Now, on with the rest of the blog.
Longtime readers will remember Karina Fabian, author of Live and Let Fly, and co-editor of Infinite Space, Infinite God II.
Greater Treasures is a novella set in the Live and Let Fly universe.
The story? Well, it's as follows:
Being a private detective in the border town of the Faerie and Mundane worlds isn’t easy, even for a dragon like Vern. Still, finding the wayward brother of a teary damsel in distress shouldn’t have gotten so dangerous. When his partner, Sister Grace, gets poisoned by a dart meant for him, Vern offers to find an artifact in exchange for a cure. However, this is no ordinary trinket—with a little magic power, it could control all of mankind. Can Vern find the artifact, and will he sacrifice the fate of two worlds for the life of his best friend?
And with that established, let's begin.
Your previous DragonEye books were full novels with small press publishers, and now you're going a different route with a short story. Why the change?
KF: I have two DragonEye novels—Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem, published by Swimming Kangaroo; and Live and Let Fly by MuseItUp books. I also have numerous DragonEye stories in various anthologies and magazines. I have a few larger stories, however, that are too small for novels but too big for anthologies or magazines. So I’m self-publishing those. It’s not a change, so much as an expansion—another arrow in my publishing quiver.
I love the publishers I’ve worked with and have great respect for them, and I am still submitting to small and big traditional presses.
You've got a lot of different and disparate elements scattered throughout the book. Heavy on religious elements, scattered with scifi tv references, in an atmosphere that's very much The Maltese Falcon. With all that in mind, one must ask: who is your target audience?
Geeks? How about well-rounded readers of fantasy who enjoy a different approach. I don’t expect everyone to get or appreciate every reference in a story. I know when I read, I don’t, and one of the joys of reading is to discover something new.
I have to ask – how many times did you see The Maltese Falcon before you wrote the story?
Once while taking notes.
Your world is an alternate world where two worlds – Mundane and Faerie – are connected. Yet you still have real-world events like 9-11 mentioned. What does the history of your universe look like?
The Mundane world’s history and culture is very similar to our own, and where the Faerie world has changed it, I’ve mostly explored the local level. There’s a nice little nastiness about the Faerie in that they cannot be too far from the Gap for too long or they lose their connection to the magic. It’s fine for the humans, but any magical creatures get ill. (I explored this some in Live and Let Fly.)
The Faerie world has a lot of parallels to ours, but with some major exceptions. Satan and his minions prowl about the world in a very visible way, and the Catholic Church has remained united against them. It’s the only human religion, with the pagan gods (who are actual creatures) having been put in their proper place by the True God. Many of the problems leading to the Protestant Revolution either not happening or solved in-house in light of the fact that there’s an obvious bigger threat we need to stand against. Politically and technologically, they are behind us historically. The Gap connects to an area in England that is a duchy complete with a Duke who, as Vern will tell you, likes to have fun with his authority.
You made a point in the short story to say that dragon's don't have souls “like humans,” and therefore couldn't be converted. How does that work, considering that Vern is quite religious?
Christ died for humans, but that doesn't mean the other Faerie races don’t have souls or religion. They worship differently. In dragon’s case, it’s more of a great appreciation for their creation. They believe that while Man was made in God’s image, Dragon was made from God’s great imaginings. (It also accounts for their superiority complex.) They also have a different morality; for example, eating a lesser being does not count as murder—and all non-dragons are lesser.
Vern is a special case, however. St. George, convinced that the Church needed a dragon on its side, “recruited” Vern, but he did not go willingly. In the end, God through George had taken away just about everything from him—from size to magic—and told him to earn back his former glory, he would have to serve God’s creatures through the direction of the Church. Everything he does toward that end gives him something back; every backslide morally means a backslide physically. After 850 or so years working in the human religious institution, he’s picked up some human habits.
Why use the Lance of Longinus for the plot device?
The Lance of Longinus is the spear used by the centurion to pierce Christ’s side, and has been sought after as a source of supernatural power in our world for millennia. I needed something with more punch than a bird statue. I don’t remember now why the Lance came to mind, but as I read all the conspiracy theories around it, I loved how it fit into the story.
In the Gap, God seems to take a direct hand in things more often than He does indirect– including an angelic security system. How do you manage the theology of Vern's world?
Carefully. They are more open to miracles and visions there than in the Mundane, but even so, God seldom comes from On High to hurl a lightning bolt. That’s more Zeus’ style.
What's your next project?
I’m finishing the last book in the Mind Over Trilogy—Mind Over All. The second book, Mind Over Psyche, comes out in September. It’s a fantasy about a young man who claws his way back to sanity after suddenly acquiring psychic abilities. In the second novel, he escapes the mental asylum to another world, where he meets the woman who had been contacting him through visions. He (and his friend and intern who got caught up in the teleport) discover that she, too, is facing visions she cannot handle, and if they want to live, they need to help her understand the visions before they drive her insane.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished Rapunzel Let Down by Regina Doman. One of the best books I’ve ever read in my life—edgy, griping, and very believable. As you can tell from the title, it’s a modern-day play off the Rapunzel story, but as told by the Brothers Grim. I highly recommend it.
Next, I need to read a biography on a saint for a writing assignment. Haven’t decided who is next; I just finished St. Ignatius of Antioch.
What question would you like me to have asked?
None come to mind. Actually, it’s refreshing to have some unique questions. Thanks!
Come back tomorrow for the review.
Winner of the 2010 INDIE for best Fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem), Karina Fabian has imagination that 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, but mostly is concerned with supporting her husband, Rob Fabian as he makes the exciting leap from military officer to civilian executive, getting her kids through high school and college, and surviving daily circuit torture…er, circuit training. Read about her adventures at http://fabianspace.com.