Dorien Grey

Dorien Grey

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
October 24, 2006

Q.    How did you come about the idea surrounding a murder in a library which reflected on solving a mystery that surrounded donated literature?

A.    As so often happens in my writing, several elements just all came together. Most people think of libraries as intrinsically uninteresting places, yet the fact is that they are the dynamic repositories of all human history and emotion. What better place for the totally unexpected...a murder with complex layers of motivation?

Q.    Did you know when you started this novel who the murderer would be?

Once I have the basic idea for a book, I more or less just sit down and read it as I write it. Sometimes I know "whodunnit" from the beginning, sometimes the murderer reveals him/herself to me as the story progresses. In The Paper Mirror, I first knew why the killer did it, then narrowed it down to who...taking lots of little detours on the way.

Q.    How did you come about Evan Knight's character?

A.    For not a few writers, success brings an element of arrogance. Evan Knight is a multi-faceted character who has a great deal to hide behind the "successful writer" facade.

Q.    Why did Evan feel he needed to disclose to Dick how he knew Jonathan?

A.    An element of arrogance is feeling one is above common civility or concern for the feelings of others. Evan remembers Jonathan from the days before Dick and Jonathan met, when Jonathan was forced by circumstances to sell himself to survive. Evan knows Jonathan is now with Dick, but doesn't hestiate to try to create problems for them to get what he wants.

Q.    How did Dick and Johnathan come about raising Joshua?

A.    While each book in the series can be read by and for itself without knowing anything of what came before, I consider each book in the Dick Hardesty Mystery series to be, in effect, a chapter in Dick's life, I try in each book to set up something of the premise for the next. I knew I wanted to expand and add depth to Dick and Jonathan's relationship two books previous to this one. The Role Players, book # 8 in the series, introduced the fact that Jonathan has a four year old nephew. Book # 9, The Popsicle Tree, explains how Joshua enters and becomes an integral part of Dick's and Jonathan's lives. I hesitate to go into detail as to exactly how, since while each book in the series stands alone, I really hope your readers will want to find out for themselves.

Q.    How did you come about the idea surrounding Morgan and Scot?

A.    I found both Morgan and Scot's extremely empathetic, and their relationship to represent the major theme of the book. I see their story as almost a classic Romeo and Juliet tale of love thwarted by the intolerant and illogical rules of society. They're both honorable, decent men who deserve far better than they got.

Q.    How did you come about the title THE PAPER MIRROR?

A.    The explanation for the title is given on the first page of the book (I always start each book with something of a brief prologue of the book's theme): Writers of fiction, particularly, reflect their innermost selves and their innermost secrets through their words. Perhaps that's why they polish them so. For them, words are paper mirrors.

Q.    Which number in the Dick Hardesty Mystery series is THE PAPER MIRROR?

A.    The Paper Mirror is # 10 in the series. The others, in order of publication, are: The Butcher's Son, The Ninth Man, The Bar Watcher, The Hired Man, The Good Cop, The Bottle Ghosts, The Dirt Peddler, The Role Players, and The Popsicle Tree. While each is set predominently within the gay community, each has a specific, universal theme with which anyone can identify.

Q.    How you currently working on another novel?

A.    Several, as a matter of fact. The next Dick Hardesty mystery is nearing completion. In November, the print version of my western/romance/adventure novel, Calico, will be released, and I am awaiting final word on the acceptance of what might become a second mystery series. I have my fingers crossed.

Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from reading THE PAPER MIRROR?

A.    I hope those who read The Paper Mirror come away with a deeper understanding of just how the most elemental and noble of human emotions can be destroyed by the intrasigent, illogical, and totally unforgiving rules of society