The Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray – a novel by Mitzi Szereto
What if Dorian Gray Faked His Death and Led a Secret Life?
Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, Mitzi Szereto’s The Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray continues where Wilde left off, bringing Dorian Gray back from the dead in this Faustian tale of a man of eternal youth and great physical beauty who lives a life of corruption, decadence, and hedonism. The story begins in the bordellos of Jazz-Age Paris, moving to the opium dens of Marrakesh and the alluring anonymity of South America. In his pursuit of sensation and carnal thrills, Dorian’s desires turn increasingly extreme as he leaves behind yet more devastation and death. He ultimately settles in present-day New Orleans, joining forces with a group of like-minded beings known as the Night People. They inadvertently return to Dorian his humanity when he falls in love with a young woman he rescues from becoming their victim. Will she be his redemption? Or will she be his final curse?
Mitzi Szereto (http://mitziszereto.com) is a bestselling multi-genre author and anthology editor, has her own blog “Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog” (http://mitziszereto.com/blog), and is the creator/presenter of the Web channel “Mitzi TV” (http://mitziszereto.com/tv), which covers “quirky” London. Her books include Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire; Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts; Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles); Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance; Getting Even: Revenge Stories; and In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales. Mitzi has pioneered erotic writing workshops in the UK and mainland Europe, teaching them from the Cheltenham Festival of Literature to the Greek islands. She’s also lectured in creative writing at several British universities and performed readings of her work in several countries. Her anthology Erotic Travel Tales 2 is the first anthology of erotica to feature a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She divides her time between the UK and USA.
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
Mitzi: As you can tell by my surname, I’m of Hungarian origin, though I was born in the United States. I’m now British by nationality and I consider myself to be British. I’ve lived all over the USA and also jumped around quite a bit in the UK. My background is in the creative arts; I’m a professionally trained artist and also studied music when I was younger. The writing was always there, however. It was simply a matter of what took off first – selling a painting or selling a book. The book won out!
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
Mitzi: The Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray is actually a sequel to the literary classic by Oscar Wilde. I had to resurrect Dorian from the dead with a bit of artistic license, since he died in the original. He’s quite a bad boy, and I continue the hedonistic Dorian’s tale, taking him out of Victorian London and into Jazz-Age Paris and the opium dens of Marrakesh, then to the wilds of South America until he eventually lands in modern-day New Orleans, where he hooks up with a group of young people who are, shall we say, into a bit of vampirism. My book is a fusion of genres – from Gothic romance and Gothic horror to erotic fiction, paranormal, fantasy and LGBT. I’d actually pitched the idea several years ago to my publisher and they finally came back to me and asked me to write the novel. So that’s exactly what I did!
How do you create your characters?
Mitzi: They just appear in my mind and begin to take shape. There’s nothing calculated about the process. I usually have no idea how they will turn out or what characteristics they will develop. They seem to do whatever they please!
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
Mitzi: The love of reading inspires me and the love of language. Reading is one of my favorite pursuits. I’ve read since I was barely old enough to hold a book. Even as a child I spent my summers off school reading book after book after book – and I don’t mean kid’s books. I never really read those. I would read straight off the bestseller lists. I’ve written from early childhood. I’m certain my teachers in school saw a special spark in me whenever we were given a writing assignment, be it poetry or stories; they probably wouldn’t be at all surprised by my career path. There’s something truly amazing about the act of creating art. Because I do consider writing an art, just as much as a painting is art or the composition of a piece of music is art. To have a blank page in front of you and suddenly bring it to life by filling it in with characters and a storyline – that’s pretty amazing, if you think about it.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
Mitzi: My backside is usually fastened to my sofa with my laptop open on my lap. No music – it distracts me. No people around for the same reason. Drinks? Well, I must have a cup of tea every afternoon at 4pm or else it’s as if something major is missing from my day.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
Mitzi: The same way I get my characters – I’ve really no idea! It’s all completely random. I never write to a brief or a formula. In fact, I might labor under the assumption that I’m going to take something in a particular direction, only to find it goes somewhere else entirely. I’m not the sort to create an outline to work from. I prefer to be completely free of any such constraints or encumbrances and just let whatever happens happen.
What do you like to read?
Mitzi: I read all over the literary spectrum – anything from Stephen King and Ruth Rendell to Haruki Murakami and Alice Walker. I often wish I could just take some time off and do absolutely nothing but read – no writing, no promotion, no interviews, no nothing, just read. I feel like that character in that episode of the old “Twilight Zone” TV series – all he wants is some time to read. But when it finally happens, his eyeglasses break and he can’t see!
What would your advice be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Mitzi: Read. And read widely. I’m a firm believer that in order to be a good writer, you need to be a good reader. You must love the written word and respect it. My other piece of advice is to develop your own voice. Don’t parrot others. There’s a lot to be said for literary individuality.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Mitzi: I’ve got some new book projects cooking as we speak! My next anthology Darker Edge of Desire, will be out in autumn 2014. It’s a follow-up to my Gothic anthology Red Velvet and Absinthe. In 2015 you can look out for yet another and very fun anthology – Love, Lust and Zombies. I’m also working on a new installment in my quirky crime/cozy mystery novel series The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles, which is a co-written production with my celebrity sidekick bear Teddy Tedaloo. It’s a continuation of Thelonious’s (mis)adventures we saw in Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles.) I’m not sure of the exact publication date, but it will probably be later on in 2014.
Mitzi Szereto website: http://mitziszereto.com
Mitzi Szereto on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mitziszereto
Mitzi Szereto Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/mitziszereto.fanpage
Mitzi TV: http://mitziszereto.com/tv
Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog: http://mitziszereto.com/blog
Mitzi Szereto Google+ Fan Page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/105002950509883985630/+Mitziszereto/posts
Mitzi Szereto on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/72445.Mitzi_Szereto
Mitzi Szereto on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mitzi-Szereto/e/B001JS3YLE/
The Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray website: http://mitziszereto.com/wildepassionsofdoriangray/