Interview with new adult novelist Iris Dorbian

Author Iris Dorbian is in the
hot seat today. She’s touring her new adult novel, Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan: Diary of a Mad Club Girl.

During her virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions,
Iris will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift
card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your
chances of winning, feel free to visit
her other tour stops
and enter there, too!
Bio:
Iris Dorbian is a former actress turned business journalist/blogger. Her
articles have appeared in a wide number of outlets that include the Wall Street
Journal, Reuters, Venture Capital Journal, Buyouts DMNews, CFO.com, Playbill,
Backstage, Theatermania, Live Design, Media Industry Newsletter and PR News.
From 1999 to 2007, Iris was the editor-in-chief of Stage Directions. She is the
author of Great Producers: Visionaries of
the American Theater
, which was published by Allworth Press in August 2008;
and Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of
Reagan: Diary of a Mad Club Girl
, which was published by Tablo in 2015. Her
personal essays have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied
Effigies, Jewish Literary Journal, Skirt! Diverse Voices Quarterly and
Gothesque Magazine. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia
University.

Welcome, Iris. Please
tell us about your current release
.

Love, Loss and Longing
in the Age of Reagan: Diary of a Mad Club Girl
is a young adult coming of age story set in downtown New York City in the
early 1980s.
Edie is a naïve NYU student desperate to lose her virginity
and to experience adventure that will finally make her worldly, setting her
further apart from her bland suburban roots. But in her quest to mold herself
into an ideal of urban sophistication, the New Jersey-born co-ed gets more than
she bargained for, triggering a chain of events that will have lasting
repercussions.
What inspired you to
write this book?
The book is loosely based on my experiences as an NYU student in the early
1980s. It had been a very exciting but chaotic time, one that took me a long
time to reconcile myself with long after it was over.
Excerpt from Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan:
Diary of a Mad Club Girl
:
From Chapter 8:
I was mesmerized by
Chloe’s adventures but also a little jealous. My virginity was becoming a
grievous burden and a source of shame. I wanted to get rid of it but how? I was
not unattractive but I was timid when it came to my body and awkward with
expressions of physicality. Outside of a peck during a game of spin the bottle
when I was nine years old and an awkward smack on the lips during a bad date in
high school, I had barely been kissed. I felt myself a walking embarrassment to
myself, my peers, NYU and the sophisticated life I wanted to have and emulate.
Would Anais Nin and Gloria Steinem be so mousy and maladroit? I don’t think so.
            Drugs might not have helped me
unfasten this invisible chastity belt squelching my erotic existence but I did
see them as a way of gaining insight into life’s true secrets. Except for pot,
which I adored but never purchased, always relying on the kindness of strangers
and friends to ply me with it, I never really developed a passion for
narcotics. But I didn’t refrain from using them to satisfy my curiosity or to
keep me up if I had to cram all night for a final the next day.
            Sometimes, it would backfire. Like
one time, Chloe gave me a “caffeine pill,” when I told her I needed to stay up
all night and finish an English history paper due the next afternoon. I took
that “caffeine pill” alright—and then proceeded to clean and vacuum our dorm
room—twice—before throwing on my mini gold lame dress and galloping off to
Danceteria, a then popular club located nearby.          
But
I had always been curious about LSD. My rock heroes, the Beatles and the Who,
had taken LSD and had spoken at length about its effects. I wasn’t interested
in taking the drug on a regular basis; I just wanted to see what the big deal
was with the drug and take it just once. Even if I would remain a virgin always
(the thought palled), at least I could gain experience in other areas to make
me the quasi-rounded woman of my dreams.
“Acid
is great, Edie,” Peter said to me over dinner when I told him I was interested
in taking it. “It’s truly like no other drug. It’s like a truth serum—the way
it clarifies your feelings—about everything. We should take it together.”
            Unfortunately, that never happened
because Peter had always devised a string of barely plausible excuses for us
not to do it together. We would plan to do it and yet again something would
come up on Peter’s end to derail it.         
            Around this time, Chloe and I began
going to the clubs on an almost nightly basis. Monday night it was Danceteria,
Wednesday was the Pyramid, Friday was the Ritz and Saturday it was Danceteria
again, (our favorite club) or another new hotspot. For me, those nights were
bathed with a perfume of sweetness so airy and intoxicating I felt like I was
floating in my own cloud. Pot and Quaaludes only deepened the pleasure. As the
strobe lights poured over our bodies and everyone else in the club, limbs
writhing, conjoined in a human tangle, I would look at Chloe and smile. I had
never felt so alive. This was the reason why I came to New York. To feel like
this. Always.
What exciting story are
you working on next?
I just finished writing a draft of a novella. The story is
very loosely based on my father’s experiences in a displaced persons’ camp in
Germany after World War II. He was a child survivor of the Holocaust who lived
in the d.p. camp for four years after being liberated by British troops in May
1945.
When did you first
consider yourself a writer?
When I got paid for it! My first published byline appeared in the English
edition of the Forward newspaper. It was a book review of W.G. Sebald’s “The
Emigrants.” It was a few hundred dollars, not a lot. But I was so excited and
thrilled that I made a copy of that check and pasted it on my mirror so I could
look at it every day and get motivated.
Do you write full-time?
If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and
how do you find time to write?
I’m a journalist and blogger so the answer is yes. My work day starts with
my getting up after 6 am and logging onto my computer. I’ll take a short break
after I finish the first of my duties and then resume work. Much of what I do
is post breaking news briefs/stories and I’ll try to compile as much as I can
because I’m constantly on deadline. I’ll work until 4ish when the work flow
begins to ebb.
As a creative writer, I’ll work in the evening and on the weekends but only
when I have something to say. That goes for my personal essays, short stories
and my current book, Love, Loss and
Longing in the Age of Reagan
.
What would you say is
your interesting writing quirk?
Other than a red Kabbalah bracelet that I always like to keep on me for
good luck, I can’t think of any. Sorry.
As a child, what did you
want to be when you grew up?
When I was 6 or 7 years old, I fantasied about growing up and being a singer/frontwoman
of a rock band. My stage name was Lilac Crusade. I have no idea how I came up
with that name. I had a very busy inner life.
Anything additional you
want to share with the readers?
If you are interested in reading an engaging and engrossing young adult
coming of age story set in the greatest city in the world and during one of the
most fascinating, event-filled periods of the modern era, then you should read
my book!
Links:
Thanks, Iris!


9 thoughts on “Interview with new adult novelist Iris Dorbian

  1. ANON says:

    Sorry for the delayed response to your comments. (Just came back from Germany last night and still very jet-lagged).

    Thank you all so much for your positive feedback on the interview and the excerpt! And yes, Mai, I do think having a good or evocative cover is far more enticing to a potential buyer (even if it's an ebook) than having a bad or amateurish looking cover.

    Thanks again everyone for your support!!

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