Genre: YA paranormal/horror
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Date of Publication: October 24, 2014
Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
Virtual book tour organized by: Bewitching Book Tours
Internet followers, beauty, power. It all sounded good.
Until it transformed into a terrifying reality Dorianna couldn’t stop
Dorianna is a dark twist for the Internet generation on A Picture of Dorian Gray.
When her father is jailed, her mother ships lonely, plain Dorianna to her aunt’s. There, Dorianna yearns to build a new identity, but the popular Lacey bullies her—mostly for getting attention from her ex, Ander.
Ander takes Dorianna to Coney Island where Wilson, a videographer, creates a stunning compilation of her. She dreams of being an online sensation, as she’s never even had a birthday party, and vows she’d give anything to go viral. Wilson claims he’s the Prince of Darkness and warns her the pledge has downsides.
Dorianna thinks he’s joking. She has no idea of how dire the consequences might be.
Hello Catherine! First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview and, also, to welcome you to my blog. Let's start with the moment you decided to become a writer. How did you feel?
I have always loved to write. I wrote a bunch of cute little mysteries when I was in fourth grade and illustrated all the covers. I was in writing groups in high school. But I also loved to draw and paint so I came to NYC and showed my work in galleries for a while. Then I had an epiphany: I needed to stop painting and focus on my writing because I wanted to be a novelist. I completed an MFA in creative writing, sold my thesis and have not painted since. That decision was painful but freeing in a big way! Now I actually write about artists in one of my series (The Art of Love series using my pen name Kitsy Clare)
How would you describe your life since you have become a writer?
Busy! I’m obsessed with writing and I write whenever I can. If I’m not writing I’m usually daydreaming about my novel plot or the characters. And this year I am attending YAtopia in Nashville and RT Times in Dallas, so I will be traveling to cons as well. Come see me!
Where does your inspiration come from?
Oh, boy, who knows? If writers knew that, they’d bottle up their magic INSPIRE formula and sell it! I write about issues that fascinate me or disturb me, and characters that are pastiches of types that interest me. Dorianna, for instance, is a lonely, misunderstood girl, who, when she obtains dark magic and power, becomes overtaken with a craving for more online followers and meetup parties until the whole experience is totally out of control. By then, when she’s desperate to stop it, she has no idea how. This Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr/blog following and social media frenzy is a thoroughly modern phenomenon that has many possibilities to veer into dangerous territory, which of course, for the writer, is big fun!
Tell us about Dorianna. Was it hard to choose the title? What about the cover?
Dorianna is a new twist on two of my favorite novels: Christopher Marlow's Doctor Faustus, and Oscar Wilde’s A Picture of Dorian Gray. Faustus is a brilliant college professor who, after earning what is equivalent to a PhD, is bored and asks the medieval version of "Is this all there is?" He has noble ideas: to find cures for dreadful diseases—even raise the dead. But you need superpowers for that! So, he falls into temptation, makes a vow with the devil's messenger and signs it in blood. Soon, he regrets it, but there's no taking it back. In Dorian Gray, Dorian is awed by his own image in the portrait his uncle paints of him. He makes a dark wish: to stay always as young and handsome and only have the painting age. The painting becomes hideous because it shows the ugliness growing in his soul. I wanted to create a version of Dorian for our time, and I wanted the lead to be a young woman. DORIANNA was born. I chose the girl in the photo and Evernight’s designer made her own magic that is the cover you see.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
It deals with themes that fascinate me: psychological hunger and craving. It was a satisfying experience to figure out how Dorianna, in her own unique way, would handle her dreadful dilemma. Plus, I LOVE Wilson! He’s my own Prince of Darkness who tempts Dorianna to the dark side. He’s sexy, immoral, and a very fashionable dresser to boot. I had fun with his outfits.
Which actress would you like to see playing Dorianna?
Maybe Amanda Seyfried. She has the long hair, and wide-set, slightly spooky eyes.
How much time do you spend doing research for your books?
A lot if I need to. A good amount of Dorianna is set in Coney Island, and I’ve been out there a lot. I love the ticky-tacky boardwalk/amusement park scene. Right now, I’m working on a novel set in 1932 in Asbury Park, and I’ve done buckets of research: on the lingo, the fashions, the setting. Plus I happen to be at a weekend writing retreat as I write this in… wait for it… Asbury Park!
Did any particular personality influence you in any way growing up or as an adult?
I’ve had the good luck of having a couple of really wonderful writing mentors and teachers. And my characters are based on real types. Everyone has compelling quirks. Wilson is based on wickedly devious types I’ve known. Dorianna, in her darkest moments is based on certain manipulative people I’ve clashed with. I do like broken, troubled and aberrant souls for fiction. Conflict powers fiction, after all.
What are your favourite books of all time?
The ones I read in childhood: Pippi Longstocking, Alice in Wonderland. Such inventive fantasies!
What do you think most characterizes your writing?
People say my prose is lyrical, visual and cinematic. My mission is to entertain and put my characters hearts out there for you to hear beating and see bleeding.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
A writer’s first job is to entertain. A writer’s second task is to pull a reader in through the characters’ emotions. I tell my students when I teach workshops that each scene must have an emotional heart. This also holds true for the novel as a whole. Part of the craft is voice, and the other is the ability to make us care deeply about the fictional world. Sometimes the characters are too formulaic. But even if they are interesting, if there’s not enough action or high stakes to propel the story, we don’t care enough. One must examine plot, voice, character and stakes—all of it to diagnose issues and revise properly. Take your time and polish your manuscript completely. Good luck!
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
You totally rock! You inspire me to keep writing stories for your pleasure.
Short teaser excerpts
About the Author
Catherine Stine’s novels span the range from science fiction to paranormal to contemporary. Her futuristic thriller, Fireseed One won finalist spots in YA and Sci-Fi in the 2013 USA News International Book Awards and an Indie Reader Approved notable seal. Its companion novel, Ruby’s Fire was a finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Awards. Her paranormal YA, Dorianna launches with Evernight Teen in October. She also writes new adult fiction as Kitsy Clare. Her new adult Art of Love series includes Model Position and Private Internship. She loves all things spooky, exotic and edgy, including travel to unusual locations. She also loves hearing from readers.