I'd like to thank Dormaine G to come here today and sit in the HOT STEP as I interview her.
Robin Leigh Morgan: Please introduce yourself.Dormaine G: I was born in New York and lived there with my family until I was eight when we moved to Mississippi. Ten years later, I went to college at Xavier University in New Orleans, LA for about two years then moved to Lynn, MA for life experience. I decided to move back to NY on my own where I finally became an RN. I worked there as an RN for years then decided to do travel nursing for a few years until I decided to stay in Colorado.
I may be a nurse by profession but I am an author by heart. I have been writing stories for many years, both in my head and on paper because I’ve always had a love for books ever since spending Saturdays at the library as a young child. Within a book, the mind can travel to worlds of the imagination and the beyond. I finally took the plunge and published my first novel last year, a young adult urban fantasy titled “Connor” and an adult horror short story titled “Madame Lilly, Voodoo Priestess”. Both are the first editions of many to come as I stay locked up in my office in Colorado spinning more tales.
Robin Leigh: Tell us about your latest published novel.
Dormaine: I recently published “Madame Lilly, Voodoo Priestess” in February 2014. It’s a short story historical fiction about a woman seeking revenge through voodoo.
Robin Leigh: What are the two latest books you’ve already published? Give us about a five sentence description for each?
Dormaine: So far the books I published are Connor and Madame Lilly, Voodoo Priestess.
Connor: Connor discovers she has the gift of invisibility, among other gifts, but what she doesn't realize is that her life is about to change for the worse. She meets five other teenagers who have abilities similar to hers but not everyone is so eager to find answers as to why they are different. Sensing their lives are in danger, Connor is determined to figure out the truth by any means necessary. Then there is Ronin, he is young, smart, and breathtaking. He is set on taking his revenge out on Connor but she has no idea why.
Madame Lilly, Voodoo Priestess: Is set in the late 1800’s New Orleans about a Creole woman, Odara, who entered into a common law marriage under Placage. Soon after getting married she finds out that her husband is not who he pretended to be. For twelve long years she suffered unbearable hell by his hand forcing her to get revenge. With no one to help her out of suffrage Madame Lilly a voodoo priestess is born. Lilly gets her revenge but in order to do so there is a price, one she was not aware of.
Robin Leigh: What can you tell us about your current writing endeavor?
Dormaine: I am presently writing on book two of the Connor series of which I still have not named. I just recently finished my first rough draft.
Robin Leigh: Can you give us an excerpt from one of your favorite scenes in your latest novel?
Madame Lilly, Voodoo Priestess:
Standing up, Lilly’s body stiffened uncontrollably. There was something wrong. A force was pulling her in. That wasn’t supposed to happen . . . she was supposed to feel in control at all times but she was losing it.
There was something else here, something she hadn’t invited. Despite the humid night air her body turned cold, rigidly cold, making her teeth chatter. Her followers saw the change when she stood up so suddenly. They stopped beating the drums since they could tell something was wrong by the way she held herself so tightly.
A force had a hold on her. Lilly could feel it in her bones. She desperately wanted to close her eyes but something within her wouldn’t allow it.
The wind howled and the dirt flew around them, making it almost impossible to see. Something fierce was coming for her. The other spirits knew it because they stopped walking but instead hid in the shadows of the trees, finally showing themselves as they moved swiftly past the other spirits that were coming right at her. There were two of them, no longer holding human forms, but white shadows of their former selves.
Lilly held her arms rigid as the forces rapidly circled her body, spinning her round to see her. Stopping close to her face, they intertwined with each other as if to figure out what she was. They appeared identical with hollow pits for eyes and mouths but she could sense they were not truly the same. They hovered in front of her for only a moment before they shot through her body, taking a part of her with them and knocking her to the ground from the blinding pain.
Robin Leigh: What was the inspiration for your latest novel?
Dormanine: I lived in New Orleans at one time and still visit there as often as I can. I love the history there and since voodoo and Placage, both of which intrigue me, play a big part of its culture I decided to put them together in a book. I plan on keeping Madame Lilly around for some time.
Robin Leigh: How did you decide what the title of this book would be? If this book is part of a series, then the books in the series.
Dormaine: I usually wait until the end of the book before I come up with the title. I decided by what feels right and since she went through a lot I thought it fitting to name the book after her.
Robin Leigh: Would you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?
Dormaine: I am most definitely a panster. I do not plot or outline anything. The development of my stories comes to me as I write. My midbrain is constantly working about the next situation or idea so when I sit down to write I go from what ideas I came up with. Of course I go back and tweak what I write but that way works for me. I don’t like to stick too much to a plan because I feel it can limit me.
Robin Leigh: What made you decide to become an author?
Dormaine: I have written stories off and on for years but at the end of 2012 I was laid off and decided to finally finish my book Connor. I feel everything works out in the end.
Robin Leigh: In your latest novel, who’s your favorite character male/female? Tell us why?
Dormaine: My latest was named after the main character Odara aka Madame Lilly who is my favorite character. I like her because after all that she has gone through she survived in the end. I feel she is strong and powerful even though she doesn’t realize to what extent yet.
Robin Leigh: Do you set aside a specific amount of time to write, write/answer emails, and market/promote your book[s]?
Dormaine: I set a goal each week of how much I will write on my books; usually write at least five thousand words a week. I try and put about one hour a day into marketing but then set one full day a week aside for just marketing. I try not to work every day so not to burn out but with me loving what I do, it’s hard to walk away.
Robin Leigh: Do you read books outside the genre you write in? What are they?
Dormaine: Yes I read books outside my genre. Besides my genre of young adult urban fantasy and historical fiction, I will read just about anything fiction or fantasy. I like mystery, thriller, a great detective novel, paranormal romance/dysfunctional romance and anything supernatural.
Robin Leigh: What must you have around you when you write; food, drink, music, etc?
Dormaine: I have the television on in the other room just to sense it but not to hear it and it most likely will be on the Syfy (SciFi) channel. I just need to have the essentials around like my laptop and I’m good to go. When I write I’m so into it nothing else matters so having anything else around is not really necessary.
Robin Leigh: When you were an aspiring author you needed advice. What advice would you give to those aspiring author in those shoes today?
Dormaine: Grow a thick skin and fast, do not read reviews good or bad as they may influence your writing, be true to yourself when you write and keep striving to be better than what you were on your last book.
Robin Leigh: Is there anything else you’d like to briefly tell us about your book, your writing, or yourself.
Dormaine: I’m one of the biggest SciFi geeks who loves anything supernatural and yes that includes vampires. I may be an adult but I don’t believe in growing and never will. I love to swim, write and my two favorite things to eat in the world are New York style pizza and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Also, that another volume of Madame Lilly should be out by June and the second book under the Connor series will most likely be out in July. Also, I plan on writing a short story under the Connor series to explain the San history.
Where can we find your book? Connor is everywhere including book stores. Right now Madame Lilly is located on Amazon. My website and blog links to all my books and their locations.
Where can we find you on internet?:
FACEBOOK FAN PAGE: http://www.facebook.com/dormaineG
WEB PAGE: http://www.dormaineg.com/
THANKS for your time in allowing me to interview you.