Hi everyone. Myrria: Guardian Dragon of Asha here. Today I would like to welcome Vern another of my species and his human counterpart Sister Grace to the Dragon’s Lair. I had a great time interviewing the two of them about their new book Greater Treasures as well as getting a little bit of a scoop on the author Karina Fabian. Please welcome them and enjoy the conversation.
Sister Grace and Vern, thank you both for being here today. You’re promoting your novella, Greater Treasures. Is that your latest adventure?
Sister Grace: It’s the latest in print, but the stories are out of order from how they’ve
happened in our lives. Vern doesn’t tell them to Karina in order, I’m afraid.
Vern: Blame Karina for that. Half the time, she hears about an anthology and comes over with a ham wondering if we have a story that might fit the guidelines! I’m not turning down a good ham just because the story I have is out of chronological order. I have a list of the cases in order on our website: http://dragoneyepi.blogspot.com/p/of-slings-and-feeling-vexed-in.html
So how did you two meet? Were you immediate friends?
Sister Grace: I’m afraid we didn’t like each other very much at first. I had come to Vern with a mystery, and he was…not very receptive to my case.
Vern: I thought you were nuts. I believed in your payments more than I believed in you. Your attitude didn’t help much, either. (stage whisper) She’s an uppity nun—and snarky!
Sister Grace: Aye, and look who’s talking! But I was indeed stressed—it was a difficult time for me—and in the end, Vern protected me.
Vern: Yeah, well, you saved my life (or at least my current, healthy existence) before that, and I know what it cost you.
Sister Grace: And, of course, it helped that I was right all along. We came to a mutual understanding, and over the years, that’s grown into mutual respect and admiration.
Vern: It helps when we’re saving each other’s tails—and the world—one a regular basis. We did tell Karina this story, BTW. It was published in The Book of Tentacles.
I understand you both live in a rather run-down warehouse?
Sister Grace: Yes. We converted the second floor office in the back into a bedroom for me. It’s cozy enough.
Vern: It’s a dump. It’s drafty and too cold in the winter; the bathroom is the previous owner’s customer toilet area with a small shower added. The roof leaked like a colander. Our furniture comes from thrift stores…
Sister Grace (shushing Vern): Dragons don’t handle poverty well. It’s home. And we have a new roof now, and you have high-speed Internet and a top of the line computer designed just for you, so you shouldn’t complain.
Vern: It’s for business, but I do love computers. I have a virtual keyboard that shines onto a steel plate because my claws are hard on plastic. Vows of poverty mean I don’t get to collect stuff, but information is free, and I’ve become quite a connoisseur.
Can you tell us a little about how you work as a team?
Vern: I’m the brains and muscle; Grace is the heart and magic.
Sister Grace: That’s oversimplifying, perhaps, but not too far off the track. I do provide the magical assistance. I…had a long time when I didn’t practice my talent. Vern helped me to regain my confidence and control, and exposure to the Mundane world has given me much inspirati
on for new ways to apply my magic. My abilities have grown and with them, my connection to God—and of course, the closer I am to my Creator, the more my talent is connected to Him, and the stronger it grows. I don’t know where I’d be now, though, if Vern had not come into my life.
Vern is, indeed, the muscle, but I do my fair share of carrying. There are just some things a dragon isn’t suited for doing in this world.
Vern: Like taxes! I was operating completely under the wire before Grace came along. I don’t qualify in the US as a “person,” so she gets the dubious duty of all the official paperwork. I must admit, we eat better now, though. Mundanes are more likely to hire you when they know you’re “legal.”
But you started out working for the sheriff?
Vern: Bert paid in favors. Things got a little rough when Los Lagos finally started its own police department and brought in Capt. Santry as Chief of Police.
Where do you see DragonEye, PI going in the future?
Sister Grace: I leave that completely in God’s hands.
Vern: I, on the other hand (and I have four; five, if you count my prehensile and talented tail), want to see our business going upscale. Couple of junior detectives, a secretary, an accountant—and new lair!
Greater Treasures by Karina Fabian
Part of the DragonEye series of novels and stories
Tag line: When Grace’s life is in danger, Vern will do just about anything to find a cure—but will he sacrifice the fate of two worlds for her life? #dragoneye http://tinyurl.com/greatertreasureskindle
Blurb: Being a private detective in the border town of the Faerie and Mundane worlds isn’t easy, even for a dragon like Vern. Still, finding the wayward brother of a teary damsel in distress shouldn’t have gotten so dangerous. When his partner, Sister Grace, gets poisoned by a dart meant for him, Vern offers to find an artifact in exchange for a cure. However, this is no ordinary trinket—with a little magic power, it could control all of mankind. Can Vern find the artifact, and will he sacrifice the fate of two worlds for the life of his best friend?
Keywords: dragons, mystery, dragoneye, noir fantasy, lance of longinus, maltese falcon, dragon detectives, neo-nazis, racial prejudice, faerie creatures, conspiracy theories in fantasy, Karina Fabian
Link: http://tinyurl.com/greatertreasureskindle Will get the print link to you as soon as the book goes live on Amazon. It should be in a day or two, but you never know.
Categories: fantasy, fantasy mystery, paranormal, urban fantasy, noir
Video Trailer Link: http://youtu.be/tnv4Tp3JUcw
Video Trailer Embed Code:
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Given the day I was having, it came as no surprise that when I got home, I found the dogs sprawled in a drugged sleep and the sounds of things being overturned from within the warehouse. I decided not to bother with subtlety, but I did resist the urge to burst in with flames going full-blast. I had questions first.
Naturally, I walked straight in to find an automatic weapon—yep, a bona fide black-market AK-47—and I thought only Faerie lived their clichés—and six other weapons of various types pointed at me. I didn’t stop, just closed the door with my tail while I strolled in slow and placid-like. My visitors had shaved heads, faces painted white with clown paint, and black t-shirts with swastikas in white circles.
“If you’re the housekeeping service, you’re fired.”
“You stay right there, or we gonna fire you!” said one guy from the sidelines as he held his nunchucks at the ready.
What’d he think he would do—whack me on the nose? I turned to the one holding the assault rifle. “Scraping the bottom of the barrel with that one, weren’t you?”
“He’s right. You just stay still while we search the place.”
“The place” was a ten-thousand square foot warehouse with offices on the upper floor. Boxes I still hadn’t opened line the walls and made a maze in the second warehouse room. I settled myself on the floor and rested my head on my crossed arms. “Go ahead. I get half of anything you find.”
They stared at me, unbelieving. I smiled back. Mr. Cooperation, that’s me. Finally, Big Gun snarled for the others to get to work. As he turned his back on me, Nunchucks muttered, “I got your half. Don’t think I don’t.” Guess he learned such witty repartee in Hitler Youth Summer Camp.
I watched and listened and waited. With eight teenage skinheads trashing my place, it was only a matter of time.
“I wouldn’t go in there if I were you,” I suggested as Nunchucks made a grab for the doorknob to Grace’s workshop.
“You gonna stop me?” He turned the knob.
“Nope,” I said as I closed my ears and my eyes. Even so, I saw the otherworldly light and heard the harmonious roar of Divine Vengeance followed by Mundane screams.
“The Heavenly Host on the other hand…”
I waited until the screams died down to whimpers before opening my eyes and rising.
Four of the skinheads were unconscious. Three may as well have been; they were curled up in the fetal position, whimpering. Nunchucks was actually crying for his mommy. Big Guns had collapsed to the floor as well, the gun thrown away from him. He was sitting and rocking and making high-pitched keening through the roof of his mouth.
I’d tell Grace to tone down her wards some, except that the effect is directly proportional to the evilness of the intent. Suddenly, I was feeling a little shaky about my earlier entrance.
Knights out of the armor now. I went around, collecting weapons in the office trash can and poking through pockets. I found the usual stuff—driver’s licenses, credit cards, petty cash… One kid had a condom; wishful thinking on his part, I knew. Another had a report card. MLK High. Wonder if he was the one beating up Faerie kids? Honor roll grades, too. Of all the years I’ve battled evil, there were still some things I didn’t understand.
As I was returning Big Guns’ (aka Rick Matherston’s) wallet back into his jacket pocket, he blinked and focused on me.
“What was that?”
“Angels, kid.” Actually a kind of magical shadow of the real thing, but close enough.
“But I thought angels were—”
“There’s a reason why their first words are usually ‘Fear not!’ whenever they meet a human.”
His eyes returned to their unfocused stare. I almost felt sorry for him. Then I noticed the letters FARISLAR tattooed on his knuckles. Faerie slayer.
About Greater Treasures: Most people associate the DragonEye stories with high humor ranging from puns to slapstick, and in fact, the first stories and the novels have certainly been crazy fun. But the life of a cynical dragon PI isn’t all laughs, and Vern has had a few chilling stories to tell me. Some of these, I’ve sold to anthologies, but some are too long for that. Thus, I’ve decided to start publishing them on my own.
One thing I like to do for DragonEye stories is watch old noir films. Greater Treasures came to me while watching the Maltese Falcon. If you’ve never seen it, I recommend it. (Then, reread the story to see if you catch the in jokes.) I needed something with more “oomph” than a bird statue, and since Vern has some history with the Lance of Longinus, it made a good fit. I enjoyed looking up all the conspiracy theories about the use of the Lance by Hitler, which is where the neo-Nazi angle came in. To say more would be spoilers, so please, enjoy the story.
And if you do, be sure to check out Vern’s other tales at http://dragoneyepi.net.
Winner of the 2010 INDIE for best Fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem), Karina Fabian has imagination that takes quirky twists that keep her–and her fans–amused. Nuns working in space, a down-and-out Faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George, zombie exterminators—there’s always a surprise in Fabian’s worlds. Mrs. Fabian teaches writing and book marketing seminars, but mostly is concerned with supporting her husband, Rob Fabian as he makes the exciting leap from military officer to civilian executive, getting her kids through high school and college, and surviving daily circuit torture…er, circuit training. Read about her adventures at http://fabianspace.com.
Find Karina at:
Live and Let Fly: http://dragoneyepi.blogspot.com/p/live-and-let-fly.html
Magic, Mensa and Mayhem: http://dragoneyepi.blogspot.com/p/magic-mensa-and-mayhem.html
Book tour link with all the stops: http://dragoneyepi.blogspot.com/2013/04/greater-treasures-book-tour.html
Twitter hashtags: #dragoneye, #noirfantasy