Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Camdeboo Nights Tour and Author Interview

I’m excited to host and interview Nerine Dorman as she tours with her exciting paranormal romance novel, Camdeboo Nights. Find out what inspired Nerine to write and what makes her tick! 

Title:  Camdeboo Nights
Author:  Nerine Dorman
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc.
Release Date:  January 30, 2013
Format:  eBook

Back Cover Blurb (excerpt below):

Helen Ashfield’s world is about to be turned upside down. Is she ready?

Helen Ashfield’s life is complicated. Not only must she adjust to her parents’ divorce, but she has to come to grips with her new school in the small South African Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet. She’s sorely mistaken if she thinks she’s going to slot seamlessly into her new life. Her growing magical powers have attracted the unwanted attention of Trystan, a vampire, who may not have her best interests at heart.

Outcast from his kind for drinking another vampire’s blood, Trystan has been on the run for almost a hundred years from Mantis–the closest thing their kind has to an enforcer. All Trystan wants is an existence of quiet anonymity, but Helen turns his world upside-down.

Helen’s powers also mark her as one of Mantis’ targets. If Mantis gets control of Helen, she’ll change the course of history…for the worse.

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Nerine Dorman Interview

What country or state do you live in? South Africa
What’s your day job (other than writing)? Newspaper sub-editor, writer, fiction editor, film production assistant, driver… I wear many hats.
What’s your secret passion? Well-written fanfiction imbibed with hot chocolate and a crackling fireplace.
Now that we got all the basics aside, let’s learn a bit more about Nerine and Camdeboo Nights!
Was there one book that inspired you to write? What book was it and who is the author? What made it stick with you?  I lay the blame squarely on JRR Tolkien’s doorstep. The first fantasy novel I ever read was The Lord of the Rings and I was never quite the same after that. I think what got me was the fact that the author created an entire world, complete with different races, culture and an epic history. I wanted to create stories like that. I wanted to be in charge like that, especially since I wasn’t fully in control of my own life back then.
JRR Tolkien also started me on the road to reading and writing fantasy after I read The Hobbit. He certainly inspired many authors. What inspired you to write Camdeboo NightsI wanted to write an adventure. It started with the idea of a vampire who is on the run because of some terrible crime, only he finds himself the inadvertent custodian of a very precious person. And I was also very much inspired by my love for the South African landscape, and wanted to write a road trip story to end all road trip stories.
What’s the first creative writing you did outside school or a class? From the age of about 11 I started keeping a journal, but at the age of 12 started to write my own fumbling attempts at fantasy stories. Looking back now I see I was writing thinly veiled Highlander fanfics, but it got me started. I think the only time I ever stopped writing was for about three or four years in my early twenties when I listened to a boyfriend’s advice when he told me my writing was too sentimental to ever sell. Well, it turns out he was very, very wrong. 
I loved the Highlander franchise! It inspired my love for Scottish historicals and I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland. If you didn’t live where you live now, where would you live? Why?  I’d like to be mobile and spend time in Ireland. I was on a media visit there in 2011 and fell in love with that beautiful country. Other than that, I have family in Australia, so I’d like to spend some time there. Apparently Melbourne is the place to be if you’re a creative. But by equal measure I’d like to do my Great American road trip and spend time hanging out in NYC. London is also on my map, and I’d like to visit the Netherlands and France, where my ancestors come from.
Ireland’s beautiful. It’s another placed I’d love to visit. Where else would you like to travel to research your next book? Why?  Ooh, I’ve been threatening to write a novel set in Egypt for donkeys’ years now. If I had the time and resources I’d definitely spend a good few weeks in Egypt poking about the temples and museums. I’ve got a great love for ancient Egypt, which is reflected in a lot of what I write.
What’s the best and worst part of being an author?  The best part is that moment when inspiration strikes and all the ideas hook up nicely. The other best part is when the words just flow without effort. The worst part is definitely finding the time to revise. I seem to have a built-in resistance when it comes to getting my butt on the chair to revise – but this part is as important, if not more so, than writing new words so I have to do it at some point.
What’s one thing in your book that you took from personal experience?  If I tell you, then I’m going to have to kill you… LOL, just kidding. I admit to borrowing A LOT from real life. People who know me well will be able to tell the truth from fiction. I make no secret that I do sneak stuff in that’s true, but I definitely adapt it and modify it. Life is often stranger than fiction, as they say. 
Real life is a great inspiration for an author. Just don’t tell where you got the idea from and you won’t have to kill anyone! LOL. What’s the one thing about you that would surprise people?  Seriously? I’m actually just a big softie. I’m not as hardcore/evil/wicked as people seem to assume from the way I dress and present myself to the world. It’s all just a big front. LOL!
I love your author picture! It made me wonder if that’s who you are on a daily basis! So what are your pet peeves (that might turn you into that scary, evil persona)?  People who don’t know their boundaries and try to manipulate others emotionally. Or people who constantly run themselves down to the point that you eventually don’t want to encourage them because you know they’re just going to look for excuses to focus on their negative aspects. My attitude is: life’s shit, let’s get on with it and do cool stuff and have fun. I don’t have time for people who’re on a permanent negative buzz. I’ve had far too many low points in my life. I want to be happy.
I agree about the negativity. You can’t let it get you down. Life is full of low points and high points and it makes you real (and not the scary, evil persona LOL). Let’s shake things up and talk about writing. Are you a pantser or plotter?  A bit of both, really. I do like having a basic skeleton but then I tend to move the bones around and add bits here and there in subsequent revisions.
If your book were made into a TV show or movie, who would you want to play the main character(s)?  That’s a hard one. I just don’t *see* their faces in terms of celebrities when I write. I think the only characters that really were over-the-top inspired by real people Ash from my novel Inkarna, and a character in a fantasy novel that I keep seeing a young version of Julian Rhind-Tutt. I guess what I’m saying is that I give enough description so readers can make up their own minds who they’d like to cast.
Did you publish the first book you wrote? If not, how many books did you write before publishing your first?  I’m embarrassed to say yes. But I burnt the second one I ever wrote. And I wrote many, many notebooks full of drivel for many years before I wrote my first novel. I don’t even know how many million words which I eventually burnt. None of these stories were finished; I’d get past the first three or four chapters, only to stall. 
What was your favorite book as a kid? What’s your favorite book now?  As a kid it was The Lord of the Rings. I bought the centenary edition with prize money I won for achieving academically at school when I was 12, and I still have it. It really fits the bill as a “hefty tome” and I still have it on my shelf. Love the illustrations by Alan Lee.  
What’s the best piece of advice given to you?  Don’t be precious about your words. 
What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer?  Read a lot, and outside your genre, and don’t be precious about your words.  
Give us a hint about your current writing project.  I have a fantasy novel I’m busy editing that I’ll be self-publishing later this year. It features a talking griffin as the protagonist and I have my sincere doubts that any publisher at this point would love chatty griffins, so I’m publishing this one for myself because I love it. Then there’s a middle grade fantasy novel I’ve got to revise that will go on the submission mill for agents and publishers. I seem to be writing and selling short stories to anthologies left right and centre, but I’d dearly love to finish writing the third book in my The Books of Khepera series.


Armed with her grandmother’s shopping list, Helen ran out to the familiar silver Volvo, looking forward to speaking with Arwen, only to discover Szandor and another woman with a teased-out mop of white-blond hair waited in the car.

The woman turned icy gray eyes on Helen, giving her the impression that she could read each of Helen’s secrets.
She was pale, which wasn’t helped by the funerary aspect of her clothing–a buttoned-up sleeveless shirt with a cameo at her throat. When she moved, an audible swish of many layers of satin and chiffon filled the vehicle.

This must be the aunt. She couldn’t be the mother. The resemblance to Szandor was almost uncanny.

Szandor smiled, but the pleasure did not reach his eyes. “This is Sonja, my sister. Sonja, this is Arwen’s new friend, Helen.” Sonja gave the briefest of frowns before facing the window.

“Uh, hi,” Helen said, wishing that she could be anywhere else but in this car with these peculiar people. The journey to Graaff-Reinet would be just over half an hour but it would feel like an eternity.

Szandor made a sound that was almost a snigger before turning the key. If only Damon were here, but her brother had gone to visit the Prof the instant his chores were done.

They drove in silence, with only the hiss of the air-conditioner as accompaniment, until they left the valley. Then Szandor said, “Did you enjoy the films last night, Helen?”

She thought her heart would explode. Should she lie? Should she allow the story to filter through without some of the pertinent details?

“I… Uh. Yes.” She had watched films after Trystan had walked them home. Granted, she hadn’t been able to concentrate on any of the onscreen action.
“Oh,” Szandor said.

She caught a glimpse of his amused expression in the rearview mirror.

Bloody hell, of course he didn’t believe her. What did she expect?

“You haven’t seen or heard anything that you would consider out of the ordinary, have you?” Szandor asked.
“Um, no.”

“You’ll tell us if you do, won’t you?” Szandor asked. It was more a command than a question.

“I guess so.” Helen clutched the seat with white-knuckled hands.

Her grandmother’s amused tones echoed in her memory. The whole lot of them, they’re all witches. The father, too.
How far would Szandor push his craft? What could he do? Was she in any danger? If there was the superstitious fear of witchcraft that was prevalent among the indigenous Africans…

She’d read a little about the subject a few years previously while researching for a painting for her art classes. Witchcraft was a fascinating topic but she had never expected to ever deal with the real thing. Now her present situation seemed very real and very menacing.

“Where’s Arwen?” Helen hoped to steer their conversation to safer territory. She may as well have said “Nice weather, we’re having.”

“Arwen has been grounded,” Szandor said, his pale gaze reading the road ahead.

Oh heck. He knew.

“Oh.” Perhaps it would be better to say nothing at all then she wouldn’t dig herself a deeper hole.
The rest of the ride passed in uncomfortable silence. Helen pressed her face against the glass and hoped nothing more would be said.

She hated deception of any kind. Whenever she lied, she always ended up being caught out. Instead, she watched the passing landscape, where gray-blue spiked agave lined the road in clumps. Every so often jeep tracks led from the road they followed and she wondered where they went.

About Nerine Dorman

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.

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