Dorien Grey

Dorien Grey

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
February 1, 2007

Q.    How did you come about the idea to write the western/suspense/romance novel CALICO?

A.    As a gay child (and there are gay children) I would go to the Saturday matinees to watch all the cowboys doing all sorts of exciting things and going from one cliffhanger to the next, and even then I wondered why the cowboys always kissed their horses but never each other. Years later, I decided I wanted to write a quick-paced, easy-read Western to parallel those old time movie serials...but with a gay hero. I wrote Calico long before Brokeback Mountain, Hollywood's first admission.that there are gay cowboys, came out (as it were).

Q.    This is a different approach from your Dick Hardesty Mystery Series. Will you tell the readers why you ventured into this new genre?

A.    Storytelling is storytelling, and it's fun to try something different every now and then. And, as indicated above, you don't see many Westerns with gay heroes.

Q.    How did you come about the idea to use Colorado for the characters adventure?

A.   The story takes place in the early 1880s, and Colorado, to me, symbolized the still-wide-open spaces where there was plenty of room for people like Calico Ramsey to live. Plus, it has a little bit of every kind of geographical feature that lend themselves to Western yarns.

Q.    How did you come about Calico's character?

A.   I very much wanted Calicoľas I want Dick Hardesty and everyone who inhabits the Dick Hardesty series--to be the kind of average, likeable, honorable man with whom everyone can identify, and to help continue breaking down the still-hanging-on stereotypes some people have of gay men.

Q.    How did you come about Josh and Sarah's character?

A.   Interesting question. I think by having twins...a brother and sister...I was showing perhaps the duality in all of us. And I didn't want to have this be just a book about gay men. Sarah is a very strong young woman I grew to like and admire, as I did Josh.

Q.    How did you come about Mr. Durant's character?

A.   Every western needs a villain, and elements of duplicity, and should keep the reader/viewer guessing as to who really dunnit. Mike Durant serves all those purposes.

Q.    Will CALICO be a series or will there be a sequel?

A.   I've had a number of readers ask for a sequel, and if I were to come up with a potential plot I thought would work, I'd definitely do it. But in my mind the main story has been told, and when Calico and Josh head back to Uncle Dan' Calico's...ranch I know they are going to live happily ever after, as they deserve to.

Q.    Are you currently writing another novel?

A.   Oh, my, yes. I'm always writing another novel. The next Dick Hardesty mystery, The Dream Ender, will be released by Zumaya Publications (they also published Calico later this year, and I'm currently working on book #12 of the series.

Q.    Which of your books were your favorite to write?

A.   That is a very difficult question. It's rather like asking a parent "Which of your children do you like the most?" It would probably take several long sessions with a psychologist to figure out why, but for some reason I seem to identify perhaps most strongly with The Butchers Son, which I think allowed me to deal with a number of subconscious personal issues. (Writers do that, from time to time.)

Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from reading CALICO?

A.    I would like the reader to come away from Calico and from all my books thinking: "Hey, I like these people!" The world is a very small place, and we are all on it together. It's time we placed more emphasis on our similarities than our differences.

Thank you again, Lauretta, for the opportunity to talk with your readers. It is much appreciated.