Monday, November 10, 2014

"Dorianna" by Catherine Stine

by Catherine Stine

Dorianna is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

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 The 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.

Featured Review
This novel has two major points for its readers, to be careful what you wish for and every action has a consequence. Dorianna had to learn this the hard way as she wished to go from a nobody to center stage.
Changing schools she hired things would be different and were after she meets a boy named Wilson. Dorianna knows there is something off about him but dismisses it when she strikes a deal to get what she's always wanted. The problem? She begins losing herself to become the very person she's always wanted to be; the popular girl with the boyfriend. Is it too late for her to save herself and everyone she cares for?
This book was well written, it kept me engaged and wondering where it was going to lead. I loved the inner message of this book. It's not often book these days have hidden messages for readers to think about and really dwell on. This book is for Young Adults.

Guest Post by the Author
Twists on Classics, with a focus on Dorian Gray
I’m no expert on twists on classic novels. Dorianna was my first time writing an homage to a classic. However, I’ve read my share. Robin McKinley’s Beauty
is a retelling of "Beauty and the Beast", Meyer’s Cinder is a futuristic retelling of "Cinderella", Bray’s Going Bovine is a retelling of Don Quixote. Some of these retellings are wonderful and others fall short. So far, the wackiest twist I’ve read on a classic was Wye’s Ice Red, a sci-fi romance space odyssey twist on "Snow White".
What I can say, is that I’ve learned a lot from writing Dorianna, about what makes a retelling sing … or not. The author must have an organic relationship to the themes - a real emotional attachment. It cannot be simply a gimmick to sell books. Here is my personal story of how I got so very devoted to the Faust myths, from which Dorian Gray was devised, and much later, my own Dorianna.
In addition to writing YA and NA novels I teach college lit part time. When I was assigned to teach Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, I alternately balked and thrilled at the challenge. The story is about a brilliant college professor who, after earning what is now equivalent to a PhD, is bored and asks the medieval version of "Is this all there is?" He has noble ideas: he wants to enrich public education, find cures for dreadful diseases - even raise the dead. Hey, rewind ... you need superpowers for that, right?
You sure do. Thus, he falls into temptation when he calls up Mephistopheles to grant him these superhuman powers. Dr. Faustus thinks he has nothing to worry about. He 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.
But Faustus soon learns that power corrupts, and there's no taking back his damnable vow. Hey, Mephistopheles warned him. What devil does that? A modern, enlightened devil, that's who! At any rate, the good, or I should say bad, doctor gets his comeuppance.
I was worried about teaching this book because I don't believe in a literal Heaven or horned devil in Hell. I just couldn't find a way in. Then, I ran into a guy who teaches Doctor Faustus at Boston U - one of those freaky coincidences that seem ordained by higher spirits - haha. And this cool, witty man totally turned my head around. He chuckled heartily at my whining and said one doesn't have to be religious to get into Faust. That it's really 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. These are themes I can get behind. In fact, I’ve grown to love this novel so much I felt led to write a modern twist on it for the Internet generation. Thus, my Dorianna. Here are some of the twists over time, inspired by the original Faust myths and the fears and temptations they study:
·       In the time of the medieval Faust myths it was a literal fear of the devil
·       In Goethe's version (Faust), one could actually be redeemed of dreadful sin through love
·       In Marlowe's time (Doctor Faustus) the sin was intelligence and arrogance over God
·       In Oscar Wilde's day (The Picture of Dorian Gray), the sin was pride of beauty and sexual promiscuity
·       In Will Self's day (Dorian, 2002) it was the terror of contracting AIDS
·       In Dorianna's day (2014) it's our obsession with Likes and Internet followers
If you were to do a fresh twist on a classic tale, what might it be and why?

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 launched with Evernight Teen in October 2014. She also writes new adult fiction as Kitsy Clare. Her new adult Art of Love series includes Model Position and Private Internship (read my blog post). She loves all things spooky, exotic and edgy, including travel to unusual locations. She also loves hearing from readers.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win some great prizes.