Interview with Nerine Dorman

Published 2013-09-13.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien started me off when I was young, then I progressed onto The Lord of the Rings. I knew then and there that I wanted to one day write fantasy. Lost Souls by Poppy Z Brite tripped me up at the tender age of 14, and I found myself unutterably corrupted by her dark vision of vampires. Which brought me onto Storm Constantine's Wraetthu mythos. Somewhere along the line I ran into Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels, so that pretty much sums it up.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything and everything. I read A LOT. Mostly review books. My preferences run toward GrimDark and epic fantasy, but I make a point of reading outside of my chosen genres.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Anything that will allow me to scroll text. I use on my Macbook, Moon+ Reader on my Samsung Note II and, of course, the Kindle app. Not to mention my trusty Kindle.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Definitely Twitter, Facebook and word of mouth, though blog tours definitely help to create awareness.
Describe your desk
Let's rather not... [laughs]
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Hout Bay, a small fishing village near Cape Town. I was very isolated as a child and didn't get on with the other kids my age, so I spent more time in the library and reading than running about out of doors. Books provided an escape from reality, and this is what motivates me to write.
When did you first start writing?
I started keeping a journal when I was 11... And filled endless notepads with half-baked stories, inevitably the first two chapters and then I'd lose my thread. My first attempt at age 13 was thinly veiled Highlander fanfic ... of course this was way before the days of the internet so I had no idea that fanfiction would even exist until many years later.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My most recently completed novel is a secondary world fantasy involving vampires, post-colonialism and super-predators ... and a huge dose of Machiavellian intrigue.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I stand with my feet in small press and indie ponds, with aspirations to work my way into a traditional deal too. In this day and age authors need to have their footprints in more than one part of the publishing deal.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has definitely helped simplify matters so I don't have to deal with multiple vendors. It's still early days with my publishing here, but I can see so many authors doing really well, so I'm cautiously optimistic.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It's the whole thing... Starting with that spark of "what if?" then the writing and, lastly, when readers mail me to tell me how my story has touched them. All of it is rewarding.
What do your fans mean to you?
They encourage me that my stories are finding an audience, that people are ensnared by my visions. Though I can conceivably write and have no one ever read my stories, it definitely helps to know that there are people who buy my books.
What are you working on next?
Right now? A post-apocalyptic adventure, a paranormal story set in Cape Town, and a fantasy novel I'm editing for the submissions process.
Who are your favorite authors?
Neil Gaiman, Storm Constantine and Poppy Z Brite.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I play classical guitar and sometimes watch TV series. But mostly I'm writing and editing.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I rely heavily on Goodreads, but also take recommendations and review requests.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
That Highlander fanfic I mentioned... Bloody awful.
What is your writing process?
I outline ... Exhaustively. Then set a target of 1 000 new words a day or 15-minute writing sprints during the course of a day, depending on how much other work I have.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The Hobbit ... and that immortal opening line ...

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
How do you approach cover design?
I could write an entire essay on this. I'll keep it simple. I majored in illustration and photography, and still do layout for a living, so I am highly critical of how I present my books. Though I might not design my book covers myself, I write exhaustive briefs for my creative team.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Bloody Parchment: Remains of an Old World
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 32,880. Language: English. Published: November 15, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Anthologies » Horror
The South African Horrorfest Bloody Parchment anthology, edited by Nerine Dorman, returns with a dozen chilling stories featuring finalists from the 2016 short story competition: Brett Rex Bruton, Janine Milne, Stephen Embleton, William Burger, Shaun van Rensburg, Livingston Edwards, Lester Walbrugh, Jessica Liebenberg, Erhu Amreyan, Toby Bennett, Mignotte Mekuria, and Blaize M Kaye.
The Firebird
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 23,740. Language: British English. Published: February 27, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
As a member of the Order of Fennarin, Lada is one of the warrior-monks who oppose the demons and insurgents that threaten her home. Yet her elders demand that she oversees the trial of one particular insurgent whose very existence reminds Lada of the day she betrayed her kin. Will she deny her blood and uphold the order that's become her family? Or will she listen to the whispers of demons?
Terra Incognita - New Speculative Fiction from Africa
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 80,360. Language: English. Published: March 5, 2015 by Short Story Day Africa. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author
Terra Incognita. Uncharted depths. Africa unknowable. New Speculative Fiction from Africa.
Lost Children
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 39,670. Language: English. Published: August 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
A class outing to a botanical garden goes horribly wrong; a vampire survives the zombiepocalypse in the Mother City; a woman confronts a child’s ghost in an empty house—these are but a few of Nerine Dorman’s stories that have drifted between the cracks and lodged themselves in dusty corners.
Blood and Fire
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 23,270. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
The two unlikely allies are thrown together in a house of mysteries, and have to battle overwhelming odds against an implacable enemy. The question is, can they overcome their differences long enough to make it out alive, or undead?
Dark Harvest
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 75,320. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Horror » General
Be it in our dreams or flights of fancy that take us into uncharted territory, our hopes and desires often birth twisted imaginings. This selection of tales, some devious or whimsical, others downright eerie and unsettling, offer glimpses into other, darker realities.
Khepera Redeemed (Books of Khepera #2)
Series: Books of Khepera, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 81,500. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Horror » Occult
All Jamie wants is to get his life back on track. After all, no self-respecting occultist needs entanglement with a pack of fanatical Christo-militants. Nor does he want blood on his hands – innocent or not. But the nightmare is far from over. Now a fresh brand of hell is stalking the shadows in dreams, and young women are dying in violent ritual killings.
Khepera Rising
Series: Books of Khepera, Book 1. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 98,270. Language: British English. Published: November 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Horror » Occult
Who does a black magician turn to when it seems like his carefully constructed world’s about to disintegrate? “The United Kingdom has Tanith Lee, the United States has Caitlin Kiernan, and South Africa has Nerine Dorman. An interesting Dark triangle. Don Webb International Horror Critic Award Nominee
Just My Blood Type
Price: Free! Words: 9,040. Language: English. Published: June 22, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
(4.44 from 9 reviews)
A romance author gets more than she bargains for when she responds to a mysterious text message to meet a stranger at a bar called Pale Rider. A teaser for Crooked Fang.