Delilah S. Dawson is a native of Roswell, GA and the author of the steampunk paranormal romance Blud books for Pocket, including WICKED AS THEY COME, WICKED AS SHE WANTS, and the upcoming WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT, as well as three e-novellas. Her short story THE THREE LIVES OF LYDIA is in the CARNIEPUNK anthology out this summer with Gallery Books, and her first YA is out next year with Simon Pulse, a creepy paranormal called SERVANTS OF THE STORM. Delilah loves cupcakes, eating weird animals, and reading and writing anything that smacks of dark whimsy.
We’re excited to have her stop by the site today to take the Deb Ball Interview.
Who is one of your favorite (fictional or non-fictional) characters?
I’m currently obsessed with Boyd Crowder on Justified; he’s so well written that he makes me want to be a better writer. He’s a small-town guy with a huge brain, a little crazy and crazy charismatic. He’s been a preacher, led a gang of white supremacists, and run a whorehouse. He wants to be a good friend to Raylan, but he’s not willing to serve any master but himself. It’s easy to forget, when writing a story, that human beings are capable of amazing change, that personalities and beliefs are fluid, as is the line between good and evil. Whenever I think a character is getting too boring or too one-track, I try to think about Boyd. You hate to love him and love to hate him, all at the same time.
What are the hardest and easiest things about your job?
Hardest: Managing work and family time with two children under six, especially when I’m hot for writing but have to be the main caregiver. Let’s just say my house is as messy as my mind.
Easiest: When I’m alone in a cafe with a huge cup of coffee and my earbuds in, deep in flow and writing a first draft that’s right on track.
What’s your next big thing?
As my Blud series for Pocket is drawing to a close, I’m gearing up for my first Young Adult book, a creepy paranormal called SERVANTS OF THE STORM. It’s out in Summer 2014 and centers on a teen girl uncovering mysterious demons in Savannah. The story was inspired by photos of the abandoned Six Flags NOLA after Katrina, along with some help from my brother-in-law and niece, who drive horse-drawn carriages through downtown Savannah. I’ve just seen the first cover comp, and I’m freaking out!
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Keep at it, stay fluid, roll with the punches, and when something isn’t working, try something else. I don’t mean “if you’re having trouble getting an agent, self-publish”, because I don’t think self publishing should be your fall-back option. I mean that if your query isn’t getting hits, write a new query and find some established writers to critique it. If you’re getting requests for fulls and partials but lots of rejections, look at any feedback you’re getting and apply it to your story or writing. There’s always something you can do to up your game and move forward, especially once you understand that your story is flexible and can always be improved. I found an agent in less than six months from finishing my first book, but I had to write a second book to do it. Everything I used to find representation and get published can be found on the Resources tab of my website. You can always write another book!
What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?
Back in high school, I got a job at a haunted house– a really big one that sprawled over an abandoned Eastern Airlines office and its outdoor property. I started out in the maze, wandering the pitch black, fog-filled plywood basement in zombie makeup. On my way to the green room one day, I stumbled into the helicopter scene and had to get choked to death to avoid looking like an idiot. That earned my promotion into the cannibal scene. Turns out I can eat people *or* pretend to get eaten at a professional level. Worked my way through the “I’m sentient kudzu” scene, the “floating in a bathtub of blood” scene, and the “wrap yourself up like a body bag and grab a guy’s ankle and make him piss himself” scene. Turns out that while I hate going to haunted houses, I love scaring people, especially when scaring my boss earned me a spanky-new ten-spot.
WICKED AS SHE WANTS is the second book in the Blud series from Pocket and was recently awarded the RT Book Reviews May Seal of Excellence. It’s the best steampunk vampire alternative universe adventure you’ll ever read that includes an airship brothel and bloodthirsty unicorns
Also – today is your lucky day, because Delilah is giving away one signed copy of Wicked As She Wants (US Only). All you need to do for a chance to win is comment.