Interview with Contributor Karina Fabian

kfabian200x200Author Name: Karina Fabian

Contribution to Image and Likeness: “Cries of the Innocents”

Bio: Karina Fabian writes fiction and nonfiction, secular and religious. Her stories include spacefaring nuns, a dragon in the employ of the Faerie Catholic Church, a zombie exterminator and a mad psychic who must save two worlds. Her nonfiction varies from advice articles and writing webinars to devotionals and saint stories. She helped found the Catholic Writers Guild and has been an officer as well as the mastermind and coordinator of the Catholic Writers Online conference. Her latest book, Discovery, a Rescue Sisters novel, was recently added to the Full Quiver Publishing catalog. Find Karina on Google+, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Amazon.

About “Cries of the Innocents”

How did you find yourself inspired to write this piece?

It was a contest, actually. Write a flash fiction that started with this line, “Throughout the night, I heard their screams of pain.” It gave me the idea of an abortionist who had mentally distanced herself from what she was doing, but at night, the horror seeped through. The story, which ran in a secular blog, won first place. I was glad to beef it up some for this anthology.

What drew you to writing about Theology of the Body in this way?

I wasn’t thinking of Theology of the Body. St. John Paul’s writings hadn’t even come out when I wrote this. I was thinking of writing something creepy, and the innocents crying to willfully deaf ears fit the bill. It’s interesting that just today, I saw a study that asserts babies feel incredible pain during the abortion process. You’d think that’d be a no-brainer, but again, willfully deaf ears need to be made to hear.

There is a lot of nonfiction out there on TOB, but the amount of fiction and poetry on the subject is certainly on the rise.  What is it, do you think, about fiction and poetry that lend themselves to illustrating the tenets of the Theology of the Body?

Fiction and poetry can bring a point home on a different level, or through a different vector, than nonfiction or even personal stories. Both nonfiction and personal stories can hit an emotional tone as well as intellectual, but readers can get defensive, feel they are being talked to, or dismiss with, “Well, that’s her, not me.” Fiction and poetry let the imagination do its work, putting the person in the role of the character or reaching the heart in a different way.

Some TOB stories and poems can be evangelization tools, and some can be messages of encouragement to those of us doing the evangelizing.  Which do you think yours is, and why do you think that’s valuable to its audience?

Oh, good question. Because of the origin of the story and its topic, I’m not sure it’s either. Part of why I wrote it was to get in the head of an abortion doctor to try to figure out why they could do what they do. It might give some understanding to those who protest and encourages them to remember that they aren’t just saving the souls of the unborn or the mothers, but also of those involved in the industry.

Your story “Cries of the Innocents” gives us parallel characters–an abortionist and her brother who gave his life in service to our country.  There is a rich space for contrasts, conflict, and, perhaps most remarkably, compassion between the two.  What are the similarities you see between these characters, and what do you think they signify to readers?  What about their differences?

I feel they were both raised to serve others. The doctor in the story truly believes she is making women’s lives better and protecting children from terrible fates if they are born, and with the patient she is a good example of why she feels justified. Of course, her brother definitely put others before himself even to the point of death.

They are both in jobs that involve killing others, but the reasons couldn’t be more different.

What’s another story or poem in this anthology that spoke to you?  What in particular in that piece reached out to you?

There were several that spoke to me, each one reaching to my fears as a parent and saying, “Yes, I understand. I know this pain, but it can be all right. God can make it all right.” I don’t feel I can get into details, but let’s say there are several tissues wet with good, needed tears, and leave it at that. I was not expecting that from this book. I’m glad I read it and am proud to be a part of it.

Look for discussion questions on “Cries of the Innocents” on Wednesday, November 16.

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