Nerine Dorman is a South African novelist and author of Khepera Rising. She has recently collaborated with Carrie Clevenger on Blood And Fire, which merges Clevenger’s vampire character from Crooked Fang, Xan, of whom I am a big fan, and Dorman’s character Ash. It is a great read, Ash works brilliantly alongside Xan, and you can read my review of it here.
Nerine met me at The Slaughterhouse where we talked about the collaboration and how the two authors merge styles.
Tell us about your collaboration with Carrie Clevenger and Blood And Fire.
Blood and Fire came about due to the favorable responses we received for our first collaboration, Just My Blood Type, which is a free download on Smashwords ( http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/68457 ). With Blood and Fire we wanted to show a different side of Xan–not so much the idle, womanizing vamp–and we wanted to introduce one of my new characters, Ash. The two play the perfect counterpoint to each other, Xan, with his smart-mouthed, somewhat brutal manner; and Ash, who is a bit of an intellectual less inclined to physical combat. Putting these two together often resulted in some humorous situations as we worked to get inside our characters’ heads.
How do you feel your writing style complements Carrie’s?
Carrie and I approached our partnership from very different sides of the craft. She has vast experience as a writer of flash fiction and short stories, whereas I’m more familiar with novel-length works. So far our approach has worked well in that Carrie’s got a keen eye for story arcs that I can flesh out with my narrative. Our works thus far have been fast-paced, with engaging interaction between the characters.
You make reference to Egyptian mythology, do you think you have seven souls and if so which one would you ditch if you had to in order to survive?
They’re all equally important, so I wouldn’t want to ditch them. [laughs] I treat ancient Egyptian mythology as an archetypal template for exploring the self, as in it’s the “language” of my subconscious self which gets thrown out when I dispense with my inner critic. All of this is purely subjective, of course, and my concept of “soul” is conceptions of self-hood: the ego, the shadow, the essence… Of course there’s also the very real possibility that it’s all just pretty ideas applied in order to understand the functions of self. And what works for one person might not work for another.
Carrie Clevenger enters the room carrying her bass guitar.
What are you working on now?
Nerine: I really have to finish book three of my Khepera series now. The project has stalled three times already because I’ve “quickly” taken on shorter projects in the interim. This one’s also been one of the most harrowing to write because I’ve explored themes that I find truly unsettling. The only clue I’ll give is that while I was outlining, I listened to recordings made during the Jonestown mass suicide. I can still hear the children screaming as they die. After that I’ll be finishing a “light” contemporary women’s fiction novel before moving onto an African-themed contemporary fantasy with strong conservation themes. Of course all of this is subject to change if another “Oooh, look! Bright-shiny” lands on my desk.
Carrie: Oh my, well as Nerine is working on her next Khepera, I’m working on the next installment of my Crooked Fang series, battling a niggling horror muse that keeps tugging at me to go frolic in a different meadow, and still trying to get together a collection of ultra flash in a different outlet. One thing to be said and known: I’m always, always, always working on something.
Thank you Nerine for a candid and informative interview. And thank you Carrie for joining us, I hope this introduces readers to your fine work.
Current dark fantasy and horror titles available at Lyrical Press
Contemporary erotic fiction writing as Therese von Willegen
Also in collaboration with Carrie Clevenger: Just My Blood Type