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Monday, April 1, 2013

Interview with Delilah S. Dawson!

When Delilah S. Dawson offered up interviews on her Facebook page, I jumped at the chance. I loved her book Wicked as They Come. After my review of Wicked as They Come, I received a message from Ms. Dawson that she isn't done with Tish and Criminy, so my closure issue will be resolved. Thank you, Delilah!! Without further ado, because you didn't click on the interview to listen to me, meet Delilah S. Dawson. Author, Steam punk princess, trapeze woman.

*The Genesis Round*

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I wrote my first book at age 6, and it was about having my tonsils removed. But at some point, I got the idea that you had to be specially chosen by the muse to write a book, that it was a calling like being a doctor or a priest. So although I wrote poetry in high school and college, it never occurred to me that I might be able to write an actual book until after my second child was born and I was going slightly crazy with sleep deprivation.

What books have most influenced your life most? 

The Earth's Children series by Jean Auel and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon taught me that a book could have amazing characters, deep research, fascinating storytelling, and sex scenes, that romance wasn't just fluff and history wasn't boring. Stephen King is also a major influence.

Do you have a specific writing style? 

I write whatever story demands to be written-- or is under deadline. I start with an idea, chew on it for a while, and don't start writing until I have a clear picture of the main characters, the signposts on the story road, and the ending. Then I start writing on page one and write the first draft straight through without stopping.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

Revision! I take 3 months to write a book and a year to edit and polish it.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 

My agent, Kate McKean, has taught me so much about looking at my work critically and learning what to keep and what to lose.

*The Philosophy Round*

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

Each book ends up having some sort of theme, although I don't set out to teach a lesson. With Wicked as They Come, the message was that things worth having don't come easy. And with this e-novella, The Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance, the message is that you can't hide away after heartbreak; you have to open yourself up to possibility.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 

Thank you for reading my books! That's an author's greatest hope-- that people will read the books and take something away from them, even if it's just a smile.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? 

Tons. Mainly, tenacity. You can't give up on a book or trying to get an agent. You have to keep getting better and upping your game.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Always! That's why I don't read them after they're printed.

How do you come up with the title? 

For The Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance, I knew I wanted something alliterative to go with the first e-novella, The Mysterious Madam Morpho. Since the book was about a pet shop, which is rather peculiar in the world of Sang, I just needed to find a last name that began with a P. In my world, the humans typically have positive last names (Goodwill, Joy, Pleasance) while the Bludmen (who are blood drinkers) have negative names (Stain, Scowl, Haggard). So Pleasance was a good fit.

*The Shameless Display of Affection Round*

Criminy Stain was gorgeous on the cover. I wanted to frame him but alas, Hades gets jealous easy. Was he modeled after anyone? Someone we could kidnap, per chance?
Meet my 2nd husband ;0)
Thanks! In my mind, he acts like a mix of Spike from Buffy and Captain Jack Sparrow, and he looks like a mix of Johnny Depp and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, thin and wiry with long, dark hair. The book cover was based on a photograph and manipulated by artist Tony Mauro, who does amazing work I think. Turns out the coat is real; he got it on Ebay! And the hero of The Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance was utterly based on the idea of Thor in a kilt. Thor in a kilt? I think my brain just exploded. 

I saw you on the trapeze! How awesome was that? What inspired you to go for a swing? 

It was AMAZING, totally one of those bucket list items. I've always wanted to do it, and on my recent trip to NYC, my editor's assistant, Parisa, offered to take me to STREB NYC where she works her trapeze magic. They were so sweet, and I was amazed at what I was able to do in just two hours.

Did you have a love of the circus before or after your book?

Always! But more the idea of the dark carnival, not so much the modern circus with clowns and animals undergoing ill treatment. That's why Criminy's Clockwork Carnival only has clockwork animals. :) I love that! Animal mistreatment is a serious issue. I am glad there will be no issues in Criminy's Clockork Carnival.

Not only are you a talented writer, but you are also gorgeous. I can say this with confidence as Hades saw your picture over my shoulder and asked who the hot chick was.  Not a question, just shameless hero worship ;0) 

Aw, thanks! I'll take it! <3

*The Proverbial Round*

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? 

I have too many to ever pick just one. My favorite books right now are by Cassandra Clare-- the Infernal Devices and Mortal Instruments series. I read Clockwork Princess in two days and cried my eyes out. I also love Meljean Brook, Deanna Raybourn, and Stephanie Perkins. I love books that are a little dark, have a sense of humor, and tell a compelling story.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? 

I recently read DEAD THINGS by Stephen Blackmoore and was riveted. I don't normally read pulp-style books, but it was terse, tight, and fun.

What book are you reading now? 

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Never give up! And read Chuck Wendig's blog every day.

*Upcoming Events*

Tell us what we should be on the look out for next! 

My second Blud e-novella, The Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance, launches April 1, 

Don't Miss e-novella #1

and my second book, Wicked as She Wants, launches April 30. 

I'm having a book launch party in Atlanta on May 3 and will also be at Phoenix Comic Con in May.

Thank you so much for talking with me. It has been a real treat! 

Thanks so much for having me! <3

I am so pleased to have my first interview under my belt. I hope that it is followed by many more. Ms. Dawson was delightful and I am even more excited to return to the wonderful world of Sang.

A book in the hand is better than two on the shelf!


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