On Dawn’s Bright Talons – Spotlight on Nerine Dorman

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On Dawn’s Bright Talons … A guest post by Nerine Dorman

I’d been itching to write a full-length fantasy novel for quite some time and, in fact, Dawn’s Bright Talons wasn’t my first. But we won’t discuss my first effort in writing full-on fantasy as it certainly will never see the light of day – for various reasons.

Usually I write urban fantasy, but I wanted to play in a world completely of my own devising for a change – so that is how the city of Ysul and all its multi-hued inhabitants came into being.

Essentially, I leaned heavily on Victorian society and transplanted this in into a sweltering, subtropical colonial setting. One of my readers neatly summed the story up as “vampires by gaslight”.

If I have to pinpoint one of my favourite scenes in this setting, it’s the one where my main character, Isabeau, who’s a dancer, attends a music concert. She and her friend attract the musicians’ attention, and they are hauled up on stage for an impromptu performance. I purposefully wanted to show a city with a vibrant nightlife, where young people have the space and inclination to dress up and celebrate life and art.

Part of what I really enjoyed (and always enjoy when I’m writing) is to populate my world with fascinating characters. Although Isabeau and Michel are very near and dear to my heart, I have a huge, squishy soft spot for the roguish Amaya, a rather charming and delightfully manipulative master thief and vampire. His irreverence keeps the others unbalanced. While I adore Isabeau – she is braver than she thinks she is – I do admit to having more of the feels for Michel. he is a reluctant vampire, who’s trying to do the best considering his condition, and his circumstances as a bit of a social pariah. He’d rather run his theatre than get involved in murky, undead politics.

As for why I’ve written vampires (yet) again, I’m of a mind that what matters is not so much the species of supernatural creature – be they elves, angels, zombies or vampires – but what you, as a writer, do with them. My focus is on vampires as individuals, with concerns other than the ones done to death in popular media.

Michel and Isabeau find themselves game pieces in ages-old conflict. In a sense, theirs is a coming-of-age story, as my characters fight to establish themselves outside their elders’ sphere of influence. Theirs is also a tale of an unexpected alliance and a growing realisation of friendship that transcends traditional boundaries.

Dawn’s Bright Talons has had a journey that has been years in the making. After languishing on editors’ desks for many moons, the manuscript was eventually snatched up by David Niall Wilson of Crossroad Press. He has helped shape the story while still allowing me such liberties as employing the rather talented Nathalia Suellen to do my cover illustration.

So, before you ask, yes, there will be a follow-up. I can let slip that I’ll be introducing a third viewpoint character and book two will (mostly) be his story. There are often big gaps between my follow-up novels, precisely because I wait for my imagination to deliver that spark of inspiration.

For the idly curious, if you’ve read and enjoyed Dawn’s Bright Talons, you might want to pick up my recently released The Guardian’s Wyrd – a YA fantasy that should appeal to any of you who ever climbed into wardrobes when you were little. I also have a collection of short stories out, which has gathered some of my yarns that may have slipped through the cracks over the years.

If you’d like to keep in touch, I send out reasonably regular updates via my newsletter (http://eepurl.com/JoPUv) and am also relatively chatty on Twitter @nerinedorman

Purchase Dawn’s Bright Talons:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dawns-Bright-Talons-Nerine-Dorman-ebook/dp/B00LI48Q2Q

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/dawn-s-bright-talons

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/454499

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~ by Shannon MacLeod on September 12, 2014.

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