I’m a HUUUUUGE fan of Karina’s writing, and so excited that her new book is out. She graciously stopped by on her blog tour to answer a few questions:
Devon Ellington: How did you develop the idea for this book?
Karina Fabian: I really need to take notes on my books… All I remember was that I was in a Bond mood when Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem came out and I was excited to do another humorous fantasy, but this time with more meat to it. I did a lot of watching of spy flicks and read a few books in order to get the secret agent ideas. I also read up on Norse mythology for my villains. I did some rudimentary outlining (which my characters pretty much ignored) and as the title says, let fly!
DE: It sounds like Vern gets his Bond on in this book. I’m sure Sister Grace had a few thoughts on NOT being a stereotypical spy twinkie sidekick in a bikini. Has their relationship changed at all in this book? Gotten stronger? More conflicted?
KF: The role of “Bond Babe” was played by singer/actress Rhoda Dakota, aka Heather Haskell from Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem. She, however, is engaged to Herald Charlie (also in MM&M). She gets to do the whole Bond Babe scenario—from helpless hostage to spunky assistant to champagne in the dinghy!
Grace does have to step out of the habit and dress up while playing her alias, a reporter for a resort magazine. She’s done this a time or two, but is never comfortable with it. She’s a pretty good actress though. No bikini, though she does wear a frumpy old lady swimsuit and surprises everyone with her diving skills. (She is part siren, after all.)
Incidentally, Vern shares the Bond role with two humans—Charlie Wilmot and Stan Rakness. Stan is new to DragonEye and was great fun to write. He loves being a secret agent and embraces the playboy/undercover stereotypes. Charlie is more the serious Bond. Vern is also serious and a little brainier (he is a dragon), but he also gets to charm a few ladies, get beat up, battle impossible odds with flair–the usual spy stuff—sometimes, as a dragon, sometimes, as a human.
Grace and Vern do have a few moments of awkwardness when he’s in human form—and she gets just a little miffed at his undercover persona—but you’ll have to read the book for that one.
DE: What was the hardest part about writing this adventure?
KF: Organizing the mystery. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, which is not always a good thing when trying to craft a huge, complex, Bondworthy evil-overlord scheme. When I did try to map it out, the characters (especially Rhoda) refused to cooperate. Then, my villain changed mid-book—and it all turned out so much better than if I’d tried to stick to my plans!
DE: Was there anything so over-the-top you had to cut it or tame it, or did you just go for it in any scene?
KF: Not in Live and Let Fly, though I do have a few other stories that I simply will not write until they calm themselves down, and there have been a few times when Rob has called me on something I thought was funny in my Neeta Lyffe books, but which came off as sarcastic. It’s great to have a husband who is also a crit partner.
DE: What is the best tidbit of advice you can give to writers who want to combine humor and action?
KF: Have fun with it, but then go back and read it aloud and preferably to some others so that you know it works.
LIVE AND LET FLY by Karina Fabian:
When Charlie Wilmot, the Duke’s herald and Vern and Grace’s friend, gets mugged and his fiancé’s engagement ring stolen, they agree to find the culprit. But his courier pouch held more than just a ring–the secret device sewn into it could help others create their own Interdimensional Gap–or usher Armageddon into two universes. Drafted into an Interdimensional intelligence network, Vern, Grace and Charlie go undercover–Vern, as a human! It’s super-spy spoofing at its best as 007 meets Ragnarok!
Festival was Friday. We had two days to stop a Nordic demigod evil overlord—overlady, overbeing, whatever—from blowing up a nuclear power plant, possibly destroying half an island full of revelers in the process, and creating an Interdimensional Gap through which she can bring the rest of her giant relatives to set up housekeeping where the Faerie Catholic Church didn’t have the power to control them. In other words, two days until Hel broke loose.
I’ve had worse deadlines. I could afford a long bath in our whirlpool tub and a good meal first.
Buy it here.
Watch the trailer here.
Winner of the 2010 INDIE for best Fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem) and a Mensa Owl for best fiction (World Gathering), Karina Fabian’s writing takes quirky twists that keep her–and her fans–amused. Nuns working in space, a down-and-out Faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George, zombie exterminators—there’s always a surprise in Fabian’s worlds. Mrs. Fabian teaches writing and book marketing seminars online.