Monday, November 16, 2015

Karina Fabian, I Left My Brains in San Francisco, narrated by Becky Parker

AUTHOR: Karina Fabian
BOOK TITLE: I Left My Brains in San Francisco Audiobook
GENRE: Horror/Humor

Please tell us about yourself.
I was raised by a single mother who made her living as an exterminator, and I sort of grew up in the business. She taught me everything I needed to know about the work, so when I want to college, I took some basic courses but majored in art appreciation. Mom said it was the one time in my life I would have a chance to not have to be thinking about the job, so learn something that was enriching. I’m glad I did. Mom’s gone now, and I’m carrying on the family business. I’ve also starred in a reality TV show, and I’m a spokeswoman for the HunVans brand, and I’m dating a great guy – a little goofy, but so sweet…and really hot when he takes out zombies.

Wait… That’s not me. That’s Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator. But you know what? She’s much more interesting to read about. I am an overextended mother of four, happily married, writing for Top Ten Reviews by day and taking on freelancing and fiction at night.

Please tell us your latest news.
The second Neeta Lyffe novel, I Left My Brains in San Francisco, is out in audiobook. Becky Parker, who narrated Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, is again tackling the crazy world of the zombiefied 2040s with great voices and sound effects – and she produced the TREE terrorism theme song. It’s been a fun experience working with her and the audiobook shows it. You can find the audiobook on Audible or learn more about it on my website[KF1] .

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
Lately, that’s changed since I have a full time job. I spend a weekend a month or so making crockpot meals for the family, which seems to include several of my teenage son’s friends these days. I love that. I also do a lot of fun things with my friends at work. We have a regular D&D game going, and this Halloween, a bunch of us dressed as Scooby Doo – Monster Hunters for the office. I was Velma. Shaggy was a zombie. Old Man Witherspoon wasn’t so harmless after all.

On a less happy note, we’re spending a lot of time working with our youngest son who has some severe health and medical issues right now. Much of my non-writing time is taken with that, and in fact, I’m not even writing fiction for now.

What are your thoughts about promotion?
Has to be done by authors. It’s fun in some aspects, but can be a pain, especially when you don’t see the return on your investment of time. The most important parts are finding your target audience and connecting with them in a way that they will give you money for your books. Fans who praise you are great for the ego and can even motivate you, but if you don’t get folks who love you with dollars, then you won’t be able to feed yourself and your family with your writing.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?
I don’t believe in writer’s block. If I’m not writing, it’s because of something going on that I need to address: the story is moving in the wrong direction and the characters are balking, so I back up and take a new route. The scene intimidates me for some reason, so I give myself permission to write badly, knowing I can fix it later. I feel guilty about taking time away from X, Y, or Z, so I schedule the time. (This last only happens with uncontracted fiction.) Mostly, if I’m not writing it’s because I’m feeling lazy, so I sit down and make myself write, anyway. I do not believe in being blocked as if some mysterious force has taken away my ideas or my muse has left or whatever, any more than a plumber would believe a mysterious force has removed his ability to fix a sink. If something is “blocked,” you act like that plumber, face the crap and clear it out.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?

Any other news you’d like to share?
I teach monthly writing webinars covering different aspects of writing. What more perfect topic for October than monster building? October 19, I taught Zombies and Monsters and Fairies! It was a one hour webinar on creature creation. We talked about physiology, psychology, the sheer otherness of monstrous beings – and how they may in fact reflect who we are as well. Check out my website for upcoming webinars.

What genre do you write in and why?
Science fiction, fantasy, horror, humor, romcom (usually in fantasy), spirituality, business, features… I write whatever interests me and pays.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.
I Left My Brains in San Francisco was published a couple of years ago in print and ebook, but this month, it comes out in audiobook with narration and sound effects by Becky Parker. Here’s the summary:

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.

What comes first: the plot or characters?
Depends on the story. Often, I come up with a character, and then create the situation for them to be in. In the case of Neeta Lyffe, however, the plot came first – or to be more precise, the title. I was asked to write a short story for The Zombie Cookbook, and not being a zombie, fan, I decided to write a silly story that was more slapstick and puns. “Wokking Dead” was an obvious choice, so the zombies invaded a Korean restaurant. I started thinking of all the funny things zombies could do with Korean food.

Of course, I needed some to take them out, and since I didn’t want to go the overwhelming apocalypse route, I decided they’d be more pest than pestilence. And who takes out pests? An exterminator. Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator was a big hit, so then I had the character, and I’ve been making plots for her ever since.

Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind?
I Left My Brains in San Francisco takes place in a refinery, so I had to research not only the approximate layout of the refinery but also the basic process, safety functions, etc. Then I took that knowledge and adapted it to refining manure to make the latest in fuel technology, and added as many potty jokes as I could. It was grueling work, I tell you. Probably the best part was calling the refinery in SLC and trying to convince them I needed a tour so I could plan a zombie attack. I did not succeed, but I did get to interview one the publicity guy. He’s probably logged that as one of the strangest PR encounters he’s ever had.

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you?  Why or why not?
I’m OK with violence, although gratuitous scenes are not my style, and I prefer it more cartoony. Fri example, I stopped watching Daredevil because of the violence, even though the story itself was great. Ironically, my favorite fight scene is Daredevil taking on a dozen or so bad guys to save a child. The scene was very real, in that they actually got tired, slowed down, staggered. I liked that it wasn’t easy. But when the villain slammed a guy’s head in the door repeatedly, I had passed my limit.

I have a lower tolerance for sex scenes. I can write them, but I won’t. In fact, I have a novel that has been in my head for 20 years because the characters needed to calm down. I don’t like reading or watching sex scenes, either. Romance, heat – yes. Innuendo? Sure, especially if it’s funny. But if it’s too much for a public display, it does not belong in the fictional “public,” i.e. where readers are exposed.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
For I Left My Brains in San Francisco, it was the relationship. Neeta and Ted love each other, but neither would say anything to the other about it until it was almost too late. I know why they acted that way, but I don’t get it. It made it hard to be in their heads sometimes. By contrast, my husband and I fell in love in a week and declared our love 10 days after meeting. We’d have been engaged then, but Rob needed to meet my parents and ask for my hand first.

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?
All my books are on Amazon or with their respective publishers. I have over a dozen in four universes, plus some nonfiction, so I won’t list them all here, but I can tell you that they include snarky dragon detectives, psychics who move planets, and Catholics and Christians doing adventurous things in time and space – plus zombie exterminators. You can find more information, videos and buy links on my website,

The next book to come out is Shambling in a Winter Wonderland, the third in the Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator series. In October 2016, Discovery, my first Rescue Sisters story comes out.

What book are you currently reading? What do you like or not like about it?
I just finished the Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett. I loved the message of the king as servant (or in this case, queen). It’s a very Christian book to my eyes, and as it was his last and he knew he was dying, I wondered as I read if he was having a conversion of sorts. He might not have; some principles of life are truly universal. Catholics call that Natural Law. I didn’t like that it was his last. I get teary thinking about it and how he must have felt writing it.

What seven words would you use to describe yourself?
Catholic, mother, geek, serendipitous, overextending, distractible, driven

I Left My Brains in San Francisco
The second Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator book, in audio
Author Karina Fabian; narrator Becky Parker; publisher, Damnation Books


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

BIO – Karina Fabian:

We could tell you Karina Fabian is an award-winning author, that she writes science fiction, fantasy, horror, and devotionals (15 books and counting.) It would all be true, but makes for a boring bio. If you really want to learn about her stuff, go to She has book trailer videos, excerpts from her books, and pictures of her dogs and her Mazda Miata, all of which are more fun to see.

However, if you’re interested…

Karina is a native Coloradoan who lives in Utah because she and her family like it better. With 270-degree view of the mountains and the Great Salt Lake, great neighbors, lots of geeky conventions (Salt Lake City Comic Con rocks!), what’s not to love? She works full-time at Top Ten Reviews, where she is a proud member of the business team (Business Badgers, unite!). Honestly, researching mortgage companies and the like is deadly dull, but her coworkers are nerdy and funny. It’s like what she imagined high school would be in a perfect world.

She’s married to Robert Fabian, a retired Colonel, project manager for BAE systems and VP of Propulsion for Rocket Crafters, Inc. She definitely married up! Her first words to him were “Live long and prosper,” and they have been ever since. They have four great kids who love to pun, watch anime, read fantasy and play D&D. Their bedtime stories were often her rough drafts, but no one’s gone to therapy for that yet.

Everyone likes to know about pets! They currently have two dogs: Toby and Marley. Toby, the coon shepherd, is beautiful and soft, and Marley, the lab-basset, is bassadorable. Toby’s favorite pastime is pulling 2x4s from under the porch and running across the yard with them, while Marley dreams of killing chickens. Again.

Oh! And the Miata. Bright red, hardtop convertible… She will drive it in 20-degree weather with the top down. After 21 years of minivans, it was time for a fun car, and it’s the most fun she’s ever had behind the wheel.
Karina is founder and active member of the Catholic Writers’ Guild, and she teaches writing live and in monthly webinars. Check out the website above. She’s always glad to do guest appearances.

BIO – Becky Parker:

Becky Parker Geist is the founder and owner of Pro Audio Voices, serving clients internationally as a go-to place for exceptional voiceover for audiobooks, advertising and animation.

After receiving her M.F.A. in Acting in 1981, Becky began narrating Talking Books for the Blind through the Library of Congress, narrating over 70 titles in two years, and quickly became one of their most popular narrators. As a professional stage actress, she has toured internationally (England and U.S.) and on the east and west U.S. coasts. She performs a wide range of voiceover work, but has a particular love for creating audiobooks with sound effects – the more theatrical the better! Becky brings her broad range of theatre skills – acting, directing, producing, marketing – to bear in all her voiceover and production work.
Committed to leadership and building strong, long-term relationships, Becky serves as President of BAIPA (Bay Area Independent Publishers Association) and is a member of IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Assn), APA (Audio Publishers Assn), and TBA (Theatre Bay Area).

Becky is married to classical composer John Geist and has 3 adult daughters: Elise, Jes and Jerrilee. As of 2015, Becky can truly say she is bi-coastal, going back and forth between New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been having a blast working Off Broadway in NY for the past few years and has been a professional stage actor in the Bay Area since 1985.


"Hi! Welcome to Zomblog!  It's ‘Time to Re-kill!’  This is Kelsey Gardenberger, and we are reporting to you live from Fisherman's Wharf, where zombie exterminators Rii and Hi Lee of Bay Exterminations have been called in to take out a zombie."
Police held back spectators who had cell phones to film the event.  On the ground lay a man in a black-and-white striped shirt, black pants with suspenders and gold makeup on his rotting skin.  He pounded on the air with imaginary fists, and then felt along imaginary walls with his hands.  Where he should have had fingers, only mangled skin and bare bones showed. Rii and Hi, both in protective gear, watched the prone figure and spoke among themselves.  The zombie continued his act unconcerned, except to pause now and again and make drinking motions before pointing to the top hat waiting beside him.
"It looks like Rii Lee and Hi Lee have decided on their strategy.  Despite the fact that the zombie appears so docile, it could turn violent at the slightest provocation--and if you don't believe me, check out 'Don't wave that thing at me!' on the Zomblog archives.  They're starting!"
While Rii stood by with a power blaster of anti-zombie foam, Hi ambled up to the prone zombie, sword relaxed but ready in his left hand.  He watched the undead mime its struggle against the imaginary coffin, nodded appreciatively, and tossed a twenty into the hat.  The Wasted Mime started clawing with fervor, dug himself up, and brushed himself off.
Some of the crowd in the front stepped back.
It picked up the hat, checked the money.
The crowd took in a breath.
It faced Hi.
Hi bowed.
The crowd gasped.  Cameras flashed.
The zombie bowed back, deeply and theatrically.
Hi lashed out with his sword, its blade cutting deeply and theatrically into the zombie's neck.
The re-killed corpse folded over.
The crowd broke into wild cheers.
Kelsey smiled big for the camera.  "And there you have it!  Looks like a mime isn't such a terrible thing to waste after all."

Find Karina at:

Find Becky at:

Find I Left My Brains in San Francisco at:

Video Links


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