Last up is Karina Fabian, who bravely volunteered to join us on this stop of The Zombie Cookbook Virtual Blog Tour.
I know Karina from her involvement in the Muse Online Writer's Conference (an annual even which falls this week). Karina teaches courses in worldbuilding, virtual blog tours and faith in fiction, including how to create a religion (not as easy as it looks) and how to portray a character's religious faith accurately, respectfully and effectively. She is also one of the guiding lights behind the Catholic Writers Conference Online, which brings an eclectic mix of writing workshops and Catholic publishers to those who might not be able to attend real-life conferences.
Her wickedly funny TZC contributions are "Wokking Dead" and "My Big Fat Zombie Wedding," about which I can safely say, Industrial-Strength 409 and Love Conquer All.
Here's her bio:
Karina Fabian suffers from an overdeveloped sense of humor and a twisted imagination. Little wonder, then, that she enjoys writing quirky stories for anthologies like Zombie Cookbook. In addition, she writes novels about a dragon detective working in the Mundane world. People have been warned not to read her DragonEye, PI, stories and books in the library. When she's feeling more serious, she writes and edits faith-filled science fiction and fantasy. Visit her website at http://www.fabianspace.com/. Check out DragonEye at http://www.dragoneyepi.net/. (Twitter: @karinafabian Facebook: Karina.Fabian)
How long have you been writing?
KF: Since I could put the words together on paper. Before that I told some veeeery tall tales to my sister about what Kindergarten was like. I stole from television shows, applied some wishful thinking, and lied like a big dog.
What are you currently working on/have coming out?
KF: Coming in April 2010 is Infinite Space, Infinite God II, and anthology of science fiction with Catholic characters and themes. I have three stories in it: in one, Sisters Rita, Ann and Tommie rescue a man from a spaceship full of snakes; in the next, a priest enters a virtual reality world to minister to people who have lost track of reality and fantasy and the morals thereof; the last is a flash-fiction sequel to the alien abduction story in ISIG I. http://www.isigsf.com/ for more details.
I'm finishing my first Catholic SF novel, which involved Sisters Rita, Ann and Tommie as they help explore an alien ship. The crew encounters a device that diagnoses the soul. Several, however are not ready for what they find. Can the Rescue Sisters keep the crew together? Or will they need rescuing themselves?
After that's done, I'm going to go play in the DragonEye, PI, world with a superhero spoof, Gapman! I'm also thinking of doing a children's book series with a couple of friends. That one's Catholic, too.
Sadly, however, none of these have publishers yet, nor do I have an agent. Any suggestions, folks? I'm glad to pick your braaaaaiiiins....
What's a nice (Catholic) girl like you doing in a place like this? :) Seriously, can you speak a little about how you fell into faith-filled spec fiction and horror?
KF: If you read my stories, you'll see that I didn't write horror. I wrote zombie humor. However, I agree with what Catholic writer Regina Doman said about Catholics and fiction: We want our fiction to be affirming, but we don't expect it to be "safe." Even among the slightly off-color (and off-odor) jokes and ridiculous situations, you are going to find in my stories the expression of love and self-sacrifice, statements against prejudice and for loving one's neighbor, and Good triumphs over Evil.
And yes, I do recognize the irony of associating with Damnation Books. Personally, I would have preferred Kim choose another name, but for dark horror, it's a good fit. Plus, I keep hearing the cheesy slogan: "Damnation! That’s a good book!" (Add fist wave for emphasis.)
What drew you to the Zombie Cookbook?
KF: Kim's a good friend. The title was too much fun to pass up. And Becca Butcher ("Beer-Battered Brains") nagged me into inspiration.
What was your inspiration for your pieces?
KF: Other than Becca? My noir dragon detective, Vern, refused to tell me any zombie cases. They weird him out—something about his leftovers taking on a life of their own. So I played with the noir voice until I got a zombie exterminator. Then I had such fun, I decided to parody "My Big, Fat, Zombie Wedding." I was laughing all weekend!
What's your writing day like?
KF: Actually, it just changed. I've not been good about concentrating on my novel, which shows in the pace of words coming out as well as the pace of the book itself. So I'm trying something new: I drop the kids off at school and go to daily Mass. I worship, pray and dedicate the next writing efforts to God. Then I go find a coffee shop or restaurant and write for an hour and a half before going home to deal with chores, requests, business, etc.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
KF: Pantster, definitely. I may do a bare-bones plot, but it gets thrown out pretty quick. My characters lead me.
You have a quick satiric mind. I've seen you in Writer's Chatroom prompt chats coming up with very funny stuff on the spot. How do you keep "in shape"?
KF: I married a man with a mind quicker than mine. I'm continually playing catch up, or just word-playing with him. Occasionally, I'll get a zinger that tops him. He's also brilliant and well-read in other areas, which rubs off on me. He's always telling me the most unusual stuff. This month, I'm doing 31 days of zombie tweets on Twitter. He found several of them just by accident.
I also tend toward humorous, satirical reading, television, and even card games. (Check out the Munchkin card games. They are a riot just for the pictures and card names.) The kids all have our same wit, too. It can get pretty geeky odd in our house.
How do you deal with writer's block, if you have it?
KF: I take a shower or daydream. If I know what I want to write but can't get the words to come, I give myself permission to write a sh***y first draft. It's usually full of (NEED PHRASE) and (WORD FOR...), but it gets out and I can fix it. Plus, when I get going, it usually improves.
What is the genre that speaks to you?
KF: Genres don't speak to me. Characters do. However, I do prefer science fiction and fantasy.
What themes do you return to over and over?
KF: Faith, morality, discovering the right thing and realizing it's what God wanted for you all along. Also True Love, and lots and lots of cliché twisting—especially in my humor.
Who are your favorite writers?
KF: Jim Butcher, Madeleine L'Engle, Terry Pratchett. I aspire to be the mixture of all three.
What's the scariest book you ever read?
KF: Some short story collection by Stephen King. I've blocked the title from memory, along with most of the experience. The story about the laundry machine that folds people freaked me out for weeks. I was in college then. Had to do laundry when I knew people were around. Never read King again. Can't watch his stuff, either.
Here's one from the Proust questionnaire: What are your favorite qualities in a zombie?
KF: Tenacity. Well, it sure isn't hygiene!
http://www.fabianspace.com/: My catch-all site and home of my marketing classes. Click on the covers to learn more about my books.
http://www.dragoneyepi.net/: the home site of Vern and Sister Grace, the detective team of DragonEye, PI. Here, too, I have stories and novels, plus stuff about the universe. Register for Vern's bi-monthly newsletter.
http://www.isigsf.com/: All about Infinite Space, Infinite God—though provoking sci-fi with a Catholic twist!
http://www.leapsoffaithsf.com/: All about the Christian SF anthology Leaps of Faith
http://www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com/: a general book site where I feature an eclectic mix of books. It's my way of giving back to the many authors who have supported me and giving forward to the great authors out there now.