Friday, January 31, 2014

Interview with Delilah S. Dawson, author of the Blud series - January 31, 2014

Please welcome the fabulous Delilah S. Dawson to The Qwillery. Delilah is the author of the Blud series consisting of 3 novels and 3 novellas. Wicked After Midnight, Blud 3, was published on January 28, 2014. 

TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery! Please tell us something about your newest Blud novel, Wicked After Midnight, that we won't find in the book description.

Delilah:  Thanks so much for having me!

Hmm. Well, there are a few Easter eggs that aren't in the description. Just as book 2, Wicked as She Wants, is peppered with hidden Walt Whitman quotes, so is Wicked After Midnight haunted by some of my favorite Impressionist artwork. Fans of Van Gogh, Monet, Toulouse Lautrec, et al might recognize places, people, and scenes portrayed in famous paintings described as part of the story. I wanted to weave Demi's art history past with the world of Paris in Sang.

TQ:  What do you wish you'd known about publishing when Wicked as They Come (Book 1) came out that you know now?

Delilah:  You know, I'm satisfied with my publishing journey. As much as I wish the series had gotten huge and that I could keep writing Blud books forever, I still feel confident about the stories and characters I was able to create and gratified by the kindness of fans. If I had known at the beginning that there would only be three books in the series, I might've found a way to finish Criminy and Tish's story for good in print. But I have plans. Dastardly plans. Whether it has to be self-published or Kickstarted, their story definitely isn't over...

TQ:  Wicked After Midnight, the 3rd novel in your Blud series, was published on January 28, 2013. What is the most challenging thing for you about writing? Has this changed from when you wrote Book 1 to Book 3?

Delilah:  For the Blud books, my biggest challenge is creating new romantic couples that will appeal to fans of the series as a whole. Criminy Stain is a tough act to follow, and I would hate to disappoint! In Wicked as She Wants, my main goal was to write the most kick-ass woman I could, the perfect foil and redemption for the walking disaster Casper Sterling had become. In Wicked After Midnight, I wanted to go out with a bang, throwing in as much fun, adventure, sexiness, and glitter as possible. I want to make sure that each book not only has a hot romance but also an escapist adventure and a deeper meaning. I want my books to be more than just bodice rippers. When I wrote book 1, it was a scifi adventure with added romance, and I wanted each book to be better than the last!

TQ:  You've also written 3 Blud novellas: The Mysterious Madam Morpho, The Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance and The Damsel and the Daggerman. How do the Novellas fit in with the novels?

Delilah:  The novellas are each their own self-contained romance in the Blud world, but they support the main books by introducing characters or following those characters beyond Criminy's caravan and between books. I hope that the cheaper novellas will entice new readers to pick up the bigger, juicier books while giving fans of the series a little snack between launch days. That being said, at about 30-40k words, each novella is 1/3 of a big book and has its own characters, love story, villain, adventure, and sexytimes. You can read the novellas without the books and the books without the novellas, but if you love dwelling in the world of Sang as much as I do, they're all instruments contributing to the same song.

TQ:  What sorts of research have you done for Wicked After Midnight and what is the oddest thing you've found?

Delilah:  You know, I simply *had* to know what it felt like to do tricks on the flying trapeze! When I was up in New York last year, my pal Parisa at Simon & Schuster took me to STREB NYC, where I got to fly, flip, and practice catches on the flying trapeze. It was amazing! I've never been so bruised, but I can't wait to try it again. I've also taken circus classes in static trapeze, Spanish web, aerial silks, acrobatics, juggling, and tightrope. And I've watched Moulin Rouge dozens of times. Sang, for me, is less about history and reality and more about pulling the most magical parts from our world and channeling them into a new world. And I wear a lot of corsets, too, mainly because they make me feel fantastic!

But for the record, I have never done on a trapeze what Demi and Vale do on a trapeze, and let's just leave it at that.

TQ:  Which character in the Blud series has surprised you the most?

Delilah:  I'll tell you a secret. When I first envisioned Ahna breaking out of that suitcase and going after Casper at the beginning of Wicked as She Wants, I wasn't sure if even she was strong enough to save him. I've witnessed addiction and depression first hand, and I worried that Casper might be a lost cause, that I had written him into an early grave. Of all the books I've written, that one feels like the biggest triumph. I was also surprised when Emerlie just walked right up to Tish and grabbed her arm in Wicked as They Come. That was only the third book I'd ever written, and it was the first time a character appeared out of nowhere and just took over the scene. Now, I'm always grateful when that happens. Characters with that much power are a joy to write.

The character who surprised me the most in Wicked After Midnight was Monsieur Charmant. I love him and his striped suit and curly mustache. And he has his own story in an anthology that's out next year, too.

TQ:  If you could, would you travel to Sangland or Freesia or Franchia? Why or why not?

Delilah:  I would want to ride in Criminy's caravan and see all the sights of Sangland. I've never been to England, and I'd love to see the moors, the sea, the cities and towns. I love writing the caravan because it's above and beyond the laws, a group of freaks who live as they wish. Plus, Criminy would keep me safe. And Marco and Henry are there, too. Meow.

TQ: The Blud novels/novellas have been called "Carniepunk." What is Carniepunk?

Delilah:  Isn't that the best word? The idea of the carnival doesn't always match the reality, at least from what I've seen in my suburban American town, but still its siren song calls to us. I think carniepunk is the longing, the mystery, the glitter, the shimmer of lights just out of reach. Carniepunk is the colorful wagon that visits our boring reality and taunts us to run away. It's a world where freaks can shine, where feats defy death, where everything is beautiful and colorful and smells delicious, where the great mysteries wait behind velvet drapes. Carniepunk is the romance of the traveling circus… and often the treachery it hides.

And now you're making me miss it all over again! Writing Criminy's caravan is great therapy.

TQ:  What's next?

Delilah:  My first YA is out this August with Simon Pulse, a paranormal about Savannah and demons called SERVANTS OF THE STORM. It's got the strangeness and darkness and slight whimsy of the Blud books, but it's written in first person and follows Dovey Greenwood, a Savannah girl who lost her best friend to Hurricane Josephine. And I just sold two more books to my editor, the first of which is tentatively called DELINQUENT and centers on the plight of a teen girl forced to pay off her mother's debts as a bounty hunter under the new bank-owned government. And I'm working on a geeky teen contemporary and a weird western.

But if everyone were to petition Pocket to buy a Tish and Criminy book, I would drop all that newfangled stuff and start writing tomorrow. Just sayin'. ;)

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery!

Delilah:  Thanks so much for having me! I hope y'all enjoy the end of the Blud series!


Wicked After Midnight
Blud 3
Pocket Books, January 28, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

An electrifying paranormal romance . . . with a twist!

Only rebellious Demi Ward could be bored with her life as a contortionist in Criminy Stain’s magical traveling circus. But being a cabaret star in the City of Light is dangerous . . . especially for an audacious Bludman.

After Demi’s best friend, Cherie, is brutally kidnapped en route to Paris by a roving band of masked slavers, passionate highwayman Vale Hildebrand shows up to save the day. With his help, Demi rises to the top of the cabaret scene as part of her plot to find Cherie—but what she really discovers is a taste for Vale’s kisses. Meanwhile, wealthy suitors vie for a night of her charms, crowding the glittering club where Demi commands the stage with a host of colorful daimons. She is soon seduced by a smoldering portrait artist whose ties to a secret society could be the break she and Vale need on their hunt. But—unlike the Paris that Demi read about in college on Earth—the Paris of Sang is full of depraved pleasures and deadly surprises. . . .

The Damsel and the Daggerman
A Blud Novella
Pocket Star, January 6, 2014
eNovella, 100 pages

In this “carniepunk” e-novella from the author of Wicked As They Come, a knife-thrower meets a lady journalist determined to uncover his dark and dangerous past.

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, Ginger realizes her hard heart has melted. But will it be too late to save Marco—and herself—from the daggerman’s dangerous past?

Wicked As She Wants
Blud 2
Pocket Books, April 30, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

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 Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance
Blud Novella
Pocket Books, April 3. 2013
eBook, 100 pages

A lady with a penchant for pets meets a sexy fireman in this magical and saucy steampunk eNovella from the author of Wicked 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?

The Mysterious Madam Morpho
Blud Novella
Pocket Books, October 2, 2012
eBook, 131 pages

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.

Wicked as They Come
Blud 1
Pocket Books, March 27, 2012
Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages

Have you ever heard of a Bludman? They’re rather like you and me—only more fabulous, immortal, and mostly indestructible. (They’re also very good kissers.)

Delilah S. Dawson’s darkly tempting debut drops her unsuspecting heroine into a strange faraway land for a romantic adventure that’s part paranormal, part steampunk . . . and completely irresistible.

When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?


Servants of the Storm
Simon Pulse, August 5, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages
Grades 9 and up

Dovey learns that demons lurk in places other than the dark corners of her mind in this southern gothic fantasy from the author of the Blud series.

A year ago, Hurricane Josephine swept through Savannah, Georgia, leaving behind nothing but death and destruction—and taking the life of Dovey’s best friend, Carly. Since that night, Dovey has been in a medicated haze, numb to everything around her.

But recently she’s started to believe she’s seeing things that can’t be real…including Carly at their favorite café. Determined to learn the truth, Dovey stops taking her pills. And the world that opens up to her is unlike anything she could have imagined.

As Dovey slips deeper into the shadowy corners of Savannah—where the dark and horrifying secrets lurk—she learns that the storm that destroyed her city and stole her friend was much more than a force of nature. And now the sinister beings truly responsible are out to finish what they started.

About Delilah

Photo by Dolorianne Morris
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 WICKED AS SHE WANTS and two e-novellas, THE MYSTERIOUS MADAM MORPHO and THE PECULIAR PETS OF MISS PLEASANCE. Her short story THE THREE LIVES OF LYDIA is in Gallery's Carniepunk anthology, and her e-novella SHADOWMAN: FOLLOW ME BOY was commissioned by Amazon's Kindle Worlds program. Her first YA, a creepy paranormal called SERVANTS OF THE STORM will be available in August 2014 from Simon Pulse. RT Book Reviews has called her "a wonderfully fresh new voice!" and "on the fast track to the top of the genre!" and awarded WICKED AS SHE WANTS the May Seal of Excellence.

Delilah is Associate Editor at and She's a geek of all trades, a synesthete, and the sort of person who saw Spawn in the theater and made other people angry by laughing. Find her online at Bring cupcakes.

Website  ~   Amazon Author Page  ~   Twitter @DelilahSDawson   ~  tumblr
Facebook   ~  Pinterest

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win Mass Market Paperback copy of Wicked After Midnight (Blud 3)from The Qwillery.

How:   Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59PM US Eastern Time on February 9, 2014. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

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  1. Are you kidding?? I'd totally want to join Criminy's caravan. I mean look at him!! Awesome interview! I'm hoping to read Delilah's books soon.

  2. I'd run away and join Criminy's caravan, at least for a while. What an adventure that would be. :D

  3. I think I would run away & join the circus. Rather exciting.