Author Interview: Dorien Grey

Dorien Grey Bio:
If it is possible to be two people without being schizophrenic, then that would pretty much sum me up. Most of my life was…and is…lived as Roger Margason, who is subject to all the rules of time and the physical universe. But when I began writing for publication and chose the pen name Dorien Grey (a deliberate misspelling of Oscar Wilde’s character, and a long story), I was able to free up that part of me which has no absolutely no physical constraints. Dorien is whoever and whatever I want him to be at the moment, and gradually he has emerged as…for want of a better term…his own person.

It has reached the point where the Roger part of me merely sits down at the computer and reads the words Dorien creates. It is truly great fun, and Dorien frequently catches Roger totally by surprise. (I always tell the story of how, in the course of the writing of “The Good Cop“, my protagonist, Dick Hardesty, walks into a bar to pick up a local paper and sees a young man named Jonathan seated at the bar. And that instant, which I had absolutely no idea was coming, changed the course of the Dick Hardesty series forever.) It is moments like that which make writing so (literally) wonderful.

Now…what might I do to persuade you to join my little band of devoted readers?


Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Dorien Grey: People often ask this question of writers, and for myself, it’s rather like being asked: “Have you always wanted to have brown eyes?” It’s not a matter of “wanting” so much of as simply “being.” I wrote my first story (well, I dictated it to my mom, who wrote it down…I still have it around somewhere) at around age 5. It was a rousing epic of the old west ending with the memorable line: “And the cowboys yelled ‘yippee’ and everything else.” Now, how could I not have become a writer after that?

Tell us a little bit about your book/s. What are their titles; which is your favorite if you have more than one, and briefly let us know what they are about. Pay particular attention to your most recent book and/or your first book:

Dorien Grey: I currently have an 11-book mystery series (the Dick Hardesty Mysteries), the most recent being “The Dream Ender“. Number 12, “The Angel Singers”, is scheduled for release within a few months. Before that will come “His Name is John”, the first book in a new paranormal mystery series to alternate with the Dick Hardesty series. I also have a stand-alone western/romance/adventure novel, “Calico“. To ask which book is my favorite is rather like asking a parent which of his/her children is his/her favorite. Even if there were one, the parent would be hesitant to say so for fear of hurting the others.

I enjoy writing series because they give me (and the reader) the opportunity to follow the growth and development of the protagonist and the many recurring characters from book to book. They have become almost like an extended family for many of my readers, which delights me.

That my protagonists are gay was a deliberate choice. Not only does it give my books a distinct flavor, but I consider it something of a crusade to show mainstream readers who may not have been exposed to a world other than their own that what unites us as human beings is far more important than what separates us. Each book deals with basic human emotions in such a way that the reader can identify with the characters as people, not as stereotypes.

Have you ever won any writing awards? If so, what?

Dorien Grey:Four of my books have been finalists for a Lambda Literary Award, and I’ve been given the WordWeaver Series of Excellence Award, all of which are greatly appreciated.

What type of music, if any, do you listen to while you write?

Dorien Grey: The radio is always on to one of four types of music: Classical, Show Tunes, Big Band, or Standards. I find it hard to write without some sort of comfortable music in the background, even though I’m not always specifically aware of it.

What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?

Dorien Grey: The answer to what motivates me lies in my mantra: “Write, for the night is coming.” As a gay man with no children, my writing is my posterity. Even with children, memories tend to fade and, as children become grandchildren and then grandchildren and beyond, the individual is most often gone forever. But words can live as long as there are people to read them. I am driven to leave as detailed a record of my life, thoughts, and dreams as possible.

And apart from the egocentricism of my need to write, I firmly believe that, in a world in which far too many people feel they are alone and/or misunderstood, everything I write is also directed to the individual reader; to you. While we may never have met, and probably never will, I hope you can find, in my words, bits and pieces of yourself, and in so doing realize that we share more than you may realize.

What about your family? Do you have children, married, siblings, parents? Has your family been supportive of your writing?

Dorien Grey: This is a most interesting question for a gay man. My parents are long and still lamentably dead, but those of my larger family who are still alive provide me with an invaluable sense of belonging I have never gotten from the world in general. Unlike many gays and lesbians, I have been blessed by the unquestioned support of my family, for which I am eternally grateful. And because the characters in my books are so real to me, they are truly like family. That many of my readers have told me they feel the same about them is indescribably validating.

The main characters of your stories – do you find that you put a little of yourself into each of them or do you create them to be completely different from you?

Dorien Grey: Dick Hardesty IS me. Or rather, he is an alternate-universe me.

Through him, I can do those things I cannot do as myself, and have those things I have always wanted to have. But our outlook on life, our sense of humor, our fundamental beliefs, are identical. Calico Ramsey, the protagonist of my western, is a “wouldn’t it be fun to be a cowboy in the 1880s” version of me, though not nearly so close to being me as Dick is. And Elliott Smith, the protagonist of my new series, is somewhere in the middle. I like and admire Elliott, but he is much more practical and realistic than I.

When growing up, did you have a favorite author, book series, or book?

Dorien Grey: I was a voracious reader as a child and a young adult. I read everything I could get my hands on, fiction or non-fiction. Fairy tales to Greek Mythology (not that big a step) to science fiction to the Oz books to biography and history, and everything in between. One of my greatest regrets is the irony that I am now far too busy writing to be able to read 1/1,000th of what I would like to read.

Hey, let’s get morbid. When they write your obituary, what do you hope they will say about your book/s and writing? What do you hope they will say about you?

Dorien Grey: Hmm…several things leap to mind. Probably: “I wish I’d known him.”

And I dearly love the epitaph I once read: “As you are now, so once were we. As we are now, so shall you be.” And one other epitaph I might like would be: “Think of me, and I live”…as I hope to live through my words.

How long did it take you to write your most recent (or first) book? When you started writing, did you think it would take that long (or short)?

Dorien Grey: After so many (relatively) books, I’ve slipped into a comfortable pattern. Because I can and do write full time, I usually complete a book within 6 to 7 months: they all average around 77,000 words; rather short for a novel. I don’t deliberately set out to aim for that number, but it’s the way it usually works out.

Now, use this space to tell us more about who you.
I am not the least bit shy about letting you know that I would love nothing better than to have you become one of my readers. Again, it’s not altogether selfish: I do hope you would find the experience entertaining and/or informative, and perhaps provide new insights into yourself as an individual.

In addition to my website ( I have three main blogs: “A World Ago” (, which is a compilation of letters I wrote home to my parents while in the Navy some 50-plus years ago. These aren’t your normal “I’m fine. How are you?” letters, but chronicle my days learning to fly as a Naval Aviation Cadet, then subsequently as a regular sailor aboard an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean at the height of the cold war.

I also have a blog of random thoughts
(, and a photoblog of my life from birth to present, with brief thoughts on each. I also have blogs on Authorsden and several other net sites.

A writer is nothing without readers, and I would be most happy to count you among mine.
And a special thanks here to Michelle and Accentuate Services for the opportunity to talk to you here today.


Thanks, Dorien, and be sure to thank Roger too! Stay tuned to this blog for a book review for one of Dorien Grey’s novels coming soon.

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