Wordsmiths: Q&A with … Lilia Fabry

My big promotional kick right now is for my most recent print publication in Tides of Possibility. But more fun for me than tooting my own horn – which I’m terrible at – is the chance to promote some of the anthology’s other contributors. The first Tides contributor that I’ll be showcasing, and the fourth participant in the Wordsmiths series, is Lilia Fabry. In addition to her short story “House of Tin,” which appeared in Tides, Lilia’s novel Ordinance 93 is available on Amazon, and she is promoting her short film The Devil in the Doorway, which she co-wrote with Chase Tarca. Here’s a little about Lilia from her blurb in Tides:

L. Fabry grew up in Houston, TX where she spent her time watching the Muppet Babies and reading awesome books. Soon after her thoughts went something like: “That was great! But what if they did this?” A writer was born. At the age of 12 she had already written and self-published (by hand) over 10 exciting short stories, printed (by hand) several editions of her own newspaper, and staged a Western at a local theater about a cowboy named Tex. Despite a dry spell in the rebellious teen years, L Fabry left an affluent student career in business to return to her first love. She graduated from the University of Houston with a writing degree and was astounded by the talent of the faculty and her peers. Throughout her various careers, including grant writer, waitress, bank clerk, bartender, and currently freelance fanatic, she has remained true to her first love.


The description available for Ordinance 93 doesn’t go into great detail on what kinds of pregnancies are prohibited by the Family Protection Act. Is the restriction just for population control, or are there other factors at play?

There are definitely other factors at play, including certain health and genetic requirements. But of course, laws rarely look in the end how they did in the beginning. I consciously decided not to name which diseases and such would be contraband per say, partially because my medical knowledge couldn’t withstand the task, partially because there is a certain fear to the unknown.

However, the thought of population control in any form is scary enough, with (in my humble opinion) some of the greatest evils in history being committed in its name in order to deal with “undesirables.”

Is “House of Tin” set in the same world as Ordinance, and if so where does it fit?

“House of Tin” is set in the same world as Ordinance 93. The four strangers on the street who the couple in “House of Tin” bumps into happens to be the very same one man and three women from Ordinance 93 with the scene portrayed again from their angle in the book.

The authorization of deadly force in “House of Tin” took the story in a very dark direction. Do you think that level of punishment for a ban on pregnancy could actually happen?

I think it would have to happen in order to enforce the law. I have no idea what the actual percentage would be, but I’m confident there is a portion of the population in which the mothers and fathers would fight so hard against a pregnancy ban, you’d have to kill them to enforce it.

Which do you find more challenging: writing short fiction or script writing?

I love that you ask “challenging,” not difficult. Eating boiled cabbage is difficult; writing is meant to be a challenge, that while difficult at many times, can also be rewarding.

In my experience, the lower word count of short fiction doesn’t necessarily mean less challenging, since the basic staples of a story (beginning, middle, and end) must all still be present. It can also be daunting to get the reader to care about your main character(s) in such a a short period of time and convince them to read on to find out happens to them. However, it does take less time to finish this task.

I have a special love for script writing, since most of my favorite writers are screenwriters, including Joss Whedon, Tim Minear, and Jane Espenson. I love the format because it forces you to make your characters talk and act. You most certainly can’t ramble on for pages on what the scenery, furniture, etc. is like. You can also throw in naughty words in both the dialogue and narrative. If you’re very lucky, you may also see some crazy-talented actors perform your works in a manner that will blow away the imaginary way in which the script plays out in your head.

What piece of writing are you most proud of? Are there any published works you wish you could take back?

It’s a tough call, but I’ve got to say Ordinance 93 since it is an actual, physical book I can hold in my hands and take pride in knowing that I created it – mostly. There were other great writers in the Houston Writers Guild who guided me with love and snark, as well as known and unknown greats who inspired me. In the end, it’s a work with my name and picture on it, and there’s nothing quite like that.

So far I haven’t wanted to take anything back, but every single work of mine that’s out there – when I read or watch them, I’ll have edits. It’s probably best that I can’t go through with them.

Has anything you’ve written ever surprised or scared you? If so, what?

All the time. The first page jitters are always present with the fear that I’m about to create something just awful, and there will be no way to fix it. I’ve found mostly that if I keep at it and read the previous section before moving on to the next, I’m less apprehensive about the final product. It also helps to have a circle that can tell you if your fears are founded or not.

You’re exiled to a faraway moon until the end of your days. What are the five books you bring (excluding the obvious survival guides)?

1. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I’ve been meaning to read it, and it’s so long it might last until the end of my days.

2. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I just love the way she writes novels wrapped in poems, and I think if I read it enough, I may be able to do it a little.

3. Watchmen by Alan Moore. Because I’ll need at least one book with pictures and superheroes.

4. Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas. Working on my brain is no good without working on my soul, and I think the Bible will already be on the moon.

5. Collected Works of Terry Goodkind. All this intellectual reading is going to leave me wanting some sword in the stone stuff, and there’s something very Buffy about the Sword of Truth series.

What do you consider to be the mark of writing success?

The actual final product. One of my biggest fears is dying with my stories inside of me, and for every finished work, the fear is deflated.


You can find out more about Lilia’s work via her new website, or by following her on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.


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