Delilah, how long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?
The longest part was that I didn't know I wanted to be a writer until I was 32. I wrote my first book in a couple of months, and it was terrible. I queried it and racked up over 60 rejections until a kind agent pointed out that the writing showed promise but the book had a fatal flaw. I wrote my second book in a couple of months, queried it, received over 30 rejections, and then had two offers of representation. That book didn't sell, but my third book sold in a three-book deal at auction. That book became Wicked as They Come. So it took almost two years from starting my first book (July 2009) to making my first sale (February 2011) on a book that was published in March 2012.
Since then, I've had 4 books written that never went on submission and 2 books go on submission and not sell. I think of writing books like throwing darts. Some don't even hit the dartboard, but if you keep throwing them, you'll eventually hit the bullseye. I am full of infinite books, and it's not over until I am.
Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?
My brain broke!
I didn't grow up wanting to be a writer-- I'm an artist with an art degree. When my second child was nine months old, he stopped sleeping, so I was only getting three hours of sleep a night, and my brain broke. I started hallucinating. My husband suggested that I needed to do something just for me, like write a book, and all the reasonable parts of my brain were gone. I had no fear. Nothing said, "You can't do this." So I started writing... and never stopped. The AHA moment was that it doesn't have to be perfect, that perfection doesn't exist. That no one can stop you from writing. That you don't need a MFA or a lifelong love of writing or a friend in New York. All you need to do is write fearlessly and understand that failure is part of the process. I don't advise the three hours of sleep part, but it definitely changed how I approach life for the better.
What are you working on now?
I just turned in revisions for CONSPIRACY OF RAVENS, the second book in my Shadow series, written as Lila Bowen. Oddly, I wrote the first book, WAKE OF VULTURES, as a YA, but they're selling it as an adult Fantasy. It's a paranormal Western with a genderqueer heroine who hunts monsters. I'm also working on a YA Space Opera that includes a weaponized hamster. :) You can always find out what I'm working on via my website or on Twitter.
ABOUT THE BOOKStrike
by Delilah S. Dawson
The hit list was just the beginning.
Time to strike back.
After faking her own death to escape her term as an indentured assassin for Valor Savings Bank, Patsy is on the run with her boyfriend, Wyatt. All she wants to do is go home, but that’s never going to happen—not as long as Valor’s out to get her and the people she loves.
Left with no good choices, Patsy’s only option is to meet with a mysterious group that calls itself the Citizens for Freedom.
Led by the charismatic Leon Crane, the CFF seem like just what Patsy has been looking for. Leon promises that if she joins, she’ll finally get revenge on Valor for everything they’ve done to her—and for everything they’ve made her do.
But Patsy knows the CFF has a few secrets of their own. One thing is certain: they’ll do absolutely anything to complete their mission, no matter who’s standing in their way. Even if it’s Patsy herself.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Delilah teaches writing classes at LitReactor and wrote the Island of Mesmer world for Storium.
Delilah lives with her husband, two small children, a horse, a dog, and two cats in Atlanta. Find out more at www.whimsydark.com.
Have you had a chance to read STRIKE yet? Did you grow up wanting to be a writer? Do you write fearlessly? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!
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