WATCH OUT: Nerine Dorman
SC:I want to welcome you all to another edition of Watch Out. This week I’m excited to bring you a great author by the name of Nerine Dorman.
Welcome Nerine, it is so great to have you here this week.
ND: Thank you for the opportunity to be here! It’s much appreciated.
SC: For the readers out there who might not know about you or your work, can you please tell them a little about yourself.
ND:I’m based in Cape Town, South Africa, which is a real mixing pot of cultures, including Dutch, English, French, Indian, Malay and African. This has had a definite impact on my work, as I like blend and borrow from the rich heritage of my city. By day I work for a newspaper publisher as a sub-editor, and also regularly have my reviews and travel stories appear in papers around the country. In my spare time I’m a content editor for Lyrical Press (and yes, I’m actively looking for submissions) and I also write fantasy and erotic romance.
SC:Can you tell us about your current release?
ND:My latest release is my first contemporary erotic romance, Tainted Love, released by Siren Publishing, Inc. It was sparked off by a conversation I had with a good friend of mine who used to strip, which sort of led to a number of “what if” scenarios playing themselves out in my head. This is a sort of “reverse Cinderella” story that I set in Cape Town. Essentially, the girl loses her day-job but rediscovers her talent for dancing when she begins baring all in a strip club.
SC: I was looking at your site and it says you’re a writer, editor, photographer and musician. Do you find it hard to balance all these passions?
ND:I go through phases. The photography is something that has gone on the back-burner mainly because my husband (who is a photographer and filmmaker by trade) gets a bit edgy when I play with his “toys”. As for music, I periodically go through phases of playing an assortment of instruments badly. At present I’m toying with the idea of starting a gothic metal band, since I used to play in bands when I was younger, but that takes a back seat to my more urgent deadlines. I love playing bass, and often after a long day it’s a great way to unwind.
SC:What is the one thing readers might be surprised to know about you?
ND:That I love gardening! No, seriously, on the rare days that I’m at home, I love pottering about in my garden. Wherever I go, I collect seeds and try to grow them for eventual release in my garden.
SC:Is there anything you are currently working on that you can give us a taste of?
ND:I have a novella I’m currently completing specially for my editor at Lyrical. All I’m willing to say at the moment is that it involves a Peter Murphy-esque vampire who is blackmailed into playing his music at an engagement party for rich folks, where he meets a very special girl and he has to decide whether he’s going to bring her over to the dark side, because in my world, not everyone can become a vampire.
SC:I see you have traveled the world a bit. Do you have a favourite place you’ve been to or one that stands out?
ND:Despite having seen some places like Mauritius or cruising down the mighty Zambezi while sipping on a G&T, I still keep returning to Nieu Bethesda in the Camdeboo, in South Africa’s Great Karoo. That is where you’ll find The Owl House, created over many years by outsider artist Helen Martins. The place speaks to me on a very deep level. I dreamt about it when I was three, before even knowing it existed, so every two or so years, I make my pilgrimage. One day I hope to buy a second property there.
SC:What are you currently reading?
ND:I was lucky to pick up a compilation of Mary Gentle’s Golden Witchbreed books, all in one volume, so I’m reading that while I suffer through Laurel K Hamilton’s Bullet, which I’m supposed to be reviewing for the newspapers. And I do mean I’m suffering through the LKH.
SC:Some authors when they write they need total quiet. Do you write with music or a TV on? If you do, does it help the creativity flow?
ND:I tend to write while listening to Type O Negative. Something about Peter Steele’s voice just cuts through all the background noise, and he is God when it comes to sexy baritones. If it’s not Type O Negative, it’s a combination of Dead Can Dance, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees or anything by Max Richter, Hans Zimmer, Rammstein, Sisters of Mercy, Laibach or Einstuerzende Neubauten. The louder the better.
SC:What do you do when you have writers block?
ND:Generally only when I’m suicidal, but luckily that only happens about once a year. Then I usually remove myself from sensibility for the 48 hours it takes me to get over the hangover and I’m back at things again. Writing is the only reason I have for living. If I ever run out of stories, I’ll have to kill myself. There’s nothing else to live for.
SC:What is the one thing that surprised you in this industry?
ND:The waaaaaaaaiting. Seriously. Don’t go into this industry if you want done anything yesterday. Publishing is a very slow business. It’s a case of hurry up and wait.
SC:If you were not an author what would your dream job be?
ND:I’d be a game ranger. That way I don’t have to deal with the same people all the time and I can still tell tall tales. I’ve hung out with game rangers. They’re a crazy bunch of people and I dig their gung-ho attitude when it comes to dealing with silly foreigners. I mean, really, who’s scared of a cheetah? C’mon, folks. It’s the crocs and the hippos who’re far more dangerous. Or getting stormed by a leopard, or bitten by a mamba.
SC:What is the biggest misconception you think people have about authors?
ND:That we make lots of money. Seriously. From what I earn from my royalties I’m lucky if I can take my husband out for a pizza once a month.
SC:Is there one specific genre you would like to be well known for?
ND:I’d like to be known for writing dark fantasy with a serious erotic spin, in the same vein as Jacqueline Carey and Storm Constantine. They’re my writing goddesses those two.
SC:What is the one pet peeve you have when it comes to publishing?
ND:Authors who argue about things that are actually, gosh, patently WRONG with their writing. Dude, I have more than half a decade’s worth of experience in editing text. I’ve been trained in house at a newspaper publisher. If I say this is a dangling participle or you shouldn’t be putting XYZ there, then there’s a very good reason I’m making my “suggestion”.
SC:What advice do you have for new writers out there?
ND:Find yourself a dedicated crit group of authors who’re all in a similar situation to you. When you get round to being contracted, take your editor’s advice to heart and apply these aspects to your new writing, so you don’t keep making the same mistakes twice. Really, it makes an editor reach for razor blades when she sees authors persist in making the same mistakes. Over and over again. Follow blogs written by agents, authors and editors. They often impart valuable advice. See where you can apply that advice to your own writing. Keep on writing, improving and submitting. Always aim high with your latest manuscript. And read outside of your chosen genre, please. I hate seeing romance authors who just read romance.
SC:Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
ND:You can follow my blog at: http://nerinedorman.blogspot.com or read more about my erotica here: http://vonwillegen.blogspot.com
I have a Facebook group here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=49386633567
If you absolutely must, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t bite… much.