Saturday, April 30, 2011

A sneak peek

And here we have some silliness in the aftermath of a shoot I planned with the BlackMilk crew and the rather fabulous Lohan and Anika, all of whom really came to the party. Please note: THIS IMAGE IS NOT the image we're going to use. Why all the hassle? I'm wrapping edits on What Sweet Music They Make which is essentially the second title in a series of vampire novellas set in Cape Town, South Africa. And no, I haven't sold the story yet, but I've shot what I hope will be the cover. Even if the image is not used as cover art, it will be printed as a limited edition print at my release date.

The hardest part: not being able to release the final result until we know whether the picture is acceptable to the publisher.

So, without further ado, credit where credit's due:
Photography, lighting and styling: Leon Visser
Technical support: Thomas Dorman
Models and make-up: Anika Molnar; Lohan Koegelenberg
Additional make-up and styling: Nerine Dorman

Thank you guys for a fantastic day and for putting in all the hard work.

Go check out the BlackMilk website here:

Friday, April 29, 2011

Yeah, well, I know it’s been quiet…

I decided to give myself a hiatus from blogging this past week. This is mainly because it was a long weekend and I’d flown up to KwaZulu Natal to visit some friends, but also just because this is the one hellish week in the South African year where public holidays really mess up the programme, so to speak. Newspaper print deadlines happen no matter what the public do on their off days.

I usually write my blog posts while at the office, during down time between deadlines and considering that we only had three work days this week… I’m sure you get the picture.

At present everything’s a case of “hurry up and wait”. After hours I’m knee-deep in edits on assorted manuscripts for Lyrical Press, which means I’m not getting nearly enough time for my own writing. That being said, I’m making progress on What Sweet Music They Make, and am almost done with a batch of beta critique from one of my writing partners. With this completed, I’ll be going in guns blazing to purge gremlins and add layering, before I submit to my harshest betas.

It’s still going to be a while before I am ready for the submission process. This weekend, however, I’m doing something exciting. I’m collaborating with the BlackMilk Productions team to throw together some artwork for the novella. Whether this will eventually be used as cover art is debatable. After all, publishers know best what works for their brand, but since I’ve had enough media experience, I reckon I’m going to give it a shot. I mean FFS, I majored in illustration and photography, and have been employed in the media industry for the past decade. I should know what I’m doing by now.

At best, I’ll have the cover art I want. At worst, I’ve got a limited-edition print I’ll be releasing when the novel is unleashed upon the world.

Things are happening with Inkarna. I’m not in a position to say what exactly but ja… I’ll remain cautiously optimistic. Let’s just say I’ll have a better idea what’s plotting by mid-May. So it’s a case of hurry up and wait. **sigh**

And if you want to be involved in the publishing industry, you do a helluva lot of waiting. Trust me. Because the wheels…they turn very slowly.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Link round-up, Friday, April 22

I'll be away from cyberspace this weekend thanks to friends who're kidnapping me clean to another province, but I'll be writing on kick-arse travel story out of that, I expect, so I'll let folks know when that appears in the media. I haven't been to KwaZulu Natal since the days when it was still Natal and our dear friend Madiba was only just being let out of prison. Yes. I'm THAT old.

Anyhoo, this week's round-up of links is as follows:

I've recently finished reading one of my favourite authors. Sheryl Nantus's steampunk offering, Wild Cards and Iron Horses, is a lovely Wild West romp. Sheryl stops by Toad's Corner to give a little inside info.

Author Richard Godwin stopped by my main blog on Monday, to share a little bit about his novel, Apostle Rising. This man has done a bucket load of research and shares some fascinating insights into his creative process. Do stop by and take a look if crime novels are your thing.

I chatted about how authors pay it forward, and why this is so important. Every once in a while I get a bee in my bonnet about this topic.

And then, just because I love them so much, I chat about some of my favourite literary bloodsuckers, as well as new ones who've stolen my affections.

Lastly, I chat about how to put together book reviews, because no one ever told me how to do it so I thought I'd share the love.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vampires suck…in all the right places

Despite annoyingly fertile sparkly vampires, I still love these creatures of the night. While Meyer’s creations are a bit tame for my liking—I prefer my critters with fangs and a knack for wolfing down tender young things—there are some fictional greats that stick with me.

The first vampire novel I read, ironically, wasn’t Interview with the Vampire or Dracula, for that matter. I was fourteen and a mate at school totally spazzed over Poppy Z Brite’s Lost Souls, which she lent to me. Please bear in mind that up until that point, I had subsisted on a steady diet of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern. The world of Nothing was an, erm…considerable departure from the norm.

But something struck a chord. Less than a year later I stopped listening to Queen in favour of Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral, started wearing black…and convinced my mother to buy me my first pair of Doc Martens.

So, here’s my favourite fictional vampires in a rough sort of chronological order, who push my buttons.

Baby Jenks appears briefly as a very messed-up young vampire in Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned. Out of all the characters in Rice’s stories, she’s the one I felt for the most. No. I’ll be the first to admit it. I don’t dig Claudia. She’s tragic, but not as tragic as Baby Jenks. Sure, she never asked for any of the bad shit to happen, but it did. And Baby Jenks had no mercy shown to her. I always felt that here was the beginnings of a decent character who could have grown into someone worthwhile reading about. Yet Anne Rice has never been in touch with youth culture in her novels, as much as her prose is pretty. Louis whines too much and Lestat has an ego the size of a small planet.

I reread Poppy Z Brite’s Lost Souls every five or so years. I love the way she describes settings. The prose is lyrical and visceral, though the plots sometimes don’t deliver to their full potential. But I spaz out over her writing. No really. If I could write only a tenth of the beautiful words Brite puts out, I’ll die happy. Out of all the vampires in Lost Souls, I have a soft spot for Christian, the tall, gloomy New Orleans barman. He’s a killer, yes, but he shows a softer side when he looks after Nothing’s mother during her pregnancy. I love characters who show this kind of dichotomy in their natures, the merciless tempered with consideration. Christian is the epitome of goth, sad as that may be, but I love him for it. He too longs for a beautiful death.

I must be the only urban fantasy author who has never watched a full season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or True Blood. I haven’t even been able to gel with Charlaine Harris’ writing. I tried. It didn’t happen. She’s not a bad author. She’s just not for me. Twilight, I must admit, I gobbled up all four books in a week. They’re like candy floss for the brains, leaving great big holes in the grey matter. Don’t even get me started on Laurell K Hamilton or Christine Feehan. Show me one of those and the book has the same effect on me as garlic and crosses on traditional vampires. I’ve watched Blood Ties, a series based on the Tanya Huff books, and felt mild palpitations whenever Kyle Schmid stepped onscreen as the rather nommy Henry Fitzroy.

So that’s me and contemporary vampires. But I’d like to mention, at least, two fresh literary vampires who are blowing my hair back, by two authors you need to look out for.

When Sonya Clark submitted Mojo Queen to me, I fell so deeply and irrevocably in love with Roxanne Mathis and her vampire sidekick, Daniel Rambin, I wanted to recommend the novel for contract before I’d even finished reading the first chapter. Daniel is a real Southern gentleman who lives in one of those old antebellum mansions I have wet dreams about. He loves music, especially country, and sings really badly—which embarrasses Roxie no end. Most of the time he defers to Roxie, and it is very clear that he cares deeply for his distant relative, but we are left in no doubt that he is dangerous. It is like being friends with a very large and often hungry lion. Little quirks Daniel displays, like being a total thwarted foodie and blogger, round him off. He’s a delight: both civil yet feral. I love Daniel’s contrasting issues and the way he becomes overprotective over the willful Roxie.

What’s not to love about Xan Marcelles? He’s 6’5”, is part Native American, has long black hair down to his arse and plays bass in a band called Crooked Fang. I’ve been following some of his blog episodes for a while now, and just love the way trouble seems to find this often deadpan vampire who, as far as I can tell, just wants to play music, drink whisky and enjoy a bit of female company. The brainchild of Carrie Clevenger, Xan’s story will be officially published later this year with the added bonus of a soundtrack, which is a value-added offering of note. Part of what makes me get all wobbly-kneed over Xan is his attitude. I get the idea he just wants to get on with his existence without any wangst. Then there's the grit. Oh. My. Xan’s world is brutal and often bloody. If you like badass vampires with serious fangs and a penchant for muscle cars, look no further.

In case you were wondering, yes, I’m also writing vampires when I’m not dabbling in black magic or erotica in my fiction. But more on that later. You can get a small taste here:

Follow me on Twitter: @nerinedorman or go like my Facebook author page. C’mon. You know you want to…

Monday, April 18, 2011

Background to 'Apostle Rising' -- Richard Godwin

Today I welcome Richard Godwin to my world, author of Apostle Rising, who's graciously dropped by for a chat. Welcome, Richard.

* * * *
The idea for Apostle Rising came to me from a combination of considering the fallibility of forensic psychology and the idea of a case that has such an impact on a police officer’s life that it alters him.

My novel is about the re-enactment of some killings twenty eight years after DCI Frank Castle failed to solve the case known as The Woodland Killings. The failure to catch the serial killer almost broke him and the press savaged him.

Now twenty eight years later he is faced with a copycat killer who is crucifying politicians and leaving coded messages at the crime scene.

I was interested to explore how effective forensic psychology is at getting inside the head of an extreme psychopath and also to explore what exposure to horrific crimes does to a seasoned detective.

One of the key characters in Apostle Rising is Tom Spinner, an offender profiler brought in to help solve the case. He is brilliant and makes good headway but finds it hard to get a reading on the killer who keeps changing direction.

It is as if the killer has inside information.

One of the things I explore and dramatise in the novel is the effect that coming into contact with extreme evil has on police detectives.

The psychopathic killer crosses over into their lives.

Castle’s partner DI Jacki Stone is harrowed by what she sees at the crime scenes and her marriage suffers as a result.

The killer is playing games with the police.

The man Castle thought was responsible for the Woodland Killings, Karl Black, is now running a Christian cult and also begins to play with the police.

Meanwhile the mutilated bodies of prostitutes start to turn up in Richmond Park and Castle and Stone realise they are looking for two killers.

The action takes place in London and in a swathe of green belt land on the outskirts.

Although it is set in the UK Apostle Rising is easily accessible to any audience. Everything a crime reader expects from a crime novel is here. It is cop procedural and structured in a readable way with short sections that allow the reader to dip in and out of it.

I researched forensics and crime scene investigations for Apostle Rising. I also researched offender profiling, and there are sections of psychological analysis in the novel which are highly popular. I researched history, since there are references to Tudor history in the novel. I also researched medieval cults.

I wrote Apostle Rising for anyone who likes a good crime novel and a good guessing game. My style has been called Gothic by reviewers and I also write horror, so Apostle Rising is a crime novel that crosses over into horror in parts.

Stephen King is a major influence and a recent review has compared my novel to his writing.
Another influence is James Lee Burke.

I think the style in which I wrote Apostle Rising is one of its key strengths as is the characterisation.

Castle and Stone are unforgettable characters who will stay in your mind afterwards.

There is also a unique twist which I will guarantee you will not see coming.

Apostle Rising has already received some good reviews as well as coverage on CNN

You can hear the interview I did for The Authors Show here

and find a full list of all reviews so far on my Media Page.

Bookgasm magazine says
it does an amazing job of sucking in the reader right away and never letting up. For a debut crime novel, it makes a great introduction to Godwin’s style and talent for prose. Be on the lookout for hopefully many more.

Bookgeeks Magazine says:
Apostle Rising is a fine contribution to the genre. Rare for a crime novel, it has a lyrical, almost poetic style, beautifully written and well constructed. On the strength of this offering, Godwin is a welcome addition to the world of the full-length novel.’

Apostle Rising is receiving extremely positive feedback.

I hope anyone who buys it enjoys it.

* * * *

Richard Godwin is a crime and horror writer as well as a produced playwright. He was born in London and obtained a BA and MA in English and American Literature from King’s College London. He has travelled extensively and lectured, and worked in property. Many of his stories have appeared in magazines. His works in print include ‘Chemical’, published in the Anthology Back in 5 Minutes (Little Episodes Publishing 2010), ‘Doll’, published in Howl: Tales of the Feral And Infernal (Lame Goat Press 2010), 'Face off' in CrimeFactory Issue #5 (CreateSpace 2010), 'Pike N Flytrap' in Needle Magazine (Lulu 2010) and 'Mother' in Tainted Tea (Lulu 2011). His Chin Wags At the Slaughterhouse are interviews he has conducted with writers and can be found at his blog on his website where you can also find a full list of his works and a video ad for his new book. He divides his time between London and the US.

You can read more about Apostle Rising and see his full list of publications at his website here

Friday, April 15, 2011

Link round-up, Friday, April 15

Toad's Corner featured the fantastic Sonya Clark on Sunday, with links to her free short story, Mimosas at Dusk, which supplements her urban fantasy novel, Mojo Queen.

On Sunday, my interview with gothabilly delight, Jimmy Catamite, appeared in the Sunday Independent's Life supplement. Read the link to the article here, as well as the full interview.

And with this post, I share a little insight into my current approach to publishing, considering all the fascinating shifts occurring in the industry.

In which I share some of the latest BlackMilk Productions links and awesome short snippets: a taste of a peculiar brand of South African indie film making.

And lastly, I share my viewpoints about the first anniversary of the late great Peter Steele's death and why he matters to me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Got BlackMilk?

While I've been busy with my own deadlines, I've watched with some amusement some of the latest offerings the BlackMilk team is putting together. While they prepare for their next big film, Sunrise Hotel, they're keeping out of mischief with some short films for their fans' enjoyment.

The first is a short film they created after a night of messing around on musical instruments here at the Treehaus. The soundtrack, if you can call it that, is the result of the guys scaring our neighbours half to death.

The second link leads to a short ad they did. I can't handle watching this one. Really. Scares the living bejezus out of me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

In the Land of the Blind… Outtakes.

I’d like to once again thank Jimmy Catamite for chatting with me about his music. We had a lot more answers, outtakes if you will, that unfortunately didn’t make it to the final editorial which is here:

So, in the spirit of sharing, here’s the full interview.

Give us a little background about yourself, your musical influences and what led to the start of In the Land of the Blind.

I was raised in a small town in Middle-England, and I moved to London when I was 17 to escape it. It felt very oppressive and hopeless to me in terms of the low expectations people had of themselves, and from life in general. Being a skinny kid in makeup you were constantly faced with violence and there was a huge amount of social issues like substance abuse and teenage pregnancy. I carried a real sense that a lot of the kids I knew were having children themselves as a perverse attempt to try and avoid having to take responsibility for trying to achieve something with their own life, but engineering a situation where they would have an excuse not to try. People's tendency to try and avoid responsibility stuck with me, and features heavily in my writing.

I’ve always been a voracious consumer of music, needing to absorb as much as I could. I worked my way backwards through the history of modern music to classic folk, country and blues. I totally fell in love with the storytelling songs of artists like Hank Williams Sr, Johnny Cash, and Bill Monroe. These were artists who were living the ‘sex, drugs and rock n’ roll’ mythology before rock n roll even existed (well, apart from Bill Monroe).

What really inspired me about these artists in terms of starting In the Land of the Blind… is that they and their contemporaries essentially popularised the template that pretty much every subsequent style of western popular music since has used. This gives you a huge referential palette to work from, as your simple three-chord song structures can take on whatever other stylistic characteristics you may choose.

Define gothabilly. Who are some of the other artists in this genre?

Gothabilly is a genre based around the fusion principles detailed above. Gothic music in general was born as an offshoot of the punk genre, and bands like The Cramps had a sound and a style that was part rockabilly, part punk and infused with horror movie and B-movie imagery. We blend it with our storytelling-country influences and a dose of cabaret, so I tend to class ourselves as gothic-Americana, as that to me encompasses all of the rockabilly, country, blues and folk music influences we draw from. Johnny Cash was the original goth to me; dressing all in black and singing songs about going to hell while pumping himself full of amphetamines and alcohol is a tradition that the goth and punk scenes treated with a lot of reverence.

There’s some great bands out there, Deadbolt out in California the best pure gothabilly band out there. Over in London we’ve got Devilish Presley and Rasp Thorne and the Briars, both of whom we’re sorting shows with. We’re lucky in here that there’s plenty of events from little deathrock clubs like Dead and Buried to massive events like Torture Garden that support the dark cabaret bands, and that their crowds that want to see that kind of show.

Your lyrics focus on the dark and macabre. Are there any literary influences who've set you on this path.

The lyrics are incredibly important to me as it was the storytelling aspect of the songs that inspired me to start writing the songs. There are several authors in particular that are particularly influential to my development in that sense. I love Hubert Selby Junior. Last Exit to Brooklyn in particular holds a special place in my heart. The characters that inhabit his work have these dark, complex, but often naive internal worlds. He writes about their regularly deplorable actions in a very non-judgemental way, which for me invokes a genuine type of emotional reaction that I can't get to if I feel the author is trying to coerce me into a particular feeling. Lots of the themes and subtexts that feature heavily in my songs, such as the inability to tolerate feelings of masculine inadequacy subsequently manifesting in domestic violence, feelings of powerlessness, self pity, and inability to accept responsibly for ones own actions also feature heavily in his work. It’s not nihilistic, it’s like a bleak cautionary tale.

A Rebours by Joris Karl Huysman is the original piece of antihero literature for me. It revolves entirely around a sickly, pretentious, and quite unlikeable man consumed as much by his revulsion for society as he is by his narrow breadth of decadent passions. Though as a self-described aesthete he is able to intellectualise his superiority via internal debates, and sneer venomously at the society he sees as beneath him, he is completely unable to connect with other people on a meaningful level. The defences he creates to explain his self-imposed emotional isolation were something that stuck with me.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë was a huge influence on how I perceived writing. It's set in a desolate community on the moors in the north of England. It makes more effective use of the bleakness of the terrain, and the potentially fatal harshness of the weather conditions than any western I have ever seen. The complexity and twisted grudges that characters bear surpass the darkness in any classic gothic novel. It made me realise that the emotions you are trying to communicate or elicit are what make the audience connect to the story, not the setting or the stylistic rules/conventions of the genre. This might sound obvious to a writer, but it’s a trap that so many songwriters fall into time and time again.

Which three musical influences would you say have had the most impact on your artistic development?

When I was 10 my best friend’s older brother gave the two of us a tape of Nirvana – Nevermind... At the time we had been listening to early 1990s techno and rave music, and it totally blew our minds. That rawness and honesty irreversibly changed our outlook on music forever, and we immediately started learning instruments, forming bands and devouring as much music as we could get our hands on.

I later got into David Bowie, T-Rex and 1970s glam rock in general. This was the start of my interest androgynous gender identity, wearing make-up and the whole somewhat camp, pouting, rock n roll spectacle.

Also I would have to list Appetite for Destruction by Guns n Roses. It just oozes sleaze from every pore. In taking the blues-based guitar rock of Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones and crossing it with this sleazy punk energy, they disregarded the conventions of the genres they loved playing and created this filthy beast of an album. I still get the same thrill when I listen to today as I did when I was 13.

In the Land of the Blind... have an EP titled Early Days, Late Nights that can be streamed and downloaded for free at

They are currently putting the finishing touches on their debut studio release, Bimbo Chic, which will be available via their website and iTunes in May 2011. They are playing some choice club shows in London, UK over the summer, with some festival bookings also to be confirmed. They are also planning to tour the UK and Europe in Late 2011 and are looking further afield for 2012.

Keep up with the new, gigs and Jimmy's bitter ramblings at:

Contact for press, bookings or any other information at

Friday, April 8, 2011

Link round-up, Friday, April 8

I interviewed Lee Mather for this week's Toad's Corner. I'm totally looking forward to his next horror offerings. In the meanwhile, do check out our discussion.

Next up I offer some thoughts on marketing.

Then I chat about my current thoughts on traditional publishing vs. self-publishing:

In which Paul Blom (from Terminatryx) and I chat about their upcoming remix album.

Then I vent spleen about goals and being better about the word-craft...

And lastly, I share a little about what makes authors special. ;-)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Terminatryx give-away

I have, in my grubby mitts, a signed copy of Terminatryx's album. And I'm going to post it to one lucky reader anywhere in the world. All you have to do is read the Q&A below then mail me at and tell me what the name of Terminatryx's new killer music video is. Please remember to put "Terminatryx giveaway" in the subject line and to include your name and postal address in the body copy.

Today I welcome Paul Blom from Terminatryx here at my blog. Tell us a bit more about the remix album, when it will be ready and where people will be able to find it?

In between our Terminatryx self-titled album release (mid-2008) and the "Terminatryx / Nosferatu" DVD release (early-2009), we decided to see if we can get every single one of the album tracks remixed for new creations and experiences to come from them.

Instead of doing them ourselves or only get local artists to tackle the songs, we looked further afield and got some great participants, including Industriezone (Austria), the legendary Martin Degville of Sigue Sigue Sputnik (with Lloyd Price) (UK), Sheep On Drugs (also UK), Modern-e-Quartet (Greece), The Awakening (USA / RSA), and brilliant local names like Battery 9, Mr Sakitumi (Sean Ou Tim), Axxon, iRONic, Nul, and Jekyll & Hyde.
It is rare that bands release a complete, full remix album in sequence, as opposed to just a few of their hits (especially in SA) - but then, we do like to break the norm. The new versions open up a whole new dimension with these songs (that we've gotten used to with rehearsing, recording and performing live over the years), that it's a whole new experience, from dance versions, epic new takes, interesting avant-garde string-driven renditions and more.

The album will also include our cover version of the classic 1984 Animotion track Obsession (recorded with Theo Crous), plus a few extra bonus cuts.

We're aiming for a late-May / early-June release thru ENT Entertainment (in association with Flamedrop Productions).

The album will be available for global orders at and various stores around SA.

Have you got any live appearances soon people should diarise?

We're going to spend more time this year on music videos. We're currently planning two special events (dates pending).

We are also set to perform with Sacred Legacy touring SA (July 1)

All shows will be listed at

You've been venturing into film-making. Tell us more about Virus and what other film projects you have lined up.

I have been at it since the early 1990s (not counting the school years' Super-8 film projects in the 1980s). Our first serious short film was the dark experimental imPERFECTION in 2004 (features as a bonus extra on the "Terminatryx / Nosferatu" DVD release). With our movie and music interests naturally blending, we always end up either featuring Terminatryx in the soundtrack or creating full-on music videos.

Our most recent Terminatryx Virus music video was born as a result of our most recent short film Marked, a werewolf transformation tale. With all the great talents at our disposal (including special make-up FX by Clinton Smith from Cosmesis), we grabbed the chance to use the story as a narrative basis for a music video, and cross-pollinating the two.

So, we included an extra shooting day for band performance footage (and added a little twist as a punch-line to tie the narrative and story together). The video has been grabbing amazing attention, especially from abroad (was requested to be included in the Sci-Fi London Film Festival, selected to feature on for six months, is the first SA band to have a video featured on the European on-line music TV channel etc.) SA's MK music channel is also playlisting the video (but may only screen at later times because of the graphic material).

There is another short film in the pipeline and several new music videos. We're also planning our first feature film screenplay.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Word of mouth is best

Breaking into the publishing industry is frustrating, I know. Many small press and indie authors struggle at first to get word out there. We’re just minnows in a large pond chock-full of minnows. And with some of the small presses being no more than factories churning out huge quantities of titles, it’s easy to get lost in the flow.

But it’s not all bad. There’s a lot you can do to make yourself heard and to get word out there without shelling out oodles of $$$ on advertising. I’d like to give you some tips I can see are working for me and others. Remember that there are very few overnight successes in the publishing industry. Don’t make the mistake of comparing yourself to others. Your career is like you: unique.

Get online. Yes, that means having a Facebook and Twitter profile. Use these to connect to other authors who’re in your genre. Make friends with them. Share links. Even if you don’t have a website, at least have a blog, but make sure that both these platforms are updated regularly. Retweet or share your friends’ news, congratulating them if they’ve had a success or are celebrating a great review or a release. They’ll be more inclined to do the same for you. And trust me, they will return the favour.

Blog often. I try to blog at least once a day. I have my personal blog, a general genre fiction blog, and two weekly blogging slots with two writers’ groups. On top of that, I take monthly blogging slots with one of my publishers and another big writers’ group I’m part of. I blog about my writing, my interests and anything of cultural relevance that somehow relates to my writing. I interview authors, artists and musicians. I share the links on Twitter and Facebook. This is a way of building industry cred and helps drive traffic to what I’ve written.

On top of my regular blogging slots, I guest blog or offer author interviews on my fellow authors’ blogs.

Useful profiles. Set up a Facebook author profile and link it to an author profile on What I love about is that it interfaces seamlessly with Facebook and Twitter, and you can set it up so that your blog shows in your status feeds. How cool is that? Every time you review a book, that shows up in multiple feeds. It’s a subtle way of saying “Hey, look at me”.

I’ve steadily been growing my social networking over the years, looking at ways to create greater integration between the different platforms and one thing that I’ve realized is that this is a subtle way to create a buzz around your work. It doesn’t matter how small and unimportant you feel but if you project yourself as a successful author, chances are good others will start perceiving you as such.

Some golden rules:
Watch your words. Don’t get caught up in the kinds of emotive shit storms that do sometimes crop up online. It’s prudent to say nothing. Really. Reserve commentary for when you’re among friends and keep it to a room with four walls over a cuppa joe.

Be nice to everyone. This one goes without saying anything but really, even if you’re starting to become a big name, don’t treat the newbie authors like shyte. Paraphrasing Ozzy Osbourne here it goes something along the line of “don’t tread on people on your way up since you don’t know who’ll be upwardly mobile when you’re coming down”.

If you receive a bad review, don’t respond. Just don’t go there. Really. It’s not worth the pain and you’re only going to make yourself look like an arse-hat.

Don’t be annoying. When you self-promote, don’t do it in such a way to come across like someone selling Amway or afterlife insurance like the JWs do. Share links related to your interests, not just always about your work. Promote other authors and artists. There’s a chance you may pick up some of their fans in the process.

Be patient. Building up that magical “1 000 true fans” takes time. This is a combination of being a nice person and being consistent in building up your backlist and how you approach your self-promotion.

Social networking has changed the way we do business so much in only half a decade. Make it your business to find methods to let this work for you. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Now go like my Facebook profile and make me famous…

Friday, April 1, 2011

Link round-up, Friday, April 1

And no, in case you're wondering, this is not an April Fool's joke. Though we attempted to prank our department today by having the entire editorial contingent go for an extended breakfast before heading in to work. The reptile were only mildly worried by 10.30am. It being the start of a new month, most of them weren't in until 11am.

Go figure.

First up on my link round-up is my short story, Honour at Stake, that I never really did get round to farming out because for all the effort that goes into trying to home a short story, I may as well write a novel and actually earn a little money, instead of saying "erm, thanks but no thanks" to the paltry amounts the paying markets offer for shorts. But I like this tale. I've dusted it off, spruced it up and it's got non-sparkly vampires.

And then... I make my debut on the ERA blog this week with a little rambling on about my current novella, The Namaqualand Book of the Dead.

I've been particularly good about keeping Toad's Corner updated. Read a very charming short story by Jess Harris.

Then we had fun with BlackMilk Productions making a short promotional film this weekend past. If you like Lynch and enjoy stoogelike humour, then this one is for you.

And if you want the behind-the-scenes details about the aforementioned short film, go to this link:

Then something I forgot I did... A guest blog on the fantastic Pamela Turner's blog, where I discuss my latest Lyrical Press release, The Namaqualand Book of the Dead:

I review a lovely psychological horror novella here:

And just when you thought I was a complete overachiever, I close with a little bit of writing advice for authors, and yes... this is actually something I'm applying to my own writing.