Sophisticated Suspense and more . . .

A Conversation With the Author

Here are Reader Questions (RQ) for Dorian Paul (DP).  If you want to join in the conversation, send your questions to


RQ:  Your other two books are science-based thrillers.  Why did you switch to Contemporary Fiction with Crossing Paths?


DP:  It isn’t a permanent switch but ‘variety is the spice of life’ they say and Crossing Paths came about as a result of a family trip to the Peak District of England. We visited as many Country Houses and Castles as we could (and there were many to choose from), and the Peak charmed us.  Who knew it was the Switzerland of England for hiking and a place of such rare beauty?  Each book has its time and place and this one was a joy to write because of the personal memories. 


RQ:  Did you make the house a character on purpose?


DP:  Yes.  For many people the house they live in becomes a character inside them. It’s tied to so many events it’s as though the house is looking on more as a living being rather than simply bricks and mortar.  If you think about Downton Abby, the characters live their lives to preserve the life of Downton for future generations.


RQ:  How much of what you write about in the Peak is real?


DP:  Quite a lot.  Chesterfield is the train station for the Peak.  You can stay at holiday cottages belonging to some of the historic properties nearby, many now run by the National Trust.  Buxton is a real town and Mary, Queen of Scots, did visit there.  The glorious opera house and greenhouse gardens in Buxton are real, too.  Bakewell is an honest to goodness town and Bakewell tarts are a specialty.  As are the cheeses of the area.


RQ:  What were the themes you wanted to develop in this book, especially with the main characters?


DP:  Umm.  So many themes, but Robert and Meri are at a crossroads in their lives and must make choices with long-term consequences involving family, careers, and relationships.  They become involved in a venture that is more like a small business than anything else and must deal with personnel, financial issues, and the impact of their shared enterprise on the lives of those associated with the house in ways they never considered.  It deepens their personal relationship (and scares them to death), affects their relationships with their parents (for both better and worse), and places them firmly within the needs of the community.  Friendships shift and change and their ‘modern’ lives must now be lived out in an historical context.  It’s a lot to contend with, don’t you think?


RQ:  Who is your favorite character?


DP:  Well, that’s a tough one.  As a writer you spend a lot of time with the main characters, and they become near and dear to you.  But sometimes the minor characters grab your heart.  That was true with Clive and his bow ties.  He was difficult to kill off!  But he did live on through Peter and Robert’s friends.  Brian and Ms. Bowles were quirky and interesting to write.  Meri’s father, the rather trying businessman, managed to fit in against all odds.  And Grant, the pub owner, was a charmer.