Monday, March 30, 2009

An Interview with Vern of DragonEye, PI

I had a terrific time last night at The Writers Chat Room. I didn't count how many people were there, but the list ran down the page! Vern made a special appearance as well and his 15-minute stay lasted an hour. Here's the transcript for those who missed:

Vern: Hey, everyone.
Lisa-mod: welcome to TWC, Vern
Lisa-mod: it's nice to have you here
Vern: Thanks. Nice place
Vern: Glad to see all the people. Grace wants me to tell you not to feed my ego. Ignore her
Lisa-mod: Vern, how are you today?
Kim Richards: I think we're more afraid of you then her.
larriane: I can't think of a thing to ask a dragon
Vern: chilly. be glad when the winter is over. Our warehouse doesn't hold heat well. however, Grace has a warming spell for me. advantages to living with a mage
skip miller: Do you have wings?
Vern: Kim--good thinking, though she can be pretty fierce
Vern: absolutely--gorgeous ones, love to snap them!
Tony Lavoie: Vern, how did you, a dragon, manage to get yourself bamboozled into working for the good guys? If I understand that aright?
Vern: hey! I was one of the good guys!
Tony Lavoie: okay...the other side, then.
Vern: as far as getting dragooned into service for the FCC (which isn't the other side), I have George to thank. God bless St George, the magically overpowered pain-in-the-tail.
Linda::?Do dragons really breathe fire?
Vern: By the time we were done sparring, I'd lost my height, weight, flight, fire magic and most of my knowledge. He then offered me the deal: earn it all back through faithful service God and Man...
Tony Lavoie: So he was just stronger than you...?
Vern: and his creatures through the Faerie Catholic Church. I've been everything from Pope's pet to plow dragon to scribe to warrior of Christ...
skip miller: What kind of magic do you do?
Vern: He had God on his side, Tony, it was kind of an unfair fight. I held my own.
: Right now, my magic is more in the area of heightened senses, ability to hover, a few low-key spells, some healing. Dragons don't have a lot of natural magic as it is. Done
Vern: Linda asked if we breathe fire. Yes, but not like your legends, all clumsy and out of control....
Linda: Do dragons have emotions?
Vern: I can light a cigarette as easily as I can set a barn afire--and do it with panache. absolutely, we have emotions. Vices, too
Kate: Vern, how do you manage to interact with mortals without losing your dragon magnificence ~ and your connection with faeries and other magical beings
Vern: oh, Kate, it aint' easy, especially in the Mundane world. Do you know how many times I've had to...
Vern: put up with folks wondering if I'm HOUSEBROKEN, for pity's sake? No respect!
Vern: I try to be patient, and remind myself that just as for every good deed, I get some kind of reward, bad deeds will set me back. Sometimes, though, it's worth taking the chance. Done.
Lisa-mod: What’s it like hanging out with Mensans?
Vern: They're a good crew, usually more able to accept me for what I am and less inclined to think I was an animatronics joke by Leno. Still had some....personalities, like the guy who followed me around like ...
Vern: he was a National Geographic writer and I was a new species of predator (well, I'll give him the species part), or Melchior Rawlings. Talk about uptight artist! whew!
Vern: even with all the craziness, we did have a good time. Mensans are like anyone else--some are truck drivers, some are multiple PHDs, some are both. All just people. And all only human (except me) done
Vern: and...ugh...Coyote
Tony Lavoie: Vern, how do you get your stories to Karina? Do you dictate them to her directly, or write 'em down first and deliver them? Do you meet regularly with her to give updates and such?
Vern: She feeds me; I tell her stories. It's a good relationship. I blogged about it earlier this month, BTW. You can read it on my website DONE
AnnLewis: Speaking of websites, how do you like you find it user-friendly for dragons?
Vern: I love it--you did a great job designing it.
Kim Richards: lol...the mental image of Vern hunched over a keyboard
AnnLewis: just wondering if the type was too small
Vern: No, no. Manny Costa made a great set-up for me...
Vern: it's on a rolling platform set to my height when I'm reclining. I have a virtual keyboard that shines onto the floor, which saves a lot on keyboards. (Claws are hard on them) done
Kate: Vern, any advice for a mortal who would really like to meet a dragon and get to know him/her
Vern: My eyesight is better than humans. done
Vern: You're not going to find any here except me. the rest tend to keep to themselves, but if you want to visit one, bring something unique..and if you want to feed them, fat cow beats skinny virgin any day of the week done
Lisa-mod: So you aren't a vegetarian?
Vern: ROFL
Lisa-mod: Talk to us a little bit about seem to like her...a lot
Vern: Grae is the best friend I've ever had--and being immortal, that says a lot...
Vern: She's smart and strong in the spiritual sense, has great common sense...
Vern: isn't afraid to put me in my place (rare among humans, frankly)...
Vern: she has an incredible singing voice--it's how she channels her magical power and how the Power of God works through her...
Vern: She likes my jokes and knows how to scratch behind my ears just right.
Lisa-mod: That scratching behind the ears sounds very important :)
Allen the serial: how does a dragon turn detective?
Vern: I just happened into it. I was living in the garage of the Little Flowers Parish when the priest Fr Rich was called to administer last rites to a dead man (Yeah, a little late)...
Vern: turned out the field had been possessed by magic and killed him. I figured it out. And after that, people started coming to me with their problems. It's a living, and since I don't have a green card....
Vern: it's something I can do under the table as it were.
Kim Richards: Now that you've been on this side (in our world) for a while. will it be hard to leave should you ever get all your powers back? I mean [i]earn[/i] your powers back.
Vern: NO. I can always visit, and the Mundane world is no place for a full-sized dragon. done
larriane: how big are you now?
Vern: 12 feet from snout to tail; 5 feet at the shoulder when sitting (cat like)
Vern: not quite a ton, but magic and weight distribution keeps me from falling through the floors done
Allen the serial: How does your dragon talk, what is there language?
Allen the serial: Is he only one?
Vern: you mean how do I talk when not speaking Human? It's growls and purrs, snaps and snarls.. body language. You might consider it more animal than "human," but it's more complex than humans can understand....
Vern: I knew at one point thousands of languages. Now a couple dozen human ones and a handful of Faerie. And why do you keep referring to me in third person? I'm right there. Done
Vern: no, I'm not the only one
larriane: like a whale? language that is
] Vern: since I don't speak whale, I wouldn't know. If it's anything like on ST IV, then no, not as squeaky or grunty. done
larriane: they sing. do you?
Kim Richards: Has anyone ever confused you with a dinosaur?
Vern: larraine--no, I don't sing. I purr, though
Vern: Kim--yes. no-brained idiot human who also though he was the avatar of an Egyptian God. Even had the poor taste to yell "Die Barney!" while spraying me with insecticide. Long story.
KarinaFabian: "Amateurs" which is available for free to those who join the DragonEye PI website done
Lisa-mod: too funny
Vern: you didn't get a snoot full of insecticide
Kate: Vern, As big as you are, how are you able to uncover clues and solve them without a perps' knowledge or giving yourself and Grace away
Vern: well, in general they aren't hanging around the scene of the crime when I'm looking for clues...
Vern: but I also have a stealth charm Grace created after watching a documentary on the B2
Vern: I'm also very stealthy naturally--comes from being a predator. done
Linda: Are you afraid of anything?
Vern: Tough question. Everyone's afraid of something. Still, being immortal gives you a long-term perspective. I can be hurt. but I survive eventually.
Vern: zombies. zombies weird me out. not fear so much as loathing. Imagine that casserole you stuck in the fridge coming back to life wanting to eat you.
larriane: already answered my question. how long do you think before you earn all your powers back
Vern: No idea. "God's ineffable plan" is beyond me even at the height of my wisdom. done
AnnLewis: Vern, can you explain the relationship between the Faerie Catholic Church and the Church of Rome here in our world? Does going to Mass at the RCC count for the same in the FCC, and do you go?
Vern: We're close enough that we recognize each other, yes.
Vern: we each have our own popes, of course and our own histories. The FCC is far more powerful and involved politically, It has to be. with magic, Evil is less subtle in our world
Vern: I do attend Mass at Little Flowers Parish. Even receive Communion, Wasn't baptized though. Dragon souls are different from human souls. done
Sally Franklin Christie: Do you have dewclaws, or thumbs and do you ever wish for humanish abilities? Done
Vern: kind of between dewclaws and thumbs. Not easy to handle a pencil. What human abilities would I want? done
Tony Lavoie: Vern, You say you're not afraid of you not fear for your soul should you fail in your task(s)? Or is that not a player in your case?
Vern: I've been human btw. Weird experience. Kind of fun in its own way
Vern: My soul is not in danger if I fail in my tasks. If I were to give into temptation and foresake my tasks...that's another story. And yes, that would be scary, and take some kind of extreme circumstances. Dragons in general are very...
Vern: God-loving creatures. After all, we were made form the greatest of His imaginings. Why wouldn't we be?
witzkedm: Does the use of magic every get you in trouble?
Vern: My use? depends on what you mean by getting into trouble. I don't misuse my magic, but that doesn't mean trouble doesn't find its way to me. However, the mix of magic and tech causes no end of trouble....
Vern: (shrug) keeps me employed. done
larriane: have you got any feedback from the church here on how they feel about MM&M
AnnLewis: (This Catholic likes it!:)
KarinaFabian: Guess that one's for me. I've not brought it to any Church authority, if that's what you're asking.
KarinaFabian: I've had lots of positive feedback from Catholics in general. My daughter and son have a godfather who is a priest and I'll be sending it to him. It's his style.
KarinaFabian: so far the only "negative" feedback I've gotten was from a lady (non-Catholic) who thought all dragons were Satan
Vern: please! I'm not the dragon in Revelation. I only have one head!
KarinaFabian: yeah. I mentioned that. She looked at me a little blankly. done
larriane: we love ya Vern
Vern: Of course you do
AnnLewis: Vern, when you say you can be hurt but can't die, does that mean you really cannot be destroyed at all, that you'll always live until the end of time? What if you were blown up into itty bitty pieces or disintegrated?
Vern: Of course you do
Vern: Even if I am disintegrated (ouch ouch) some part of me, whatever was the most whole, would eventually come back. Might take a millennia. I do try to avoid that. done
Allen the serial: what is your favorite meal
Vern: I like so many things! Large is nice....
Vern: depends on my mood. Sometimes, I really appreciate fine cuisine or very spicy chili...
Vern: sometimes I'm in the mood for something I hunt down and kill myself, fur flies and all.
Vern: (it's an acquired taste) done
Walt: What's the ETA on [i]Live and Let Fly?[/i]
KarinaFabian: late 2009. I just did the content edits and it's off to the copy editor. We start on the cover art in June/July, Dindy said.
KarinaFabian: I have a fun idea, but we'll see if Roe can do it. Don't you love the cover Roe did?
Sally Franklin Christie: What advice does a Dragon like yourself have for new worldbuilders and their inhabitants? Done
Vern: Grace says, "God endowed each of us with a creative spirit. Use it well."
Vern: Guess I'd say have fun with it? I'm not much of a writer, myself.
PaulaL: Vern, any comments about the Nag Hammadi manuscripts?
Vern: No. You a reporter?
Tony Lavoie: I'd be interested to hear what Karina has to say about Nag Hammadi, tho.
KarinaFabian: Someone would have to tell me what they are first :)
Lisa-mod: Karina or Vern, anything else you’d like to say before we close up for today?
Vern: Feed the dragon. Buy the book.
(Grace swats Vern on the nose)
Vern: Ow! actually. thanks to everyone for coming. i was not pleased that the first DEPI story was one of our most embarrassing cases...
Vern: but I'm glad so many people are enjoying it.
Vern: Check out the website--I love to blog about stupid criminals, so if you ever come across a YouTube video, send it to me and I'll blog it.
Vern: Otherwise, just remember: magic and tech do not mix. Good night!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

When Prayer and Computer Tech cross the line

(From the website):
Information Age Prayer is a subscription service utilizing a computer with text-to-speech capability to incant your prayers each day.

And thus we remove the whole purpose of prayer.

Prayer is not about "incanting" a rote formula each day. As my husband says, that's magic, not prayer. Prayer is about a relationships between the person praying and the Creator. It's about communication with heart and soul as well as words.

So why have rote prayers at all?

--For the times when your own words don't come easily.
--For an aid to memory or meditation. For example, the rosary is not so much about reciting a bunch of "Hail Mary"s. When done right, it's a meditation on the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of his mother. The prayers are there for rhythm, for concentration and to remind us of Jesus's humanity as well as his divinity.
--Because sometimes other just say it better. Once upon a time, it was considered flattering and even romantic to seranade your loved one with a song or a poem. Now, we give each other cards.

God doesn't want you paying someone to fill the ether or cyberspace with a lot of words because you're too busy to give Him a few minutes a day. God wants YOU, talking to Him, sharing with Him, speaking and being ready to listen.

Give Him your time; don't give your money to some automated prayer site. That's missing the point.

BTW, any Catholics reading this are welcome to join the Catholic Writers Guild Prayer Chat every weekday at 12 EDT. Yeah, it's on-line, but we're the ones gathering and praying, not some recording.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Character- and world- building interdependent

When it comes down to it, I'm more of a character writer than an idea, plot, or world writer; however, in a world like my DragonEye, PI, world, the two are very interdependent. The characters build the world, yet the world defines the characters, and the plot and ideas tell me what characters need to make an appearance.

For example, in Magic, Mensa and Mayhem, I needed someone to do some discreet searching--and if they could botch the job in a funny way, all the better. We all know the legend of the brownies--the Shoemaker and the Elves, the brownies who are supposed to clean your house for milk, there are plenty of legends, stories, even filk songs. I decided it'd be fun to have the brownies search and, as long as they were in the area, do what comes natural and clean, fix and finish things. Sometimes, that's a big help; sometimes, it's an annoyance, like when they re-arrange things to their logic, not yours. (Kind of like when your mother offers to do your dishes and puts things away according to where she'd put them.) Sometimes, it's a pain, like when they finish your crossword puzzle book. Sometimes, as artiste Melchoir Rawlings discovered, they decide for you your work isn't finished. ("My art! My beautiful art. Oh, it's too much to process! Deep breaths, deep breaths!")

So now I have good-intentioned, havoc-wrecking, independent-minded brownies loose with people who'd love to capture, hire or exterminate them. I have to keep them safe!

Here's where the worldbuilding comes in. I started with an idea I got from someone's terrific effort of explaining Santa Claus's Christmas deliveries: Santa operates in a state of quantum flux that allows him to be in constant motion. The reason you can't see him on Christmas Eve, is the idea that you can either know his position or his motion; so, if you see him, you know where he is; he can no longer be in motion and the whole quantum flux things ends with you getting coal in your stocking.
That's a pretty bad explanation of something I read several years ago, but it was enough to apply to the brownies: They operate in our dimension in a state of flux, so you can only know the things they've done. You can't observe what they are doing directly. Further, if you know you are seeing a brownie in action, that belief plays into it, too. Based on that, I set up the rules of the brownie world.

And then the story demanded that I find a way around them. So I decided to play heavily on the uncertainty principle and the idea that you can observe the effects as long as you don't observe them. And I came up with Schrödinger the Cat purse. Shro' is a play off a Japanese legend that the souls of cats can come back as other things--in this case, a purse that a Mundane Japanese woman purchased of the Interdimensional Internet. Which meant hammering out the idea of Interdimensional trade (the details of which are still fuzzy, mind you), plus the whole InterDimNet, which brings up some fun in the next novel...

So, plot breeds character, character breeds world, world influences plot, while at the same time develops the characters.

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind!

BTW, I've posted the chat transcripts for last night's worldbuilding seminar and the launch party at Check out the news section on the homepage for the links.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One race--human!

For most of my adult life, I've had a problem with the idea that I need to be defined by my race. Maybe it's because I'm such a mix--everything from Scotch-Irish to Hispanic to Native American. Or maybe because my parents taught me that who I am is defined by what I do, not who my ancestors are. Or maybe it's because I want to look forward at what we can become instead of back at what we were.

I also detest the "victim of race" mentality that I think hinders many people more than their actual race does. Socio-economic factors, not racial ones, have a greater effect on advancement in our society today. However, until we get past the concept of race, we don't be able to fully concentrate on those issues, which affect people of all races.

So that's why yesterday, this article made me smile. Edward James Olmos was part of a panel about Battlestar Galactica being held at the UN. (Glad to see the UN being useful.) This is from the Entertainment Weekly article:

When one of the UN's representatives talked about how part of their mandate was to safeguard the human rights of everyone, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, and station, Olmos got a little heated. "You never should've invited me here," he said, before blasting the UN for continuing to use race as a term of separation, of division among peoples. His voice rose, steadily, as if years of social activism was coming to a head on this night. Then, directing his attention to the high schoolers: "Adults will never be able to stop using the word 'race' as a cultural determinant....There is only one race: the human race. SO SAY WE ALL!"

I swear to you, everyone in that chamber shouted it right back at him.

Sadly the author of the article attributes this to the fact that "Captain Adama asked us to." I think he missed the point.

I think most, at least, shouted back because they know he was right.

So say we all!

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Novel's Journey: the Dragon and the Prairie Dawg

Magic, Mensa and Mayhem started out as a lark and a favor returned for a favor given.
I was working on a story I'd hoped to sell to the anthology Ten Plagues. It sprung from combining the Plague of locusts with a testimony I'd read about someone who said the fairies had a war behind is house, but in the form of flies. The story turned out great, though it ended up in The Sword Review rather than Ten Plagues. However, "war as insects" sounds really stupid, so I had decided to dress that up by translating it into Gaelic.

I asked around my groups and a friend directed me to Shirley Starke, a Mensan in North Dakota. She gave me the phrase, and I sent her the story as a thank you. She asked if she could run it in the ND Mensa newsletter, The Prairie Dawg. Of course, I had to say no, but a serial story sounded like a fun idea. World Gathering was coming up in Florida that year, so we came up with the idea of the Faerie creature wrecking havoc at a Mensa Convention.

Magic, Mensa and Mayhem
was born.

Later, when Dindy Robinson at Swimming Kangaroo asked if I had a DragonEye book, I realized how easy it would be to novelize the serial. It's been an interesting exercise, as the serial, which is done in 1000-word spurts, has fewer characters and complexities, and thus ended up with a different ending as well. On the bright side, you can read and enjoy both on their own terms.

We're wrapping up "Word Gathering: Magic, Mensa and Mayhem" in a couple of months. I think we might go for an "Ask the Dragon" format for awhile. We're still exploring ideas.

Thanks again, Shirley and The Prairie Dawg!

BTW-- Magic, Mensa and Mayhem is now on Amazon!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thoughts on Form Rejection Letters

I was in a conversation online recently about form rejection letters. The other person was asserting that she put a lot of time and effort into her story, and all she gets is a ready-made form that may not even address her by name.

I agree, that's irritating. However, think about it from the POV of the editors. You are sending out one story you worked on maybe a week or a month. They have to read, evaluate and accept/reject hundreds every month, every week or every day. Plus, they have regular writers to work with, layouts to determine, advertising to coordinate, readers to communicate with... If they didn't use a form letter for those that didn't make the cut--whether because the writing is awful or because they just did a similar article or because it simply doesn't meet their needs--they would never have time to put the magazine together.

Plus, there's another reason some go to form letters--one I've dealt with: the author who argues back. When I put together ISIG I, I wrote personal rejections to every writer. I was not harsh, but I did give them the reason--and not "this was just not well written" but something constructive. I got back argumentative e-mails about how I didn't "understand" their story or arguing the points of their rejection. Imagine getting 10, 20, 100 of those every month. (As for me, I now send a pretty generic letter except in the case where the story is good but doesn't fit our needs, in which case, I can usually recommend a different magazine to submit it to, but I only have to worry about 40 or so submissions over a year.)

Finally, imagine you are applying for a job with 200 applicants and you don't get it. Do you expect the supervisor to write you an encouraging note, critique your interview, and make recommendations? Would you consider them rude if the HR person called and said, "You didn't make it"? For that matter, how often do you simply not hear from the employer if you didn't make it?

We write for the love, yes, but publishing is a business--one where the supply line (stories and authors) is glutted. If editors don't ask us personally to submit, they don't owe us a personal reply.

Monday, March 09, 2009

My Novel's Journey: MM&M--Creating Vern

They say there are no new stories--just new ways of telling the same story. I found this irritatingly true when I was trying to come up with a new dragon story for an anthology called Firestorm of Dragons.

I don't know why, but I felt determined to get into this anthology from DragonMoon, so one afternoon, I cornered my husband and demanded he brainstorm with me. Rob has a brilliant mind; plus, as a cadet, he read every science fiction and fantasy novel in the Air Force Academy library and had been struggling to keep up ever since. If someone had popularized a particular take on dragons, I trusted him to know it.

He did, too. No matter what idea I came up with--from the dragon as a victim to dragon in human form, he remembered someone who'd done it before. After a frustrating half hour of "How about...?" and "Been done," we called a break to go watch TV with the kids.

Our favorite show at the time was Whose Line Is It, Anyway?, a comedy improve, where comedians do skits. Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles have a noir schtick that pokes fun at those movies of hard-boiled PIs of the 40s and 50s. As we sat on the couch laughing, I realized I could write comedy noir--with a dragon! Rob hadn't heard of one, so from there, I started mining the cliché's.

Wrong side of the tracks: Let's put him on the wrong side of the Interdimensional Gap.

Disrespected by authority, unable/unwilling to get an "honest" job: The Gap recently happened, and the two universes don't trust each other. People in the mundane universe especially don't trust a real dragons. One thing's for sure--the US isnt' giving him a Green Card.

Chip on his shoulder: What better for a dragon than a bad run-in with St. George. Of course, our St. George killed dragons, so I decided to twist that. Faerie dragons, I decided, can't die, so George would have to find some other way to inconvenience/incapacitate him. I decided to make Holy Mages, and George put a spell on Vern: he took away all his dragon glory--size, strength, flight, magic, fire--then told him he could earn it back by serving sentient beings under the direction of the Church. (I had no idea then how important this idea would be to the DragonEye, PI, universe.)

From there, I added a damsel in distress, a romantic lead, a diabolical plot, and got "Dragon Eye, PI."

"Dragon Eye, PI" appeared in Firestorm of Dragons--much to my joy!--and I had the opportunity to see how others treated the theme of "dragons." I was floored by the imagination of my fellow contributors.

And I'm so very grateful to editors Michelle Acker and Kirk Dougal, and Gwen Gades, publisher of DragonMoon. I could not have done it without you!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Anatomy of a Video Trailer

Thanks, everyone for the kudos you've sent about the book trailer. Some folks have asked about how I came up with it the art, etc., so I thought I'd share that story today.

I actually came up with the idea nearly two years ago, while we were moving from Fredericksburg, VA, to Minot, ND. We had a couple of CDs from the Air Force's Jazz band and played them on the trip. "That's a-Plenty" matched the crazy, funny, everything-piling-on-everything scramble I tried to capture in Magic, Mensa and Mayhem. Whenever it was my turn to pick the music, I'd put that CD in and often played the song over several times as I got the timing down. (Did I mention how patient my kids can be when Mommy's "working"?) Once I had it figured out, I had my daughter write it down. Nonetheless, for four days and 2000 miles, I was going over that script in my head. Good thing, too, because when it came time to write it, I could no longer find the Amber's notes!

The pictures I've been playing with over two years as well. Coyote is a mix of a male model and a coyote head. He doesn't look like that in the book, but I thought it was fun. That was when Paint Shop still worked on my computer.

For Brunhilde, I knew I wanted a bodybuilder, and I'd found Michelle Falsetta's website,, when I was researching. Michelle is one of those female body builders who is beautiful as well as buff, so I e-mailed her and asked if I could get permission to use her likeness. She kindly agreed and directed me to her photographer, Lane Benson, LBPhotographics,, who gave me permission to use the photo in the video.

Most of the other photos I found on copyright-free websites. My good friend and webmaster, Ann Lewis, doctored up the photos of the protesters and the soda and added the dragon to the Florida photo. My daughter, Amber, did the picture of the pixie in Vern's teeth, which is an actual scene from the book. I was tickled to find the newspaper headline function in Movie Maker.

Roe Mesquita, the cover artist, went all out, and sadly, much of the back cover is hidden behind the blurbs, so I put the art itself in the video instead of the cover as I'd intended.

Here's the cover sans title and blurbs.

In all, I think this video took about 30 hours to make--much of that dinking around with Movie Maker to get the timing right. This song just lent itself to transitions. It's certainly the most complex book trailer I've ever done, and I'm tickled pink at how it turned out.

Glad you're enjoying it, too.

Magic, Mensa and Mayhem has a new ordering page! You can now find it at or go to and click on the awesome cover. (The old link still works.)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Magic, Mensa and Mayhem is Here!

We have the cover art, so May I present to you....


…."Wisdom of the Ages, Knowledge of Eternity, and I end up a babysitter at the Smart Humans' Convention."--Vern

Here's what some folks have said already. (Vern is preening.)

Magic, Mensa & Mayhem
, made me laugh, everything from quiet chuckles to outright snorts. MM&M brought to mind Craig Shaw Gardnerʼs humorous Tales of Wuntvor, with its phraselong Elvish names and clash of magical races, each with its own culture and quirks that would make a UN official tear out his or her hair... There are enough puns to elicit groans from even the sternest critic. A quick read and an enjoyable one.
Jody Lynn Nye, author of An Unexpected Apprentice and co-author of the Myth-Adventures series.

Religion and humor suffuse this well-imagined and densely plotted comedic mystery, based on a short story of the same title. Cursed by St. George to serve the Faerie Catholic Church, dragon detective Vern now sleuths in the mundane world. His latest (unpaid) assignment is to babysit a group of faeries attending a Mensa meeting. Vern quickly has his claws full juggling crises, from invisible brownies to two elves whose rivalry threatens to become interdimensional war. Distinctly memorable and occasionally silly supporting characters, from Brunhilde the Valkyrie to Native American trickster Coyote, steer the action. While the conclusion sticks perilously close to genre formula and the narrative is jumpy throughout, most readers will forgive the clichés (and Vern’s groan-worthy puns) and chuckle all the way through. Publisher's Weekly

Order it at Swimming Kangaroo!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Karina on the KXMC

I'm on TV!

I wasn't able to convert the file, so I've posted it in my Downloads section on Fabianspace.

We're still waiting on cover art for Magic, Mensa and Mayhem, so I took the opportunity to talk about Leaps of Faith instead. Hopefully, I can come back in April before my book signings.

I want to thank Carla Burbidge, the producer and host, not only for having me on the show but for letting me post this to share!