Internet followers, beauty, power. It all sounded good.
Until it transformed into a terrifying reality Dorianna couldn’t stop.
When her father is jailed, her mother ships Dorianna to her aunt’s house. 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, tired of being plain and lonely, and vows she’d give anything to go viral. Wilson claims he’s the Prince of Darkness and offers her the beauty and fame she’s dreamed of—warning her that a pledge has its downsides. Dorianna has no idea of how dire those consequences might be.
Where did you find inspiration for your story?
I love psychological horror, not the bloody, violent kind, but the creeping dread type. Two of my favorite novels are A Picture of Dorian Gray by Wilde and Dr. Faustus by Marlow. Dorian is really just a later version of Faust. In fact there have been many twists on this trope but all have had a male lead player. I wanted to write a version with a young woman. I wondered what a truly contemporary version would contain, and where else a female player might go with the trope. All of these twists are about our shadow sides—how we handle temptation and dark urges when no one’s watching. It’s also about the irony that what people are secretly attracted to can often be the same things they publicly condemn! It’s about our deep terrors as well, the ones involving the so-called sins of the day: promiscuous sex, arrogance, urges to follow our “bad angels” into nefarious activities.
Dorianna is about the dark side of the Internet and our cravings for more followers, more Likes and more popularity, which is a truly modern obsession. Where would it lead her to, if she had dark powers, yet lost all control of them?
Is there a particular vampire story or movie or both that is a favorite?
I’m more into witches right now than vamps. In fact, I’m working on a witch novel, set in 1932 in a New Jersey beach town called Beach Witch. Dorianna is set in Coney Island, Beach Witch in Asbury Park. Apparently, I’m really drawn to skeezy beach and boardwalk scenes. LOL. As far as witch stories go, when I was little I adored The Witch of Blackbird Pond. As an adult, I recently read The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston. Good stuff.
If you could cast your characters, who would be the leads?
Maybe Amanda Seyfried as Dorianna. She’s got the long, blonde hair and slightly spooky eyes, set rather far apart, yet she’s quite beautiful.
For Ander, Dorianna’s love interest, I’d cast Cody Linley, since he’s wholesome, athletic, yet can have a sort of dishonest look (Ander’s in love with two girls, and doesn’t play exactly fair)
For Wilson, maybe Chad Michael Murray because Wilson is a Prince of Darkness, and Chad has that brooding, dark magnetism.
When writing where do you draw inspiration from?
I like complicated characters, struggling with internal as well as external issues. I also like sexy, charming individuals who sometimes use that ability to get what they think they need (and then get their comeuppance). Always I work hard to evoke a true and raw heart and an emotional core. I love magic too! I get inspiration from anything containing these elements: from reality, TV, films, and books—always good books.
Any writing quirks you care to share?
I rarely write in the morning. My best writing time is between 3 and 7:30 pm. I need quiet, and so I don’t listen to music when I write. Yet, I belong to a writing space and the sound of other people typing doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, it spurs me on.