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Cool as They Come

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. 

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19 Responses

  1. Delilah,
    I think you would be a hoot to have as a next-door neighbor! Being different is great, and you certainly seem to make the most of it 🙂 I haven’t tried reading steampunk yet, but I gotta say you grabbed my attention with your menagerie of off-kilter animals. I’ve just added Wicked to my TBR list.

  2. Delilah,

    Welcome to the blog!!!

    I am falling in love with the Steampunk genre. I just finished a Carina Press steampunk called Beauty in the Beast that had a steam horse in it. Very cool.

    I love the cover of your book and have also added it to my TBR pile. I think it’s super cool you went in Target in full dress and people loved it. It’s such a neat look.

    Thanks again for sharing with us and good luck at your release party tonight.

  3. Thanks so much, y’all! I hope you enjoy it! And there’s a steam unicorn in the e-novella out this fall… kind of… =)

  4. I’m so glad you’re embracing the freakitude! I worked at a Renaissance Faire one year, and had to run into a Walmart without changing back into my civvies first. I got nothing more than gentle smiles and the occasional bow! (Just imagine if my costume were upper class and not patchy peasant wear!)

    And I want your book! Please pick me!

  5. I stalk your blog as it is, but I loved reading this post! It’s kind of funny cause even as an adult we still tip toe on how we should act and dress, and I’m glad you’re one that embraces exactly how they feel!! And I cannot wait to dip into this world and meet Criminy Stain 🙂

  6. Congratulations on your new book and Have Fun at your launch party tonight! How fun that everyone is going to dress up in theme. I love the steampunk genre and have added your book to my buy list.

  7. I have yet to read a Steampunk book but after reading your comments I think I am going to give it a try.

  8. Welcome to the blog and HOW FUN. your book does sound like a melting pot!

    just curious–how long does it take you to get in full costume?

  9. congrats on the new release. This is a new author and genre for me. I would love to win and read this book. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.

  10. congrats on the release . this is on my tbb list by recommendation 🙂

    meandi09@yahoo.com

  11. love the post! But where is the picture of the fabulous steampunk costume? I really need to see this.

    Congrats and best of the luck on the release

  12. I love the steampunk genre and this book has been on my radar for a while now. Have fun at the launch party, I love the idea of having everyone dress in costumes, it sounds fabulous. Thanks for the giveaway.

  13. sounds like a great read. I am going to look up that convention. Sounds like fun.
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com.

  14. Congrat 4 ur new book.
    I haven’t read steampunk b4. Mybe i should try to buy one

  15. Great post. Cant wait to get my hands on this book.

  16. Keri, it takes about 45 minutes for hair, makeup, and costume. Here’s a blog wrap-up with a link to more photos: http://delilahpaints.blogspot.com/2012/03/best-party-ever.html

    The launch party was amazingly fantastic, one of the best nights of my life!

    Thanks so much for your sweet comments, everyone. I can’t wait for y’all to read Wicked! ❤

  17. Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by and to Delilah for introducing us to her fascinating world. Cue the drumroll while I stir this pot of little bits of paper with all of your names on it……

    And the winner is MARIA!

    Email me at kari lynn dell at gmail dot com and we’ll get a copy of Wicked as They Come headed your direction!

  18. Delilah, I just know you’re counting the comments and wondering why I was so rude not to visit on your blog day (my deadline was today!), so even though I’m obviously *unfashionably* late, I had to comment anyway. 🙂 You sound like a fascinating person and a helluva lot of fun and I’m going to have to try out your book!

  19. Thanks, NJDamschroder! Better late than never, and I so appreciate the compliment. =) I hope you enjoy it!

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