shakey’s restaurant in San Angelo, TX. So it’s in my blood, and we’ve passed it on to the kids.

The artifact that everyone is chasing is a well known icon of fantasy tales. Did you begin with that icon, or did you begin with the story and add the icon later? In fact, how did this all begin - where did the idea for this particular story come from?

I began with the story, which is based on the noir film, The Maltese Falcon. I needed something with more oomph than a bird statue, though. I don’t remember why I thought of the Lance of Longinus, but it made sense, and as I read up on its history and the conspiracy theories around it, I knew I could have fun with it. (I’ve never seen it used in fantasy before. You’ll have to share some titles!)

Well, there's The Iron Lance by Stephen Lawhead, which I believe concerns the same thing, and I seem to remember reading some Indiana Jones tie-in, and other stories. Of course I may be mistaken but the topic seemed familiar to me.
You say you have other similar stories which you plan to release. May I ask how many are waiting in the wings (at the current time - of course there will be others yet to be written)? Can you give us a few hints hint at what sort of wacky cases Vern might run into in future?

I have several novellas or story collections I could put together, though some would need polish or another story to companion it, to make them worth a book. I still need to write the novel where Vern meets Los Lagos’ first native-born superhero, Gapman. I have a wonderful background story on Sister Grace that I may companion with the Vern vs. St. George story I need to write. But first, I have a novel to write (Mind Over All, the last in the Mind Over trilogy) and kids to get settled into college, plus Rob is retiring, so our lives are in flux. I also want to see how well my first self-publishing adventure turns out. So far, so good: it was #60 in Urban Fantasy on April 20.

This world you have created involves complex interactions between Faerie and Mundane, religious and anti, science and magic. (Even some angels this time, and I must say, I rather like what you had them do.) Is that balance something that came naturally to you, or was it a struggle at any point?

It’s constantly evolving. I’m discovering the world as I write the stories, so in a sense it’s easy—I let the characters tell me what’s going on—but it can also be a struggle to make sure I don’t contradict myself or mess up the logic of the world for the sake of a story.

I imagine you sitting there laughing away as you slam these stories into your keyboard. Is that the case? Or does this kind of writing take just as much motivation as any other kind?

I’m shameless. I do laugh at my own jokes. However, I often need to push myself to get started, much as I love Vern’s voice (or any of my stories, for that matter.) Mostly, it’s a matter of focus, which has dulled as I’ve gotten older (and discovered Facebook), and that I have so many things pulling on my time, energy, and emotions. Usually, I set myself down, remind myself how much I love this, and make myself write. There’s no other way to get moving, really.

You can grab the ebook for $0.99 at or a print copy for $4.99 at