Interview with Karina Fabian

Tell us a bit about your book NEETA LYFFE, ZOMBIE EXTERMINATOR:
By the 2040s, the shambling dead have become and international problem. While governments and special interest groups vie for the most environmentally-friendly way to rid the world of zombies, a new breed of exterminator has risen: The Zombie Exterminator.

When zombie exterminator Neeta Lyffe gets sued because a zombie she set afire stumbles onto a lawyer's back porch, she needs money, fast. So she agrees to train apprentice exterminators in a reality TV show that makes Survivor look like a game of tag. But that's nothing compared to having to deal with crazy directors, bickering contestants and paparazzi. Can she keep her ratings up, her bills paid and her apprentices alive and still keep her sanity?

What gave you the idea to write a zombie novel?
Well, it was a case of having some silly fun, really.  I'd written a short story about two zombie exterminators taking on an infestation of zombies in a Korean restaurant.  "Wokking Dead" was full of puns and social commentary using zombies as the focus.  People liked it and someone asked the editor when the novel was coming.  Kim Richards, the editor, liked the idea and approached me when I was in a silly mood, and the idea of a zombie exterminator reality TV show was born.  It was a fast, fun book to write.

In an earlier interview, you advised writers not to take rejection personally.  Can you elaborate on that?
Writers get rejected on more than the quality of their story--and IMHO, very seldom is it because the editor is a fascist or was in a bad mood that day.  More likely, the story didn't fit their needs:  the approach was wrong, or they have too many of that kind of story, or they already have something similar that came out or is coming out.  Sometimes, if the story is a real winner but has some problems, they will make some suggestions.
Let me give you two examples:  Flagship really liked my story, "Christmas Spirits," even though it had some problems.  They made editorial suggestions, I did a rewrite, and it came out in their November 2010 issue. (LINK)  On the other hand, Psuedopods rejected my story "Josie's Last Straw" even thought they liked the voice because they already had a lot of zombie stories, and this one didn't have enough conflict for them.  Since I didn't write this to be a conflict kind of story, but rather a humorous look at a really rotten husband who comes back from the dead, it was just the wrong market.  The problem with the story was the fit, not the writing.
Publishers are not here to make authors' dreams come true, and I have a natural suspicion of any that make that claim.  They are in the business of publishing things that make readers dream. 

What other projects are you working on?
As I mentioned last month, I am still trying to find a home for my DragonEye, PI series.  I have a couple of places that need to get back to me--publishers and agents are slow, especially during the holiday season.  I'm playing around with three books--a science fiction and two fantasies--but nothing serious at the moment.  Right now, I'm marketing hard and taking care of some things at home that need more than the usual amount of attention.

Where can people find out more about you and your work? is my home page for all my works.  The menu is divided by genre so you can find your favorites.  You can look under the Horror section for Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks for touring us, Jo!

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Interview with Karina Fabian


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