~ DELILAH S. DAWSON ~
Welcome back to Under the Covers, Delilah! As always, we are so excited that it’s time again for a new release in the BLUD series. It has quickly become one of my addictions, and as you know Casper was my favorite hero of last year.
Yay! I’m so glad you liked him. Taking Casper from Most Depressed Whiner-Addict to swoon-worthy hero was one of the toughest jobs I’ve had as a writer. If I don’t fall in love with the dudes as I write them, I don’t feel like I’m doing my job.
The Blud series brings readers to Sang. How has the world evolved in your eyes as the books and novellas bring you deeper into how Sang works?
When I wrote the first book, WICKED AS THE COME, I was just playing around, telling myself a story set in a fantastic world based in, “You know what would be cool? GIANT SQUID AND CLOCKWORK MONKEYS.” With each book, I’ve tried to show the reader new places and explore different kinds of heroes and heroines. I had to dig deeper into Sang as the stories moved out of the relative safety of Criminy’s caravan and into new twists on familiar countries. I wanted to make sure the politics of each area reflected the species who ruled it but that each place stayed fun and magical so that readers would find something to love. My goal is that each book and setting will feel approachable but more magical than the real world.
You recently released a novella, THE DAMSEL AND THE DAGGERMAN, about a mysterious knife thrower. I have to point out how much I enjoyed Marco’s story, both because he’s a delicious tall, dark and silent hero but also because the heroine Jacinda was one I enjoyed immensely. Can we expect more novellas set in the caravan world?
Unfortunately, no further stories of Sang are on the table. I would keep writing them forever, if I could– there’s still so much to explore! But I have promised to finish Criminy and Tish’s story from WICKED AS THEY COME, which will probably be my first self-published offering some time in the future. Little glimpses in each book and e-novella have revealed to fans of the series that Tish can’t last much longer. I also have another short story in Criminy’s caravan percolating for a proposed anthology that hasn’t been nailed down yet. The best way to get more Sang books and e-novellas would be to spread the word, get everyone to buy it, and show my publisher that the world needs more Sang!
I did really enjoy writing Jacinda and Marco; THE DAMSEL AND THE DAGGERMAN is my favorite e-novella. I loved writing a mature heroine who knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it. I read a lot of romance, and I wanted to switch up the trope of the innocent virgin in peril. Jacinda’s… not actually a damsel at all.
What has been your favorite character to write about in this series and why?
Whichever character I’m wiring at the time is usually my favorite. 🙂 Criminy was the first one who really grabbed, me, and WICKED AS THEY COME was just an effort to spend more time with him. After that first book, each book began with the idea of a woman fighting a problem and finding a man who would bring out the best in her and challenge her. Imogen is recovering from abuse and a life as an erudite outsider. Frannie is streetwise but closed off with fears to overcome. Ahna is my attempt at writing the most fiercely kickass woman imaginable. Jacinda is a mature journalist who knows what she wants. And Demi is an impetuous girl from our world who craves adventure. Each of these fights is… well, something I’ve fought. And writing their stories has helped me find peace with myself.
But if I had to choose one character, it would always be Criminy. He was the first, and every time he pops up in a story, his voice is clear and loud from the start. Criminy Stain never needs editing.
Congrats on the release of WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT! I thoroughly enjoyed the new setting and the Moulin Rouge vibe but full of intrigue. For followers of the series, what would you say they can expect to find in this latest installment?
Merci! WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT is basically steampunk vampire Moulin Rouge, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I decided that if it was the last book in the series, I was going all-out. I wanted all the lush beauty of the cabarets and Baz Lurhman’s Moulin Rouge… with an even seedier darkness underneath. Expect adventure, surprises, some hidden art history, and an end that brings together as many characters as I could cram in. This book might also feature the most ridiculous blud animal yet, and that’s saying a lot.
I always love your heroines! Demi starts out just a bit as a immature brat and that’s a change in your heroines 🙂 I loved seeing the different dimensions to her and her growth. What was your favorite thing about her?
Thanks! My favorite thing about Demi is the chance to explore an arrested development that we’re more accustomed to seeing in male characters. Being turned into a Bludman as an immature teen and being frozen in place, age-wise and life-wise in Sang gives her a unique combination of recklessness, bad decision-making, and a yearning for more. She’s like a slightly older Claudia from Interview with the Vampire. And since she’s from our world, we get to explore Sang with her through the lens of pop culture and familiar idioms. Of all the protagonists I’ve written, she was the one who surprised me the most when reacting to the horrible situations I put her in. She definitely didn’t make the same decisions I would!
We all love a roguish hero. How would you describe Vale?
I love a wise-cracking man who’s entirely competent and fierce under his apparent insouciance. Vale’s looks are based on Jesse Williams, and his attitude is based on Hannibal King from Blade 3. I have a habit of imbuing my male heroes with tendencies and artifacts that I find most attractive, which explains why he’s good with horses and carries a weapon best compared to a Wolverine claw.
You know we are all waiting for more Criminy. When will get some more?
Eventually! I’m concentrating on YA right now, with 3 releases scheduled through 2016. But I know at least one short story and one e-novella will feature him. They might be self-published, but I will finish his tale! I’m going to be truly sad when Criminy’s stories are done. I originally plotted a 3-book series that followed Crim and Tish across Sang, so everything changed when my editor requested a different romantic couple in every book. Y’all should’ve seen what Criminy was going to do to the medicine man who kidnapped Nana…
What’s next for Delilah S. Dawson?
Well, WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT wraps up the Blud series, which frees me to concentrate on my YA books. SERVANTS OF THE STORM is out this August and features a new twist on demons and storms set in Savannah, Georgia. My most recent book sale was for DELINQUENT, a dark YA pre-dystopian focusing on a teen forced to work as a bounty hunter to pay off her mom’s debts in a bank-owned America. And I have a few books mid-writing, all of which are for kids. If you liked the BLUD series, never fear: everything I write has the dark whimsy, fast pace, sizzling romance, and creepy twists you’ve come to expect.
Thanks so much for sharing with us! As always we are impatiently awaiting your next work.
Thanks so much for having me! I’m so glad you dig the Blud series, and I really appreciate all your support. Long live Sang!
WICKED AS THEY COME
Blud # 1
When nurse Tish Everett forced open the pesky but lovely locket she found at an estate sale, she had no idea she was answering the call of Criminy Stain, from the far off land of Sang. He’d cast a spell for her, but when she’s transported right to him, she’s not so sure she’s ready to be under the spell of another man. (It didn’t go so well last time with controlling, abusive, domineering Jeff.) If only Criminy wasn’t so deliciously rakish….
Half the inhabitants of Sang are Pinkies—human—and the other half are Bludmen, who in Tish’s world would be called vampires. But they don’t mess with any of the bat/coffin/no sunlight nonsense. They’re rather like you and me, just more fabulous, long living, and mostly indestructible. (They’re also very good kissers.) But when the evil Mayor of Manchester (formerly Bludchester) redoubles his efforts to rid Sang of the Bludmen once and for all, stealing Tish’s locket in hopes of traveling back to her world himself for reinforcements, Criminy and Tish must battle ghosts, sea monsters, wayward submarines, a secret cabal, and thundering Bludmares to get the locket back and allow Tish to return home…but has she found love with Criminy? Could she stay in Sang forever?
THE MYSTERIOUS MADAM MORPHO
Blud # 1.5
Taking place after Wicked as They Come, this original eBook features a mysterious lady and a reclusive mechanical genius who find love and danger in a traveling circus.
An elusive woman arrives at Criminy’s doorstep with a steamer trunk, begging for a position in the caravan to perform her unique new act. She opens her trunk to reveal a menagerie of brilliantly colored butterflies. The woman, who calls herself Madam Morpho, is on the run from a dark past in London, where she was forced to leave her equipment behind and abscond with only her tiny performers. Playing a hunch, Criminy hires Madam Morpho on the spot. Taking her down to meet Mr. Murdoch, the reclusive talented engineer who keeps the carnival’s clockworks running, Criminy instructs them to work together to design and build a groundbreaking new circus for the butterflies. Amid the magical ambiance of the circus and the hint of danger from Madam Morpho’s pursuers, she and Mr. Murdoch soon find that their scientific collaboration has produced chemistry of a more romantic kind.
THE PECULIAR PETS OF MISS PLEASANCE
Blud # 1.6
A lady with a penchant for pets meets a sexy fireman in this magical and saucy steampunk eNovella from the author ofWicked as They Come.
In a world ruled by blood, live pets are rare and kindness rarer still. London pet shop owner Frannie Pleasance has a mysterious way with animals and keeps her charges (and heart) locked in a veritable Eden. She thinks Casper Sterling is just another stray…until she takes in the troublesome lodger (and unwelcome suitor) and becomes the victim of a series of strange and dangerous occurrences.
When an unexplained fire threatens to destroy Frannie’s carefully guarded world, firefighter Thom Maccallan is there to extinguish the blaze and help gather the lost creatures. The heat between Frannie and Thom begins to burn, but someone’s still after the lady. Could it be Casper himself, or is Frannie’s new lodger just another victim of fate? Will they be able to figure out who’s pursuing Frannie—and stop them—before she loses everything?
WICKED AS SHE WANTS
Blud # 2
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….
THE DAMSEL AND THE DAGGERMAN
Blud # 2.5
Bad boy knife-thrower Marco Taresque is the hottest and most dangerous performer in the caravan. He keeps to himself until a pesky female journalist arrives, anxious to interview him about his checkered past—his last assistant disappeared under mysterious and bloody circumstances, earning him the nickname “The Deadly Daggerman.”
Unsinkable journalist and adventurer Jacinda Harville doesn’t take no for an answer, and she’s determined to wear down Marco no matter how threatening—or incredibly desirable—he might appear. He agrees to an interview—but only if she’ll let him strap her to a spinning table and throw knives at her body. How can she say no? And how can she resist him when he leans close for a kiss that strikes her more sharply than any blade? It’s the first time she’s let a man get the better of her, and she’s determined it will be the last…
Just when she thinks she can’t take any more of his games, Jacinda receives a note from Marco saying he’s finally ready to tell her the truth about what happened to his missing assistant. She sets out for an address miles away, but what she finds there turns the tables on everything she thought she knew about the tender lover who wears a smile as sharp as his knives.
As secrets are unraveled and passions take hold, Jacinda realizes her hard heart has melted. But will it be too late to save Marco—and herself—from the daggerman’s dangerous past?
WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT
A contortionist and a rakish brigand navigate the cabarets of Paris to rescue a girl taken by slavers in the third steampunk-tinged romance of the Blud series.
Life as a contortionist in Criminy’s Clockwork Caravan should be the height of exotic adventure, but for Demi Ward, it’s total dullsville. Until her best friend, Cherie, is stolen by slavers outside of Paris, and Demi is determined to find her.
On the run from his own past, Vale Hildebrand, a dashing rogue of a highwayman, hides Demi from the slavers…but why? He pledges to help her explore the glittering cabarets of Paris to find her friend, but much to Vale’s frustration, Demi soon attracts a host of wealthy admirers. The pleasures of music, blood, and absinthe could turn anyone’s head, and it would be all too easy to accept Cherie’s disappearance as inevitable—but with Vale’s ferocious will and Demi’s drive to find her friend, they soon have a lead on a depraved society of Parisian notables with a taste for beautiful lost girls. Can Demi wind her way through the seedy underbelly of Paris and save her best friend before she, too, is lost?
The End??? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
We have a copy of WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT up for grabs! US only.