Yep, that’s our guest for the day. Dear readers, meet Delilah Dawson who is undeniably one of the most unique people I’ve ever met, in the best way possible. So I’ll just hush up and let her take it from here. Kari Lynn Dell.
I knew from a very early age that I wasn’t going to be normal. Even when I tried to fit in, it didn’t work. In high school, I was as likely to be found in a vest and fedora as a black silk dress and witch boots, and I enjoyed ska shows as much as seeing The Cure. I took up with the drama kids and got involved in plays, which meant I also got to be a fairy, a drunk, and a pregnant woman, all before the age of eighteen. Let’s just say I mixed genres a lot.
It’s no surprise that my debut book is also a melting pot. Wicked as They Come started out as a paranormal fantasy with black-out scenes, but angry beta readers forced me– FORCED ME! AGAINST MY WILL!– to write hot sex scenes instead. When it sold as a paranormal romance, I was ecstatic– and surprised. I had never thought of myself as a romance author. Growing up in a conservative Georgia town with heavily Baptist grandparents, I wasn’t even sure how to tell my family. Surprise, y’all! I finally lived up to my potential, and it involves hot vampire sex in corsets! I still haven’t told my grandmother about that part, but everyone else has been overwhelmingly supportive.
WICKED is based on a dream, and then I pretty much added in everything I like. The world is Victorian and dark, with corsets, bustles, black eye makeup, sort-of-vampires, and goth undertones. There are steampunk animals, trains that look like chemistry sets, dirigibles, and submarines. There are bloodthirsty rabbits, blood-colored rats, and deer that would rip Bambi to shreds. There’s a circus filled with freaks, magic, and glitter. And, most importantly, there’s love. Criminy Stain is my imaginary boyfriend, but I’m more than willing to share him.
As the last year unfolded on my path from book sale to publication. I’ve found that, just like in high school and in my book, I’m really enjoying the genre mixing. When I scheduled author photos, I asked my friends on Facebook what I should do. Aside from joking about wearing a turtleneck and holding a Cocker Spaniel, most of them said the same thing: do whatever makes you happy. So I took some pictures wearing my octopus necklace and sugar skull heels and some in my favorite hometown graveyard wearing a flowing purple blouse that waved in the wind. I accidentally knocked over a tombstone, too, but it doesn’t look like I’m going to be haunted. I managed to put it back before anyone noticed.
As I planned my book launch party, which is tonight in Woodstock, GA, I was conflicted. Should I make it an elegant affair, wear a pretty dress, and focus on normalcy? Or should I have as much fun as possible, with camp, corsets, tiny hats, and over-the-top decorations? I was on the fence, right up until I had to stop at Target on the way home from AnachroCon, an alternative history convention in Atlanta. There was no food at home, so I ran in really quickly in full steampunk costume, expecting to be laughed at and pointed at and whispered about. What actually happened was a revelation. People were charmed. Little girls were excited. Teenagers stopped me on the street, asking what I did for a living that allowed me to dress that way. Old men bowed and told me I was a breath of fresh air. In short, people loved it, and I did, too.
And so my launch party is being lauded as a steampunk event, encouraging people to wear their steampunk, Victorian, goth, or vampire costumes. My crafty friends are knitting tiny top hats, stopping at Michael’s to bustle skirts they found at thrift stores, and, in the case of Stephanie at Pinafores and Pinwheels, sewing her own (amazing!) leather and silk corset from scratch. I’m so excited to give my friends, family, and readers an excuse to play, to mix genres, or just to try something new. My hope is that WICKED AS THEY COME will be like that, too– an excuse for steampunk readers to try paranormal romance, for paranormal romance readers to try steampunk, and for anyone at all to enjoy a raucous good time in a world that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Come on down to Sang, y’all. We can’t wait to eat you! I mean, meet you. =)
Delilah S. Dawson is the author of WICKED AS THEY COME, a parnormal steampunk romance and the first in a three-book series, out now with Pocket/Simon & Schuster. She is synestheste, an artist, a goof, a geek, a steampunk enthusiast, and a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Georgia Romance Writers, and the Artifice Club. She’s also an Associate Editor at www.CoolMomPicks.com. Delilah lives with her husband, two small children, and cat in Atlanta. You can find her on her website, onTwitter, on Facebook, and on the Simon & Schuster Author Portal.
In keeping with the Luck of the Irish blog hop here at ENLR, Delilah will give a copy of her book to one lucky commentor so be sure and drop her a line. And remember, the more posts you comment on the better your chances of winning the $25 gift certificate at the end.
And for more prizes hop on over to the Luck of the Irish giveaway hop.