Author of the Week, Nerine Dorman just released her newest: Inkarna with much success. Nerine’s life experiences have not always been easy, however, as you will read, one can see that writing , along with music, is like blood in her veins. Writing is the life-force which seems to bring Nerine power. Find out, in the following interview, what Nerine does when she is NOT writing, what inspires her and how she compares Cat Woman and Wonder Woman:
Delete nothing. Move nothing. Change nothing. Learn everything. °~Poppy Z. Brite
How would you describe yourself using the letters of the town you live in:
Goth, Loud, Entertaining, Naughty, Crazy, Active, Impish, Rude, Nosy
Tell us your latest news?
At present I’m busy celebrating the release of my urban fantasy/ supernatural thriller novel, Inkarna (Dark Continents Publishing). I’m very excited ‘cos I just had my very first bricks-and-mortar launch in a bookshop, nearly all the copies sold and I’ve also just heard that the novel’s been added to the Stokers’ 2012 reading list. I was also lucky to tie my launch in with the annual Celludroid anime, fantasy and SF film fest here in Cape Town.
When and why did you begin writing?
I seriously started writing in high school, but I always knew I could write, and write well, since primary school after a particular detention. My mom saw what I’d written and actually complimented me. Throughout high school I wrote in an exercise book I’d lug around with me to class. The teachers thought I was hard at work… I was, but not on their work, LOL!
What inspired you to write you latest book INKARNA?
Two people who were very dear to me passed away. One was a perfect stranger, but his music had meant the world to me. The other was a dear friend and mentor. The novel itself is very wrapped up in magic and dreams. Both gentlemen appeared to me in dreams after their passing, both with very comforting messages. But the novel itself came into being after my friend’s funeral, when I sat with a mutual friend who’d attended the rite, and plotted the novel out over a cup of coffee until the wee hours of the morning. After that I wrote the novel in a fugue state, during one of the worst years of my life where I suffered from a heavy depression.
How did you come up with the title?
Wordplay. The novel is about reincarnation. At first I sat with “Reincarnated” and didn’t like it. Then I sat with “Incarnated” which I didn’t like either. I then had one of my “A-ha” moments and figured to call my beings “Incarna” but then I added the “k” because I thought of Karnak and Egypt. And I told a friend of mine and she said “YES!” so it kinda stuck.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Textured, I’d like to think. I try to balance dialogue with descriptive narrative. A lot of people come back to me and tell me that they feel as though I’ve done a good job evoking my settings and the people in them. This is important as most of my novels thus far are set in South Africa, so I have to write with the foreigners in mind. They won’t know what the hell I’m talking about unless I *show* them. For the South Africans, I know it’s a treat for them to read about familiar places seen from my particular perspective, which is often accompanied by a rather snarky humor.
How do you develop your latest character Elizabeth Rae Perry/ Ashton Kennedy?
Lizzie was easy. She’s based on everyone’s favourite, somewhat snooty aunt who’s terribly prim and proper. She has a very well-developed sense of justice and a tendency for taking in strays. I reckon she does have her bitchy side, but on the whole she’s the kind of person who, used to a degree of comfort in her life, would plod along and live a very contained, balanced existence. Ashton, on the other hand, combines all the worst traits you can possibly combine in a bad-boy rocker, who treats women like dirt and doesn’t have a hand brake as far as his bad behaviour goes. He’s chaos incorporated and a total antithesis to Lizzie.
Dumping Lizzie in his body was the ultimate thrill. She was so far out of her depth, not only did she have to figure out her own issues, but she had to deal with the myriad problems the body’s previous tenant left to her. To compound everything, the body she’s taken over *does* begin to affect her behaviour, and I enjoyed showing this transition from a somewhat insecure old lady becoming a young man who’s got a bit more of a conscience in how he treats other people.
How would you describe the “genre” you write in?
It totally depends who I’m selling myself to. To the romance ladies I’ll say “Hey, here’s a paranormal thriller that’s going to take you on a wild ride”. To the folks who’re tired of the same old set-ups with vampires and werewolves in urban fantasy, I’ll say, “Hey, come check out my Inkarna, they rock.” Mostly, I’ll say I write in a style that mixes The X-Files with Indiana Jones. Although my characters are often put in horrific situations, there’s always an underlying, sometimes wry humour in how things are handled. I’m a bit difficult to pigeon hole. I’ve been told I’m too literary for genre fiction, but too genre-orientated for litfic. So sod ‘em. I just do my own thing.
Hands down, Poppy Z Brite’s Lost Souls. After that, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels. Then, Storm Constantine and Jacqueline Carey. I love lush, evocative prose with an underpinning of danger and eroticism.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently focusing on laying down book two that follows from Inkarna, Thanatos. Then I’m working on a novella as a prequel to another set of revisions I’m completing for a leading publisher of GLBTI fiction. That project’s a post-apocalyptic setting I’m absolutely dying to get stuck into.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members:
Entity? I’m going to mention a few folks who’ve been the bomb. Cat Hellisen, who’s my evul critique partner who’s not afraid to tell me stuff I don’t initially want to hear, but then I go fix stuff after I’ve finished wailing and gnashing my teeth. Then Carrie Clevenger, who’s my co-writer on a bunch of projects, but also one of my protégés. I absolutely adore her writing and for some reason she’s still talking to me after I edited her debut novel, Crooked Fang. Then there’s Andrew. He buys me coffee and then I end up walking away from the meeting with an idea for another novel.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I firmly believe that when a project is done and dusted, and out there, it stays as is. Yes, there’s stuff that could’ve been better, but I feel strongly that readers must be able to follow my career and see for themselves how my writing changes. Each written work is a place marker, a snapshot into my psyche. I’m not perfect, and neither is my writing, but hell, I aim to tell a story and have fun while doing so.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding time. I also edit part-time, on top of having a demanding day job as a newspaper sub-editor and writer, so finding the time for my own writing is quite challenging. I’m scaling down now after I had a complete breakdown at the end of 2011 which saw me physically and emotionally borked, and in hospital with complications related to medication I’d been on. I don’t want to go back there.
Who designed the cover?
That would be my dear husband, Thomas Dorman. He’s a creative director and photographer, and I was very happy once I convinced him that yes, he must do my cover. He’s also an award-winning indie filmmaker who’s part of the BlackMilk Productions crew as director and script-writer. Go check out his website at http://dr-benway.deviantart.com. Two of the short films he’s worked on are showing at this year’s Durban International Film Festival, which is aces.What do you do when you are not writing?
What do you do when you are NOT writing?
I play guitar, walk my dogs and potter around the garden and the house. Music is my other big love and as part of my continued therapy to get my life back on track after some of the BS I had to deal with last year; music has been one of my big saviours. I play classical guitar, but I also play bass, and if things work out, I might be playing in a band again with a friend of mine. I travel if I get half the chance, but until my finances improve or I get invited on a media visit, it doesn’t look like I’ll be going anywhere soon for a while yet.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
It’s simple. Write the kinds of stories *you* want to read. Forget trying to be the next Tweelight or Fifty Shades clone. Be faithful to yourself. Read widely, and outside your genre, and take every opportunity you can to perfect your craft. And if you can make friends with a good editor, you’re set.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I recently got all the rights back to my first two Khepera novels. I’ll be looking at rereleasing both novels with new cover art in a variety of formats. But I also have two novellas, The Namaqualand Book of the Dead, and What Sweet Music They Make, which are, as I’d like to put it, little “hidden gems”. Go check them out.
Describe the space you write in?
Anywhere where there’s a plug for my netbook, be it in a friend’s lounge, in my kitchen or in bed. Extra bonus points if there’s WiFi and Earl Grey tea. Hot. That’s why I like my bed so much but it’s a bit of a bitch to get the husband to bring me tea.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be?
Peter Steele, while on tour after releasing October Rust. He was at the pinnacle of his career then, in my not so humble opinion. The man made playing bass sexy, and for that I’ll thank him forever. And that voice… Oh hell.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
This is my world.
Pens, pencils, markers, typewriter or computer?
Generally anything at hand when I’m outlining, be it my trusty BlackBerry; bits of scrap paper at work that I invariably lose then find again years later and wonder what the hell I was thinking, although I’m sure I thought it was a good idea at the time.
How would you compare Cat Woman VS Wonder Woman?
Cat Woman makes evil sexy. Wonder Woman is a boring, stuck-up vanilla tart.
Describe your worst nightmare:
Getting stabbed. Again. Or having a seizure while travelling on the train. Again. There are just some life experiences I don’t care to repeat.
Where can we can purchase your books?
My ebooks are all available on Amazon. Particularly go check for the ones that I wrote with Carrie Clevenger. They’re a total blast (Just My Blood Type is a free download off Smashwords and Goodreads, though. Start with that one then go buy Blood and Fire). But if you want to read Inkarna, it’s the only one of my titles currently in print, and for that I want you to go to your nearest indie bookstore and order it so that we can support these good people who are passionate about books.
An editor and multi-published author, Nerine Dorman currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa, with her visual artist husband. Some of the publishers with whom she works include Dark Continents Publishing and eKhaya (an imprint of Random House Struik). She has been involved in the media industry for more than a decade, with a background in magazine and newspaper publishing, commercial fiction, and print production management within a below-the-line marketing environment. Her book reviews, as well as travel, entertainment and lifestyle editorial regularly appear in national newspapers.A few of her interests include music travel, history (with emphasis on Egypt), psychology, philosophy, magic and the natural world.
Her published works include Khepera Rising, Khepera Redeemed, The Namaqualand Book of the Dead, Tainted Love (writing as Therese von Willegen), Hell’s Music (writing as Therese von Willegen), What Sweet Music They Make, and Inkarna.
Titles co-written with Carrie Clevenger include Just My Blood Type, and Blood and Fire.
She is the editor of the Bloody Parchment anthologies, Volume One, and Inferna: and Other Stories. In addition, she also organises the annual Bloody Parchment event in conjunction with the SA HorrorFest.
She is also a founding member and co-ordinator for the Adamastor Writers’ Guild, and edits The Egyptian Society of South Africa’s quarterly newsletter, SHEMU.