Dorianna by Catherine Stine

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.

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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.

Q) What inspired you to write Dorianna?
I’m fascinated with the themes of hunger—for more friends and popularity, and the corrupting nature of power. In Dorianna’s case, it’s the longing for more and more followers—on Facebook, Instagram and You Tube. It takes her down a very treacherous path that she can no longer control. I wanted to follow her story to find out how she’d get out of it! Or if she would…

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 and calls up Mephistopheles to grant him powers. Faustus doesn't believe in the devil, or hell. He's a modern man of science. Damnation, piffle! He 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. There are even more versions of this trope because other authors through the years have loved it, too. I wanted to create one for our time.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
I wrote the first draft of Dorianna during Nano a few years ago. It went through additional drafts, and a switch from third to first person. It took three years.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
Dreaming up characters, figuring out their relationships, their unique narratives, how it all weaves together. I like getting to the emotional heart in a scene. Editing too, oddly enough.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
That first draft is brutal, and takes an enormous amount of heart, energy, and stamina. The hubby can attest to my distracted, unsettled state when I’m in mid-draft.

Q) If you could be any famous person for a day, who would you be and why?
Either the princess, Catherine of Aragon so I could experience extreme pampering, or the pirate-ess, Anne Bonny, so I could sail and act like a beguiling terror.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
Ack! Maybe a frozen TV dinner? You’re reminding me to clean out my freezer.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
More and more, I like writing about supernatural elements: witches, modern demons, and all of that good scary stuff. I may do a sequel to Dorianna from Wilson’s point of view. He’s the modern prince of darkness (a videographer) who lures her to the dark side. But the novel I’m working on right now is a historical paranormal romance set in 1932 on the Jersey shore. It’s called Beach Witch and it’s about a pretty young lady named Fiera, who has no idea she’s a powerful witch, at least at first. Want more hints? Take a peek at my Beach Witch Pinterest board here:

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