Today my guests are Karina Lumbert Fabian and Deacon Steven Lumbert. They are father and daughter, but they are also the co-authors of Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life.
1. Hello. Could you each tell us a little about yourself?
KARINA LUMBERT FABIAN: I'm Karina Fabian, wife to Colonel Rob Fabian, mother of four and writer of mostly fantasy and science fiction. My latest novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem just won the 2010 INDIE awards for best fantasy, which I'm still grinning about. I also have several anthologies of science fiction, edited with my husband, and am working on several novels--a humorous novel about a zombie exterminator, a sci-fi novel about a device that lets you see into your soul, and a super-hero spoof about a guy who gets powers after getting bit by a radioactive pixie and falling into a vat of toxic waste.
DEACON STEVEN LUMBERT: I am a native of Colorado and have lived here most of my life. I am a convert to the Catholic faith, converting 22 years after I married my wife, a cradle Catholic. We have two children, Karina, the co-author of this book, and Regina who lives in California. I served for 30 years as a Trooper with the Colorado State Patrol. After retirement, I was accepted to Deacon Formation and on August 4, 2000 I was ordained. My present assignment is as Associate Director of Deacon Formation, but will soon change as I have just been assigned to St. Anne parish in Pueblo, Co. as the Administrator.
2. What inspired you to write Why God Matters?
DEACON STEVEN LUMBERT: That's easy. Karina called me with the proposition that we write the book together and so we did.
KARINA LUMBERT FABIAN: Writing is my escape and my release, so I like to have a lot of fun with it. However, I also like to incorporate my Catholic faith. Two of my sci-fi anthologies explore Catholicism in the future, and the heroes of Magic, Mensa and Mayhem are Catholic (a nun, and a dragon who's been coerced into serving the Faerie Catholic Church), for example. I also write school planners for a Catholic school system. In addition, I'm an officer in the Catholic Writer's Guild.
So when I saw an ad by Tribute Books for a Catholic Writer, I had to answer. At first, I thought I'd just pass on the info to the Guild members, but I loved the concept they proposed--a short book of personal stories combined with life lessons and Scripture. I had several stories I'd written, some of which I'd never bothered to submit anywhere. Then I got the brilliant idea to bring my dad, Deacon Steve Lumbert, in on the project. I really feel the Holy Spirit was moving me on this one, and I've been learning to go where the Spirit leads!
3. How did you come up with the book's title?
KARINA LUMBERT FABIAN: Actually, Tribute already had it--along with the approximate size, format, and approach. They even had a cover and website all ready. They made it so easy to jump in and write!
4. How long did it take to write Why God Matters?
KARINA LUMBERT FABIAN: About six weeks from the time I contacted my Dad to getting in the last edits. However the bulk of the writing was done in a very intense week over IM. Dad is in Colorado; I'm in California. Got to love the internet!
5. What were the challenges in bringing the book to completion?
KARINA LUMBERT FABIAN: Like I said before, distance was one. Scheduling was the other. Dad is a Deacon and a very busy man, so I had to work to his schedule and get him to carve out time for the project.
DEACON STEVEN LUMBERT: Editing and re-writing, especially as I was busy with my other work a lot. But, through the grace of God, we did complete and submit it.
6. What are your expectations for the book?
DEACON STEVEN LUMBERT: Well that is hard to answer. But, as this is my first book, I pray that those who read it will be able to see in the everyday happenings of their own lives that God does matter. Oh, and of course, it would be really neat to see it as a BESTSELLER!
KARINA LUMBERT FABIAN: I'm hoping people who are casual Catholics or who want a "baby steps" way to grow in faith will find this book gives them the tools they need to start seeing God's hand in the day-to-day of life, and that they'll carry their faith beyond the Sunday Mass.
7. What are your marketing strategies for the book?
KARINA LUMBERT FABIAN: Start with a small bang--like the June book tour and the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show in August--and continue to build slowly. I'd like to make a talk on the book and take it to parishes and events, but that's an autumn project, as I've got two novels that need to be written.
Most of my marketing, of course, will be online. We have a lovely website (courtesy of Tribute Books): www.whygodmatters.com. We're inviting people to share their own stories of finding faith in the day-to-day by commenting on the website.
8. Who did the cover artwork for Why God Matters?
KARINA LUMBERT FABIAN: I don't know--Tribute had it all ready to go even before we'd signed the contract. I love it, though--it's bright and simple, yet eye-catching. I'm very excited for my order to come in and I can see it "in person"!
9. Are there any plans to collaborate on another book?
DEACON STEVEN LUMBERT: That is always possible and even probable, but lets see how this one does first.
KARINA LUMBERT FABIAN: I think it will depend on our schedules. Dad just took on a new position as a parish administrator, which is BIG, and I have two books to write and one to revise in the next year, at least. Also, as with so many books, sales of this one will factor into the decision.
Regardless of whether we do collaborate on another, I am so grateful that we got to share this one. I learned a lot about my dad, and it's the closest we've worked on something since he helped us build our basement back in 2002.
10. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
KARINA LUMBERT FABIAN: Just this: With television, the Internet and so many other distractions in life, we are losing the closeness and identity that comes from knowing our family's past. Make a time and a place--around the dinner table, at a monthly family meeting, or on a drive. Don't wait for an excuse to share your life stories with the people you love.
DEACON STEVEN LUMBERT: This was a most taxing but joyful experience, to be able to collaborate on a book with my first born daughter. Her excitement and exuberance were catching. It is something I will treasure forever.
I'd like to thank you both for taking time out of your busy schedules to do this interview. I hope everyone finds it as interesting as I have.