Author Dorien Grey steps outside preconceived boundaries when it comes to his writing, giving readers something with a new angle. His mysteries are mixed with the paranormal, adding an extra element of intrigue to the plot. |
Dorien Grey used to refer to his hometown of Rockford, Illinois, as the last stronghold of stupidity north of the Mason-Dixon Line. (Someone once donated the painting of a nude to the local art museum, which refused to hang it. A teacher was once dismissed for wanting to produce the play "Inherit the Wind" about the Scopes Monkey Trial.) There he spent his childhood living largely in his own imagination, and if other kids weren’t around to play with, he would spend hours on his back on the lawn, watching the elephants and ships and clowns in the clouds. And once he saw God.
He claims to be very good at being profound and very good at solving all the world's problems. He also gives excellent advice, but, he says, he seems incapable of taking it. He admits to being an expert at jumping to conclusions, necessitating an endless string of apologies, backtracking, and general embarrassment.
As a collector of memories, he stores them in the attic of his mind to relive when the mood strikes. He’s acutely aware of the passage of time and truly passionate about preserving as much of himself as he can in words before he must, however reluctantly, leave this fascinating party we call life.
As a gay man, he feels as if classical music (full orchestral, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, etc.) and show tunes are in his DNA. He listens to both while he writes.
Some of his favorite things include: Babies, kittens, puppies and other innocent things; laughter; being able to lose himself in a book or movie or play or TV show; hearing from a reader who has enjoyed his books; spontaneous and gratuitous acts of kindness and selflessness; beauty as he perceives it—among many other things.
On Writing in Dorien Grey’s Own Words
What or who inspires you to write?
My mind never lets me rest, which can really be a problem when I'd just like to take a few days off and do nothing. "But you've got to write! What about this idea? Or that? Or..." An idea will pop into my head and won't leave me alone until I pursue it in writing.
Why did you begin writing?
Because, like Richard Merrick, the "elephant man," once said, speculating on his deformities: "I think my head is so large because it is so full of dreams." My head might not be as large as his, but it is indeed "so full of dreams."
What author inspires you?
I always dread questions like this because my answer is always the same and always sounds like I'm being evasive, which I am not. Whenever I read a book that impresses me, I automatically throw what I liked most about it (plot, style, language, imagery) into my own always-simmering stew. So many books, so many great authors, so many inspirations.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Because, since childhood, the realities of the world and I have barely been on speaking terms, I take an infinite amount of pleasure and satisfaction in creating my own. It is because I do not like much of life as it is, that I turn to writing to create my own alternate realities.
Have you experienced writer’s block? And if so, how did you cure it?
Every now and then—though blessedly very seldom—I will run into a brick wall when writing. When that happens, I go back at least a chapter or two and start reading as though I'd never seen the intervening words before. By the time I get to the point where the trouble arose, I can almost always just sail right past it.
When is your next book due out, and what’s it about?
Caesar's Fall, book #3 of the Elliott Smith Mystery series, should be out by the time this interview appears. The story begins when Elliott befriends a new neighbor—the winner of a $57 million lottery—and tries to help him navigate the shark filled waters of sudden wealth. There is, of course, a death, and the appearance of Elliott's non-corporeal friend John, and a new building project in which the spirit of the victim is involved, and the evolution of Elliott's relationship with Steve, and... Well, there's a lot going on, and a lot of questions that need answering. I hope you might read it and find out how all these elements tie together.
Please read my review of Aaron’s Wait then visit the author’s website for information on future Elliott Smith Mysteries.