Karina Fabian: Keeping Zombies Fresh [guest blog]
Good morning! Author Karina Fabian is back on this patch of virtual real estate today, talking about her new book, Neeta Lyffe 2: I Left My Brains in San Francisco (the sequel to her popular Neeta Lyffe: Zombie Exterminator).
I’ll be giving away a free PDF copy of Neeta Lyffe 2 to one randomly chosen commenter on this blog entry! (That is, on my main blog itself, where these missives originate, not on places they are echoed, such as my LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, or Tumblr accounts). Comments must be in by Saturday, October 21st, 2012, 11:59:59 e.d.t.
Gary asked me to write a blog on “how to keep zombies fresh.” He was probably talking about the genre, but pffth! What fun is that? Instead, I offer you the trials of Josie Gump, who (in Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator), mistakenly believed her late Jebadiah, who came back from the grave to plop himself in the easy chair to demand beer and watch Jerry Springer, was somehow still a person, but “life-challenged.” May I present, Mrs. Josie Gump:
I’m a pretty ordinary person, living a quiet, contented life with a loving husband and four great kids. However, I have a brain crowded with characters who live far more interesting lives than I ever will. (Mind you, they also experience a lot more pain and stress, so I am not looking to trade.) I write their stories in order to get them out of my head before it explodes, and because I love their adventures so much, I want to share them.
Well, this is all rather personal, but the Zombies Are People, Too Movement asked me about I was “keeping things fresh” with Jebediah. No one’s ever asked me for my housekeeping tips, before, and well, Jeb didn’t much care about the house as long as the food was ready when he got home, the beer was cold, and the TV screen clean.
Anyways, I have to admit, it has been a challenge. At first, it seemed all right–easier, even. Death has changed him, you see, and while I don’t want to talk bad about nobody, Jeb used to keep tight hold of the money. Now, though–now, I tell him I want a little extra for new curtains or a better broom, and he just grunts his assent. And he did show up kind of dirty from digging himself out of the grave, but he didn’t have any problem with me sweeping him off with the whisk broom. Just so long as I didn’t get between him and the TV, of course.
It’s gotten worse, though. First, that reporter mentioned a smell. I thought he meant the house! I threw him out, even sic’ced Pinky on him. I’m so embarrassed now, because he was right. I’ve kind of run through most of the commercially available products. In desperation, I even tried B to Z FreshAire. I mean, it says “Bathrooms to Zombies.” Jeb did not like that! One spray, and he started groaning, was so mad! I threw it out. Later, I found out, it’s zombie repellant! How horrible is that? I’m so glad for ZAPT; they’re trying to make that poison illegal. Anyway, there’s this expensive stuff called Orange Blaze that gets your house all citrusy, but it’s expensive, so if you can’t afford it, lots of Freedbreezy works.
Another unfortunate problem with the “differently living” is, well, insects. I tried the natural methods–mint, basil, and lavender–but I finally had to break down and get some repellant. I worry about the dogs, but at least my Jeb never leaves his chair. I mean, even if I have to run an errand, he just waits so patiently for his next beer! It’s really a change; he just so gentle now. Of course, I’d be glad for any suggestions. I think there are some creatures making a home inside the chair. I’m so embarrassed. I’d call an exterminator, but they all seem to specialize in zombie extermination, now. I have to think of my Jeb.
In the end, it wasn’t the challenge of keeping Jeb fresh that drove Josie over the edge. She finally turned off the TV in the interest of keeping their marriage “fresh,” whereupon Jeb tried to eat her brains and she realized he’d lied to her again. She went after him with the shotgun, then sold her home, packed up the dogs and became a spokeswoman for “Zombies Are People-NOT!”
Conclusion: While there are probably as many ways to keep zombie stories fresh as there are writers, keeping the zombies themselves fresh is quite a challenge.
Are you the next “Zombie Idol”?
Karina Fabian is looking for someone to sing the theme song I wrote for I Left My Brains in San Francisco. She has the words and the tune; but they need a singer. They are offering prizes for the best singer, the most creative audition video, and are giving one in ten entries a copy of the e-book. The details are at http://fabianspace.blogspot.com/p/are-you-next-zombie-idol.html.
Zombie problem? Call Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator–but not this weekend.
On vacation at an exterminator’s convention, she’s looking to relax, have fun, and enjoy a little romance. Too bad the zombies have a different idea. When they rise from their watery graves to take over the City by the Bay, it looks like it’ll be a working vacation after all.
Enjoy the thrill of re-kill with Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator.
If there’s such a thing as ADD of the imagination, Karina Fabian has it–in spades. Craft books, devotionals, serious science fiction, comedic horror and chilling fantasy–she follows her interests and the characters that tell her their stories.
Even before she could write, Karina strung tall tales about everything from making human pyramids in Kindergarten to visiting alien worlds. Her first attempt at novel writing was in fourth grade; she completed her first novel in college. However, her first published work was an anthology of Christian science fiction, Leaps of Faith, an EPPIE finalist for best anthology in 2006. Her next anthology, Infinite Space, Infinite God, featured Catholic characters and themes and won the EPPIE for science fiction. The second Infinite Space, Infinite God anthology came out in 2010.
Watching the comedy improv show, Whose Line Is It, Anyway, inspired her noir-style dragon detective, Vern. Vern and his partner, Sister Grace, have solved mysteries and saved the Faerie and Mundane worlds numerous numerous times in the DragonEye, PI stories and novels. Their serial story, World Gathering, won a Mensa Owl; and the novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem (Fabian’s first published novel), won the INDIE for best fantasy in 2010. The second DragonEye book, Live and Let Fly, came out in April 2012.
At a friend’s request, Karina wrote a funny story about a zombie exterminator, which grew into the Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator novels. The first, Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, won the 2011 Global E-Book award for best horror, and was runner-up in the eFestival of Words for best YA.
She also writes serious science fiction. Her SF novels, Discovery and The Old Man and the Void, are currently under consideration, and she’s working on the next DragonEye novel, a superhero spoof, Gapman.
Karina has a strong faith, which she explored in her devotional, Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life, which she wrote with her father Steve Lumbert, and which won the 2011 Christian Small Press Publisher Award. She also writes Catholic school calendars and has written three craft books for the Little Flowers/Blue Knights clubs.
Fabian is married to Colonel Robert A. Fabian of the USAF, and they are currently enjoying a long distance relationship while he’s stationed in Iraq. They have four children, an overgrown pup, and a harried cat. When not writing, teaching writing, or chatting about writing, she’s hanging out with her kids or swinging a sword in haidong gumbdo.
Survival Hardware hadn’t seen such a rush of customers since the last Armageddon prediction coincided with Black Friday.
Manager Clint Sanders rubbed his hands with glee. Oh, Marley, if only you hadn’t gotten drunk and decided to go zombie hunting. Was it only last Christmas?
He hurried to Customer Service, crafting an announcement in his mind. “You want to live! We want to live! That’s why you are going to file calmly to the back if you need a suit.”
Yeah. Sense of urgency, plus that “We’re in this together” crap.
He got to the counter and nodded at Bitsy, who had rung up a chainsaw and a half-crate of bleach.
God bless survivors. Clint continued to the back. Out of habit, he checked the exit door, even though it was always locked from the outside. He needed to delete Marley’s old code from it.
He cleared his throat. “Listen up! You want to live! We want to live!”
The exit door clicked.
“That’s impossible!” he declared. The store fell silent.
“Boss?” Bitsy’s voice ended in a squeak.
“That’s not what I meant! Security team to customer service!”
He reached under the counter for a shotgun. Bitsy grabbed the chainsaw. They had filled them that morning–another example of the excellent service at Survival Hardware.
The door swung open, and the zombiefied remains of his late business partner, Marley, staggered through.
Clint to blasted him with the shotgun. The impact knocked the Marley out the door.
Clint used the gunsight to scan the parking lot. “He brought friends! Call Nine-One-One. I’m putting this place on shutdown.”
“Screw that! I’ve been prepping all my life for this!” With a howl of challenge, Bitsy dashed out the door. She swung low and decapitated her former boss before moving on.
Thundering footsteps signaled the customers following in her wake.
He gaped at the carnage while Dirk called 9-1-1. It’d be too late by the time they got there. All that’d be left was to clean up the zombie parts and get the customers back in to pay.
God bless survivors.
Find Karina at:
Website: http://fabianspace.com, http://dragoneyepi.net
Google +: https://plus.google.com/103660024891826015212
Find Neeta Lyffe 2: I Left My Brains in San Francisco at:
Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and a contributor to the dark fiction anthology Fading Light. His blog originates here. Photo: Karina Fabian. Neeta Lyffe 2 cover art: George Silliman.