When Roger Margason, a lifelong book and magazine editor, decided to try his hand at writing mystery novels with a gay detective, he chose the pen name "Dorien Grey" for a specific reason he is more than happy to explain should anyone care to ask. That he thought he needed a pen name at all was based on the reality of living in a remote and time-warped area of the upper mid-west where gays generally still feel it necessary to keep a very low profile--a sad commentary on our society--but one based on harsh reality.
His first book featured a gay detective named Dick Hardesty, and was intended as a tongue-in-cheek version of the classic, hard-boiled heterosexual detective genre. It was written largely with a gay audience in mind. But as the first book led to the second and then the third, and as his readership grew to include mainstream mystery fans, Dorien slowly became much more than a pseudonym, evolving into an alter ego. "It's reached the point," Roger says, "where all I have to do is sit down at the computer and let Dorien tell the story."
It's not that Roger has had an uninteresting life. Two years into college, he left to join the Naval Aviation Cadet program: washing out of the program, he spent the rest of his brief military career on an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. The journal he kept of his time in the military, in the form of letters home, honed his writing skills and provided him with a wealth of experiences to draw from in his future writing.
Returning to college after service, he graduated with a B.A. in English from Northern Illinois Unversity, and embarked on a series of jobs which worked him into the editing field. While working for a Los Angeles publishing house, he was instrumental in establishing a division exclusively for the publication of gay paperbacks and magazines, of which he became editor. He moved on to edit a leading L.A. based international gay men's magazine.
Tiring of earthquakes, brush fires, mudslides, and riots, he returned to the midwest, where Dorien emerged, full-blown, like Venus from the sea.
He . . . and Dorien, of course. . . moved back to Chicago after a 40 year absence, and now devote "their" energies to writing. There are now fifteen books in the popular Dick Hardesty Mystery series, and four in the Elliott Smith paranormal mystery series. There is also a western/romance/adventure novel, Calico, a compilation of 172 of his every-Monday-and-Thursday blogs--Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs--plus Dreams of a Calico Mouse, a book of poems, and A World Ago: A Navy Man's Letters Home, 1954-1956.
Roger and Dorien have each other, as it were, but both are always looking for ways to draw you into their world. Each book, each blog, is intended as a conversation (albeit one-sided) with you, and there is nothing 'they' enjoy more than hearing from a reader. And please join "them" on Facebook, under "Dorien Grey."
Roger Margason, Dorien Grey, died on November 1, 2015, but his Facebook page and this web site are being kept active. Earlier blogs are being reposted on the usual Tuesdays and Fridays, here, on Facebook, and on his blog page (where earlier blogs are archived): http://www.doriengreyandme.com/. And his out-of-print books have been rereleased by his publisher, Untreed Reads; all the book are available from UntreedReads and from Amazon.
left this final message for his readers:
“It seems I have reluctantly been called away. But I wanted to thank each of you for the pleasure of your company on my journey through this all-too-brief life. I would hope I might remain, occasionally, in your thoughts, and that you might help my books, blogs, and other writings remain alive though I no longer am.
“I have returned to the eternity from which I—from which we all—emerged at birth, and to which we all return. As a writer, I should be able to come up with a few memorable last words of my own, but I can think of none more fitting than those of Peter Pan, with whom I have always identified: 'Second star to the right, and straight on till morning.'"