Today's interview is with Dorien Grey. We internet met years ago on a site we both belonged to All About Murder. As you can guess he writes mysteries.
1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?
I write primarily mysteries, though I've branched off slightly from regular mysteries (my soon-to-be-14-book Dick Hardesty series) into the paranormal (in that a spirit is a major character) in my 3-book Elliott Smith mysteries. I occasionally dabble in poetry and have been working on "The Great American Novel" for several decades.
2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
We sort of bumped into one another and decided we were a match. Since life has always been a mystery to me, and I spend so much of my time asking questions which cannot be answered, mysteries are a natural to me because I can both ask the questions and provide the answers.
3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?
If I had the time, I'd like to try any number of other genres. I'm very partial to science fiction. I would have no interest whatsoever in writing Harlequin-type romances.
4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?
It is one of my greatest regrets that I am so busy writing I find almost no time to read, but when I do, my tastes are pretty eclectic: biography, historical non-fiction, other mystery writers, humorous, etc.
5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing,
I've been writing since I was about five, I think...my first efforts were dictated to my mom, who always encouraged me and instilled me with a love of and fascination for words. For most of my working life, I was a book and magazine editor. Everything I write reflects...though very subtly, I hope...the fact of my being gay. I try to show that what unites us as humans is far greater than what separates us. And I sincerely believe that today's reader is much more aware of the fact that a good story well told is far more important than who sleeps with whom.
6. Which of your characters is your favorite?
That's rather like asking a parent "Which one of your children is your favorite?" I wouldn't say even if I had one, lest I hurt the feelings of the others. I should mention, though that Dick Hardesty is an alternate-universe me. He is everything I wish I were, and we share the same beliefs, opinions, outlooks, and sense of humor.
7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?
Every mystery has its villains, though I frequently write them as almost sympathetic...I've strongly empathize with more than one of them. A couple others are without any redeeming qualities whatsoever and I take delight in giving them what they deserve. Just as each book is different, each villain is different.
8. What are you working on now?
I'm nearing the end (finally) of The Peripheral Son, book #14 in the Dick Hardesty series. After 13 books in the same series, it has come to the point where I consider each book one more chapter in an ongoing story. Readers who have been with me from the beginning...and I am incredibly grateful that there have been so many...have watched the characters grow and develop and have come to look on them, as I have, as not only real people, but friends
9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?
My most recent release is Caesar's Fall, the third book in the Elliott Smith paranormal mystery series, in which the protagonist, Elliott, and his non-corporeal friend John try to help a troubled, recently-deceased spirit find out why he died and who was responsible.
10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words.
I think the opening pretty well lays the groundwork, and I'll let it speak for itself.
Those of us born to and raised by loving parents find it difficult to comprehend that not everyone is so blessed; that there are those parents who, for whatever reason, treat their children as unwelcome strangers. The process often leaves the child with emotional scars which can never completely heal. I could never imagine what it must be like to be a peripheral son, until….
"Did you get any sleep?" I asked Jonathan as I watched Joshua slosh milk into his bowl of cereal, filling it to the brim.
"A little. I guess I still haven't quite come down yet."
He was referring to the Gay Men's Chorus concert the day before, in which he had his first solo. The concert had consisted entirely of songs from Disney movies, from "Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah" to "When You Wish Upon a Star"—and, of course, "Some Day My Prince Will Come," which the entire chorus signed as it sang. Jonathan had the solo on "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes." Needless to say, he was terrific.
Someone said that the reason time passes more and more quickly as we get older is because each day is an incrementally smaller percentage of our total life. If that's true, at the rate time appeared to be zipping by, my one-hundred-tenth birthday was just around the corner.
We had just enrolled Joshua in first grade at our local elementary school for the upcoming school year, and were trying to deal with the logistics involved in this new chapter of our lives. Though Joshua was counting the days until his sixth birthday, my mind simply could not accept the fact that he'd been with us for nearly two years following the death of his parents, Jonathan's brother and sister-in-law. We had entrusted his weekday care to Estelle and Bonnie Bronson, two sisters who ran the Happy Day Daycare Center from their home, almost from the time he came to us. They had been very good about looking after him until one of us got there to pick him up. But public schools do not afford such service, and we had to find an alternate plan.
Again, thank you for the opportunity. If you'll let me know when it appears, I'll post a link to it on several sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and my own website.