Today begins the first part of our three part interview with Karina Fabian, Catholic Writer’s Guild member and author of Live and Let Fly.
1. So, a Dragon Private Investigator named Vern, and his side kick, a magic-wielding nun. Should I even ask how you came up with that duo?
I wanted to write for an anthology, Firestorm of Dragons, but was hard pressed for a unique idea, until my kids asked me to watch Whose Line Is It, Anyway? with them. The noir improv that the comedians do always makes us laugh, and I realized I could do that with a dragon. Thus, Vern, a noir-style dragon detective, was born. “DragonEye, PI” was the first story, and he was such fun to write, I decided to do more.
He needed a partner for one of the stories I wanted to write, and Sister Grace came along. Part siren, she’s got incredible magical talent and longevity and makes a great match for Vern. She’s a gentling influence on him, while he can make her smile, which was a big deal, because when they met, she was having a hard time with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after being kidnapped and tortured by Satan’s minions. So she’s someone he wants to protect, too.
Vern’s PI slogan is “Wisdom of the Ages. Experience of Eternity. Treasure Found. Virginity confirmed. Saving the Universe Extra.” It sounds similar to the slogan for Jim Butcher’s Wizard-PI, Harry Dresden.
I’m trying to remember if I’d read any of the Dresden Files before I wrote my first DragonEye, PI story. It’s been so long and eventful a time since then. However, it’s certainly what I think a PI would have in the Yellow Pages.
2. Live and Let Fly is one of your later Dragon PI novels. How do you think the series, and the characters, have grown over time?
The world is so much bigger and more complex, because it’s grown with the stories. The characters, too, have deeper backgrounds, and there are more of them. I’ll give you a couple of examples:
Los Lagos was a sleepy little town that was part of the county during “DragonEye, PI.” Because of the Gap [Ed: A supernatural rift in reality between worlds in the series], however, it has grown and by Live and Let Fly, has its own police department, which is finally admitting Magicals onto the force. Of course, the down side is the chief of police, Captain Santry, doesn’t like Magicals in general and dislikes Vern in particular; they have a whole history built up over several short stories, and Santry has grown so much, I am going to write a trilogy about him after I finish the next DragonEye novel, Gapman.
Vern has also grown in size and power. He’d gained back his fire in “DragonEye, PI” and has since gotten more of his size, strength, memory and healing. He was a getting too powerful, so he’s going to get his comeuppance in this book. I hadn’t planned it, actually, but he definitely deserved it, and it’ll be fun to play with in future stories. He’s also mellowed some, and is starting to learn to have fun again. Grace has actually been a help with that. She makes sure he keeps humble, and he’s got a vested interest in making her smile.