Interview with Nerine Dorman

Thank you for joining me in the shadows. Pay no attention to that odd silhouette over there. Weird things live here.  Where do you hail from?

Hi Brynna, thanks for having me over. I live in Cape Town, South Africa in the far south Cape Peninsula, so I’m about as far south as one can go.

Tell me about your latest book. What makes it stand out from the crowd?
Camdeboo Nights is my latest novel, and gives a fresh twist on the vampire mythos in an African setting. Yes, there’s even a lion. But what makes it stand out from the crowd is not only the setting but the characters. They’re very non-typical. Although the primary story is a tentative love story between a young mage and a vampire, the support cast includes a witch and a little person.

Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
I’m currently trying to get edits done for two novels, and I have about four or five novels that are half-written. But I’m really excited about a middle grade fantasy novel I’m hoping to get on the submissions mill before the end of the year. One of my beta readers said I made her cry, so I take that as an indication that I was successful.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Write every day and set yourself an achievable target, be it 500 or 1000 words. Cultivate a small cabal of beta readers whose judgment you can trust (particularly book reviewers or authors who’re slightly further along than you are). Don’t be precious over your words. Don’t take critique as a personal attack. If you can, join a writers’ group. Then, lastly, read. Read outside your genre. Try to figure out what makes an author’s writing tick then see how you can apply it to your own. Lastly, keep at it. There are so many authors I see daily who are paralysed by self-doubt. Don’t let your initial failures bog you down. If you’re learning to become better at what you do, then you’ll make progress. The overnight success stories are the exception, not the rule.

How did you deal with rejection letters? Any tips for unpublished writers?
Maybe the editor or the agent just wasn’t into your writing. It’s not a personal rejection. I wear the editor hat too, so I can vouch for that. But seriously, study what agents and editors want and be truthful with yourself – is your work what they’re looking for. I do a lot of research when I go on the submissions mill. And once I’m sure a novel’s not going to be accepted, I move onto the next project. This is a very subjective business. Eventually you’re going to meet either the agent or the editor who’s going to think the sun shines out of all your orifices, but you won’t know until you’ve gone on the submissions mill long enough to find that person.
What tools of the trade are must-haves for you? 

A working computer, internet access, and a comfortable spot without too many distracti
ons. Oh, music helps.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to research a story?
Interviewed strippers and hung out in a strip club. It was very educational and I saw a transvestite stripper do things with a pole that I’d never dare.

What do you like to read?
I read a lot, and often outside my chosen genres. This can range from epic fantasy to Ayn Rand. I also take on book reviews, so things vary. One week it’s a psychological thriller, the next it’s historical fiction. Who knows? I like to keep things exciting.

Who is your favorite author and why? 
Neil Gaiman for his Sandman graphic novels. Hands down. I don’t think he can ever top what he did with that epic saga because he touches on almost every mythology and the monomyth and he jumbles it all together with a huge cast of unforgettable characters. Everything else he has done since pales in comparison. But close on his heels would be Storm Constantine because she has the same grasp of myth and magic to epic proportions. And, to complete the Trinity, I’ll add Poppy Z Brite because he gave me Lost Souls, which completely ruined me for Anne Rice.
Now for the fun questions.  Let’s strip away the veil of invisibility. Do you have a day job alongside writing and will you tell us about it?
Newspaper sub-editor, writer and book reviewer during the day. By night I freelance as a fiction editor. Don’t ask me when I find time to actually write my own words. I can’t tell you if and when that happens but somehow it does.
If you weren’t a writer, what career might you have chosen?
Musician or a photographer. I studied graphic design and when I wasn’t convinced that I was going to be an alternative rock star, I was going to be a photographer. Well, I still enjoy playing music and I take photos for fun, so I suppose I do kinda live out my dream.
Who is your favorite superhero (or heroine)? Can be from a comic book, movie, novel, cartoon, video game or anywhere else heroes reign.
The Sandman. But he’s not a super hero as such.
Your favorite book hero?
Nothing from Poppy Z Brite’s Lost Souls. Yes, that’s his name.
You finally have an evening free to spend any way you want. Money is no object. Where do you go? What would you do?
A night on the town in New York or London.
You’ve been gifted (or cursed) with the ability to shift into another form by a witch. What kind of shifter are you? Why?
Ha! A dragon. Definitely. Gleaming black scales. Not a very big dragon, mind you. But big enough that I’d be able to scare the living bejezus out of people and get to ride a few thermals.
Ha! I love dragons. I don’t think you’d scare me. Well, then again there is that whole fire-breathing thing. Thanks so much for being my guest today! Anything else you’d like to share with my readers?  Don’t forget to give us links to your website etc
Thanks for having me over! Now if folks would be so kind as to stalk me over at Twitter @nerinedorman or …
Go check out my titles at Amazon…
Or go like my Facebook page…