Tuesday, January 28, 2014

25 Reasons to Buy Wicked After Midnight This Week

Wicked After Midnight is available now from all bookstores-- links here!

And I really hope you'll buy it this week, if not today. Here are 25 reasons why.

  1. You're wicked.
  2. It's after midnight.
  3. You're wicked AND it's after midnight. You basically have no choice.
  4. It's the last book in the series, so even if you're one of those people who refuse to read a series until it's over, NOW'S YOUR TIME.
  5. You like Fantasy adventure stories that defy genre and expectation with imaginative worldbuilding, new races, new creatures, and plenty of excitement.
  6. You like Romance stories with sexy women, hot guys, tantalizing touches, searing kisses, and witty banter that culminate in hot encounters that don't use awkward, trope-y terms like “quivering womb” or “creamy thighs”.
  7. You like Steampunk stories with technology firmly based in logical worldbuilding and fully integrated into society, aesthetics, and every day life. No gluing on of gears here!
  8. You like an escape that whisks you out of your workaday world and sucks you in until the last page.
  9. You liked Baz Luhrman's Moulin Rouge and the thought of STEAMPUNK VAMPIRE MOULIN ROUGE curls your toes.
  10. You like France, art history, cabarets, absinthe, and catacombs full of bones.
  11. You like strong female characters who refuse to be swept around by life's currents but instead fight for their beliefs, friends, and rights, even when society pushes back.
  12. You like me.
  13. You like me enough to pay me for my stories so that I can keep writing books and buying cake.
  14. You like supporting artists who create original art.
  15. You like the idea of vampire poodles.
  16. You enjoy stories that include people of color and non-hetero characters.
  17. You like all of the above, in which WHY ARE WE NOT BESTIES?
  18. You look at the awesome cover by Tony Mauro and want to see what's behind those curtains.
  19. You want an excuse to buy corsets and/or top hats and cosplay interesting characters.
  20. You know that buying an author's book in the first week, whether as an e-book or paperback, is the best way to support them, tell the publisher that they need to buy more books from that author, and generally validate literature and bookstores as a whole.
  21. It makes a fantastic gift, whether for a friend, your mother, or your kid's teacher, who already has 1000 mugs with apples on them but could definitely use an escape from reality.
  22. You know that I'm always happy to sign your book at a con or event, squeal at you, draw your favorite vampire animal inside of the book, or send you a signed bookplate.
  23. You want to see more stories in the Blud universe, because that sort of decision is based strictly on numbers and I still have lots of fantastic ideas including buffalo-drawn chariots and cat-headed people building pyramids with gigantic clockwork camels.
  24. It's on sale right now, $6.83 for Kindle and $7.19 as a paperback.
  25. Because I had a hell of a fun time writing it and hope you'll love it. It's got references to The Princess Bride and other geeky pop-culture icons, art history Easter eggs, characters that veer far from whitewashed or straight-washed, a runaway elephant, and sexytimes on a trapeze. I dare you to find one other book that has all that in only 429 pages.

Joyeux anniversaire, WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT! <3 p="">

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Contest WINNERS!

So the contest was: create any kind of image inspired by anything from the third Blud e-novella, THE DAMSEL AND THE DAGGERMAN. Tag me on Twitter or Facebook and use hashtag #damselanddaggerman. Three people would win a coveted advance copy of WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT, the third Blud book, which is out January 28.

And here are the entries:

from Lynn Fredrick, designed by her daughter

from @MtBluebelle on Twitter

from Wendy Dagley on Twitter

from Margaret Cook on Twitter

from Melissa Gilbert on Twitter

from Hannah Hanson on Facebook

from Stephanie Constantin on Facebook


7 beautiful entries!

And the winners are:



That's right.

I'm so excited that y'all played along that all seven of you win an advance copy of WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT! Just email your mailing address to criminystain (at) gmail (dot) com, and I'll send you a signed copy of WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT. And if you tell me your favorite animal, I'll hide a bludded one somewhere in the book, too!

Thanks for playing, y'all, and congrats to the seven winners!

If you didn't win this time around, you can still grab an advance copy from this Goodreads giveaway

Thanks, loves!


Friday, January 10, 2014

On costumes and that time someone thought I was a hooker.

Today, I dressed like Han Solo.

And you know what? I got sh*t done.

And that got me thinking.

See, one of my biggest personal dilemmas is, on the surface, a small one.

How do I dress for professional events?

On one hand, I want to be seen as a professional. I wish to project confidence, effectiveness, and assertiveness. I don't want to scare anyone away. I wouldn't want anyone to look at me and think, "That woman is as crazy as a bag of cats and probably can't hit deadlines." I am capable of writing in many genres and turning commissioned products around quickly, so I hope to look like I can handle anything and not pigeonhole myself into one area. I want to be respected for my work and also approachable to fans, colleagues, editors, and potential collaborators.

On the other hand, let's face it: I write steampunk vampire sexytimes books, books for young adults, and comics. I'm an avowed geek who can't help jumping up and down over my favorite books, movies, comics, and music. I love going to events and seeing friends and having fun. Although I'm very serious about my work and career, I'm not very serious about anything else.

And you know what? 
I love costumes.
I always have.

And that's why I torture myself whenever I pack for an event.

Because I want to wear my costumes. 

But I don't want to be punished for it.

Sometimes, I wear bright and tasteful versions of Victorian or steampunk attire with corsets, bustles, and skirts. They make me feel pretty and powerful and charismatic. Sometimes, I do one-offs, like my hipster Wonder Woman, gender-flipped Han Solo, or subtle Marceline the Vampire Queen. I am naturally introverted, so having a conversation starter is a big boon to me. It can also feel like putting on a persona, which gives me the strength to approach strangers, to smile bigger and invite interaction. And the costumes also give reticent readers a reason to approach me, because they always have something to talk about. Another bonus to dressing up is that it gives my fans a reason to dress up, too. My book launch parties are marvelous fun because people feel like they can be free to wear costumes, put on masks, and generally act weird in a publicly acceptable way.

And I love that!

But then, we get situations that look like this:

That's my first panel at Dragoncon last year, a roundtable of authors speaking on Pulp for the Alt History track. I was the only woman. There were four dudes scheduled, but seven showed up. And I was the only panelist in costume. As a woman, did that make me look silly or frivolous? Did my fellow panelists take me seriously? Did the audience look at me and look at them and decide that perhaps my work wasn't as legitimate or my voice wasn't as knowledgable? Did my costume give several of these dudes an extra incentive to try and talk over me-- emphasis on try? Which, yeah, they did.

Because gender issues as an author are unavoidable, and women have to be pretty tenacious to be heard on panels like this one. But of course, that opens another can of worms. What am I *supposed* to wear? Do I wear a geeky t-shirt and jeans? Because for most guys at a comic con, that's considered normal, but for a woman, it can be deemed sloppy. Do I wear business casual and feel fake and stuffy? Or do I wear a cute dress and run the risk of being propositioned for sex?

That's right. Someone at Dragoncon thought I was a HOOKER. Here's the outfit I was wearing at the time:

Yeah, I don't think Atlanta prostitutes spend that much on Polo dresses, handmade corsetry, and Sechelles heels.

So then I put on my favorite NERD shirt, and two different guys stopped me and told me that I wasn't, in fact, a nerd. Because I don't apparently don't look like a nerd.

So that's why I sometimes think it's best not to dress up or do anything geeky or interesting or fun at all. That I need to blend. To avoid standing out. Because it feels like no matter what I do, *someone* is going to say *something* that makes me feel like crap.

On the other hand, sometimes I dress up, and everyone dresses up, and we all have a marvelous time and feel fun and beautiful and clever and fantastically weird. Like at Princess Alethea's Traveling Sideshow hosted by author Alethea Kontis, also at last Dragoncon:

Same outfit as the first panel photo… but I look like I belong!

We were dressed up, the audience was dressed up, we threw candy at people and read from our books and performed. The room was lively and good-natured and not at all stiff and silent, as so many panels are. As if, once the doors closed, people could feel free to be themselves. Basically, when everyone dresses up, costumes are considered the norm. It's almost like, for that time, costumes are not actually costumes. They're just clothes. And being weird is totally normal, too.

Wouldn't that be a brilliant system?

I think it's very easy to forget that whatever you wear? Is your costume. If you wear a polo shirt and jeans every day, that's your costume. If you wear skirts and cardigans every day, that's your costume. If you wear full Victorian garb like my dear friend Leanna Renee Hieber or beautiful, sparkly corsets like Alethea Kontis, that's your costume

I made a New Year's Resolution that I wanted to be more myself this year, to be as weird as I want to be and dress as strangely as I like. And so far, I have. The big test will come when I'm packing for RT NOLA and Phoenix Comicon. 

Honestly, I'm not sure what I'm going to wear, then.

Does anyone else fight this fight? Do you feel like you wear your true costume-- or one of many costumes that express who you are? Do you have to hide your true self behind clothes you don't love to please other people or help your career?

I'd love to see more dialog on this topic from writers and readers regarding how an author's appearance affects your feelings toward their work, their thoughts, and what they have to say as a public speaker.

Will you share?



Y'all, I owe a big apology to two good friends of mine, James R. Tuck and John Hartness. They're both in that pic of the one-costumed-woman-and-seven-dudes panel at Dragoncon, but I failed to mention that they are true gentlemen who would put a smack down on anybody who spoke down to me, tried to hurt me, or otherwise was rude to me in any way. When I chose that picture, I was serving my own needs in showing an obvious image of the sort of challenges I feel I fight as a female author, but I neglected to serve the needs of men who stand for women like me, who believe that our voices are equally important. I'm 100% certain that they both offered me their chair just before the photo was taken, and as I was the last one to the panel, I didn't take it. I wasn't put on the end; I ended up there of my own volition.

When we talk about the problems of feminism in publishing, it can be easy to holler only about the negatives and just let the positives and victories go without saying. Having friends like Hartness and Tuck who would never treat a woman as anything less than an equal is one of the major victories, and I admire them and appreciate them both so much.

I'm sorry for not making that clear the first time, y'all. Thank you for always being there for me-- and all of us.

John Hartness is right next to me, and his books are here.
James R. Tuck is furthest away from me, and his books are here, and I get tattoos at his shop Forever Inked because it's awesome. Next time, I suspect he'll inflict even more hurtin' on me than that scarred tramp stamp  cover up over my spine, which he didn't actually do, but which I yelled at him for, anyway.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


This one's not quite as fun as the original contest, but it is *easier*.

I'll happily personalize copies for anyone who wins!

Bonne chance!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Wicked After Midnight by Delilah S. Dawson

Wicked After Midnight

by Delilah S. Dawson

Giveaway ends January 17, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Monday, January 6, 2014

THE DAMSEL AND THE DAGGERMAN Contest! Win the next Blud book!

A CONTEST! To celebrate this bit o' sexy:

And a brief, fun, easy contest, as stomach flu has struck my house. Looks like I won't be firing the cupcake cannon to celebrate today's release of THE DAMSEL AND THE DAGGERMAN, the third Blud e-novella. Click the link for a brief synopsis and to read the starred review by Library Journal. Personally, I believe it's the hottest novella I've written, and fans seem to think Marco is the new Criminy.

It's only $1.99 and is available across all e-platforms. If you don't have a reader, you can download a free Kindle or Nook app to your laptop, desktop, or phone!

Now, how can you win a signed early copy of the third Blud novel, WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT?

Just post a piece of artwork that relates to something *in* The Damsel and the Daggerman or that somehow references the title. Here's my example:


You can draw a pic of the characters or Criminy's caravan, take a pic of your kids' Monster High doll being romanced by GI Joe, put on a costume like Jacinda, Emerlie, or Demi, or do something fun to the cover. Then post a pic of your creation on Twitter or Facebook with hashtag #DamselandDaggerman. If you're on Twitter, you can tag me, too, at @DelilahSDawson.

I'll repost as many as I can and pick my 3 favorites to receive an advance copy of WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT, which is out 1/28. The deadline to enter is next Monday, January 13.

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy Jacinda and Marco!


Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Gift

This is what it's like to be me.

Oh, look! A package! 
And underneath the brown paper is a cute little snowman box. 
It might be those perfume samples I'm waiting on, 
or maybe something I'm supposed to review for Cool Mom Picks, 
maybe some hand-made soap or a coffee sample.


Huh. It's in a ton of bubble wrap. Is it a Christmas ornament or something? 


Oh, it's a skull.


I had totally forgotten I ordered a rabbit skull on Etsy 
for a steampunk hat for my book launch party on January 31. 
I hope I didn't use up all the metallic silver spray paint...


What's the weirdest thing you've ever gotten in the mail?