~ DELILAH S. DAWSON ~
Do you know what tomorrow is? The release of WICKED AS SHE WANTS! This is such a great book you all have to read it! But be sure to have read the whole Blud series first. Today we have with us the amazing Delilah S. Dawson, a favorite at Under the Covers. We are very excited that we got to ask her a few questions and we can share it with you.
Hi Delilah and welcome to UTC! WICKED AS THEY COME was your debut novel. I just have to ask…How did you think up the world of Sang and everything involved in the Blud series?
It actually came from a dream, believe it or not. I was watching a ton of Buffy at the time and listening to the album Like Vines by The Hush Sound. And I had this dream in which I woke up naked in a weird forest and met Criminy Stain–who sounded a lot like Spike. I knew he was a blood drinker but not a vampire, and the entire world and story grew from trying to figure out what happened before and after that scene. I was obsessed!
Did you do anything special to celebrate the release of your first novel?
That morning, I went to my usual Barnes & Noble to take pictures of the book in the wild. Then my husband took me out for a fancy lunch at which I mostly sat there blinking, saying I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. And then we had a fantastic launch party at my local indie bookstore, FoxTale Book Shoppe. Cake, wine, and corsets! It was one of the best parties of my life.
What kind of research, other than your wild imagination, did you have to do for this series to come to be (bludbunnies and all)?
To be painfully honest, historical research is not my forte, so it was mostly Wikipedia, Google, and my imagination. I hope a lifetime of reading books set in England helped inform my Sangland! The bludbunnies came from the idea that in a world where a certain subset of people had evolved/mutated into blood-drinking predators, the other animals might have undergone the same change. And we all know how prolific bunnies are. 🙂
WICKED AS SHE WANTS is the story of Casper. I must admit I saw him as a pretty boy in the first one, and then a very conflicted character in THE PECULIAR PETS OF MISS PLEASANCE. He’s changed a lot in my eyes and become an addictive and favorite character of mine. What were some of your challenges to write his character and tell his story?
Oh, thank you! I’m so glad you like him! In the first book, I wanted Casper to be less of a “serious love triangle selection” and more of a “look, you have options, but they’re not ideal” guy. Therefore, I had to make him kind of douchey in the way of certain men I’ve dated who started out gorgeous/awesome right until they assumed that women wanted to be possessed and put on a pedestal instead of understood and considered equals. My goal in Miss Pleasance was to show a debauched rock star coming to terms with his bad choices–without letting him take over Frannie and Thom’s romance.
And my goal for Wicked as She Wants was to make him the most attractive dude ever. It was challenging, using three different stories to show a secondary character’s sometimes painful story arc, and I wanted to make sure that he wasn’t suddenly perfect in book 2.
Casper’s flaws are part of what make him attractive. That, and the way he says “darlin'”.
The pairing of Casper and the Blud princess Ahnastasia was unexpected for me, but worked very well. What is your favorite thing about Ahnastasia?
An author grows with every book, and my biggest regret about book 1 is that Tish wasn’t my strongest character. Some reviews complained that she was wishy-washy or weak, and I realized I wanted the heroine of book 2 to be seriously kick-ass. Part of the fun in writing steampunk is letting uppity women buck history, and I always felt that Princess Anastasia got a bad rap as a victim. So not only was I able to give her another chance to claim her birthright– I also gave her fangs. Her ferocity was my favorite part of writing her, especially when her blud nature took over and she didn’t stop to think.
Also of note– the Ahna perfume in the Wicked line from Villainess might be my favorite scent out of all 11 character-based scents… because it’s so ferocious yet feminine. (http://www.villainess.net/wicked)
For lovers of the series, what would you say they can expect to see in WICKED AS SHE WANTS?
The same amount of dark whimsy, adventure, and hot romance mixed with humor and tenderness. There’s also an airship brothel, an enchanted forest filled with unicorns, and a moonlit masquerade ball, and they’re all much darker than they first appear. Oh, and there’s a cameo by Criminy Stain. 😉
What was the scene you had the most fun writing and why? Care to share a bit of it?
I loved setting Casper and Ahna up to play Truth or Dare. Since Casper’s from our world, he has this secret cache of songs, poems, games, and ideas from Earth that he can introduce to Sang. There’s just something sexy and intimate about watching two characters test out their feelings and passion within the confines of a child’s game.
If you had to tell readers what your series is about in a tweet, what would you say?
Dark but whimsical steampunk paranormal romance adventure where the hot boys wear vests and top hats and the bunnies want to eat your face.
Your stories are always fresh and different. One thing for sure they are never boring. Where do you find some of your inspiration to keep it that way?
For me to keep reading a series, each book has to be more intense than the last one and yet still contain all the elements I loved from the beginning. I start by trying to think of a new romantic pairing that’s utterly different from the last one and then figure out what new parts of Sang we can explore. Then I make sure to add in familiar elements that the reader will recognize, like a visit from Criminy or Reve or an exciting blud animal battle.
I know you are working on WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT and it will have some Criminy. Can you give us a little teaser? A year is a long time to wait, you know?
I agree– a year feels like forever! Wicked After Midnight starts out with Criminy, right in the caravan. It’s the story of his contortionist protege, Demi Ward, a Stranger who’s bored from her easy life in the traveling circus. She ends up in the Sangish version of Moulin Rouge. And the hero is a super hot brigand based on Jesse Williams.
And I’m leaving this for last but…lets find out a bit more about you! Tell us five things that may shock us about yourself.
If you’ve read my books, I don’t know if I can actually shock you.
But I’ll try. 🙂
1. I have synesthesia, which means my senses are mixed up. My numbers and letters have certain colors and feelings, and I can’t use or say certain names because they taste awful. You can catch it in my work sometimes, like if I say Casper smelled golden.
2. I live a quiet suburban life but love to have adventures. I’ve gone to circus school, done flips on the flying trapeze, gone zip lining, played with cheetah cubs, swam with sharks, taken ghost tours, and love galloping bareback on my horse and playing with snakes.
3. I love my heels and dresses, but I’m a tomboy. I shoot a compound bow, have a custom .38, know how to smoke a cigar, can climb a tree in 4″ stiletto heels, and used to love sparring in muay thai. And I’ll choose an action movie with explosions over a drama or romantic comedy any day.
4. I broke my nose playing softball when I was a kid. It’s still crooked.
5. Despite the wildness and tomboyishness, I write for www.CoolMomPicks.com, used to run a babywearing group, have been an advocate for VBAC, breastfed both my kids, and will willingly show people pictures of my placenta if they ask nicely.
Thanks so much for coming on to Under the Covers and sharing with all of us! You are definitely one of our favorites and hope everyone checks out the Blud world!
Thanks so much for having me! I hope y’all enjoy Wicked as She Wants.
The second book in the darkly tempting Blud series, featuring a vampire princess who embarks upon a dangerous journey to claim what is rightfully hers.
When Blud princess Ahnastasia wakes up, drained and starving in a suitcase, she’s not sure which calls to her more: the sound of music or the scent of blood. The source of both sensations is a handsome and mysterious man named Casper Sterling. Once the most celebrated musician in London, Sangland, he’s fallen on hard times. Now, much to Ahna’s frustration, the debauched and reckless human is her only ticket back home to the snow-rimmed and magical land of Freesia.
Together with Casper’s prickly charge, a scrappy orphan named Keen, they seek passage to Ahna’s homeland, where a power-hungry sorceress named Ravenna holds the royal family in thrall. Traveling from the back alleys of London to the sparkling minarets of Muscovy, Ahna discovers that Freesia holds new perils and dangerous foes. Back in her country, she is forced to choose between the heart she never knew she had and the land that she was born to rule. But with Casper’s help, Ahna may find a way to have it all…
About the Author:
Delilah S. Dawson is a native of Roswell, Georgia and the author of the paranormal romance Blud series for Pocket, including WICKED AS THEY COME and an e-novella, THE MYSTERIOUS MADAM MORPHO. The second book in the series, WICKED AS SHE WANTS, and a second novella, THE PECULIAR PETS OF MISS PLEASANCE, will be out in spring 2013, and her first YA, a creepy paranormal called SERVANTS OF THE STORM will be available in spring 2014. RT Book Reviews has called her “a wonderfully fresh new voice!”
We have a copy of WICKED AS SHE WANTS up for grabs. US only.