Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Well, I’m quite stoked to see how people have taken to Just My Blood Type, a short work of collaborative fiction between myself and Carrie Clevenger. And today I'm going to do something different by letting the readers who so graciously reviewed our piece have their say.
“I have a fondness for bad-mouthed female leads. This one made me grin while reading through the dialogue.” – Rikki K, Smashwords
“The story switches back and forth between the two in a sultry give and take building to a climax that gives the title its name’s sake. For the price of only intoxicating your senses, Carrie Clevenger and Nerine Dorman deliver one hell of a story.” – Jodi MacArthur, Smashwords
“This is Gothic Romance but at the cutting edge. If you’re looking for Twilight fan fiction then you better go look somewhere else.” – Noor A Jahangir, Smashwords
“I’m in awe of the way they’ve woven their own book characters and personas into this story of vampire meets romance novelist. That it seems real and gritty and as if the reader is having a conversation down at their local bar or cafe is a tribute to their skills.” – Cari Silverwood, Goodreads
“Absolutely loved this read! I felt as if I were sitting in the bar eavesdropping on the goings on of Therese and Xan and enjoying every moment of it.” – Ava Riley, Goodreads
“Loved this short story! It’s got a great concept and terrific writing from both authors. I look forward to more of Xan when Crooked Fang is released.” – Sonya Clark
“Xan is a force to be reckoned with and I cannot wait for his book! This story was so adorable. Just a taste... a small glimpse into Xan’s world.” – Wookiesgirl, Goodreads
Haven't read it yet? Well, go on, what are you waiting for?
Free download here.
Monday, June 27, 2011
I'd like to congratulate Silke on the release of Howl, a tale about wolves of the shifting kind I had the pleasure of working on with her. So, without further ado, I'm handing you over to Silke for a little Q&A...
Welcome, Silke, and tell us a little about the types of stories you enjoy reading.
Well, now. That's a loaded question, since I read absolutely everything. Back of cornflakes packets, shampoo bottles, the lot.
I enjoy a good yarn, no matter what genre it is. I predominantly read paranormal, but I dig out the odd historical and contemporary too. Futuristics are another favorite. I like a strong hero who is not afraid to look like a wuss sometimes. The ones I really enjoy are Gena Showalter's heroes. Grumpy and cranky, but oh-so-sexy. There has to be action in the stories, and it has to be plausible. I don't really read first person books. They go straight back on the shelf. It's just not my thing, and I can't get into first person.
When did you know you had to write Howl? Were there any events that sparked the story off?
I took a week off work, wanted to slouch and watch TV, and do nothing. That worked for about a day.
Then I listened to some music, came across Howl by Florence and the Machine--and next thing I knew, there was a wolf in my head. And he was noisy. Persistent. Annoying.
The odd thing about Howl was that I knew all of the story from the moment it popped into my head. It was also the fastest story I've ever written--one week. Sleep is overrated. Ask Zalin.
Why do you think wolf shifters remain popular? Would you ever populate your stories with other types of shifters?
I think they still hold mystery, and the wild animal appeals to people. Taming the beast, so to speak. I actually have a cheetah shifter sitting on my harddrive, begging to be finished. Oddly, lion shifters don't appeal to me. I don't know why. They do hold a fascination for others, however.
Tell us about Zalin. What makes him tick?
Zalin is really a loner who likes company. A bit of an odd duck, to be sure. He's Alpha, but he defers to another Alpha. Grudgingly. He moves from pack to pack and is never really home anywhere. I think if there is one thing that defines him, it's that he has a massive protective streak. He just can't help helping and protecting people. If there's someone in need, he'll be there. He's also big on promises. If you make one, you keep it. People tend to use that against him, or take advantage of it. He's had his share of hard luck, and he understands rejection and betrayal, which is why doesn't like what happens to Lucia.
Do you have any other published works?
I have a novella named Smitten out, which is part of an anthology, but it's a standalone book. It's about an angel on probation, who has to contend with the woman who caused the loss of his halo, coming to him for help. Ash so doesn't like that. He'd rather never set eyes on her again. After all, how is an angel supposed to redeem himself, when his nemesis tempts him at every turn?
Which authors get your creative nod of approval and are the ones you return to time and again?
Gena Showalter and Kresley Cole. I like their books a lot. Sherrilyn Kenyon's League Series is a very old favorite of mine, having read Born of Fire way back in 1999. I find my tastes have changed a lot over the years, and old favorites are still keepers, but I don't read them again. The first romance I ever read was Shanna, by Kathleen E Woodiwiss--but I can't read her books anymore. The way they are written turns me off now, and I'd rather remember them from when I first read them, or I'd spoil the memory.
If you had no financial limitations, describe your ideal writing/living environment.
Ohhh.... I would likely have a huge battery of computers and monitors (check out Terry Pratchett's setup some time, it's awesome.), and I'd set them up in a conservatory. Or maybe have a proper computer room and a superfast laptop I can use in the conservatory or outside. I'd have a nice comfortable chair and an old-style writing desk with room to write letters. (I write letters by hand, with a fountain pen. And post them to people. Even if they have email. It's nice to get a letter in the mail, you know? I’m probably weird, because I send handwritten thank you letters--for rejections.)
There would not be a TV in the room (I don't have a TV in the room now, either. Hate that. Too distracting.) Most of all, I would have the room entirely to myself. The where doesn't really matter to me, as long as there is greenery outside, not a built-up area. (Yeah, I like nature.) I don't want a huge mansion or a castle. A farm would be nice, but the house itself needs to be manageable. We don't need sixty rooms to rattle around in. Enough to have people over and entertain comfortably, room for a horse and a dog and whatever other animal I drag in. Somewhere in the countryside. I'd love to live in the US, but I think if pushed, we'd probably end up in New Zealand.
If I really had the money... I'd buy a house in the UK, a ranch in the US, and an island in the Maldives for holidays. :)
Maybe throw in a lodge somewhere in Africa, just to keep my dad happy, who would like to go back there some time. (I've never been.)
Okay. Anyone got the (winning!) lottery numbers handy?
And I'd have air-conditioning in that computer room!!! (I'm in the UK, we open the windows, you know?)
Are you planning any follow-ups to your setting in Howl?
Oh yeah. It's actually almost finished. I've got about 3-5k more to write, then have a good read through to catch inconsistencies and typos and stuff--then it'll be sent out. (By the time the post is live it'll probably be finished.)
It's Tiffy's story and starts off about seven months after Howl ends. It's not a young adult novel (although Tiffy is just past 17 at the beginning of the book), but the first meeting with the hero happens when she's still jailbait. Not that she cares, but it scares the dickens out of Keric, who doesn't want to end up in jail!
Well, there is Querytracker (http://querytracker.net/), of course. I use it a lot to check out trends, agents and publishers. Their forums are pretty good too.
Goodreads (http://goodreads.com) is a great place if you like to read (and great for authors too.)
My own blog, Evilauthor (http://www.evilauthor.com), has a ton of stuff which can be useful to authors.
If you're looking for a great critique group, check out Passionate Critters (http://www.passionatecritters.org)--although we are currently closed for new people, you can still apply--just be prepared to be on a waiting list while we're closed. (New members are voted on.)
Another I go to infrequently is Novel Publicity (http://www.novelpublicity.com/)
Cindy Myer's Market News (http://cindimyersmarketnews.wordpress.com/) is a valuable source, too. Subscribe to her newsletter or RSS this one. :)
Thanks for having me, Nerine!
Silke grew up in Germany and is used to things going bump in the night--and it wasn't always the acrophobic cat, or someone hitting their head on a low beam on the ceiling.
She writes paranormal romance, usually at night, and blames Anne Stuart to this day for all her ambitions and strange stories, after reading one of her books.
These days the only thing going bump at "oh-dark-thirty" is her--usually when she smacks into the sofa while creeping to the kitchen for another cup of coffee.
Silke likes to hear from her readers. Feel free to contact her via her blog at http://www.evilauthor.com, follow her on Twitter, or become a friend on Facebook.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Those of you who read Just My Blood Type this past week would have read about Therese von Willegen, intrepid romance author. Well, folks, that's me, my other half who writes dirty books.
Last year this time I wrote and sold my first erotic romance novel, entitled Tainted Love, which released through Siren. This was more an experiment than anything else, to see if I could write and sell contemporary erotic romance. I discovered two things: not only did I write this well enough to sell to a publisher other than my existing one, but I also enjoyed the genre very much. Enough to write Hell's Music, which I've homed with Lyrical Press.
Why back at Lyrical Press? Because Lyrical gave me my foot in the door, and have allowed me to experiment with my writing and flex my muscles. Another reason: because behind the scenes there's a well-oiled machine and a support staff of fellow authors, content editors, line editors and, lastly, I must thank people like Stef, Mary, Piper and Renee for just being absolutely the best team I've worked with. Ever.
So, without further ado, I'd like to thank Renee for the wonderful cover art for Hell's Music. This was pretty much spot-on what I was looking for when I briefed her with regard to the artwork.
Hell's Music releases early in September and I'm already very excited with how things are looking.
And, if you're on Facebook, do swing by my author page.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Well, I've got something sweet to pass onto a lucky reader--a copy of The Mall by SL Grey--that I'll mail to the first lucky sod who tells me in which country the novel is set.
Read more about The Mall here: http://slgrey.book.co.za/
Then mail me with your answer at firstname.lastname@example.org and put "The Mall Giveaway" in the subject line of your email. Remember to include your full name and postal address. The competition closes on Friday, June 24, 2011.
Monday, June 20, 2011
It's not often that an author catches my fancy on such a visceral level as SL Schmitz has with her novel, Let it Bleed. Maybe it's because I'm the last of a dying breed of eldergoth, and can reference the subcultural references Schmitz paints in her novel.
I'll be straight, Let it Bleed is not an easy novel to read. If you're expecting straight narrative, you're not going to get it here. Instead Schmitz offers readers a Ginsberg-esque threnody of word-pictures and textures that act together to create a three-dimensional tapestry.
Once I adjusted to her writing style, I couldn't put the book down. The story read like an acid trip, rife with symbolism, narrative poetry and mythology, all wrapped together in a fever dream.
This is the kind of book I want to own in print, that I will take down from my bookshelf every now and then so I can read passages out loud, for it is only when the words are spoken out loud that they will live.
So, while this is no easy read, this retelling of the story of the Nativity has a raw beauty in its brokeness, its narcotic daze... Let it Bleed is a brave offering from this author, and has definitely succeeded in making me sit up and notice SL Schmitz.
Today I'd like to welcome SL Schmitz to my world for a little Q&A.
Let it Bleed, I feel, can be read on two levels. Am I off-mark suggesting the story can be read both ways? Simultaneously?
It would be interesting to hear more about your thoughts on this, Nerine. But I agree that there is a high note and an undertone to the story. On one level, this is a modern-day Joseph and Mary story with a punk rock soundtrack, complete with a savior and a martyr and a villain. It is raw and brutal and hostile, intermingling the psychotic thought processes of the Dead Girl with the apocalyptic mission of mercenary angels.
Then there is the undertone, humming deep beneath the epidermis of the main story… a tale of demons and monsters lurking under the impassive eye of a ruling god. Not sure which is more blasphemous – suggesting that God could be so taken with one of His earliest creations, the mythical Sophia, that he just lets her run around causing chaos wherever she goes, or the idea that God is not really in control of all of the worlds in the Universe.
Were you at all influenced by Allen Ginsberg's Howl? Are there any other authors who've influenced your style or who are inspirational?
Howl is brilliant – one of the greatest opening lines ever written. I have to admit that I was influenced by Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski and all the rest of the boys on the electric acid kool-aid bus. But I also have to give props to Anais Nin and Flannery O’Conner.
Throw a little Patti Smith and Lydia Lunch/Exene Cervenka in there, and I guess I ended up with a whole liturgy of 20th-century gospels to choose from. Then there are the poetry slams from the 1980s and 1990s – I still have old cassette tapes that I bought for $5 at clubs in New York and Kansas City of poets with their voices rising and falling among cheering crowds. Words are magic, and can weave spells. I tried to capture some of that magical imagery in Let It Bleed; to raise the lead singer of a band into mythological godhood based on the adoration of Generation X and the powers of the new Madonna.
Why a Goth theme? Were there any albums you had on repeat while you wrote?
I grew up in the suburbs right outside of Chicago. The Goth scene was the coolest, darkest, most absurdly underground and desirable music in the whole world. Back then, it was all about voice, image, and tone. And make up. Lots and lots of black eye makeup.
There was the independent Blue Skies Record store in Naperville and Wax Trax in downtown Chicago – places where you could take $50 and walk out of the store with 10 new LPs or records. We would just walk in and buy the albums of bands we had never heard of, but had the best names. Back before Jarboe was a part of the Swans, Michael Gira was putting out the most hypnotic music with a hallucinatory bass line that just altered brainwaves.
We loved Bauhaus and Ministry, and as the 1980s progressed we loved the Cure and Siouxsie and Morrissey. Don’t forget Ska and the influence of the Dead Kennedys! Once upon a time, that stuff was revolutionary. It seems almost quaint now, but back in the day it was uber-alternative to like these bands, and it shaped me into the person I am today.
Why names such as Razorblade Boy, Dolphin Boy or the Dead Girl?
I did a guest blog about this awhile ago, and I proudly but hesitantly admitted that I committed an author’s sin by not really naming my main characters. There was this primal need in me to keep the characters in a constant state of turmoil, leave them unnamed so that just their horrible, scandalous, visionary, beautifully decadent personalities could shine through.
I think it keeps the readers guessing – if you look very very closely, I have detailed their proper names once or twice within the context of the 340 page novel – but it’s kind of like an Easter egg to find them. Isn’t the “Razorblade Boy” a great name? It has so many connotations – he is so jagged and sharp and self-important that he is unapproachable, and yet he is sorrowful and causes pain. I tried to match the name with the essence of the character, in a very Andy Warhol/John Waters kind of way. I think it works, because the novel is contradictory. Is everyone totally insane and hallucinating, or could this story really happen?
How long did it take you to write the story, and how challenging was the editing process?
LOL – this story took a really, really long time to get on paper. I am a painstakingly slow writer and I do constant re-writes. I am grateful to my beta readers, and to my actual editors who took a deep breath and went in with red pens poised. Could this book have been leaner and meaner, harder and more fast-paced? Of course. But the editors and beta readers viewed it as a symphony that starts out slow and then builds. You have to move with it, and not become overwhelmed by vocabulary or obscure references. It will all fall together in the end.
Are you going to continue in a similar vein with your next novel?
I have promised myself and Dark Continents Publishing, Inc., that my next two featured novels will be written like a normal human being. LOL! But seriously – I am trying to grow as a writer, and although Let It Bleed is written in a deeply stream-of-consciousness way of speaking and implying, I am seeking other, more accessible voices for future publications.
Care to spill the beans about any upcoming stories?
The Seven Ravens will be published in early 2012, and it a re-interpretation of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale. There will be another novel coming out, hopefully by end of spring 2012, that will be called Crunchbone, the story of werewolves and a doomed wedding party during turn-of-the-century Russia. I will also have a story published in P is For Phobia, an anthology being edited by Dean M Drinkel for Dark Continents Publishing.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
A few weeks ago, Carrie Clevenger tagged me in a blog entitled Writing is...
And, typically, it takes me a while to respond to stuff, especially when it comes to defining how I feel about the topic. Plainly put, the only reason why I haven't shuffled off this mortal coil yet is because of writing. I have stories to tell. I exist and am defined by the stories I write.
For me the art of writing is about magic, about changing reality in accordance with my will. While I'm quite honest about the fact that I'm not going to write the next earth-shattering work of literary greatness, I'm going to tell a lot of stories.
Be they horror or works of erotic fiction, it doesn't matter. When I enter that creative space, it's akin to an act of lucid dreaming where I synthesize my thoughts and feelings and mix them with life experiences in an act of imagination.
My writing acts as a refuge, for when the mundane world eats away at my childlike sense of wonder and threatens to drown me in banality. For a few hours I can escape the tragic comedy that is reality and swap it for worlds where anything can happen.
If I didn't have this form of self-expression, I'd have no reason to continue living. Take away my writing and you remove the one thing I have always been passionate about. I will continue to tell stories, to whisk my readers into realms of make-believe. I love telling stories. I love showing people worlds they could never have imagined.
Through telling stories I hope to inspire others to reach beyond themselves and grasp that flame within themselves.
Follow me on Twitter @nerinedorman or Go forth and like my Facebook author page.
I am a Goodreads author.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Well, Khepera series fans should be filled with happy at this point. I've finally managed to wrap my brain around what happens in book three. I'm outlining as we speak. In the meanwhile, I've a small gift here for those of you who love Jamie. She Hates Me takes place just before events in book one, Khepera Rising.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Cari and me go back a good few years. It all started innocently enough when we met on the Critters Workshop and and she eventually joined a closed writers' group we're both in. She's one of my writing buddies and we both pretty much started writing erotica at the same time. It's quite clear Cari's really taken a shine to the genre. Today, to celebrate the launch of her first venture into the realms of erotica, a novel entitled Three Days of Dominance, she's kindly agreed to guest-blogging slot on my main blog.
So yeah... if you don't like the heat, I suggest you don't read further, 'cos this is a sizzlingly steamy post.
Welcome, Cari, and I'd bet you put those mint-green eyes into Three Days of Dominance just to torment me, hey?
* * * *
My Journey into the Art of Writing BDSM
The topic of this blog is the suggestion of an evil friend, Nerine Dorman. Blame her. I usually plan things a little but here, I’m going to ramble through how I stumbled on erotica, and thence on writing BDSM. Despite the stumbling, I do adore writing in this niche.
Why. Hmm. Put simply. I was already writing in another genre, discovered the demand for online erotica, and went for it. I chose to write BDSM erotica, without ever having read a pure erotica book. I figured I could write a story about tying someone up without researching it.
Since then I’ve done a ton of research, spoken to a lot of people about BDSM, written three novels, and come to admit to myself that the reason I chose to write BDSM, is because it has always fascinated me.
So I wrote Three Days of Dominance and, though it has since been heavily added to and edited, to my surprise, as I read other stories in this erotica field I found that I had used a lot of the ‘tropes’ -- the themes that get repeated over and over. I may not have been familiar with the Dom and sub terminology, but I wrote them in anyway. All those ‘control’ aspects appeared.
I had the Dom circling the sub, the bondage (well, of course, a no-brainer LOL), the formal agreement between the two people before the hanky panky started. I had the insistence on obedience -- though I’m afraid my heroine, Danii, does get away with an awful lot, and also the lovely firm voice of the male Dom. Yum. Plus I didn’t forget to place in the heart of the heroine that little bit of, oh-my-god, trepidation whenever my Dom arrived on the scene -- my, my, my, I had to have that.
Oh, and orgasms, mustn’t forget the lots and lots of orgasms.
I now know I write BDSM because it pushes all those fantasy buttons in me that are common to a lot of women. And because I have always thought bondage terribly erotic visually, as well as on the page of a novel. The D/s aspect and bondage are my favorites. You may find some flogging and whipping in my stories, but anything dealing with nasty painand hard-core sadomasochism, I’ll leave for others.
One of the best things about BDSM is the versatility. I get toys to play with -- real nice ones. Throw that into steampunk land, as in my Iron Dominance, and you get upside down on a St Andrew's cross with a view of the sky passing by below to literally die for. Or throw that into my novel where fae mix with human…
Her wrists were drawn taut above her head, secured to the headboard by ropes of thorned red rose and bougainvillea. The pricks of their thorns threatened to puncture her dream. She resisted that, wanting more. Raising her head, she stared down the length of her body, past her protruding red nipples and along her stomach where sweat lined the floral rope fastening her thighs up against her body. With her bottom tilted and her legs spread, her pussy was open, available.
The man, his black hair floating like the rays of a sun, lifted his head from between her thighs. She gasped, rolling her hips upward. The wet tip of his tongue slid across as he licked her juices off his lower lip. Her clit, so recently probed by that clever tongue, pulsed. If he didn’t put it back there, soon…
She panted as his thumbs glided in the slickness down below, felt them sink deep into her, then deeper inside, and gasped again, lost in the molten sensation. She tried to move her arms, her legs and couldn’t. Trapped and pinioned for him to do what he wished. Excitement screwed her insides a notch tighter.
* * * *
I plan to keep writing these stories that will hopefullyleave you gasping and fanning yourself, my heroine tied up in knots, and the hero with a smile on his face. Like my website says: Scorched Souls, Bound Hearts.
Buy Three Days of Dominance here: http://www.loose-id.com/Three-Days-of-Dominance.aspx
Visit Cari's website at: http://www.carisilverwood.net/
Monday, June 6, 2011
Leon Botha and I never spoke about his progeria. I figured he'd probably discussed this topic to death with the idly curious. But we did speak about time, creativity and Western mysticism, with emphasis on Egyptian philosophy and magic, in which both of us shared an abiding love and interest. I used to send him info-updates from online resources and we kept in touch via email and social media.
I met him only the one time in person, last year, when his friend, Gordon, brought him in to the CBD and the pair of them stole me away for an hour during my lunch break. We went to the Book Lounge and sat on the couch. I remember thinking how large that cup of hot chocolate in Leon's hands was and how much more joy he'd get from drinking it than me, who was more than twice his height.
In person there was no denying the wisdom and courage of this young man who had aged before his time. Even then (and now) my heart bleeds for him. Every day could be his last yet he lived his life with such fortitude, with such hunger to learn, to create, to explore. Never once did he ever complain to me about the injustice of his situation.
I learned a valuable lesson from Leon. If that means that I sleep less than most people, so be it. Life is too short, brutal and uncaring. There is so little joy in the world and it is up to us to shape life to mean something, to find the beauty and the truth of our Selves.
Leon gifted me with the painting, the image of which I've included in this blog. At first I couldn't believe he'd give me such a valuable work of art, something he must have spent many, many hours working on.
He insisted, telling me he knew I was the one who resonated the most with the work and he wanted me to have it.
But I just want to thank him yet again. The picture hangs above my bed. It reminds me that life is precious. Every moment is irreplaceable and it is up to me to make the best use of every last, living breath.
I heard about his passing on Twitter yesterday. Not the best of ways but yeah, that's the way it flows nowadays. I'm not going to wallow in all the "might-have-beens" and "should-haves". Leon, thank you, not only for gifting the world with your art, but also for your friendship. You are a shining light, a magician transformed, and I will carry your memory with me until I am dust. Wherever you are, dear friend, may Thoth enlighten you, Anubis open the way. Strength for your journey, brother.
I interviewed Leon last year, and the link is here: http://nerinedorman.blogspot.com/2010/08/leon-botha-artist.html