I was fortunate enough to be able to score an interview with South African Author and Editor Nerine Dorman.
She is a favourite tweep and I invite you to take a few minutes to check out the interview and to check out her novel Inkarna.
Nerine Dorman, Author and Editor
Who are you, and why do you write?
N: I wear a few hats, but they’re all interrelated. By day I’m a newspaper sub-editor and writer. My editorial, when it appears in print, generally consists of opinion pieces, book reviews and interviews with creatives.
After hours I write and edit fiction, and find time to play classical guitar.
S: How did you start work with a newspaper? Did you study journalism or some other writing related discipline?
N: I started working for the newspaper quite by accident. I’d been in advertising for a while and wanted to make the jump back to publishing (had initially been in magazine publishing). I hated advertising and, with my graphic design and marketing experience seemed to have the qualifications they were looking for. That was seven years ago…
S: How did you become the storyteller that you are? Was there ever any pivotal moment or experience that made you think “Wow.. that was awesome, I think i want to write something!”?
N: My mom encouraged me to read from an early age, and bought me entire sets of the Storyteller tapes when I was little, which I obsessed over. Also, I loved visiting the local library, and because the kids at school used to bully me, I’d hide in the library. By the time I reached high school and the bullying stopped, I generally preferred books to people!
S: Or was there some other major influence that attracted you towards picking up the “pen”? What musical influences do you have? Also, has music ever influenced your fiction writing, or vice versa?
N: As for music, I studied two music subjects for matric and had my parents had the money, I would have studied it at university level. Instead they felt I should study something sensible… So off I went to college to study graphic design…
But I love music. I’ve played bass in a variety of grunge, goth and black metal bands. I recently started playing my classical guitar again with the view to gig somewhere along the road.
Music infuses my writing, and many of my characters have some sort of musical connection.
S: South Africa is such a diverse place with a very rocky history. What’s it like living in there? Have you lived there your whole life and has it influenced your writing?
N: South Africa’s rather hectic history definitely has had an impact on me. I was still at school when Mandela was freed and clearly remember the fear and uncertainty during the 1980s and 1990s.As a contemporary South African I realise that I live in a hyper state most of the time. Although violence and crime are very real threats, we also learn to not let these things overshadow our lives.We live in a beautiful, culturally diverse country, and we do our best to all get along and make things work. Granted, there will always be arse-hats who make it difficult for the rest of us but when I look back to where we came from, I appreciate the continued sense that SA is a work in progress. We are always looking for new ways to fix the past and make things work.I’m a born-and-bred South African. Although my ancestors were originally of Dutch and French extraction, I self-identify as African.
S: You have a novel Inkarna which explores concepts such as reincarnation and features a heavy egyptian influence, was there a particular inspiration for this novel? What were the greatest challenges for you in writing and publishing this book?
N: As for Inkarna, the story begins with death. Two people very dear to me passed away. One was a complete stranger, the other was a great friend and mentor.I also wanted to bring in my love of ancient Egyptian cosmology… And bring readers something a little different from the standard urban fantasy tropes, while also paying tribute to these two men.My biggest challenge to writing is finding time. I have my freelance editing and music to consider too.
S: You’re currently working on a new novel called the Black Feather Chronicles. What can you reveal to us about it?
N: I’m writing The Blackfeather Chronicles purely for my own entertainment. It’s the story *I* want to read. So, it features a talking griffin, our narrator, who is telling a tragic love story with far-reaching consequences. It’s part romance and part action, with a lot of magic.
It should appeal to Mercedes Lackey and KJ Taylor fans, as it is a fantasy story in which the main character is a rather chatty griffin. For now I’ll be posting excerpts of The Blackfeather Chronicles on my blog each Friday until I’m done with the first draft (http://www.nerinedorman.blogspot.com) or stalk me on Twitter @nerinedorman for updates.
S: Are there any other projects you’re working on at the moment that you’d like to share with us?
N: I’m currently taking submissions for the next SA HorrorFest Bloody Parchment short story competition. Details are on our blog (http://www.bloodyparchment.blogspot.com) as well as interviews with contributors and links to past and present issues. This year we worked with eKhaya, the digital imprint of Random House Struik, to bring out the first paying version of the anthology. It is open to writers internationally.I’m currently working on another projecs, book two that follows after Inkarna. It’s called Thanatos.Q: do you have any advice for aspiring writers or editors ?N: As for aspiring writers… Find ways to hone your craft. Join a writers’ group and read widely. Read outside your chosen genres and don’t be precious over your words if you need to make hard decisions. And write the kind of novel *you* want to read, not what you think *might* sell.
As for editors… I still don’t know what possessed me to start editing, but for those who’re interested in it, you must have a passion for perfection, and also be prepared to deal with some of the most magical and stubborn people on the face of the planet–authors. You must love words.
Well there you have it folks! My spotlight for the week on an amazing writer and editor.
Hope you enjoyed.