'Servants Of The Storm' Author Delilah S. Dawson Answers 11 Fun Questions
If you're a dark fantasy lover, you already know Delilah S. Dawson. Her Blud series, including Wicked as They Come, Wicked After Midnight, and Wicked as She Wants — and another upcoming sequel — has already made Dawson a huge name in the fantasy arena for adults. But her first YA novel Servants of the Storm (Simon Pulse) was released Tuesday, and it's sure to not disappoint her already large fanbase, as well as attract newbies from the young adult crowd.
Servants of the Storm — as you can probably tell from its killer cover art — is a creepy Southern gothic tale that tells the story of the aftermath of a massive hurricane that devastates Savannah, Ga. Dovey lost her best friend Carly to the storm, right in front of her eyes, and as a result, she has been on medication to cope. But when she decides to dump that medicine down the drain, the world around her becomes vivid again, and that's when she sees Carly. And it only gets more interesting from there.
The YA novel is sure to launch Dawson into the upperclass of young adult paranormal, so we talked to the author about what makes her tick. I asked Dawson 11 silly questions to find out what she thinks about books, history, and her favorite literary boyfriends, and she let us in on what's coming next that we should be excited about.
1. What's one book by another author that you wish you wrote?
One I haven't written yet that hits list and goes on to be a blockbuster movie starring Tom Hiddleston? Ahem. Although I'm not one to grab at other people's dreams, there are certain styles and skills that I envy, like Deanna Raybourn's lush talent for mixing history with character and story or John Green's ability to infuse epiphanies into his prose. I was also a big fan of Maggie Stiefvater's Scorpio Races. And she does have a cooler car...
2. If you could trade places with anyone in the world, who would it be?
A robot version of me that would never die or get wrinkles. I dig my life and wouldn't trade it for anything anyone else has.
3. If you could go back to any time period in history or experience anything in history first-hand, where would you go?
History is just a place where my father would've sold me off to the highest bidder once I was fertile. If I could've been an eccentric, bluestocking princess allowed to ride horses through the countryside and fence and paint all day, I suppose that would've been lovely. Maybe in a castle conveniently near a Mr. Darcy? But mostly I prefer right now to any time that's gone before. We're going to get a Wonder Woman movie one day, I just know it.
History is just a place where my father would've sold me off to the highest bidder once I was fertile. If I could've been an eccentric, bluestocking princess allowed to ride horses through the countryside and fence and paint all day, I suppose that would've been lovely.
4. If you could live in the world of any book or series, which would you choose?
Is it a cop out to say Harry Potter? Our world, but magic. I was horribly awkward at 11, and having an owl drop off a letter that offered me a magic ticket to wizard school where I had a hope of belonging would've been very welcome. I'm a Ravenclaw, of course. And I see thestrals.
5. If you weren't limited by money, what is your ultimate summer vacation destination?
An unspoiled, quiet beach with clear blue water and plenty of complex food and safe adventure. Riding horses on the shore, ziplining through rainforest, snorkling along coral reefs, and then a stuffed stomach and wine-muddled head. I've been to Grand Cayman a couple of times, and it was very nearly ideal. If I don't get to the beach at least once a year, I turn into a sniveling mess.
6. And on that vacation, what drink would be in your hand?
Coffee until noon, La Croix until dinner, and then interesting cocktails. There's nothing better than a bartender who's an artist. I have synesthesia, and unusual tastes paired with alcohol really satisfies me on a lot of levels. If the bartender is dull, St. Germain and Prosecco.
7. What YA book could you read again and again?
I don't reread much these days, but my favorite series is The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. The setting and characters are so real and complex that I buy her books on the day they launch and have finished them by dinner. I also love the contemporary romance by Stephanie Perkins and can't wait to grab Isla and the Happily Ever After . Nobody makes you wait for a first kiss like Stephanie.
8. And what about an "Adult" book?
The quotation marks take me straight into erotica territory, which means Tiffany Reisz. I have never encountered erotica with such compelling characters and beautiful prose. I'm fairly sure Kingsley is going to pull up outside my house in his Rolls one day. But if we're talking “Adult” as in “not YA”, then I would have to go with the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I've been reading them since the '90s and still fall right back into that world with Jamie and Claire the second a new one comes out.
9. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, would it be?
Does my husband count? We have small children and really treasure a quiet dinner alone. If we're talking about other people, I can confidently say that I've had this dinner. At Phoenix ComicCon this past June, my friend Kevin Hearne invited several authors to The Taco Guild, an old church that serves elderflower margaritas and the best street tacos I've ever had. There were about 20 of my favorite Twitter friends, all great writers, drinking and eating and shouting and taking selfies up and down that church. It was a thing of great and terrible beauty.
If you want to meet some fantastic authors, that's definitely the "Con" to attend. I was sitting between John Scalzi in a luchador mask and Patrick Rothfuss in a wizard hat, laughing until my ribs hurt, and I realized that being a writer is a truly amazing gift. Because we're all insane.
I was sitting between John Scalzi in a luchador mask and Patrick Rothfuss in a wizard hat, laughing until my ribs hurt, and I realized that being a writer is a truly amazing gift. Because we're all insane.
10. What literary character would you totally date?
Uh, so many. The great thing about book boyfriends (and girlfriends) is that you can close the book and walk away when they do something stupid. Jamie from Outlander is a favorite, but we all know how much trouble he gets into. The guys I love in books are mostly dangerous warrior poets, with long hair and gorgeous costumes and blood on their stubbled cheeks, which is lovely to read about but involves a lot of work in real life, and not just from cleaning up all the war wounds. I do love Jace and Will from Cassie Clare's books. Those Herondale boys...
11. Finally, what can fans and readers expect next from you?
After Servants of the Storm, my next book is a pre-dystopian YA called HIT about teen assassins in a bank-owned America. The cover blows my mind every time I see it. That's out next April, and there will be a second book in that series, which means I get to blow things up! I'm also working on the fourth book in my Blud series, which will be called Wicked Ever After. And there are two more YA manuscripts on my agent's desk, one a geeky, gender-swapped She's All That and the other a Weird West that's like True Grit meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There's fun stuff coming, that much I can tell you.
Image: Dolorianne Morris