With her new book, What Sweet Music They Make, coming out from Lyrical Press January 23rd, I invited Nerine to introduce herself and her work.
“The Children of the Night…
One of the most common questions an author is asked is “Where did the idea for this novel come from?” I don’t think I can give a definite answer for What Sweet Music They Make. All I can say is that the story is inextricably bound with my love for music, my stomping ground—Cape Town—and vampires. Of course the title is a conscious nod to the vampire genre, for those in the know, and a bit tongue in cheek, really.
One of the reasons why I wrote What Sweet Music They Make is because I’m tired of reading stories about the high-powered individuals so popular in urban fantasy and paranormal romance nowadays. I continued with what I started in The Namaqualand Book of the Dead, and found characters who were ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances; pawns in others’ games.
Most of my stories take place in Cape Town. It’s a location that will be exotic to most of my foreign readers, but with enough touchstones of the familiar, while for my local readers, they get the thrill of seeing the Mother City through a different lens. I guess it helps that I regularly do travel writing for a newspaper publisher, so I’m glad to generate that sense of excitement to visit new places. My overactive imagination has always wanted to put forward a home town where vampires wander. And trust me, they don’t sparkle. Some of them are hundreds of years old, and are rather devious non-humans. There’s no sucking on blood bags or hunting animals. They might appear civilised on the surface, but they’re still monsters, and have no qualms about killing.
The protagonists in What Sweet Music They Make are Severin and Tersia. Severin is the epitome of new romantic turned vampire, during the early 1980s. A big David Bowie and Bauhaus fan, he has had his prodigious musical talent smothered over the years that he has been in service to his highly arrogant sire. He is little more than a skivvy in vampiric terms but has no idea how to break those bonds.
Tersia, on the other hand, is still mortal, but she has an otherness about her and her musical talent that the elder vampires of the city are keen to exploit. Up until the point where she meets Severin, her life has been rather disappointing, with a bad relationship and a dissatisfying job teaching music at a school. Her only joy thus far has been playing fiddle in an Irish band.
I’ve always had a great love for Irish music. One of my friends used to play fiddle in an Irish band here in Cape Town, and she started teaching my husband to play. We’d regularly go out to the restaurants where they played on Thursdays, and it was amazing seeing how they really livened up the guests. There’s something wild and magical about Irish folk, and the way it always makes one forget about the cares of the world. Also, a recent trip to Ireland definitely whet my appetite.
All in all, What Sweet Music They Make is a way for me to share my love of some of my favourite things with my readers. The story is somewhat bittersweet in places—definitely not your standard paranormal romance—and fits within a larger setting that overlaps with some of my other published works. I always love leaving little Easter eggs for those who’re familiar with my work, and this story is no exception, even though it stands on its own.
Feel free to step into my world. It’s magical. There’s some humour to counterbalance the seriousness, and you’ll meet some fascinating people.”
Nerine is kind enough to offer a copy of What Sweet Music They Make to a lucky reader. As it is a book about music, comment and let me know what song highlights a landmark moment in your life and how do you feel when you hear it now? Winner will be chosen from the comments- be creative in your responses!
For me, its ‘Lea Halalela’, sung by Khululiwe Sithole/’Shadowland’ (Lion King Musical). We performed this at my high school graduation. It was just…so different than any other choral performance I had been a part of, and it mean’t so much. To all of us. It still makes me smile like a madman and gives me goosebumps when I hear it/sing along now, years and years later.
What Sweet Music They Make in a variety of non-DRM formats: http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=484
Nerine’s other titles at Lyrical Press: http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=authors&authors_id=107
Writing erotica as Therése von Willegen: http://www.bookstrand.com/therese-von-willegen
Blood and Fire, A recent collaboration with Carrie Clevenger: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-and-Fire-ebook/dp/B006SD3F2S/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326463325&sr=1-1
Follow Nerine on Twitter @nerinedorman
Like Nerine’s Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nerine-Dorman-author/173330419365374