Thursday, September 1, 2011

Guest Blogger: Karina Fabian, Author of Mind Over Mind

Today's special guest is my friend, Karina Fabian, author of Mind Over Mind. I met Karina online through the first Muse Online Writers Conference. I've reviewed several of her books. It's always fun to learn when she has a new book out. Here's information about her latest:

Deryl Stephen’s uncontrollable telepathic abilities have landed him in a mental health institution, where no one believes in his powers.

But when Joshua Lawson, a student of neuro linguistic programming, takes part in a summer internship, he takes the unique step of accepting Deryl’s reality and teaches him to work with it. As Deryl learns control, he finds his next challenge is to face the aliens who have been contacting him psychically for years—aliens who would use him to further their cause in an interplanetary war.

Read an excerpt!

Ydrel threw himself into wakefulness with such force that he sat up in bed. Still, the nightmare images clung to his mind: the beat of a hundred hearts, the smell of sweat and fear. He clutched his stomach and fought the urge to scream.

A hundred bodies crowded around him, crushing him against the splintered wood of the boxcar.

No, this isn’t real!

No room to move. No air to breathe. Suffocating. Drowning.

No, this isn’t me!

Confusion and fear. Fear the trip would never end. Terror of what waited at its completion.

NO! These aren’t MY memories!!


Ydrel threw up shaky mental barriers. The visions faded, just slightly. He forced his eyes open, drinking in reassurance from familiar objects.

He sat in bed, an oversized twin, backed up against pillows rather than splintered wood. Pre-dawn light shone softly through the blinds. On the nightstand, Descartes regarded him with one button eye. The only thing left from before his mother died, he’d slept with that bear until an orderly commented on his “abnormal attachment.” Since then it had stood watch over him instead, braced against the lamp. Even now, without any orderlies around, Ydrel resisted the urge to clutch it close to his chest, but he reached out to touch one tattered foot.

On the shelf beside the window sat a portable boom box, a gift from his first birthday here—his thirteenth. Five years ago, today. The maintenance man had disabled the volume control after Ydrel played it too loudly. Thereafter, he’d found other ways to block out the moans and occasional screams that penetrated the closed door. Happy birthday.

The stereo held up several books. He was studying them in case it called. He both dreaded and longed for the calls. Each episode only gave them more reason to keep him here, yet there was something as familiar and comforting about it as his old bear.

He turned his gaze to the far wall and the framed pictures of a nebula and the solar system by his half-empty closet. On his sixteenth birthday, he’d been allowed to decorate his room and he’d chosen those posters and a mild blue paint to replace the still–lifes and the institutional burgundy-and-pink color scheme. While it had been a relief to his eyes, it was also a constant reminder that they never intended for him to leave.

This is my room, he thought. In the asylum. Even after five years, he’d never call it home. He’d never give Malachai the satisfaction.


Calmer now, his mental barriers in place, Ydrel allowed himself to examine the vision that awakened him. Hundreds of bodies packed into a train car not suited for twenty. Most had traveling clothes, but had shed them against the heat. No room to move. The air was stifling and stale. No one knew where they were going. Some suspected, but said nothing. The destination was worse than the trip.

Ydrel sighed. Isaac was on the train to Dachau again.

Ydrel threw off the covers and dressed quickly in a blue t-shirt and jeans, socks and generic sneakers. Already Isaac’s projected fear was breaking down his mental defenses; Ydrel’s fingers trembled as he fumbled with the laces.

Once out in the corridor, he hastened to the old man’s room, forcing himself to keep his pace smooth, his face composed. Someone would stop him if he hurried or looked distressed, and any delay would be unbearable. As he walked he got into character. His stride lengthened; his face hardened. He held his hands relaxed but ready by his hips. When he got to Isaac’s door, he cast a wary look down the hall, then slipped in.

The old man lay on a standard hospital bed, his wide, wild eyes staring at the ceiling but focused on his inner horrors. His hands fluttered helplessly on the thin coverlet. He labored for each ragged breath.

Ydrel sat beside him and composed his own vision.

The train stops so suddenly that people would have been thrown down if they hadn’t been so tightly packed in. The sound of gunfire and shouts in German. The boxcar door opens with a rusty screech. Someone yells in Yiddish, then German: “Out! Now! Quickly, to the woods—to the south!” Relief from the press of bodies, then a new pressure as the flow of people pushes him through the door. Someone grabs his arm—

Ydrel grabbed Isaac by the arm as he pushed the new vision into the old man’s mind.

Isaac blinked, twisted toward Ydrel, then smiled, his eyes bright with tears. “Gideon! Old friend. Thank God!”

The Inspiration Behind Mind Over Mind by Karina Fabian

Way back in 1986, when green monochrome fish screen savers were cutting edge technology, I took an honors seminar for which I had to read Frogs Into Princes. This is the seminal book about a branch of psychology/communication called neuro linguistic programming. The basic idea, psychology-wise, that Bandler and Grinder proposed is that it really didn't matter what a person's delusions were; the key was whether they can function in society or not. Communication-wise, they theorized that you could guess a person's thought processes by watching the movement of the eyes--whether they were making something up or remembering a truth, if they were seeing or hearing the thought, etc. They gave lots of examples from their own experiences treating patients.

I was fascinated by the book, but as a mathematics major, I never thought beyond what a cool idea it was. However, of all my textbooks, this one stayed with me as I graduated, went to the Air Force, then got out and had kids.

Another thing that followed me all those years was the novel I'd written about a psychic in college and his roommate accidentally teleporting to another planet. It wasn't horrid, though now I blanche to think I sent it to a publisher. That, too, got packed away through all the moves and career changes.

In 2001, I decided I wanted to rewrite the novel. I liked Tasmae and the idea of the planets at war, but the psychic was too cool, too easy. Too shallow. As many of you know, I kept torturing the poor guy with "what if?" until he ended up in an asylum. But how to get him out?

Even after twelve years, Frogs Into Princes had stuck with me, so I found the book and reread it, thinking what fun it would be to apply the principles to a young, troubled man who didn't just believe himself psychic, but truly was psychic. Oh, what fun it was! I loved the challenge of thinking of my characters in terms of how they thought--visually or verbally?--and how that affected Deryl. The case study where they worked with a catatonic patient (which reminded me of a story called, "Son, Rise" about an autistic child whose mother reached him by following his rocking rhythm) gave me a terrific idea for a very tense scene. Deryl retreats into a catatonic state to escape a truly violent man's thoughts, and Joshua has to bring him out using NLP.

Looking at Amazon, I see that Frogs into Princes was the book that started NLP and, as one review put it, "introduced the still cutting edge technology of human communication and cognition...a seminal book in the field of human communication, linguistics, perception, cognition and psychology."

I'm a writer, not a psychologist, but I'd like to thank Richard Bandler and John Grinder for sharing their ideas and experiences, and to my honors professor who assigned the book. You helped transform Mind Over Mind from bleah to yeah!

Unlike her characters, Karina Fabian lives a comfortably ordinary life. Wife to Air Force Colonel Robert Fabian and mother of four, her adventures usually involve packing and moving, attending conventions, or giving writing and marketing advice in one of her many workshops. She's always had an overactive imagination, however, and started writing in order to quell the voices in her head--characters who insisted on living lives in her mind and telling her their stories. Winner of the 2010 INDIE award, winner and finalist for the EPPIE and finalist for the Global e-book awards, she's glad people enjoy reading the tales her characters tell.




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Mind Over Mind Tour Schedule

1-Sep  - info

1-Sep - info

2-Sep  - Why I Don't Want Telepathic Powers

2-Sep  - Inspiration Behind Mind Over Mind

3-Sep - review

5-Sep - Deryl's Letter

5-Sep  - On Uncontrolled Telepathy

5-Sep - character sketch-Joshua

6-Sep - interview

7-Sep - First Rule of Telepathy

7-Sep - interview

8-Sep - The Making of Mind Over Mind

9-Sep - review

9-Sep - interview

10-Sep - Small Steps to Big Goals

10-Sep - interview

11-Sep - Excerpt: Joshua and his parents

12-Sep  - Joshua's e-mail

12-Sep - review

12-Sep - interview

12-Sep - info

13-Sep - 10 reasons to read/write sff

13-Sep - Joshua & Sachiko

14-Sep - review

14-Sep - interview

14-Sep - Prioritizing Tips

15-Sep - The Miscria

16-Sep - One Sentence a Day

16-Sep - I Like Ideas!

16-Sep - character interview

17-Sep - Marketing and the Multi-Genre Writer

17-Sep - What Can't Your Character Do?

18-Sep - interview

19-Sep - Malachai's Message

19-Sep - Alien cultures

20-Sep - interview

21-Sep - review

26-Sep - reviews

4-Oct - Top Ten Reasons I Write

10-Oct - Telepathy or Insanity?

14-Oct - advice to teen writers

1 comment:

Karina Fabian said...

Thanks for hosting me today, Cheryl!