Tuesday 14 May 2013

[Interview] Nerine Dorman on Camdeboo Nights

Last week I reviewed Nerine Dorman's ace Camdeboo Nights, and today I'm welcoming her to my blog to talk about it further!

1) How would you sum up Camdeboo Nights in a single sentence?
Part road trip and monster mash-up, the story takes four teenagers on the ride of their lives.

2) It feels like a very 'personal' book. How much of yourself is in the story?
Interestingly enough, this is possibly the least personal of my novels. I did draw on some of my experiences, like being bullied at school. I was also touched on some of the results of bullying because at the time of writing, we'd had our "Ninja Killer" case. So there was that... But also my great love of the hamlet of Nieu Bethesda in the Karoo, in a part known as the Camdeboo. So, while vampires made wonderful villains in this tale, I also touched on African myths and mixed in a few strange ideas of my own.

3) Your other books tend towards first person P.O.V., but Camdeboo Nights is more of a head hop. What made you choose a different style of P.O.V.?
I'd recently read my first George RR Martin novel, and I wanted to experiment with telling one story from multiple points of view. Some may find this disorientating, but I decided to write each chapter from either one of the two primary characters (Helen and Trystan) and swapped out with the two secondary characters (Arwen and Etienne). This was immensely fun because no character has all the information, and it's wonderful watching them flounder around without being privy to all the important details. So, readers get to see what's happening while the characters remain in the dark.

4) Your stories are always very character-driven. Where did you get the ideas for the characters in Camdeboo Nights?
Trystan was my first. I'd always loved the idea of a vampire who was on the run from his kind holing up in the most obscure place he could find. And I had to give him something special, a quirk--and his is that he relates more to his 1947 Hudson Commodore, which he's kept in mint condition over the years, than he does to people.

Helen changes that. I don't want to say much about her for fear of spoiling some of the surprises, but she's got a good heart, and genuinely tries to keep it all together when everyone else around her is falling apart. Her parents are in the process of getting divorced. Her mother has a mental illness and her father is off gallivanting with a much-younger woman. Not an easy time.

Arwen and Etienne are almost comic relief. Arwen's parents were real eccentrics who named her after a character in The Lord of the Rings. Etienne is a little person who gives as good as he gets. Although he puts up with a lot of bullying, he doesn't let it affect him.

5) Will there be a follow-up?
At this point, no. I've got a bunch of projects on my plate that are going to keep me busy for a while, but I'm very keen to pick up the story 10 years from where it's at now. I have... Some ideas. But I need to let them ruminate for a while.

You can buy Camdeboo Nights from Amazon US, Amazon UK, and Kobo.

Bio: 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 Lyrical Press, 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. You can stalk her on Twitter @nerinedorman.


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