Hi! I’m creating a new blog. I hope you all will follow me over at that blog. I’ll post links to it here for a while before I stop posting altogether on here. The new page is spellboundscribbler.wordpress.com and please feel free to share it. I just posted my first blog at spellboundscribbler. Come on over and take a look!
I survived the move. More or less. I’m staying with friends for a bit while I find something I can live with for a long time to come. It works. I still haven’t stopped sneezing. Decided to go for full-blown bronchitis. But I’m heavily medicated so we should be right as rain soon. Now that the move is over (for now), I’m trying to get back into my writing. I made sure not to pack all my writing gear into the storage unit. I have been making notes on a new alien story. I don’t usually write aliens but I can’t get this idea out of my head. I’ve let it stew long enough that it’s about ready for a full outline and some serious writing. It’s funny and has a point and I am liking this idea a lot. Now I just need to stop coughing…
Let me introduce you to the first Zora Banks novel, Bad Mojo.
Bad Mojo is a roller coaster through the Chattanooga underbelly. It’s told from the perspective of Ash Owens, a were-creature who works with hoodoo witch doctor Zora Banks to keep balance and peace in their beloved Nooga. We learn about Zora from Ash, the antihero. Where Zora is ethical, strong of faith, and true to her word, Ash is emotionally ugly, unclean, and amoral in the most delicious ways, answering only to Zora due to her ability to keep his own inner monster in check.
Berryhill brings us two seemingly parallel story lines that end up being one and the same. We get a twisted new vampire, were creatures, hoodoos, politicians, drag queens, trolls, zombies, the Fae, drugs and sex, all both honest and crooked in equal measure. The vampires are called vipers in Berryhill’s Nooga, an interesting twist on the bloodsucker leaning more toward snakes than bats. And we can hear the Southern speech of Ash Owens without the weird spelling that bogs down dialect. This look at Nooga shows humans and spooks with all their associated customs blending into a normal society for those aware of both sides. Almost like being a spook is a form of socially acceptable mental illness.
In the same vein as Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden, Berryhill gives us an antihero that tries his best, gets the hell beaten out of him at every opportunity and still gets back into the fight. Owens will do anything to accomplish what needs done; only being penitent to the exotic Zora Banks whom he secretly loves. Bad Mojo is a delicious read, both provocative and repulsive, giving the reader vicarious access to their own inner demons.
I am pleased to introduce today the only practicing dragon private investigator in the United States. Vern, Dragon P.I. is here to discuss forensics in both our mundane world and the Faerie world. Vern works with his partner, Sister Grace in Karina Fabian’s magical universe. Vern’s investigative skills are currently being tested in Greater Treasures, now available for Kindle and on Amazon.
By Vern the Dragon PI
I’m Vern, I’m a dragon, and I work as a private investigator in your world. Yes, a for-real dragon, no animatronics involved, and please don’t ask if I eat virgins or blame me for your missing cat. Becca asked that I discus the difference between investigations in the Faerie Realm and here in the Mundane. (Don’t complain to me about the names for the two dimensions. I didn’t make them up.)
The fact of the matter is, since we don’t really have the kind of psychics that can go to the scene of a crime and “sense” the name, address, and relative flight risk of the criminal, much of the Faerie tactics are similar to the Mundane. We still look for clues, question people, gather evidence, and hope for a confession. I must admit, though: in Faerie, a confession can morph into a Monologue, especially if the criminal in question thinks he has you by the claws. Why any time is a good time to confess your evil wrongdoings to an officer of the law is a mystery to me, but Faerie do love a cliché.
The difference, of course, is you have technology and we have magic. You want to know someone’s background, you do a check of credit records and Facebook posts. We use a discernment spell—and ask the neighbors. A Holy Mage can also tell the state of someone’s soul, which comes in handy. We have a spell that works better than your lie detector, and while we have the same interrogation techniques, we also have pukas, which are notorious for eliciting secrets from people they talk to. (Sometimes, finding someone who is easy to talk to isn’t always a blessing.)
The fun thing about the connection between our two worlds is that I can avail myself of both Mundane and Faerie methods. I love computer technology. It’s a great complement to magic, actually. When Grace can’t find the subject and casing their neighborhood doesn’t work, I can use my Google Fu and get a pretty good profile as long as they aren’t off the grid.
My partner, Sister Grace, is a high-powered Holy Mage with a great imagination. She adapted a spell to make me invisible after watching a documentary on stealth technology in your military. Even better, as a dragon, I can fly far more silently than any of your bombers…unless I’m in the mood to make airplane noises. I did try it once; it was kind of funny until the Air Force Academy caught me at it. I’ve been banned from their airspace. Worth it though! You should have seen the faces of the cadets in their gliders! Where’s that plane? Where’s that plane?
But that’s a different story. The moral of this story is, I’m good, I have the benefits of two dimensions’ worth of investigative techniques, and I am a dragon. Don’t mess with me. Don’t mess with my territory. Don’t put yourself in a situation where someone will hire me to come get you.
And if you do, just turn yourself in. It’ll be easier for both of us.
Thank you, Vern. That was awesome!
You can find Vern, Sister Grace, and Karina Fabian on tour all this month. Next stop is Wednesday, May 8, at Harlie William’s blog page.
Today I am pleased to introduce a fantastic writer, blogger, friend, and mom on the run, author Karina Fabian. Karina has been on tour all this month to celebrate the release of her latest novel Live & Let Fly, now available from MuseItUp Publishing. A full-time mom of 4, wife to an Air Force colonel, full-time writer of both fiction and nonfiction, Karina has over 20 books in print and shows no sign of stopping. Yay! Her latest is another story in the DragonEye, PI universe.
From the official Fabian page
Live and Let Fly: From the Case Files of DragonEye, PI: It’s super-spy spoofing as only the Faerie can do it! When a simple mugging points to international intrigue, Vern and Sister Grace are pushed to the limits as they pit magic and heart against technology and evil genius. Saving the world isn’t so easy–especially when Vern goes undercover as a human!
Let’s get straight to the good stuff!
BB: What was your inspiration for L&LF?
KF: I have to start with Vern. He’s my cynical dragon living on the wrong side of the interdimensional Gap, eeking out a living as a private investigator. I wrote him originally as a short story, but his noir voice and superior attitude made for the most fun narration! Also the Faerie/Mundane world, where magic and technology don’t mix, provided a rich universe for making up unique cases. At first, the stories were serious, but I was asked to do a serial story, and thought I’d have a little fun with Vern. Most embarrassing case he’d ever done—and it was a hit. So now, I bounce between comedy and traditional noir style mystery.
Live and Let Fly came about because I had so much fun with the first comedic novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem, that I wanted to do another. This time, though, I wanted more adventure and a grander scale. Somehow, “Live and Let Die” was in my head. (Which it would be again if I weren’t listening to the B-52s at this moment.) The rest was just a really fun trip!
BB: Give us a time frame from concept to release date?
KF: It took about six months to write, I believe. I had a publisher for it at the time, Swimming Kangaroo, but as happens with many small presses, the publishers were a family with full time jobs and family concerns, and they decided not to produce any further books. After that, it was almost two years of seeking another publisher before I decided on MuseItUp. I think it will be a good home for DragonEye, PI.
BB: Tell us about your editing process?
KF: I have a five step editing process. First is just using the spell/grammar feature on Word. Second, print and read for content. Third, read aloud for flow. Fourth, read it backward, last sentence to first, to make sure each individual sentence is good. Finally, a general copy-edit. It works pretty well, but I have found that being on online chats and twitter, etc. has made me less observant and I have to watch more carefully for typos.
BB: Are you an outliner or a pantster?
KF: For this book, about 20 percent plotter, 80 percent pantster. I needed to have a general idea of what I was doing and where the clues laid out, but the characters didn’t much care for the outline itself. I had a really rough time writing until I let my rock star/actress, Rhoda Dakota, play Damsel in Distress instead of Plucky Sidekick. It made for a better book, too. My characters inevitably know better than I do.
BB: Do you prefer writing fiction or nonfiction?
KF: Fiction is definitely more fun!
BB: When did you start writing?
KF: I started writing seriously in 1996, after I’d gotten out of the Air Force, and we moved back to the US from Japan. I was doing mostly non-fiction then, trying to earn a little extra money. Now I do mostly fiction because I love telling stories.
BB: Any advice for new writers?
KF: Write. Get crits & revise. Submit. Repeat. And don’t take rejection personally. It’s business.
BB: Do you prefer online groups over face/face? Groups just for support or critique as well?
KF: When presenting, I love them both, but I’m an introvert at heart, so I prefer online groups. For critique, I’ve not had much luck with groups, but I have a core of great writing friends who know they don’t need to hold back with me.
BB: Who or what inspires you to write?
KF: The characters. They move into my head and their stories clutter my brain until I write them. I’d be an even more distracted person if I didn’t write.
BB: If you could meet any writer and pick his/her brain, who would it be?
KF: I’m terrible at picking brains. Chopsticks or salad forks? I’d love to meet Terry Pratchett in person, but I don’t really have a driving desire to meet a particular writer.
Thank you, Karina, for a great interview. Check out Fabian Space, Karina’s web page for all her fiction and nonfiction work. I’m convinced she never sleeps, there’s so much great stuff on her site. Also, you can find Vern on his very own page, Dragon Eye, PI. I hope everyone will be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour. Here is where to find Karina today and the rest of the month:
* Theresa’s Simplicity in Words (www.teribelle.wordpress.com) Review & Give Away
*”Siren Spell” (the story of Sister Grace) Flying Island Press (www.flyingislandpress.com)