Delilah S. Dawson is the author of the Blud series; the Star Wars book The Perfect Weapon; Hit and Strike, the Shadow series, and so many others. She’s created rich worlds full of characters we love in both Young Adult and adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.
She teaches courses in writing on LitReactor in How to be a God (worldbuilding), and has appeared at more conventions than I could list. Her newest book, Conspiracy of Ravens, is seriously kick-ass. Reading her books is always a delight.
Pop Culture Beast caught up with her for a Quick Six Interview:
What inspires you recently?
Conspiracy of Ravens was inspired by a donkey named Earl and by watching a lot of Deadwood and Hell on Wheels. My first drafts are very organic, and I grab whatever looks shiny and fit it into the puzzle. We were trail riding in the mountains one day, and Earl was in front of my mare, and he stopped for no reason, and she flattened her ears and tried to bite his butt. It occurred to me that Earl would really get on Nettie Lonesome’s nerves, so I started the book with him doing just that.
Who decides on your book cover art?
Since most of my books are traditionally published, the publisher creates the covers and allows me some input. Luckily, with Wake of Vultures and the rest of the series, my art director at Orbit is Lauren Panepinto, a veritable goddess whose work I’ve long admired. She really gets the books, and the feather image is loosely inspired by the vulture feather on the inside of my right arm. I love how the new covers look like movie posters– for movies I really want to see.
What do you do when you aren’t actively writing?
I’m one of those weirdos who thinks that writing is more than just writing– it’s traveling, sitting in the hammock, reading, binge-watching TV shows, listening in on conversations at the coffee shop. So I’m almost always actively writing, in one way or another. But as far as activities, I love trail riding, having adventures in new places, and doing yoga.
Morning or night person for work?
Morning person for work that requires logical thinking, such as editing, writing copy, and handling emails. Night for the mad dash of a first draft, when I can’t stop the writing flow and make my brain calm down.
If you could spend a weekend with a fictional character in your world or theirs, who would it be?
Criminy Stain from the first book in my Blud series, Wicked as They Come. He’s based on Spike from Buffy with the wardrobe of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the looks of a young Jonathan Rhys Meyers. And he lives in his own traveling steampunk circus. What’s not to love?
What’s next for you?
I’m working on books 3 and 4 in The Shadow series, as well as several short stories set in Nettie’s world for various anthologies and magazines. I have a couple of secret projects I can’t discuss yet, and I’m waiting on edits from my agent for an Epic Fantasy I’m really excited about. Flipping all the tropes for Wake of Vultures and Conspiracy of Ravens made me want to mess with an old school adventuring party in a Tolkienesque world. I’ll be teaching at the Surrey International Writers Conference October 20-23 and speaking at M. Judson Booksellers on October 25.
Quick Six Interview: Pop Culture Beast lets artists choose from our standard ten questions – and we let them tell you what they’d like you to know.
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When we last saw Nettie Lonesome, she was unsure who or what she was, until she took a leap of faith off a mountain. With that leap, Nettie knows two things–she isn’t Nettie Lonesome anymore. He is Rhett Hennessy, and Rhett Hennessy is both a Monster and a Ranger. (Click to continue)