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A Passion For Writing

Karina and Rob Fabian are at it again!  They have gathered twelve stories of faith and science fiction with the help of several other authors, to bring us Infinite Space, Infinite God II. The Catholic Press has this to say about this new collection:

"The history of the Catholic Church is full of heroes: men and women of courage and conviction. Not only did these Catholic heroes live and die for their faith, but they saved others, fought valiantly, inspired the masses, and influenced nations.

Now, Infinite Space, Infinite God II honors that legacy with twelve science fiction stories featuring Catholic heroes. Meet a time traveler who sacrifices his life to give a man a sip of water, and the nun who faces venomous snakes to save a friend. Share the adventures of priests who battle aliens and machines in order serve the greater good.

Infinite Space, Infinite God II spans the gamut of science fiction, from near-future dystopias to time travel to space opera, puzzles of logic to laugh-out-loud humor and against-the-clock suspense. A great read for any science fiction fan--a must-read for the Catholic sci-fi lover."

I had a chance to ask several of the authors the one question I feel keep a writer going through all the rejections, critiques and days when the Muse goes on vacation--What fuels your passion to write?

The answers:

Karina Fabian: The characters. They tell me their stories, and if I don't write them out, it gets very crowded in my brain!

Rob Fabian: My wife, Karina, fuels my passion for writing. I enjoy reading fiction, but she brought me into writing.

Barton Levenson: Mostly daydreams, often fueled from books or manga I read or movies or TV or anime I watch.

Alan Loewen: For years I have been an entertainer, first as a stage magician, then as a stage actor, and now, in this season of my life, as a writer. Through all of this, I have taken great delight in creating worlds of my own making and sharing it with others—to safely and courteously be a talented tour guide as I lead my audience through equal parts of wonder and danger (And who is to say they are not one and the same?)—and then hear the words, “Well done,” and Thank you.”

John Rundle: I write to keep emotional pain at bay. Having a sense of accomplishment is what keeps me out of trouble. Science Fiction is particularly appealing since it forces me to use my imagination to its fullest, leaving very little room for anything else.

Andrew Seddon: Well, let’s see. Several factors.

1) Creativity. There is no scope for creativity at work, so I find that writing is a great outlet. I can create a world or character and (sometimes) have them do what I want. I enjoy playing the piano but have no skill at composition; ditto for painting; so I find that writing allows me to express myself in a creative manner. There are lots of personal touches and inside jokes in my stories. Characteristics of myself show up here and there. Sometimes, though, the characters are as different from me as possible!

2) Learning. Since I write mostly either historical or science fiction, and since I like my stories to be as accurate as possible, that means I have to do considerable background research. I love learning about ancient people, how they lived, in what ways they were similar to ourselves, and in what ways different. For science fiction, I’m interested in what ways science will affect the future.

3) Faith. For both fiction and non-fiction, writing is a way for me to express and share the Christian faith, sometimes overtly, sometimes in a more subtle manner. It is both incredible and humbling that other people will read something that I write, so I try to make sure my writings are edifying. I feel that it is a form of serving God and sharing the Faith.

Jay Sherer: Whenever anybody asks me about "passion," my first thought is to ask them what the word even means. I think it probably has a different meaning for each person. For me, a passion for writing means that I just can't stop doing it. I've tried to quit before and I can't. I get an idea and I have to sit down and write it out. Nothing fuels that desire more than reading or viewing someone else's story. When I see or read a well told story it makes me want to sit down and write one of my own. I'm sure God is behind it all. But, movies, comic books, novels, and even art can be gasoline for my writing tank. Anything that captures my attention and engages my imagination.

Tamara Wilhite: I have many ideas of how the world could be, and writing them in fictional format creates a world that others can see and experience - and hopefully choose to help create.

…and because Alex really gets into his topic…

Why I Write

by Alex Lobdell, author of “The Battle of the Narthex” in Infinite Space Infinite God II.

Every job has its perks. People who know how to fix computers always have a lot of friends. Chefs get to wear hats that make them look really tall. Librarians never get work-related hearing loss. Supermodels don’t get traffic citations. Dieticians get to live to be 110 years old.

Writing, too, offers some perks to its practitioners. Below are six reasons why I think writing is a fun and rewarding occupation.

1. Present-tense immortality. If people talk about an author in literature classes, they always use present tense: “I think Shakespeare is saying here that we should…” “When George Eliot says this, what she really means is…” So even if you’re an author who has been dead for hundreds of years, people continue to talk about you like you’re still on the job, still thinking, still making your case. You are present to the readers, in every sense of the word.

2. Freedom – you can go anywhere, do anything, be of any age, meet amazing people, travel through time, breathe underwater, fly, It’s like having a wonderful dream, but because you’re actually awake, you don’t have to worry about running in place when you’re being chased, giving a speech naked, falling from a high place, or having your body snatched by aliens and becoming a pod person.

3. You learn about other people. If you write, that means you are probably interested in people, and by writing, you can actually become other people – male, female, old, young, someone who thinks like you, someone who thinks very differently from you. And sometimes your readers react to your writing in ways that you could never expect. What you thought was hilarious and brilliant just seems weird and stupid to others, and what you thought was a throw-away bit gets picked up on as something significant and profound. Thus, people both real and imaginary open your eyes to the world as seen beyond your own perspective. Of course if the real people, especially critics, dislike your writing, their perspective is wrong, but technically it’s a perspective nonetheless.

4. You learn about yourself. You think you are just diligently applying your craft to meet a deadline and to stay out of the crosshairs of an agitated editor, when suddenly, you blink and the mask your character is wearing slips, and you catch a glimpse of the real face beneath it – a face you know. It may be a face you love, and it may be a face you loathe – but it’s a face that helped make you who you are, and when you see it – see that person whom you have made a part of yourself – you become a deeper person for it.

5. You get to play. When we are children, our parents say, “Don’t just sit around in front of the TV! Go outside! Play!” The inherent message is that an active imagination is good, and sitting around all day staring at a screen is bad. Our parents even give us props to help us in our imaginative endeavors: toys!

Then we have to grow up. We are told to pay attention. Focus. Attend to the matter at hand. Sit down in front of that computer screen.

And some of us think, “Hey! No fair! Why were we allowed to have toys as children and encouraged to engage in imaginative fancies that would later just have to be disciplined out of us? I think that writers, deep down, still want to play. Writing is playing. Playing is learning. Learning is good. Sure, when we write as adults we don’t get to use as many of the cool props as we did as children (though admittedly there are two rubber knives, a plastic triceratops, a pair of walkie-talkies, and a fossil trilobite on my desk at the moment), and we’re still sitting in front of a screen, but as writers we’re still exercising our imagination – we’re still playing! And we get PAID for it sometimes!

6. We get PAID for it sometimes!

And that is why I write!

Thanks for the wonderful answers, everyone!

Here is a brief synopsis of the stories you will find within the pages of this collection:

Story Summaries

The Ghosts of Kourion by Andrew Seddon: Professor Robert Cragg thought that he could escape the grief of losing his wife and daughter by traveling back in time to study a city soon to be destroyed by an earthquake. He felt safe in the fact that he could do nothing to save these people, but when he befriends a local family, however, he realizes he must try. In the end, he cannot save them, but he learns that if he cannot save the ghosts of Kourion, he can at least ease their sufferings.

Antivenin by Karina Fabian: Three nuns from the Order of Our Lady of the Rescue offer help to a ship that is off-course and not answering hails. They find the ship crawling with venomous snakes who have killed their handler and bitten the pilot. When one bites her partner, Sister Rita must conquer her phobia and snatch the antivenin from their nest.

An Exercise in Logic by Barton Paul Levenson: An ancient alien satellite has diverted an asteroid toward a human colony planet. The people who built the satellite refuse to veto programming logic installed by their ancestors. Can an Ursuline sister who is also an alien contact specialist change their minds?

Cathedral by Tamara Wilhite: Katarina's kind were engineered to love scientific research and dedicate themselves to bettering mankind until their jumped-up neurology caused them to die an ignoble death while in their twenties. Perhaps Katarina could have lived with this, but when she discovers the medicines she created were actually drugs to control the population, she spends the last of her tortured days righting her wrongs.

Otherworld by Karina Fabian: Father Jonas is haunted by the loss of his mother, who died while in a virtual reality world. As a priest, he's driven to evangelize to the players in Otherworld--to remind them of reality and the God who cares about what they do on both worlds.

The Battle of the Narthex by Alex Lobdell: What do you get when you mix a royal assassination, alien militia and the Saturday night Mass-and-Spaghetti dinner? Battle of the Narthex tickels the funny bone and touches the heart!

Tenniel by Colleen Drippe': Bishop Tenniel must fight the leader of the Wolfbane clan to win the conversion of the tribe to Christianity, saving their lives as well as their souls. Another exciting tale from Colleen Drippe's Lost Rythar universe.

Tin Servants by J Sherer: Father Paul's desire to serve his people in war-torn Ghana that he allowed himself to altered to resemble the androids sent to provide medical help. Once there, however, he finds himself limited in the comfort he can offer, and embroiled in a conspiracy to convert the andorginacs into soldiers.

Basilica by John Rundle: A Navy buddy needs help fixing up an old clunker of a spacecraft and Father Carpizo arrives to do his old friend a long overdue favor. As he turns wrenches, however, Carpizo finds a mystery to whet his appetite: a riddle deep rooted in the history of the Church. The scholarly priest unwittingly uncovers a dark secret which others have paid for with their lives. He is suddenly confronted by unspeakable evil and now Carpizo must make the ultimate sacrifice to destroy it…if only there is enough time.

Cloned to Kill by D. Mak: The power of Baptism helps a clone programmed to kill find her humanity--but to what lengths will Father Markham have to go to protect his new ward?

Frankie Phones Home by Karina Fabian: Sixteen-year-old Frankie was kidnapped by aliens who wanted to understand the mysteries of her human religion. Now, as they return to Earth to make First Contact, Frankie calls her family.

Dyads, Ken Pick and Alan Loewen: Father Heidler's latest assignment takes him to Cathuria, where the Catholic Church and all of Earth are blamed when a failed missionary's desperation boils over into terrorism. With the planet in the midst of riots and the Archbishop/Ambassador to Cathuria severely injured in a retaliatory strike, Father Heidler negotiates a delicate maze of politics and religious convictions to find a way to restore peace and reconcile the two worlds

Before you go on with your day, take a moment to leave a comment for these fine authors--and check out the book trailer !

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