My thanks to Karina Fabian for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for a guest post about her book, Live and Let Fly.
1. How did you come up with the title?
Since it’s a spy spoof, it seemed an obvious play off Live and Let Die…which I think has the lamest theme song as far as lyrics go, and yet is incredibly catchy and NEVER leaves the brain. Ack! I thought of it. Help me! (Sigh. At least the piano and guitar are good.) Here, let me share. (Bwahaha)
2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
* Even we Mundanes live by cliché.
* Sometimes, the mechanical eyes are watching you.
* If you knock out the guard, use his thumb to open the door BEFORE you lock him in a cell.
* Just because you’re in a crisis doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun.
* Hel hath no fury like her step-mother Sigyn.
* We get by with a little help from our friends…sometimes, too little, but you can always count on the cavalry (or in this case the USMC—OOH-Rah!)
3. How much of the book is realistic?
Um…. The BILE headquarters are pretty close to real. And the Powerpoint presentations. (Been there, done that.) Oh! And the bathrooms of the Evil Overlord Headquarters are reminiscent of many a home improvement store. Hmm… I think just about everything else is an exaggeration of reality if not an outright fantasy.
4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Not that I can think of right now. I’m so tickled at how it turned out. My editors at MuseItUp were great fun to work with (though we had a couple of frustrating moments), and they made the book even better.
5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The edits. I had to cleanse the book from any brand names and obvious cultural references. Vern, being a dragon and the materialistic type as well as an aficionado of Mundane culture, uses a lot of brand name/cultural references. I think I rewrote to remove between twenty and fifty references. I lost track.
6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
* James Bond was afraid of flying…and it inevitably stormed when he was in the air.
* Hungry Hippos is a vicious game if you’re a plastic ball.
* There’s at least one instance when it’s satisfying to pave the road to Hel with good intentions.
* Dragons don’t like shoes.
* There’s still a lot of mileage to be had from puns like Phil A Minion (filet minion)
More seriously, I did learn a lot about Norse mythology as I sought the perfect villain and uncovered her diabolical scheme.
7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It’s been too long ago to remember. I’ve always loved stories and had an active imagination. I got a lot of encouragement in school; I still have my tall tale from fourth grade, and I remember I got some kind of recognition for a story I wrote about a rodeo horse in sixth grade. Still remember loving that story, though I can’t remember much of it. I also remember feeling like if I’d had more time, I could have made it better.
8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have a lot of favorites, but when it comes to the same kinds of books as Live and Let Fly, I have to say Terry Pratchett. He has such a great way of twisting things that is at once hilarious and yet oddly logical. I loved the footnotes in his Discworld books. I’d love to do a novel sometime with lots of jokes in the footnotes.
9. Tell us your latest news.
During Lent, my father’s and my book, Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life, is being promoted by several bloggers as a great devotional. We’re also asking folks to share their faith stories concerning Lent and Easter on our website, http://whygodmatters.com
In February, I finished my serious science fiction novel about a man whose ship is dragged across the event horizon of a black hole. The tentative title was The Old Man in the Void (a nod to Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. In March, my short story “Illusion” came out in Corrupts, Absolutely? It’s pretty dark; a bit of the boyhood of my character from Mind Over Mind—Deryl, when he first gets his psychic powers. So this month, I’m editing Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator 2: I Left My Brains in San Francisco and I start on my next DragonEye, PI novel, Gapman. It’ll be a superhero spoof. http://youtu.be/XlzneaTGZss
10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’m absolutely thrilled that Vern and Grace are back at last with this novel, and I hope it will be the first of many. However, they’ve been in numerous short stories in the meantime. You can read more about them at http://dragoneyepi.net.
About the Book
When a dragon and a nun play secret agent, all Hel breaks loose!
For a dragon detective with a magic-slinging nun as a partner, saving the worlds gets routine. So, when the US government hires Vern and Sister Grace to recover stolen secrets for creating a new Interdimensional Gap--secrets the US would like to keep to itself, thank you—Vern sees a chance to play Dragon-Oh-Seven.
No human spy, however, ever went up against a Norse goddess determined to exploit those secrets to rescue her husband. Sigyn will move heaven and earth to get Loki—and use the best and worst of our world against anyone who tries to stop her.
It's super-spy spoofing at its best with exotic locations (Idaho--exotic?), maniacal middle-managers, secret agent men, teen rock stars in trouble, man-eating animatronics, evil overlords and more!
Live and Let Fly comes out April 20.
For more information on how to purchase, visit:
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Read an Excerpt
Charlie started to close the door behind us, his other hand gripping the handle of his dagger so tightly I could hear the leather wrap on the handle strain, as we listened to the footsteps coming our way, slow, bored. My predator's instincts rose; then I had a great idea. I shook my head at Charlie and winked, and he shuffled out of my way, leaving the door ajar. I settled myself with my back to the door, just inside the shadows and let the script play itself out:
CLUELESS MINION enters Stage Left. He pauses, hearing a noise, but does not report it. Instead, he fondles the stars on his nametag and moves toward the empty hallway, his mind on adding another. (Probably saying, "I was proactive today!")
CLUELESS pauses at door, hesitating. He stands and, back to the door, reaches for his walkie-talkie.
Suddenly, a well-muscled and gorgeously scaled tail whips out from the crack in the door and wraps itself around his neck. He only has time to grab ineffectively at the tail before he's drawn into the darkness. The door shuts behind him.
Pan shot of the empty hallway.
FADE TO BLACK
I slammed my victim on the floor and pinned him with my forelegs, then I leaned my face in nice and slow, making sure he got a good look at my fangs before he saw my eyes. "Where's the girl?" I growled low and menacingly.
Charlie crouched down by Stutterboy and glanced at his nametag. "Look, Philip, we're in a bit of a hurry. We know Rhoda Dakota's being held captive somewhere nearby. Now you can be a good survivor and tell us where…or you can be dinner."
"Phil A. Minion." I mused and drooled a bit for effect. I live for these moments, I really do. I licked his cheek and asked Charlie, "Can I have fries with that?"
"Why not? This is Idaho."
About the Author
If there’s such a thing as ADD of the imagination, Karina Fabian has it—in spades. Craft books, devotionals, serious science fiction, comedic horror and chilling fantasy—she follows her interests and the characters that tell her their stories.
Even before she could write, Karina strung tall tales about everything from making human pyramids in Kindergarten to visiting alien worlds. Her first attempt at novel writing was in fourth grade; she completed her first novel in college. However, her first published work was an anthology of Christian science fiction, Leaps of Faith, an EPPIE finalist for best anthology in 2006. Her next anthology, Infinite Space, Infinite God, featured Catholic characters and themes and won the EPPIE for science fiction. The second Infinite Space, Infinite God anthology came out in 2010.
Watching the comedy improve show, Whose Line Is It, Anyway, inspired her noir-style dragon detective, Vern. Vern and his partner, Sister Grace, have solved mysteries and saved the Faerie and Mundane worlds numerous numerous times in the DragonEye, PI stories and novels. Their serial story, World Gathering, won a Mensa Owl; and the novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem (Fabian’s first published novel), won the INDIE for best fantasy in 2010.
At a friend’s request, Karina wrote a funny story about a zombie exterminator, which grew into the Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator novels. The first, Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, won the 2011 Global E-Book award for best horror.
She also writes serious science fiction. Her first SF novel, Discovery, is currently under consideration, and she’s working on a second on, The Old Man and the Void, based loosely on Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, but taking place in the accretion disk of a black hole.
Karina has a strong faith, which she explored in her devotional, Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life, which she wrote with her father Steve Lumbert, and which won the 2011 Christian Small Press Publisher Award. She also writes Catholic school calendars and has written three craft books for the Little Flowers/Blue Knights clubs.
Fabian is married to Colonel Robert A. Fabian of the USAF. They have four children, a dog and a cat. When not writing, teaching writing, or chatting about writing, she’s hanging out with her kids or swinging a sword in haidong gumbdo.
Connect with Karina
Twitter Hashtags: #DragonEye, #L&LF
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