I’d like to welcome Karina Fabian to Through My Eyes by Sharee Wanner. I asked her a few questions to help us get to know her better and learn more about her new book, The Old Man and The Void.
What is your favorite part of the writing process and why?
My favorite part is when the characters take over, and I’m just trying to keep up with what they’re telling me. That’s when the best parts happen. In The Old Man and the Void, that happened more than expected. I had the outline of events, courtesy of The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, and I knew that my hero, Dex Hollister, would be different than Hemingway’s character, but the rest surprised me. I honestly don’t know where the alien gods came from, but they were so much fun to write, especially when they were dealing with Dex personally. What’s all this got to do with the main plot of Dex trying to escape the black hole when an ancient ship drags him in? I was learning that as I wrote.
What does your creative space look and sound like – calming, busy, quiet, music in the background?
Currently? I have a study on the second floor of our house. It’s still a work in progress, so the desk and chair are not really the best setup for me, ergonomically, but I have two screens, which makes up for a lot when doing work involving multiple programs or research. I have two bookshelves, one with writing books and books written by my friends and a smaller one with my own books. My goal is to fill the smaller one! I have a few pictures up and a daybed (since it doubles as the guest room), but otherwise, it’s pretty plain. When writing, I vary between it and writing on my laptop downstairs. There I have the choice of the comfy recliner or the circular chair/loveseat which lets me curl up, sit cross-legged, or whatever feels comfy at the time. I also have a homemade treadmill desk I don’t use often enough.
When I can’t concentrate, I’ll put music on with YouTube – usually SF movie soundtracks or jazz, nothing with words. I also turn off Facebook, but I have a crit group on Discord, and we often chat during the day, so it’s up to say, “Hi,” take breaks, or brainstorm.
Usually, I have a dog or two lounging on a blanket on the floor, and if my adult kids who live with us need anything – even to talk – they come in. Only when I’m writing for a paid contract do I close the office door.
Over the years, however, my office has been anywhere from a separate room to a shared space in the basement to the car – even the hot tub. (Hot tubs, like showers, are great places for letting your imagination run wild.)
Are you self-published or traditionally published?
Both. I’ve been enjoying self-publishing more lately. After 20 years, I’ve finally come to the decision that I am not “Best Seller” talent, and I’m tired of the emotional roller coaster that ambition had me on. I want to write, publish, enjoy my few fans – Hi guys! – and if I make a profit, great. Otherwise, I’m going to treat it like quilting or crocheting. No one expects you to make a mint off hobbies like that, even if you’re good. Each has its own advantages, however. Self-publishing, done will, takes up-front investment in a good artist and editing, plus dealing with formatting and working with Amazon or other publishing platforms. You get a higher percentage of the sales, but you also have expenses. Plus, you can publish whatever you like whenever you like. I have mostly been publishing journals which are fun to make, and story collections from my scifi/Star Trek parody, Space Traipse: Hold My Beer. With traditional publishers, they take the expense of production, but the royalties are less and you have to deal with their timetables and decisions.
Right now, I’m mostly self-publishing, though I have a few books that are being published by friends with small presses. The best way to keep up on my latest adventures is to sign up for my newsletter.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
My husband, first and always. In this case, he suggested I put The Old Man and the Sea into a science fiction/space opera genre, and the result was terrific. Second, he’s my go-to for logic, tactical and strategic double-checks, and making sure my stories and characters work. Finally, he’s simply a Great Man: terrific with people, able to track details and see the big picture, dedicated to his people and the mission whether it was in the military or now as president of a start-up rocket company (Rocket Crafters). He’s also a terrific father and husband. He definitely makes me want to be a better person, and he makes me happy with the person I am.
What character or characters do you relate to most in The Old Man and the Void?
I don’t think any of the characters are much like me. Dex is pig-headed and independent; Elomij and Hudon too arrogant (as you’d expect alien gods to be). Dex’s AI, named Santiago as a nod to Hemingway’s novella, is probably closest. Santiago not only runs the ship but also takes care of Dex, which is a frustrating task considering the man’s stubbornness and his illness, which is a kind of space-time dementia. There are times when Santiago’s hands are tied, virtually speaking, but he’s incredibly loyal, smart and compassionate, and he never stops trying to do what’s best. Plus, he can sound exasperated, something an AI shouldn’t be able to do. I definitely enjoyed writing the interactions between him and Dex. (Dex was a ton of fun to write, incidentally.)
I also relate to the relationship between Dex and his late wife, Scarlet, which we see in dementia-induced flashbacks. As I said, Dex took over the narrative, and I loved his tender recollections, especially coming from someone so grizzled.
Do you have any writing tips for our readers?
If you want to get good, then write – get feedback – edit – submit – write again. Don’t let critiques get you down, and don’t make writing success define you. Write because you love what you’re doing, or go so something else.
Thanks for taking the time to visit with me today.
Karina shared an amazing excerpt from her book, The Old Man and The Void. Enjoy!
He was lying on the floor of the hallway, twisted into a fetal position facing the control room. The floor felt warm in spots. Why would it be warm?
He blinked, the scene resolving into a partial focus. The emergency lights cast a dim glow on the blue haze, accented by the occasional strobing of the regular lights or the spark of a console. Everything smelled of ozone and melting plastic. Loose equipment scattered across the floor; his roller chair had wedged itself under the console. He tilted his head up enough to see the console itself; torn wires poked out of the casings, as if the console had been torn in two, then the pieces shoved roughly yet perfectly back together.
“Scarlet!” Heart thundering, he took a breath to call louder, but smoke filled his lungs. Sometime during his coughing fit, he remembered that Scarlet had died years ago. Ten? Twenty? Didn’t matter. It was just him and…and…
“Santiago?” The ship’s name came back with difficulty, but once he had that, the rest of his memories flooded into place. “Santiago, report.”
Only silence and the buzz of static replied.
He forced himself up, slowly, stopping when he could sit with his head resting on his hands. Even that effort had cost him, and he waited for the dizziness to pass before calling the ship again. When Santiago didn’t reply, he crawled to the adjunct control panel and took out remote control equipment. He adjusted the cap on his head, settled the fingers of the control gloves more firmly into place, and called up the back-up system. He found it functioning and puffed out a sigh of relief. Nonetheless, the outside sensor readings displayed wild, twisted lines of light and energy interspersed with long moments of static or complete blankness. Nonsense.
He turned his attention to the capture beam and laughed when he found their prey still on the other end, surging ahead, pulling them along.
All of that! You nearly killed us, but you’re still mine! His laughter set him coughing, but the air in the cabin had started to clear.
Dex set the backup program to run diagnostics and repair on the Santiago and pulled off the controls, leaving them hanging from the wall where he could grab them quickly. Then, he bullied his body to stand. His legs ached and his knees felt like jelly; he leaned heavily against the wall as he staggered to the bathroom.
The tepid water felt wonderful on his face and neck, and he splashed himself several times before he noticed how bright the small bathroom was. His eyes flicked to the window, and his body followed until he stood, nose pressed against the glass, awestruck at what he saw.
A thin veneer of blue rays marked the event horizon. Below the horizon, he saw undulating waves of blackish red light fighting to break free of gravitational pull. Above the horizon, curious bows of light streaked yellow and orange.
His breath accelerated as he realized where they were. His memories of the last few minutes before the accident returned. They’d crossed the event horizon. They were inside the black hole!
About the Author
Karina Fabian is a science fiction and fantasy writer out of Florida. In addition to serious works, she writes science fiction parody. https://fabianspace.com
You can find the author at
- Website: https://karinafabian.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Karina-Fabian-Speculative-Fiction-with-a-Grin-2233839790277963
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarinaFabian
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karinafabian/
- MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/karinafabian