Today’s interview is with multi-genre author Karina Fabian.
1. When did you first decide that you wanted to be a writer?
There’s a big difference between deciding you WANT to be a writer and deciding to BECOME a writer. Frankly, the first isn’t that important. I decided to actually become a writer during the season of Lent 1996. I gave up reading fiction for Lent and took up writing, asking God to lead me in my writing. One thing He’s led me to is Catholic science fiction, which resulted in my latest book, Infinite Space, Infinite God II, and anthology edited by my husband and me.
2. What was the first story you ever wrote about?
How far back shall we go? I still have the tall tale I wrote in fifth grade somewhere in my files. However, the first story I sold was “Ergo,” about an artificial intelligence trying to prove its existence by recreating an experiment done by Descartes. Descartes isolated himself from all outside stimuli until he came up with “I think; therefore, I am.” Trouble was, the AI wanted a control subject, so it isolated a human, too. The AI had many interesting thoughts; the human went insane.
3. What genre do you enjoy the most?
Fantasy and science fiction. I like to escape into new and wild worlds.
4. What do you think is the most important piece of advice for new writers?
Don’t take rejection personally. Writing is a creative art; publishing is a business.
5. Can you share with us a bit about your writing process?
Sometimes, I have an idea, but usually, I start with a character I love. Then I torture them for plot purposes. Er, I mean, I give them a challenge, and if they’re able to handle that, I increase the torture–er, challenge. I’m a pantster, which means I write from the seat of my pants, usually with a rough idea of the beginning and the end. I let my characters lead me through the story. I don’t usually do a lot of research beforehand, but write and research as I go. When I get stuck, I talk it out with a friend or put the ideas and plot points on post-its and play with them on the wall until I can start again.
When I write fantasy, I’m usually in it for the humor, so I love to take a cliché and stretch it or twist it until it tickles. (I was going to say “screams for mercy,” but that’s not really humorous.) When I’m not, I like exploring new ideas and trying to apply common sense to their application. I do that in humor, too, incidentally; it’s amazing how funny applying common sense to a well-known idea can be.
6. What is the most challenging part of the writing process for you and why?
Starting a challenging scene. That’s when I apply Ann Lamont’s advice in her book, Bird by Bird and tell myself that I just have to get the sh*&&y first draft done and I can fix it later. Usually, what I get written isn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared. Sometimes, it turns out better than I’d hoped.
7. Do you find that different genres challenge you in different ways?
I do have to apply myself differently. However, really, the process is the same: character, situation, research, write.
8. Which of your books did you enjoy writing the most?
The last one I wrote, always. And the one I’m working on at the moment is my favorite. Except for Discovery. That’s my science fiction novel and it’s been a bear–a real love/hate relationship. I think I’ll be proudest of it when it’s done. Until then, there are days I want to drop-kick it into the recycle bin.
9. Can you tell us a bit about your most recent project?
I have two coming out within two weeks of each other:
Infinite Space, Infinite God II came out November 15. It’s an anthology of 12 sciecne fiction stories with Catholic characters and themes, and is the second my husband Rob and I have written for and edited. We really enjoyed working with the authors, and the stories are fabulous. What I like about this anthology is that there’s a lot of adventure and excitement. There’s also a nice mix of different subgenres of science fiction. Folks can learn more at www.isigsf.com
Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, comes out Dec 1. This is a comedic horror about a zombie exterminator. Neeta is strapped for cash and agrees to host a reality TV show where she trains up zombie exterminators. Can she keep her bills paid, her ratings up and her trainees alive and still maintain her sanity? Really Long Link for more details.
10. What are you working on right now/what should readers be looking forward to?
I’m “between books” at the moment. We have a situation at home that’s requiring a lot of my physical and emotional energy, and with two books coming out within two months, I’ve had a lot of marketing work to do. However, I am still working on Discovery, my science fiction novel; and I’m deciding which story to tackle next: Gapman (superhero spoof), Redcap (Twilight spoof) or Damsels and Knights (paranormal trilogy.) In addition, my father and I are thinking of writing a book about life as a Catholic deacon. However, the writing goal right now is to write a sentence or two each day–very low key.
BIO: Karina Fabian’s writing motto is “Fiction, Faith, and Fun.” A writer of science fiction, fantasy, horror and devotionals, her books have won multiple awards, including the INDIE for best fantasy, the EPPIE for best science fiction and the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval. Learn more about her at www.fabianspace.com.