Author Spotlight: Karina Fabian

Who is Karina Fabian?karina-fabian-headshot-aug-2013

By day, Karina is a mild-mannered reviewer of business software and services for After hours, she’s a psychic intent on saving the world; a snarky dragon who thinks he saves the world all-too regularly, a zombie exterminator who just wants her world clear of undead vermin, and Catholic religious sisters whose callings have taken them off our world. Needless to say, her imagination is vast, her stories legion, and her brain crowded. When she’s not converting her wild tales to stories, she’s enjoying time with her husband, Rob, their four kids, and their two dogs.   

What motivated you to write your first novel?

My first novel, the Miscria, which eventually grew into the Mind Over series, started as a short story I wrote in lieu of a term paper. My professor gave me a B on a midterm paper because he misinterpreted an analogy I’d made, so I didn’t want to take a chance he’d do it again. He loved the story and suggested it was the beginning of a novel.

What strange things do you do when you write? Do you listen to music? Watch television? Eat Cheetos?

I make weird faces because I’m deep into what my characters are thinking and feeling. Sometimes, I think that if I were to sit in a shop writing as some authors have done, I’d be entertaining…or committed as a raving lunatic.

What was your greatest challenge writing this story and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge of the Mind Over series was that the first run of the novel was horrible. The character was dull and way too perfect, and so the story was mediocre. I had to totally rethink Deryl, and when I did, it changed everything. He ended up with so many complex issues, I had to put him in a mental health facility, and my short novel became a trilogy. It was amazing fun!

If you could spend the day with one of the characters in this book, who would you choose and what would you do?

I think Terry. He’s a Kanaan healer, so I could see their world, and he’s peripheral to all the problems going on, so I could enjoy myself. Plus, he’s kind, curious and eager to learn.

What’s next for you and your writing career?

I just finished promoting my 17th novel, Discovery, and people want more about the main characters and the world, so I may do a story collection. However, my main goal is to reboot my DragonEye series, taking it to the beginning, with my dragon battling St. George of Faerie. I have a story arc that will take at least 14 novels to cover, and I’m not getting any younger!

What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?

Ha! Where DON’T I get ideas would be an easier question. The other night, I was in a chat room with some friends and the conversation got to hula hoops, demon slaying and how Doppler would be a funny name. I immediately wrote a flash fiction piece called “The Doppler Effect: Salt Circles” about a guy named Doppler who filled a hula hoop with blessed salt to trap a demon. I’m finishing up the second story, “The Doppler Effect: Distilled Spirits” which is inspired by the song, “Wasted Away Again in Margahritaville.”

The Mind Over series started out because I was imagining what would happen to Charles Wallace (Wrinkle in Time) when he grew up. (That was before I drove him insane and he became his own character, of course.) I actually have another story that sprung from the same idea, only in a totally different direction. I’ll write it someday. Maybe.

What is something you are not good at doing?

Remembering appointments. I forget everything, even if I was reminded the day before and woke up remembering it that morning. When I have an online appointment, I always give the person my phone number and my husband’s number…because I often forget to charge my phone as well.

What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?

I’m not much into message. I want people to escape, get immersed in a fantastic world, forget their own troubles while getting thoroughly invested in the hero’s trials, and come away feeling refreshed, maybe a little hopeful, and like they’ve made some new friends.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Last month, my mom taught me to crochet. As she told my dad, “I’ve created a monster.” I’m making Christmas presents for everyone in my office, and quite a few more besides. I’m on my fourth skein of yarn. My husband and I are on a Babylon 5 binge, so I crochet while I watch to stay awake, because, let’s face it, you have to watch just one more episode.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

Quit showing me how well you write and tell me the story.

What are your favorite characters that you have created?

Of the Mind Over series, Joshua is the one I most want to be like because he’s such a hard worker and his hard work pays off. Deryl was the most interesting to write because I got to be in a crazy man’s head. I can’t even imagine how my face must have looked when I wrote his scenes.

What is one piece of advice you would give to your teenage self?

When you become a parent, enforce your rules more strongly. Spend less time writing and worrying about money and more time introducing your kids to sports and community service activities.

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