Sunday, December 26, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Karina’s got quite the list of Christian and Catholic works: Leaps of Faith (Writers' Café Press) and Infinite Space, Infinite God I and II, not to mention her Catholic dragon detective Vern and his partner Sister Grace, who star in her DragonEye, PI novels and stories. Karina also wrote a devotional with her father, Deacon Steve Lumbert, called Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life.
So what is this Christian writer doing writing a novel about zombies and reality TV? For a publisher called Damnation Books, no less! Let's find out. Welcome Karina.
Karina: Hi, everyone!
Damnation Books?! Seriously?
Karina: Yeah, I appreciate the irony, and Rob calls my royalties from them "the wages of sin." Kim Richards, the publisher, is a good friend from The Writers Chatroom (www.writerschatroom.com a great place for writers who want to learn the biz'.) When she decided to start her own horror publishing company, she chose the name. In addition to the dark horror connotations, there's the catchy slogan, "Damnation, that's good reading!"Even more fun is that she bought Eternal Press, so her authors are wondering if we're subject to Eternal Damnation now. Lots of fun in names!
Speaking of fun in names, where'd you come up with Neeta Lyffe (Need A Life, for the pun-impaired)?
Kim had wanted to publish a small zombie anthology of stories from writers from the Writers Chatroom or those she already knew, and we came up with The Zombie Cookbook (www.zombiecookbook.net). I'd said I'd try, but I couldn't come up with a fun DragonEye story. Turns out Vern has an aversion to zombies. My friend Becca caught me on IM while Rob and I were on househunting vacation and badgered me, so I decided on something kind of noir-ish--a zombie exterminator who couldn't get a date. She really needed a life. Turned out she had a crush on her partner, and after they take on a huge infestation at a Korean restaurant, he asks her out at last. I wrote in first person and whipped it out in 2 hours, giggling the whole time.
"Wokking Dead" was published in The Zombie Cookbook, and people had such fun with Neeta that a couple asked about her having a novel. Kim badgered me a couple of times, and one day on the Writers Chatroom, we got to talking reality TV, and I had the silliest idea--Neeta training up exterminators on a reality TV show that was The Apprentice crossed with Survivor crossed with Zombieland.
So you’re a fan of reality TV and Zombieland?
Haven't seen Zombieland yet. I don’t watch reality TV, either, except for a few episodes of Chase that Rob and the kids liked because it was kind of like living Terminator. I keep meaning to watch it, though. Truth to tell, I'm not into horror or zombie movies. I think the last horror flick I saw was Friday the 13th, Part Innumerable, which a friend talked me into going to see with her. I've read maybe a handful of horror novels; after an anthology of Stephen King's stuff in college, I swore off.
So why go for a horror novel then?
It's comedic horror. High on humor, some grossness, no heart-thumping terror. I love playing all the clichés, and mixing them up. One zombie with his legs chopped off is still hobbling after his prey shouting, "Flesh wound!" Neeta commandeers a Hummer and runs down zombies--the disk player is blasting ABBA. There are conspiracy theories, environmentalists (though Global Cooling is the crisis du jour). Of course, there's the whole Hollywood aspect. I was giggling for months.
You're known well among Christian spec-fic circles. What kind of Christian values are in this book?
That's a tough one. There's nothing overt. It's definitely not Catholic, as Neeta chops off the head of a guy who's infected because that's worse than the alternative. One contestant is actively gay--or is he just not particular? Roscoe never even told me. He was the most fun to write, though. Incidentally, he says "Oh, Gawd!" all the time, but the one time he was thanking God, he says, "Thank God." But the zombies are simply reanimated meat with instincts and some "residual cultural influences." Their souls are gone. Neeta tells her boyfriend she's waiting for marriage (and she does). Except for some mild innuendo (thanks, Roscoe) and a little swearing and drinking, it's a clean book. Definitely mainstream, though.
So why did you write it?
Because I was asked and because it was fun. I got to exercise my sarcastic side, have some fun with political and social trends, and come up with a really unique zombie story. I don’t write stories with intentional "messages," anyway. It's just a rollicking ride through the absurdities of reality and reality TV--and even the after-reality of zombie-ism.
Thanks, Karina! And now for my review....
"Hell's Kitchen" with heart. Pretty much sums it up :). Neeta's got to whip her students into shape, so they can learn to slice and dice zombies. She's not the heartless terror that Chef What's-his-name is, but she can't afford to be soft when dealing with the undead.
I laughed SO hard while reading Neeta Lyffe. But humor is not Karina's only strong point. The book has an actual plot and real characterization--two things that often lack in parody and humor writing. I became a fan of Karina's writing with the first Dragon Eye, P.I. short story, and then a bigger fan after reading Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem. She did not disappoint me with Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator.You can also purchase directly through Damnation Books. Visit the site to see the trailer and read an excerpt.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I also got into scrapbooking after my son was born. Don't let anyone tell you that doesn't take creativity. (And a bit of an obsessive personality....) But it's not the same as drawing when that's something you really loved doing.
So I grabbed my sketchpad a few years ago and drew my old boxer, Rocky.
Of course nothing says "fantasy" like a blue-skinned elf :P. This was my first attempt at using oil pastels for something other than background (like the scribbling behind the trippy cow).
Sunday, December 12, 2010
The Indian girl won the annual art contest at my high school. The girl is done in charcoal pencil and the background is done in pastels.
Not sure what kind of bird this is. I just found some images in a magazine and combined them. This is called a scratch board. The whole thing is coated in India ink, and the white parts are literally scratched away with a sharp point.
"Welcome to the jungle..." Yep, Axl Rose from Guns-n-Roses. I was a big fan :). This is done in charcoal.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
My daughter was abducted by a band of faeries:
My son was challenged to a duel. He's the one on the left. Little did his tunic-clad opponent know, he's been taking fencing lessons. Yep, my boy won, hands-down. :D
This was a cool ride:
Notice that the chair my son is sitting in is hanging by ropes. Those are attached to what looks like a huge umbrella, which was turned by a huge geared contraption, run by these two guys:
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
This is a group of authors founded by Keven Newsome, who has written a paranormal thriller called Winter. I've read this one as well, and it's a name to keep your eye on ;).
So there you have it. Maybe it's not having enough to write about, but having too much!
By the by...I'll be posting some clues about those secrets before too long.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
(Check out the scrolling thingie to the right and you can find the above t-shirt and other stuff with my artwork for sale on Zazzle. And right now, you can save $5 on any t-shirt by using the code OCTSHIRTSALE.)
Third, I'm still waiting on the decision from a small press that is looking at both my manuscript for Finding Angel and a short story. I'm trying to not get my hopes up too high. I'm trying not to be nervous. Trying. Hm. (Okay, that's not technically artwork, but I will most likely be doing some drawings for this press as well, in the anthology that will hopefully contain my short story. There, now it is art-related.)
Fourth, my latest drawing will soon be out for all to see on the cover of Nor Iron Bars a Cage by Caprice Hokstad. This is the sequel to her book The Duke's Handmaid, on which you'll find my rendering of a key.
"...science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain,
and art is an interpretation of that miracle..."
--Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles
Monday, October 25, 2010
I follow quite a few blogs and have noticed that each person has a different focus. As far as writers go, some blog about writing craft, others primarily review books, and others talk about their experiences with writing and publishing. One in particular tends to grab onto controversial topics related to Christian fiction. Another posts mostly fun stuff, like videos and "guess the movie quotes." (Yes, Lynn, I'm talking about you!)
Monday, October 18, 2010
It's Monday morning. Start of a new day, start of a whole new week.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
And so, life has moved forward once again and I've had little time to blog. I've been prepping my manuscript of Finding Angel for submission to a small press. I officially submitted three days ago, after spending a looooooong morning participating in the Susan G. Komen cancer walk. Exhaustion is a good motivator to get something over with. I knew if I didn't just send it in, I'd spend an eternity nit-picking. So, off it went.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Has it really been nine days since I posted last? I truly am a slacker. So sorry.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
We all know today is 9/11. I'm not going to post a politically charged diatribe, or a heartwarming story about our soldiers giving their lives for our freedom. Not that those things aren't important. Oh, my, they are SO important. But they are all over the internet. (And if you don't get yet how much that all means, I suggest you spend some time web-surfing today and find out.)
I thought I'd share with you, though, what was happening with me personally on that day. You see, my husband was on a plane headed to California. No, thank God with every fiber of my being, NOT one of the ones that got hijacked.
But it could have been. I mean, there wasn't anything different about the plane he was on than the ones that got hijacked. His left at the same time they did. His was headed to the same destination.
I was outside, working in the flower beds, when my sister-in-law called. Frantic. "Have you heard from Jeff????????"
I had no idea what was going on. She told me. I ran in the house and turned on the news.
And freaked out.
Called Jeff's boss's wife, since Jeff and his boss were traveling together. She hadn't heard from him either. We stayed on the phone together most of the morning, glued to the TV. Watching. Waiting.
Finally, after a couple of hours she got a call from her husband. I had to wait a few minutes to hear from Jeff because his phone was in his boss's car and he had to use his boss's phone. They had emergency landed in Dallas, and were renting a car to drive home.
The word relief gained new meaning for me that day.
I feel for the families that lost loved ones. I could have so easily been one of them. So while I fully understand all the political implications of 9/11, and I thank God for the soldiers out there fighting for our freedom, this day is personal for me. I could have lost my true love. I wouldn't have my daughter right now. Everything about my life would be different.