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I Belong

Guest Post: Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson

We are so pleased to welcome Delilah S. Dawson here today to talk about her recent release, Wicked as They Come, which is the first book in the unique and highly entertaining Blud series. You can read an excerpt from the book here.  You can also read our review of the book here. We are also featuring this title in our UF/PNR Reading Challenge 2012.

Author Bio:

Delilah S. Dawson comes from a long line of Roswell, GA natives.  Originally named after two grandmothers and a dog, she grew up as Missy Southard and attended Roswell High School and the University of Georgia, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Studio Art.  Her career gag reel includes stints as an art teacher, a balloon artist, a reptile vendor, various Disney princesses, a corpse, a cube monkey, a tour guide, a horseback riding instructor, a muralist, and a gallery supervisor.

Delilah wrote her first book in 2009 and promptly stuck it in a drawer. WICKED AS THEY COME is her third book, and she’s already working on the sequel, which involves a missing vampire princess and a steamship brothel. Delilah has several projects in the works, including paranormal YA and a steampunk romance version of Robin Hood and is a member of the Romance Writers of America. You can also read her product reviews on Cool Mom Picks and Cool Mom Tech, where she is given the more eccentric and geeky products to cover. Delilah lives with her husband, two small children, and cat in Atlanta and blogs here.

You can visit Delilah around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Delilah S. Dawson?

Wicked as They Come


We Built This City on Cogs and Blood

by Delilah S. Dawson

When I tell people that Wicked as They Come is a steampunk paranormal romance, I get a lot of questions. Basically, they want to know if it’s a cross between Twilight and a Justin Bieber video and if I use lots of words like “turgid” and “throbbing”.  The answer to both questions is a definite no.

It’s easy to tell people what my book isn’t, but it’s hard to explain what it is. “Your average Victorian gypsy circus vampire adventure romance with clockwork animals and bloodthirsty rabbits” just makes people confused.  So here’s the deal on how the wicked world of Sang came to be.

1. I watch a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and smile whenever Spike speaks.

2. I listen to the album Like Vines by The Hush Sound.

3. I dream that I wake up naked on a rock in a birch forest, and through the fog I see this long-haired, extra naughty version of Mr. Darcy who greatly resembles Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Steerpike in Gormenghast. When he talks, Spike’s voice comes out, and he says his name is Criminy Stain and he’s a Bludman. He gives me his coat and walks me across moors straight out of Hound of the Baskervilles, and the last thing I see before I wake up is the silhouette of a train and a girl on a tightrope.

4. I wake up and try to fight my way back to sleep to keep dreaming. It doesn’t work.

5. I decide I have to write this story. I have to spend more time with Criminy. FOR REASONS.

6. I tell my husband about my dream and that I want to write the book. He laughs. A lot.

7. Listening to Like Vines on repeat, I start hammering out the story. The world of Sang sucks me in, and I realize that I don’t want Bludmen to be much like vampires. I want them to be mostly normal people who happen to drink blood. And logically, they would have to be either oppressed or running the world. I go with oppressed. I dream of cities rising from the earth like hermit crab shells, covered in junk, with everything gray and ugly behind high walls. Naturally, the humans will balance out this horror with bright clothes and vibrant homes. The Bludmen basically live in ghettos, and giant, red rats roam everywhere. Blood becomes currency, and the Coppers arise to control it. Clockwork pets spring up to take the place of animals that would be too difficult to keep alive in such a place, and giant machines of brass and copper glimmer in the watery sun for transportation in a world where horses bite back. The story suddenly becomes steampunk, and I grin madly and start planning the submarine scene.

8. I write the entire book through in less than two months. I don’t sleep much and start to go slightly mad. It seems to help the writing process.

9. I send the book to beta readers. They rage at me for leaving black-out scenes where sex should be. I am forced to write my first sex scene. I blush for three days. And then I’m told to write another one. I realize my epic fantasy has somehow become a romance.

11. I send it over to my agent and cross my fingers. She has several important requests that totally change the story. Tish goes from being a wife and mother to being a damaged woman caring for her dying grandmother. We lose one of my favorite scenes, which involved an automaton city. I have to fight to keep the ghost scene. And Casper has to be more swoon-worthy. I sniffle and whine a little but comply.

12.  The book goes on submission. I get THE CALL. The offer becomes an auction. The book eventually sells in a three-book series as a paranormal romance. Instead of following Criminy and Tish across the epic arc in my head, I learn that each book will feature a new couple. We change the title from BLUD to WICKED AS THEY COME.

And that’s how geek media became a dream became a book became a different book, all of it built on cogs and blood and none of it ever using the word “throbbing.” It’s a little bit steampunk, a little bit paranormal, and, hopefully, an awful lot of fun.

Thanks so much for having me, and I’m so glad y’all enjoyed it!


Available on March 27, 2012 from Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books

About the Book:

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?

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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3 Responses to “Guest Post: Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson

  1. Barbara ElnessNo Gravatar

    I’ve got Wicked As They Come on my wish list and it’s been there since I first heard about the book. I loved the interview and learning a bit more about how the book came about. I can’t wait to read it.

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  2. BethNo Gravatar

    Wicked As They Come… from the first time I read the description, I was intrigued. Got the book the day it came out. Finished it a day and a half later (in between working and not enough sleep). Even better than the blurb promises. Truly. I eagerly await the next installment, because i desperately want to know more about the land of Sang and the fascinating characters in the clockwork caravan…. Also? I want a clockwork giraffe. I’m just saying.

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  3. Delilah S DawsonNo Gravatar

    Clockwork giraffe? I think I can make that happen. =)

    I’m so glad you liked it, Beth, and I hope you enjoy it, Barbara!

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