I met Karina Fabian last year when I attended the Catholic Writers Conference Online. At the time, I didn’t consider myself a writer, not in the “I know what I’m doing” sense of the term. (I still don’t, for that matter, though I use the word to describe myself because, well, I
am!) Karina was one of the organizers of the conference and, throughout the conference, I kept running into her. (That sounds so funny, but it’s just how it worked.) Since then, I’ve become hooked on her writing, and when her newest book, Magic, Mensa, & Mayhem arrived in my mailbox last week, it was the highlight of my week (handy that it arrived in time for the weekend too!). I’ll be reviewing it later this month, but today, I’d like to introduce you to a Catholic writer who juggles her vocations and her writing without losing her sense of humor.

Tell us how Vern, the main character of Magic, Mensa & Mayhem, was born, Karina.
Vern was not born. Dragons were created, adult and complete, by God at the beginning of the Faerie world. There’s a set number; they don’t die and they don’t reproduce.

Vern has his own blog…how exactly does that work, Karina, and where can we find it? Once we’re there, where do you recommend visitors start? What are some of the features?
His blog, Talk to the Claw, can be found on his homepage at www.dragoneyepi.net. Scroll down. I’m toying with the idea of moving to blogger for it, though.

However, on the website, you’ll find:
–Cover art of the books and stories for sale. Click on them to get to the information and ordering.
–Register on the website and get a free story. Click on Reigster in the upper left-hand corner (Above Vern) OR where it says Join DragonEye, PI, on the left-hand side OR scroll down the smiley face and register there
–Information about the universe, Karina, and opportunities to talk to Vern in his forum or via e-mail.

I’ve written about the voices in my head before, and I think you can relate (at least the way you talk about Vern makes me think so!). Can you share some of the other voices or characters who live in your head? Do they often lend themselves to your writing?
LOL! That’s the whole reason I write! The voices in my head tell me their stories. I can either write them down or spend my days half-catatonic listening to them.

Right now, Vern is the loudest voice, as is befitting his dragon-ness, but also in my head are Deryl, Joshua, Tasmae and Sachiko from the Asylum Psychic trilogy (making the rounds), and a large group of characters for the novel I’m writing, Discovery. Discovery is actually a little tougher to write, as a matter of a fact, because each character wants to tell his or her story, so I’ve got multiple voices. We’ll work it out, though; I remember what Mozart said–many voices shouting at once is confusion; many voices singing at once is music. I’m learning to make them sing on paper.

When I read your work, Karina, I find myself intrigued (and inspired). You’re a mom, a writer, an avid reader, an editor, the president of the Catholic Writers Guild, founder of a new marketing mentorship program for writers, and I’m sure at least five other things. How do your various roles feed off of each other? (And where do you find the energy?)
Not so avid a reader, anymore, which is why I can write. And you haven’t seen my house yet. And I’ve gotten chunky, which annoys me. Fortunately, Rob still thinks I’m more beautiful every day. (I’m SO glad I married that man!) I’m not sure if they feed off each other, but as far as energy: I’m one of those women who suffer from “Not enough” syndrome. I don’t ever feel like I do enough for God, my family, my house, my writing, the Guild, the dog… So whether it’s guilt, love, a need to serve or a combination of all, it drives me to do more. Then, of course, there are the rewards: the kids clamoring to hear a DragonEye, PI story (or telling their friends how it “pwns all pwnage,”) seeing the Guild grow and help other writers, a new book in my hands, or the phrase that keeps me laughing for hours. A clean floor is a reward, too, but that’s a rare one nowadays. Wish I had the moolah for a housekeeper, but that went to Catholic school tuition this year. (A tiny drop in a big bucket.)

Do you ever find yourself so overwhelmed that you can’t write? How do you work past that? What are some strategies you can share with us?
I’ve been having that problem with Discovery. Too many characters, too much background. When I get stuck, I put all the scenes on yellow stickies and stick them on the wall, then I figure out the scene order, what I need to get from A to B, etc. I don’t always end up following the plan, but it does get me moving again. I got the idea from Maya Bohnhoff, an excellent writer and a good friend.

What advice do you have for other Catholic writers?
Can I plug the Catholic Writers Guild here? Seriously, this is a wonderful, growing organization dedicated to help Catholic writers in all genres–from catechismal materials to secular fiction–improve their skills, market their works and meet like-minded authors. We have a chat every Sunday 9-11 PM Eastern, host online and live conferences, have crit groups, share market news and generally support each other. Dues are $24 a year for full access to the forums and programs. For more info, go to www.dragoneyepi.net.

Any closing thoughts, Karina?
Just that I hope folks enjoy the book. If folks want to know more about Vern, Grace, the DragonEye world, or want to keep up on the stories and books, they can register at www.dragoneyepi.net. They get a free story and subscription to the “A Dragon’s Eye View,” which has articles by me and Vern and special offers.

If you want to know more about my other works, check out my website, www.fabianspace.com. In addition, I have started a service, the Marketing Mentor, to help authors learn to market their works. I have my list of programs and some free e-books on the site. Check them out.

Thanks, Karina, for taking the time to stop in and chat with us. If you haven’t done so, be sure to check out Dragon Eye, PI. Vern’s one of the “punniest” characters I know! 🙂