Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Author Interview: Karina Fabian

A few months ago, I copy edited Magic, Mensa and Mayhem, by Karina Fabian. It is a unique, hilarious and engaging book, and Karina was super fun to work with! I highly recommend the book. Learn more about it and her at Also, read my interview with her about my job as a copy editor at

Today, an interview with Karina about her life as an author!

Jennifer Walker: Tell me about your published books.

Karina Fabian:
In reverse order:

Magic, Mensa & Mayhem
(Swimming Kangaroo, 2009): It should have been a cushy job: Vern, the dragon detective, and his partner, the mage Sister Grace, are given an all-expense paid trip to Florida to chaperone a group of Magicals at a Mensa convention. Then the pixies start pranking, the Valkyrie starts vamping and a dwarf goes to Billy Beaver's Fantasyland hoping to be "discovered." Environmentalists protest Vern's "disrupting the ecosystem," while clueless tourists think he's animatronic. When the elves get high on artificial flavorings and declare war on Florida, it turns into the toughest case they aren’t getting paid for.

Leaps of Faith
(The Writers Café Press, 2008): Believe in a future where science and faith live side-by-side? Leaps of Faith contains 15 stories exploring space, time and faith. Can an ancient religion bring hope to first-line explorers for whom each trip is potential suicide? What does it mean when a physicist finds God's face in the stars? Is there a "saint gene" and can it be reproduced to create miracles? What happens to your soul when your body is shattered into quantum elements and reassembled on another world? How will the Christian faith transform alien thoughts and traditions? Read as time travelers seeking to change Biblical history and space travelers harvesting "angels" are brought to faith by their experiences. Experience tender romance and heart-pounding adventure. Laugh at the foibles of man. A 2004 EPPIE finalist for Best Electronic Anthology, Leaps of Faith promises the best in Christian sci-fi.

Infinite Space, Infinite God
(Twilight Times, 2007): Come explore the worlds of “Infinite Space, Infinite God.” Meet genetically engineered chimeras and aliens who wonder what a human religion holds for them. Share the doubts, trials and triumphs of humans who find their journeys in time and space are also journeys in faith. Experience spine-tingling adventure. Marvel at technological miracles—and miracles that transcend technology—and meet the writers who made a leap of faith and dared to incorporate familiar religion with fantastic universes. Entertaining and thought-provoking, Infinite Space, Infinite God represents the best in SF tradition. Faith-filled fiction for readers that think.

Jennifer Walker:
Did you have a writing career before you published your first book?

Karina Fabian:
I wrote mostly non-fiction about pregnancy, parenting and faith issues. I also wrote a lot of profiles--artists, authors, local businesspeople. When Rob made Lt. Col, I was starting to get burned out on non-fiction, so we decided we could afford to let me concentrate on my stories, instead.

Jennifer Walker: How did you get your books published?

Karina Fabian:
Infinite Space, Infinite God was done in the traditional way: Write it up, send it out, rack up the rejections until TTB picked it up. Leaps of Faith also has its share of rejections, but I had the pleasure of making acquaintance with Cynthia MacKinnon, publisher of The Writers Café Press, before sending it to her.

Magic, Mensa and Mayhem
was a totally different story. Dindy Robinson, the publisher, liked my writing and asked if I had anything to offer. I'd already written most of the story as a serial mystery, and it didn't take much to novelize it.

I have two other books I'm working on for publishers whom I know. However, knowing the publisher does not guarantee acceptance. The first is a manuscript I've worked on for years which has had its rejections and near-acceptances more than once. The other, I'm sending out as a proposal.

Jennifer Walker:
What is writing accomplishment are you most proud of?

Karina Fabian:
Whichever is the latest. I continue to grow as a writer, and I'm tickled at every occasion I get published. Right now, of course, I'm riding high on Magic, Mensa and Mayhem. I adore the cover art and the story--and it got a review by Publisher's Weekly, which thrills me to no end. Of course, I've been blessed with some pretty terrific cover artists and great publishers who are very concerned about the books.

Jennifer Walker:
Do you have a "day job"? Or are you a full-time writer?

Karina Fabian:
I'm a full-time mom and a full-time writer. It's all I can handle at this point, though I do have a small side-business mentoring other authors in marketing their books. I offer one-on-one mentoring, classes and a task-driven newsletter. Folks can learn more about it at

Jennifer Walker:
When and how did you decide you wanted to become a writer?

Karina Fabian:
I've always wanted to write, but I really dedicated to it during Lent of 1996. I was the mother of two toddlers, an Air Force Reservist, and homemaker. I was going nuts, though, with just the house and the kids and the weekend-a-month drill. I remember reading a Harry Turtledove book and getting very angry because I knew I could write but wasn't. So I decided to give up fiction and take up writing. Soon afterward, I got my first job with the diocese paper.

Jennifer Walker:
What is your education background?

Karina Fabian: I graduated with University Honors from Colorado State University with a degree in mathematics and a minor in history. I love school.

Jennifer Walker:
What are the most important priorities in your life?

Karina Fabian:
Faith, Family, Fiction (or writing in general). From there, supporting my fellow writers--I'm President in the Catholic Writers Guild and am active in many groups, plus I have a blog where I tour books for other authors. Sleep fits in there somewhere, as does housekeeping, but probably not nearly well enough.

Jennifer Walker:
Does your family support your writing?

Karina Fabian:
Yes! I'm very blessed. Rob is my provider and my idea man, editor, and first critic. The kids love for me to read them stories, especially DragonEye, PI, stories.

Jennifer Walker:
What is your next project?

Karina Fabian:
Next published will be Live and Let Fly: From the Case Files of DragonEye, PI. Super-spy spoofing at its best when a simple mugging turns into a case of Interdimensional intrigue. Vern and Grace are pushed to the limit as they go against advanced technologies with limited magics. Still, none of that compares to the greatest challenge of all--Vern goes undercover in human form!

I'm also writing a science fiction novel , Discovery, based in my Rescue Sisters Universe. Sister Rita has joined the Order of Our Lady of the Rescue in the asteroid belt in order to avoid having to choose between her vows as a nun and her love for James. When they end up on a historic, long-term, mission together, can she discover God's true path for her?

Thank you so much to Karina Fabian, and best of luck with Magic, Mensa and Mayhem!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Book Review: Axe of Iron/The Settlers by J.A. Hunsinger

Axe of Iron: The Settlers
by J.A. Hunsinger

Paperback: 356 pages
Publisher: Vinland Publishing Llc (August 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0980160103
Rating (1 to 5 stars): *****


A thousand years ago, North America was still wild and largely unexplored. Nearly 500 years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, Lief Ericson discovered North America, followed by other Northmen who tried to make a go of it in the new land with varying degrees of success. Records of this time are scarce, but historians have pieced together some of the events that transpired.

J.A. Hunsinger is one such historian. In Axe of Iron: The Settlers, he begins the saga of a group of Northmen who strike out from Greenland in search of a new home in the west. It is a fictional tale based on what we know of the era and what life was like at the time.

The settlers are led by Halfdan, an able and fierce captain, and he is aided by his good friend and lieutenant, Gudbjartur. While the story centers on them, it wanders from character to character, giving the reader a panoramic view of the party while at the same time allowing you to get to know the characters intimately. The party had been preceded to the new land, referred to as Vinland, by other Northmen, but none had succeeded in maintaining their settlements due to problems with the natives. Halfdan is determined to do things differently.

Life during this period was harsh and wild, with a different form of civility than we know now. Hunsinger shows this cruel reality vividly, drawing the reader in with brilliant descriptions and plenty of action. It becomes at times very graphic, both violently and sexually, but all of the scenes weave together to form a tapestry that is the perfect depiction of the story and people. The book includes helpful resources for getting the most out of the story, including a pronunciation guide, glossary, and brief history lesson.

Although I do not normally reach for historical fiction, Axe of Iron: The Settlers gripped me and kept me intrigued through every moment. I feel as though I know the characters and am rooting for them to succeed. I can’t wait for the next installment in the series to come out so I can see what happens!

As usual, make a comment on this review to get a chance to win my review copy of Axe of Iron: The Settlers, by J.A. Hunsinger!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

March Winners!

I have two winners to announce:

Winner of The Dead Guy, by Doug Hewitt is Linda St. Cyr!

Winner of Shadow: The Curious Morgan Horse, by Ellen Feld, is Beth!

Congratulations, and please email me at jennifer @ autherjennwalker . com with your address for me to ship your book.