Friday, August 10, 2012

Guest Post: Nerine Dorman

In a World of My Own

A lot of people ask me where I get my inspiration. In fact that is one of the most commonly asked questions directed toward authors. Most often, my response is dreams, but also life. I often feel that an author is an aware dreamer, even when not in bed.

Perhaps the earliest indication that all “was not quite well” with me was when I was three. My mom tells me I often sat motionless on my tricycle or in trees for hours, just staring off into space. What I remember of those times is vivid fantasy tales I’d concoct for myself, in which I sailed pirate or space ships, and explored imaginary realms. The commonplace became magical, and as I grew up, I don’t think I ever lost that childlike sense of wonder.

Recently, after yet another spate of rejections from literary agents on a particular submission, which came not long after a bad review for one of my novels, I had to remind myself *why* exactly it is that I write. Is it because I want to be the next Stephanie Meyer? (A resounding HELL NO from me on that count). Is it because I would like to make lots of money? (Well, money’s nice, but then I’d have to suck it up and write sex books.)

Point is, what’s popular and makes money in publishing, tends to be the kind of fiction that appeals to the broadest cross-section of readers. And, frankly, when a reviewer gives me three stars because she “doesn’t understand all the big words” then do I really want those kinds of people reading my books? HELL NO. And I have no desire to dumb myself down to write the next Fifty Shades of Puke.

To make myself feel better, I went to look at some of the one-star reviews my favourite authors have received. Yes, Storm Constantine, Poppy Z Brite and Neil Gaiman. Yes. They all get their one-star reviews. While I think a particular book is absolutely BRILLIANT another person will vociferously disagree. Remember always that the reader is the final arbiter.

Also realise, that if you like a particular brand of fiction, chances are good there will be others like you. Take my friend TC Southwell, who a few years ago despaired of ever publishing her many novels that she’d written mostly to entertain herself. Now she’s quietly gone on to become one of the many Smashwords publishing phenomena. Has she spent lots of time on promo on Facebook and Twitter? No. She’s concentrated on writing novels, editing them and putting them out. She’s writing full time now. I should take a leaf out of her book.

Since I started publishing four years ago, I’ve come full circle. For a while I *tried* to write material that would be more commercially successful. I failed. The words still came out dark and gritty. Why do I write? I’m a storyteller. That’s the primary reason. Modern media gives me far more opportunities to share my writing than I would have in the past.

It’s also not a case of “write it, and they will come”. I write because I have to, because I can’t afford the psychiatrist bills, because I’ve had a dream, or perhaps I had a sudden flash of inspiration while walking down the street or browsing books in the library.

Stories hit me and I have to write them. It’s a form of creative play that adds quality to my life and makes me happier than I would be had I watched a movie or played a computer game. And if you buy my book, you’ll step into my world for a little while and see what makes me tick. You’ll explore magical realms and meet unforgettable characters who have the adventures of a lifetime.

Curious much?

Well, my latest release, Inkarna, has been receiving very positive reviews. Here’s what a few readers on Goodreads have said...

Synde: “The world building in this book is fantastic. A new and original idea, Dorman mixes occult principles with a heart wrenching story. This is a must read people!”

Amy Burgess: “What if you belonged to a secret cult that knew how to transfer the soul from one body to another? This is the fascinating premise upon which Nerine Dorman’s Inkarna is based. Who hasn’t wondered what happens after death and if it’s possible to come back?”

Serenity J Banks: “’Tomorrow will be the first time I die.’ From the first line, this upcoming release from South African author Nerine Dorman rings like a dinner bell, promising exotic flavors of intrigue and mystique. And such is our introduction to old Mrs. Lizzie Perry, our narrator, and Leonora, her young companion: our first glimpses into the lineage of House Adamastor and the Inkarna, the People Who Return.”

Sonya Clark: “The world building of Inkarna is phenomenal, some of the most unique I've encountered in any urban fantasy. The slightly different take on reincarnation makes for a great set-up as the character who is introduced to us as a prim elderly woman returns to the mortal plane as a young goth male with a penchant for nasty trouble.”

So, step into my world a bit, forget your cares, and be prepared to embark on a supernatural thriller that will keep those pages turning.

Follow me on Twitter @nerinedorman
Check out my website at:


nerinedorman said...

Thanks for having me over, Pam!

Margaret Fieland said...

Great interview, and the book sounds intriguing. I completely understand about having to write your stories. For me, writing something (a poem, a story) down is the only way to get it out of my head.

Taryn Raye said...

For me, writing is also a must, not an option. Great interview! Inkarna definitely sounds intriguing!

Sonya said...

Every time I think about writing for money, which is a lot now with a new baby, I always come back to writing from the heart. It's good to read a post like this and remember that while publishing may be a business, writing is still an art. Thank you, Nerine.

And y'all need to read Inkarna, it's fantastic!

PamelaTurner said...

Thanks, Nerine, for stopping by. I've got my copy of Inkarna. Bought it at Fandom Fest. (The publisher's table was next to mine.) :-)

jj Keller said...

This blog struck me in so many ways. Nerine, you've brought so many valid points about the insecurities of writing into the light--I thank you. I'm a storyteller also and recently received a less than stellar review, so I can relate to your comments. The SINGLE review doesn't dishearten me, I must write and I will continue.

Unknown said...

Great post! Really well put, Nerine :) Loved this thought: "I write because I have to, because I can’t afford the psychiatrist bills, because I’ve had a dream, or perhaps I had a sudden flash of inspiration while walking down the street or browsing books in the library."

danita cahill said...

Thanks for this post. I'm getting ready to publish my first novel. It's paranormal and different than what the masses might prefer, so your post really hit home.