Title: The Secret Keeper
Release Date: 12-10-09
Author: Dorien Grey
Author Website: http://www.doriengrey.com
Publisher: Zumaya Boundless
Buy Link: In or on order from any bookstore or online bookseller, including Amazon.com
Blurb: When P.I. Dick Hardesty's partner, Jonathan, is hired by an aging millionaire to help him with his garden, Dick finds himself following a trail of greed, dysfunction, possible murder, a missing will, and a secret Jonathan does not know he is keeping.
Welcome Dorien Grey! What is your Sizzling Release? If by "sizzling" you mean "hot off the press," that The Secret Keeper is. If you mean "sizzling" as in heavy-breathing eroticism, that it ain't. Not that there isn't an erotic element to all of my books, but I have always believed that being pointed in the direction of the bedroom, the reader can fill in the blanks far better than I can.
What is The Secret Keeper all about?
The blurb pretty much sums it up. My books tend to be about the characters and their relationships as much as the mystery they're caught up in. Those who have read all 13 books in the series have watched the characters develop and grow, though I take great care to be sure that a new reader can come in at any point without feeling confused as to who is who or what might have happened in earlier books.
It really shows the strength of an author when the reader can step into a series and understand the characters and plot without having to start at book one. Besides, I just love mysteries! How did you come up with the idea?
Because the continuing characters grow from book to book, I wanted to feature Jonathan, whose interest in plants was introduced in the same book in which he made his appearance, and evolved through going to college for a degree in horticulture while working for a nursery. In The Secret Keeper he is taking the next step in his development. Jonathan has always been a reader favorite, so setting his progress within the framework of a mystery, so making him a focus seemed the natural thing to do.
I realize this is your gazillioneth book to be published, but when you think back to your very first contract, do you remember what you felt, what you did to celebrate?
My first book contract came about as a fluke. I was, at the time, doing what I've done most of my professional life, editing books and magazines. I had convinced the publishing house for which I worked to start a line of gay fiction paperbacks, and we sent out a call for submissions. My boss's boss had a young nephew who fancied himself a writer, and who immediately gave him a contract for a book. The fact that the young man was straight and couldn't write a grocery list was of no consequence. The manuscript for which he had been paid sight-unseen proved to be unadulterated excrement. One line remains with me to this day. He (straight, remember) was writing a gay sex scene he probably thought was the epitome of the gay sexual experience. The line was: "They pressed their lips together and enjoyed it very much." I tossed it in the trash and convinced my immediate boss to issue me a contract to rewrite it from word one, which I did. And thus was my writing career born.
Now that The Secret Keeper has been released, what are you working on?
I'm currently about halfway through Caesar's Fall, the third book of my relatively new Elliott Smith paranormal mystery series. I've been alternating between the two series.
And for the grand finale—Now that The Secret Keeper has been released, what you have planned in addition to Caesar's Fall, publishing wise, for the New Year.
I have two other books in the publisher's pipeline: the re-release of The Bar Watcher, book #3 of the Dick Hardesty series, and A World Ago, a memoir of letters I wrote home while in the Navy during the height of the cold war. They are definitely not your "I am fine. How are you?" type letters. And as soon as Caesar's Fall is finished, I'll start the next Dick Hardesty.
Thank you for joining me. Is there anything else you'd like the readers to know?
As a matter of fact, yes. I'd like to emphasize just how important readers are to a writer. Often I will hear someone say, "Oh, I'm just a reader." I want every reader to realize that they are the reason writers write, and they are the center of the writer's world. Without readers, writers would be nothing.
I'd also like to urge your readers, when they read a book they enjoy, to drop the writer a note. Contrary to popular belief, few writers live in ivory towers or travel among the rich and famous. They're hard working people who really appreciate hearing when someone enjoys their work. Because hearing from a reader makes my day, I've put my email firstname.lastname@example.org my website for just that purpose.
And finally, when a reader finishes a book, taking just a minute to post a simple comment on what they thought of it to Amazon or other sites which accept reader reviews can be a great help other readers in deciding whether to take a chance with the book.And thank you yet again, Rie, for the opportunity to appear here.