Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Black Friday at Lyrical Press

Shop at Lyrical Press on Black Friday and save 50% on our entire catalog of digital books (and you don't even have to get up early and stand in line all day!)

Have a Kindle? Have a Nook? No problem! Lyrical books are compatible for most reading devices.

So this is an unashamed plug from me telling you to GO BUY MY BOOKS.

Yes, you can read it on your iPad too, you geek.

Why? 'cos I'm not ashamed to say that I rock and will give those hankering after vintage Poppy Z Brite, Storm Constantine and Neil Gaiman some of the good, dark stuff.

The wickedest man in Africa has problems, and they can't all be solved by magic.

Occult bookshop owner and black arts magician James Edward Guillaume reckons he has it all, and enjoys living up his reputation as South Africa's "wickedest man", a nice house, a business that's breaking even and the pick of all the pretty Goth girls and boys in Cape Town.

Little does he know, a group of violent Christo-militants are panting at his heels, ready to destroy his carefully constructed fantasy world. To add mischief to his misery, he's unwittingly unleashed a terrifying demonic entity, and he alone holds the key to The Burning One's secret. To bring order out of the chaos, all James has to do is conquer his personal demons, teach a rather nasty, self-righteous sod a lesson in humility and find out whether he can win back the trust of an old flame. Only, as James discovers, getting back on top is hell on earth.

Just when the wickedest man in Africa thought the nightmare was over...

Still recovering from the trauma of his encounter with the Christo-militants who tried to kill him, Jamie only wants to get his life back on track. This is easier said than done when he’s essentially blackmailed into helping solve a case involving alleged cult activity.

To complicate matters further, the media gets involved and Jamie has to tread carefully. However, soon the hunter becomes the hunted and Jamie faces some difficult choices. Will his uneasy symbiosis with The Burning One save him or will he be tempted to grasp for more power than he can possible hold?

How far will you travel to lay your dead to rest?

Struggling to come to terms with her boyfriend Aidan’s death, ChloĆ« is ill prepared to deal with the violent murder of his best friend. When tantalizing evidence suggests there is more to Aidan’s apparent death than meets the eye, ChloĆ« will not let her lack of material resources keep her from uncovering the truth, even if the truth proves far more dangerous and with a far more sinister nature than she bargained for.

Hell's Music (writing as Therese von Willegen)

Sometimes trouble comes in a very appealing package.

It's never nice when your boyfriend leaves you for someone else. It's even more of a slap in the face when he leaves you for a man. Emily Clark has put her wild years and the boyfriend she considered "safe" behind her, ensconcing herself in a Luddite lah-lah land centered on her second-hand bookstore.

But when her self-absorbed sister runs away from home to end up on her doorstep, Emily discovers the past has a funny way of creeping back into her life. And when an alternative musician uses her shop as a hideaway from a nosy reporter, Emily finds herself falling for the enigmatic man. By the time she realizes his celebrity status, it's too late--she's head over heels for Simon van Helsdingen, a notorious shock-rocker. Not only must she deal with her sister's delinquent ways and their dysfunctional family, but Emily must navigate the stormy seas of
being with a man whose reputation for trouble puts Ozzy Osbourne in the

Monday, November 21, 2011

On Agents--a discussion with Louise Fury

A few months ago I had the pleasure of having coffee with literary agent Louise Fury, whose refreshing attitude toward the publishing industry immediately had me perking up. Thank you, Louise, for stopping by my blog today and answering some of the questions I wish I'd had answered way back when I was first starting out.

When you receive submissions, what sort of stories are you tired of seeing?

The same old vampire tales and things that have been done to death. I am looking for “fresh” takes on old tales, beautiful imagery and well-crafted dialogue.
What are some things queriers do that elicit a "hell no" reaction from you?
I am going to be very honest and tell you that it is rare that I read past any first paragraphs that start with someone waking up or dreaming. I read tons of submissions a day and at least eight or nine of them start with someone waking up. It has been and continues to be done to death! The beginning of your story doesn’t always start at the beginning of the day. It starts at THE BEGINNING of the story! The moment/s leading up to the event/person/etc. that everything changed. If you can’t find a unique and creative way to start, I question your instincts and creativity.
I don’t appreciate photographs of yourself, I delete unsolicited attachments and I don’t need to know about your personal life or family. I only care about your work, your experience and the story you are trying to get me to read.
What can authors do to make your life easier?
Follow submission guidelines as listed on our website:
What do you, as an agent, offer your clients? What can they expect from you?
I bring to the table years of experience in the marketing and publishing industry, I brainstorm new ideas, listen to old ones, help with edits and structure. I make sure their work is ready for submission, prepare and send it to my editorial contacts and advocate for my author. There are so many things an agent does and it is not only about getting and negotiating a publishing contract. I cannot list all the things I do here, but I am part of a team – foreign/translation agents, film agents, marketing professionals, contract managers etc. I do not work alone, my colleagues and I work together and my authors benefit from the entire team. I also happen to be part of an agency that has been around for more than 20 years and is always adapting to meet industry changes and demands. We are very careful to evolve and we embrace change. Our clients know that we always try to get through the wall first. We were ahead of the pack when it came to the digital revolution and we continue to strive to stay ahead. Out clients come first and sometimes that means taking some heat for being the first to adapt to change, but we don’t mind, because this is an ever-changing industry and we will always make sure to move forward.
Bad agents, they're out there. What are the warning signs authors should look out for when encountering these entities?
Don’t pay anything up front for representation.
Know the industry. Don’t listen to gossip. Do your research and you won’t have to worry. The warning signs are always different, but if you have done your research, it should not be a problem. Not all agents are created equal and not all agent/author relationships work out. But it is not always the agent or author’s fault. Sometimes personalities clash. Be careful of rumors because just as you could easily sign with someone who might be considered “bad,” you could also pass up someone good based on false facts.
Follow Louise on Twitter @louisefury or at her blog:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Pumpkin Man winner!

On October 25, horror author John Everson stopped at This Is My World for an interview while on his blog tour for his new novel THE PUMPKIN MAN. As part of the interview, he offered readers a chance to win both a grand prize of all of his novels or an e-book edition of THE PUMPKIN MAN, solely for people who entered the contest from this site. On Halloween, John had his son draw names from "the Great Pumpkin" and chose Carrie Clevenger to win the e-book from This Is My World. The full list of winners, including the grand prize, is listed over at The Pumpkin Man website. Congratulations Carrie!

For everyone who didn't win in the drawing, we hope you'll stop by the website dedicated to THE PUMPKIN MAN, read some sample chapters and free short stories, play the Ouija Board and maybe pick up a copy of the book from Amazon or the other links in The Pumpkin Man Store. Visit and check it out!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Two perspectives on publishing

There isn’t a right way or a wrong way to get published. Both traditional and small press publishing environments offer different benefits/drawbacks to authors. I’ve got my good friend and writing buddy, Cat Hellisen (author of When the Sea is Rising Red), blogging with me today about the differences in the two methods. We’ve approached our publishing careers from two very vastly different paths and I thought it would be nice to compare our journeys.

Nerine—un-agented, indie-published author
Why would you want an agent?

Although I’ve several small press and self-published titles behind my name, I still try for a literary agent because I’d be able to get an “in” with one of the bigger publishing houses. A reputable literary agent would have a vast network available to me, and would be able to negotiate a better deal for me. Essentially, I’d entrust someone who’s got a grasp on the nitty-gritties of contracts with selling my writing to the right publisher, leaving me free to concentrate on my creativity. While I’m not bemoaning the fact that I don’t have an agent, I’m not losing sleep over it either while I home my titles with reputable small presses. Remember, no agent is better than a bad agent.

How would you choose an agent?

I always run a background check on any literary agent I submit to. To this end, the Absolute Write forums are worth their weight in gold ( and I always stop by Preditors and Editors ( This is, naturally, a time-consuming task but I’m adamant I only want to deal with people who are legit. Another thing I make sure of is that the agent I’m approaching does, in fact, represent the kind of fiction I write. It’s no use submitting a dark fantasy story involving a half-demon vampire to an agent who represents mostly Christian inspirational fiction. Let’s repeat that mantra: “No agent is better than a bad agent”.

What are some of the benefits of small press publishing?

Many of the small presses allow a lot of freedom for authors to experiment with their writing and the direction their stories take. Some (not all) also offer faster turnaround from date of acceptance to release day than what one would get in a traditional environment. In my experience, dealing with a reputable small press marries the best aspects of self-publishing with traditional publishing, giving me, as an author, access to cover artists and editing expertise, with an established administration system to deal with vendors and royalties. I don’t want to still play publisher, so all the belly-aching is removed from the process. Point is, I could do this all myself, but I don’t want to.

What's the downside of small press publishing?

As a small press/indie author it’s often very difficult to make my voice heard above the absolute flood of other authors in the same boat as me. Also, I am reliant on royalties, so I often see very little return for my investment. I don’t write specifically in the “best seller” niches of erotica, and genres such as dark fantasy and/or horror still have small readerships in an electronic market. Not all my books are available in print. Some are only available in ebook format. There’s no nice advance and I won’t be quitting my day job any time soon. The only time that I have to write is during my lunch hour or over weekends. Also, I’d love to have the kind of editorial feedback a good agent would give an author, and also have the opportunity of working with more hardcore editors, which will only help improve my skills in the long run.

Your advice to authors?

Remember why you’re writing in the first place. If it’s because you want to make lots of money and be the next Rowling or Meyer, stop right there and step away from the computer. Like any other author, I’d love to get that elusive, six-figure book deal, but I’m realistic about it. I write stories because I enjoy writing stories. I’m grateful that a number of small presses have faith in my abilities by extending contracts to publish my writing. I’m even more grateful to the people who buy my books then tell me how much they enjoyed my stories. If, at some point, I reach that mythical number of a thousand true fans, that’s also peachy keen. Be prepared to do a lot of self-promotion, and be active on Twitter, Facebook and with your blogging.

Primarily I remind myself I’m a storyteller. That’s why I do it. I read widely and outside my genre. I listen to the critique offered by my writing partners. I aim to improve each novel I write. Every time I submit, I aim high. I try not to take rejection personally and I keep revising and resubmitting as I go along. There are very few overnight success stories in publishing. It’s ten percent raw talent and ninety percent hard work.

* * * *

I'm Cat Hellisen. When the Sea is Rising Red is my first published novel, and it took me many years of dreadful first drafts to get here.
Why would you want an agent?

While there are still a few big spec fic publishers who accept unagented manuscripts (Tor springs to mind), I didn't want to limit my chances of being read. An agent has more connections within the industry, and a better knowledge of which editor is more likely to be interested in what. They also deal with contracts, with foreign rights, movie rights, and a host of other things that I do not want to deal with. A good agent is also your first fan. They're the person in your corner.

An agent is also likely to score you a better advance and friendlier contract than you'd be able to on your own.

How would you choose an agent?

There are many people out there doing an excellent job of watching out for scam agents and agencies ( is a good place to start.) But ultimately, you're going into a business partnership with someone, so you need to do your research. If you get a bad feeling about certain business practices, there's a damn good reason for that. Agents charge their clients (generally) 15%. That's AFTER they've sold your work – the 15% comes out of the cheque your publisher cuts you. They don't ask for money up-front, reading fees, editing fees, and other strange things. And a good agent is worth every bit of that 15%.

Know what you want from your agent, and ask to speak to some of their clients before you make a decision. If they don't want you to do wary. Do you want an agent who gives editorial feedback? Mine does, and it really helps me, but other writers want less input. Do you want an agent who is communicative and keeps you in the loop about submissions and progress? Not everyone wants that level of communication, but others need it or they go insane (Hi. *waves*)

My agent, Suzie Townsend, is wonderful – she takes no nonsense, but she's also sympathetic to the fact that all writers are insane. Also she knows how to score me amazing blurbs. Fantastic person, and I am so glad I signed with her.

Sometimes things don't work out. Whatever you do, don't let that make you think you're a failure. Don't feel that if you part ways with an agent that your writing career is now over. I know very few writers who are still with their original agent.

What are some of the benefits of traditional publishing?

Massive amounts of editing. (In my case, anyway). I'd already done a number of revisions before my book sold, but my wonderful editor, Beth at FSG, took me through another three pretty substantive edits, and that was before we dealt with nit-picky things in several rounds of copy edits. One of the best things about my editor is that she doesn't read the way I do, so she brings a different perspective to my books - she's the one asking me the hard questions and not letting me coast. And like your agent, your editor is your fan – he or she bought your book because they loved it. That's a pretty awesome thing in itself.

Big publishers also have marketing departments. I'm not quite sure what people normally expect from their publicists, but I wasn't expecting anything at all because I'd heard horror stories about how unless you were a big name no-one actually cared. So I was happy to find out I have perfectly lovely people helping to promote my book, sending out arcs and setting up awesome opportunities for me. So that part rocks.

What's the downside of traditional publishing?

I am not Patient Bunny.

So I can guess you see where this is going. Those edits I talked about earlier? Yeah. They don't happen overnight. When the Sea is Rising Red sold in May 2010. It comes out in February 2012.
This is something that you just have to learn to deal with. No matter how frustrating it is.

Your advice to authors?

Read everything you can. Write and keep writing. Write with the intention of improving. Write with the intention of having fun.

If you're ready to start looking for an agent or publisher, make sure you've done your homework and that your novel is the best it can possibly be.

Don't give up. I wrote (I think) eight complete novels before I sold my first one. Like any art, writing is not something that happens overnight. When you start, your work will most likely fall short of that goal in your head. It might have potential but it will still be the work of a beginner. Good writing comes with practice.

First look at BLOOD AND FIRE

Another special by Carrie Clevenger and Nerine Dorman

See Xan's teaser here.

I gathered a few tangles of daimonic essence, just enough to be coiled, in case I had to strike, and pushed open the door. The barrier swung inward, grating dryly on invisible hinges. Within was a chamber, its unplastered walls revealing redbrick and mortar. The only source of light was yet one of those horrid green lights that illuminated a lidless sarcophagus, which appeared to be carved out of limestone.

Within lay a Native American man with noble features, his body bound painfully with chains in a mockery of a mummys bandages. Several padlocks held these bonds in place. He wasnt a mortal. His lips were pulled back in a silent rictus snarl to reveal vicious elongated canineswhich would not look out of place on a wolf.

Other collaborations by Carrie Clevenger and Nerine Dorman, Just My Blood Type

*teaser material subject to change

Friday, November 4, 2011

Review: Home by Carson Buckingham

For lovers of shadow realms hidden behind a thin veneer of normality, Home by Carson Buckingham will offer a tantalising glimpse into a world of mysteries. Kate Kavanagh has tried her entire life to fit in--and this need of acceptance from those around her has resulted in her marrying an unsuitable sociopath of a husband.

At its heart Home is a tale about Kate's inescapable acceptance of her fate and how it changes her. Her passive acceptance of events around her is maddening at times. The first and only action she takes to free herself is to flee from her husband, which only leads her straight into her somewhat terrifying inheritance.

Structurally this novel is a bit rough around the edges. Most of the back-story at the start could have conveniently been lopped off, with important information woven into the narrative further along the line. The story only really starts from the moment Kate steps onto that plane that returns her to her home. At times I felt authorial voice intruded, taking me from a deep third-person point of view to more omniscient, but Buckingham is a good storyteller with a pleasing turn of words. I carried on reading and found that I readily immersed myself in the setting, which was well detailed. At times a few cliches slipped in, which an editor could have snipped, as well as perhaps bumping up on the emotional, intellectual and physical layering.

Overall, Home is a pleasing story. I wouldn't truly categorize it as horror, more as a dark fairy tale which makes for an intriguing, quirky read. Buckingham gets full marks for her world building, even though the final execution could have been tighter.

Buy Home here.

* * * *

Yes, I'm available to review your novel. I will give an honest, balanced review. Self-published and indie authors are welcome. Mail me at nerinedorman (at) gmail (dot) com and put "REVIEW" in the subject line.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Call for submissions: Erotic Dystopia

A word from my publisher, Lyrical Press.

Lyrical Press is actively acquiring erotica dystopian works.

Dystopia - A repressive and controlled society, usually under the pretense of utopia. Dystopian societies feature all different kinds of social control systems that repress some while lifting others to a form of nobility. There is usually a distinct system with blatant and vast privileges and oppressions separating higher classes from lower classes. Dystopian societies are often police states, where an individual (dictator) has unlimited power over citizens.

Sensuality level: Red hot
Length: 30,000 – 95,000 words (60,000+ words are eligible for print)
Key Characteristics: Erotica romance set in a dystopian society. Strong sexual relationship between main characters. Elements of bondage and S&M that explore the dominant/submissive roles of a BDSM relationship welcome. Multiple partners acceptable.
Deadline: None
Submissions eMail:

Go ahead and try to shock us. We dare you.