Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Interview with Karina Fabian of Mind Over Psyche.

If you don't remember Karina Fabian ... that's too long a story to get into here, just click on "Fabian" keyword below, and you'll find her quick enough.

If you don't remember the first book in this series, Mind Over Mind, you can see my review of it here.

Now for a look at Mind Over Psyche.

Deryl isn’t crazy; he’s psychic.  Desperate to escape the insane asylum, Deryl  teleports to Kanaan, a world of telepaths who regard him as an oracle.  But freedom comes at a price.  The Kanaan expect their oracle to teach them to use their powers to wage war.  Meanwhile, he’s falling in love, but to be with her means to share his psyche, which could drive her insane.  Most dangerous of all, he hasn't escaped the Call of the Master, enemy of the Kanaan, whose telepathic manipulations were why Deryl was committed in the first place.  Now, the Master will forge Deryl’s powers into a weapon to kill all he loves or destroy his mind trying.

Interview Questions for Mind Over Psyche by Karina Fabian
1.  In Mind Over Mind, you had a romance between Joshua and Sachiko.  Will we see more of that in Mind Over Psyche?
No.  It’s Deryl’s turn to fall in love, and it will be a very different experience from Joshua’s.  For one, Tasmae is an alien.  Kanaan mate for life and when they meet their soul mate, it’s usually a compulsion.  They know, on a biological and telepathic level, that this is their soul mate, and they figure out the rest later.  Of course, Deryl being human makes things a little confusing for both him and Tasmae.  There’s more danger involved, as one or the other could drive each other insane in the literal sense.  Kanaan bonding is more than joining hearts or bodies.  They link minds.  Readers of Mind Over Mind know that’s traumatic enough for Deryl even with limited human contact.  What’s worse, however, is that Tasmae is under the psychic influence of her ancestor’s memories—her ancestor who had gone mad.  Add to that the fact that some of the Kanaan close to Tasmae see Deryl as a threat, not an oracle, and you can understand why Joshua is really worries about Deryl and Tasmae ever having the chance to be alone together.
2.  Joshua practices a form of psychiatry called neuro linguistic programming.  He used it extensively in Mind Over Mind.  Will he use it in Mind Over Psyche?
Some, but it really doesn’t work with aliens.  He will, however, save a child’s life with it, and will use some techniques to help Deryl and Tasmae out of danger.  This book, he also gets to exercise his musical talents.
3.  What is your favorite scene?
Tasmae is deeply under the influence of her ancestor’s memories and the pain and confusion have made her violent.  They’re causing Deryl pain a well, and he begs Joshua to help her.  He’s a psychiatric prodigy, right?  Never mind that he’s 19, an intern, has no drugs or orderlies as backup and oh, yeah, is dealing with aliens.  I loved imagining what Joshua, Deryl, and especially Tasmae were thinking and doing.  Crazy can be a lot of fun…when it’s not real.
4.  What’s the challenge about writing about a psychic people?
They don’t communicate just in words, but also images, emotions, and simple knowing.  For example, why have a name for a person when you can pass on the knowledge of who that person is?  Ditto for places.  However, to reach a reader, I have to use words.  No one wants to read “the captain of the Kanaan guard” ten times a page, so some characters needed names, and I needed a reason for them to have one.  In the end, humans and the Barin (who also have verbal language) name certain things.  This will be fun in Mind Over All, because Joshua will joking name a young boy who clings to him, “Axel,” and it sticks, to Sachiko’s ire.
Also, with no written language, there needs to be a way to preserve history.  This is vital in Mind Over Psyche, as memories are stored in psychic plants.  You experience things as the person experienced them—no sanitizing, no skimming, no skipping the yucky parts (unless the plant allows it.)
5.  Tell us about the everyn.  They’re more than just small dragons, right?
Oh, yes.  The everyn are part of the sentient animals species called Bondfriends.  They have a symbiotic psychic relationship with certain Kanaan (also called Bondfriends).  Without this psychic bonding, an everyn reverts to a fully animal state, while a Kanaan will ignore their physical state until they die before they reach puberty.  Bondfriends life separate from “regular” Kanaan, who don’t’ really understand their psychic relationship.  Also, because they are an animal/person mind, so to speak, they are a bit wilder than the Kanaan.
6. Where do you get your ideas? 

All over—from TV, from conversations with friends, from something on the news (or Facebook), from another book I’ve read, from a call for submissions for an anthology… There’s actually a psychological term for it: cognitive disinhibition. People with CD do not organize/file away information as well as people who don’t have it. As a result, we have a lot of stuff floating around in our minds, synapses snapping around until they link up with something else, and BOOM! Idea! Interestingly, schizophrenics also have CD, but on a more extreme level. So to all the people in college who thought I was inhibited—HA!

7. What’s a common mistake new writers make?

Following “rules” too closely. Really, there aren’t rules, just guidelines. For example, I had a friend who tried to remove every single adverb in her novel because “the rules” say “No –ly words.” Those words are a legitimate part of the English language and used judiciously (Look! -ly word), they can have an impact.

8.  You write a lot of different stuff—horror, fantasy, science fiction, comedy, devotionals…  What won’t you write?
Erotica, for one, or anything with an excess of gratuitous sex or violence. I have a rule for writing: If I’m not comfortable reading it aloud to my kids, I won’t write it. I've put aside novels because the characters want to share more than I’m comfortable writing.

Also, I won’t write something deliberately hurtful or insulting. I don’t hold back my opinions, nor do I resist a good joke just because it might offend someone. People are too prone these days to take the most innocuous stuff personally—or “personally” on behalf of someone else or some particular demographic. I spent too much of my childhood with a thin skin; life is more fun when you realize a joke is a joke.

I sometimes take on controversial subjects. The Mind Over series has a subplot concerning abortion, for example. I try to put myself aside and stay true to my characters’ feelings and attitudes. I won’t go so far as to say I’m always balanced; again, I write what I’d want my kids to read. So, while I won’t write a pro-abortion story I also don’t cast the woman who had one as the obvious villain. Life is complex, but there is a right and wrong.

9. You often decry on Facebook that you have too many ideas. How do you decide which to write first?
I have a rubric:
1. Will I get paid? (as in right away)
2. Am I on deadline?
3. Do I have a contract or an expectation from a publisher?
4. Will it sell more books?
5. Has the story grabbed me?

Sometimes, these blur, and once in a while, they go out the window. For example, I had an idea for a flash piece that I sent to a friend’s website. It will earn me nothing, and no one was expecting it, but the idea did not want to let go.

10. Is there a world of another writer you’d like to write in?
Madeleine L’ Engle’s Time Trilogy. Daydreaming up stories about Charles Wallance is what got me started. In fact, Mind Over Mind started in high school about Charles Wallace as an adult. Of course, it has radically changed! Deryl is nothing like Charles Wallace now, and the worlds are totally different. However, I still have one story that would work best with Charles Wallace. It takes place when he’s in his seventies and must again go in and out of people like he did in Swiftly Tilting Planet. One day, I plan to write it and use technology instead of withining—unless, of course Madeleine L’Engles’ estate wants to contact me about it!

I have been invited to write a novel in another author’s universe, incidentally. I don’t want to say more, though, until we have something more concrete. Let me just say, it’s a very interesting world premise and potentially a lot of fun.

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