Thursday, July 30, 2009

Delilah Dawson's in the Lair!

by Jo Robertson

I’d like to welcome my good friend and former chapter mate, Delilah Dawson, to the Lair!

Hi, Delila
h, thanks for joining us today. I’ve been waiting a long time to lure you into the Lair, ply you with some drinks and a cabana boy or two, and probe your mind about writing erotic romance.

DELILAH: Thank you, Jo! Love what you've done with the place! Keep the drinks coming, and the cabana boys fanning me, and you can probe my mind all you like. :D

JO: Hmmmm, probe your . . . mind, Delilah? Are you getting naughty on us straight off? Wheee, here comes another cabana boy with a long, tall drink.

Now that the boys are hard at their tasks (oh my, is this double entendre thing catching?) why don’t you tell us a little something about your journey to writing? I remember that you’d just sold your erotic romance TRUTH OR DARE when we became friends on our way to RWA National in 2006. How many books have you sold since then?

DELILAH: Actually, I'd sold two erotic books (Ebony Butterfly I & II) years earlier, but it was to a small press and it didn't get a lot of publicity. Truth or Dare was my first mass market sale with a well-known publisher (St. Martin's Press). Since then I've sold five books to them. They've been supportive of my writing, and I'm blessed with a wonderful editor, Monique Patterson.

JO: St. Martin's is a great press. Your Orchid Soul trilogy is excellent and amazingly sexy! Can you tell us something about the three books and their stories and characters?

DELILAH: The trilogy is based around Orchid Soul, an online dating service where the compatibility is determined by the participant's sexual fantasies.

The owner, Eileen, decides to do some final testing before she opens it up for business, so she recruits some of her friends to do "anonymous" testing. But, of course, to the user's panicked surprise, they soon find out that the system is flawed, their deepest sexual fantasies are being sent to whomever they were matched up to, and their identities are not "anonymous" as promised. A further complication is that Eileen is nowhere to be found to fix the mess!

JO: I j
ust love that idea of matching up couples according to their fantasies. And what a delicious “problem” for your characters to have!

DELILAH: I really enjoyed writing these books because I wanted to show that although it is an incredible escape to reveal their deepest, wildest fantasies, in the end, passion is only a part of who my characters are. The sex is erotic and steamy (and maybe quirky) but the trick was to make the characters’ fantasies work within the realities of their day-to-day world, and to find love in the process.

In Up All Night, we have Natasha, a lawyer who feels stuck in a daily rut, and Logan, a renegade who knows a good thing when he sees it. Although they initially seem like polar opposites who enjoy sex, they find that they have similar values, and a blooming respect for one another that leads to love.

In Better On Top, we have Toni, a struggling single mother with an autistic child, and Nick, an army veteran who has been changed by war. They are both 'broken' people, dealing wit
h tragic events in their lives, and Orchid Soul offers a much needed sexual escape. Through this, they learn to trust and believe in love again.

In Wanting It (not released yet), we have Jenna, a feisty, small-town florist, and Troy, a man trying to enjoy a well-deserved vacation. For them, their sexual fantasies are tangled up with what they do for a living, but they learn that gambling on love is worthwhile.

JO: Better On Top and Up All Night are currently available. Check Delilah's website (http://www.delilahdawson.com/) for the release of Wanting It.

You write under a pseudonym and are very private about your personal life. Can you tell us about how you came to writing in this very, very hot genre?

DELILAH: LOL! All I will say on the subject is that I lost a bet to my husband (there may or may not have been a few glasses of wine involved at the time). He dared me to submit my first erotic short story for publication, and that eventually led to my first book deal. We chuckle about it now, but prior to that I was writing multicultural mainstream romances that I'd been trying to sell. I still have those in cobwebbed boxes somewhere in my garage.

JO: Ah, ha, so Truth or Dare may have some grounding in reality!

Are you interested in writing other genres or have you found your naughty niche, so to speak?

DELILAH: I am definitely interested in writing other genres because it lets me give my 'naughty' muse a break, and refreshes my imagination. At the moment, I'm in a futuristic and paranormal state-of-mind, and have a few short stories brewing in my head. Who knows where those will lead?

JO: Every time my husband reads one of my “naughty bits,” as we call those hot scenes in the Lair, he gets embarrassed. How does your husband respond to your books?

DELILAH: He's a typical male in the sense that he gets amorous, wants to dim the lights and put on some mood music. But he also understands that I write fiction, and my characters can sometimes be vastly different from who I really am.

JO: I know that you’re a very beautiful woman. Without revealing anything too personal, can you tell us a little
about yourself?

DELILAH: Shucks, Jo! I'm so glad you don't get your eyes checked often (hee hee). I'd like to think I'm the kind of person you pass on a busy street and not think twice about. I'm a wife, mother, and a daughter. I daydream a lot, I'm optimistic by nature, and I love anything to do with art, or creative things. I feel very lucky to be an author, and am always thrilled when I get fan mail, proving that a complete stranger read my work and enjoyed it enough to write me about it. Amazing!

JO: What excitement! I think that’s the best part of writing, to have someone else enjoy these characters you’ve created out of your own imagination.

You have a full-time job as well as a family. How do you manage to juggle all these constraints on your time?

DELILAH: It's difficult. I love to spend time with my family, and my full-time day job is a necessity. I've slipped into the habit of doing my writing late at night, when I get fewer interruptions and can spend more time with my stories.

JO: And now, readers, it’s your turn. Ask Delilah anything you want about writing or reading. She’s glad to share her considerable knowledge. Plus, she’s giving away copies of her latest releases UP ALL NIGHT, and BETTER ON TOP to one random commenter.


And just to get the conversation started, Delilah would like to ask YOU a question: The "Orchid Soul" theme is about couples confessing their deepest fantasies when they think no one will read them.

Have you ever told anyone your deepest erotic fantasy?


Come on, readers, ‘fess up. What’s said in the Lair stays in the Lair. Be sure to use euphemisms so we can keep our blog PG-13!

Or if you're not inclined to share intimacies, what about fantasies in general? I must confess that mine include a bubble bath and a long massage, which may or may not include a happy ending!


You can read more about Delilah Dawson’s books and read excerpts of them at http://www.delilahdawson.com/.

55 comments:

Lynz Pickles said...

Mine?

jo robertson said...

Lynz!!! Definitely he's yours. Congratulations.

Delilah has a demanding day job so may be able to stop in tonight or early in the morning, and she'll try to participate as much tomorrow as she can with Big Brother looking over her shoulder!

Lynz Pickles said...

Round two of Lynz and her messy bedroom vs. the GR can now commence! Last time he escaped after making the bed. When I finally located him, he was across the street, flirting with the neighbour's canary. (I've always said her plumage was indecent, you know.)

Helen said...

Congrats Lynz have fun with him I hope he stays and cleans the bedroom instead of flirting with the canary LOL

What a great interview Ladies. Delilah these books sound really hot and they have great story lines. I haven't read a lot of erotic romance but the few I have read I have really enjoyed. I have added these titles to my list of must get.

I have shared my fantasies with my hubby years ago when we were first married but with no one else. I used to pick out the "good bits" in a book I was reading an get him to read them he was always good about it we did have lots of fun. I don't think I would be able to share them with anyone else LOL.

It is going to be very interesting reading everyones posts.

Delilah do you read romance books yourself and what type do you read?

Have Fun
Helen

Delilah said...

Hi Helen,
Thanks for your comments.
Yes, I do read romance novels, all kinds! I love the ones that give me a deeper introspection of why the couples are a good match for each other. I'd be lying if I didn't mention that I love good, steamy sex scenes as well, lol!

Delilah

jo robertson said...

Shame on the rooster, Lynz. Hope you can whip him into cleaning up that messy bedroom.

Delilah, I think I forgot to tell you that the first commenter of the day gets to take our Golden Rooster home with him/her.

jo robertson said...

I think you'll enjoy Delilah's erotic romances, Helen. She manages to balance the erotic with the romantic in a truly nice way. And her characters have a lot of fun -- even amid their dilemmas -- along the way.

jo robertson said...

Good on you, Helen, for sharing your fantasies with your husband! I think many women are reluctant to verbalize what they want. I guess they figure their partners are supposed to read their minds! Or worst, guess! Shudder.

jo robertson said...

LOL, Delilah, I think we all love the steamy sex scenes, but at heart we're romance readers, so we like knowing there's more than a physical connection between the characters. You do this so well in your books.

Oh, and the hot too!

Delilah said...

Golden rooster? The naughty puns and jokes are just filling my head ... LOL! Congrats Lynz. :)

PinkPeony said...

Hi Jo...Welcome Delilah!

This is freaky...I just finished writing a long email two minutes ago about whether it's considered normal to fantasize about "others" if one is married. My husband and I talk about "everything" though I haven't quite forgiven him when he laughed and made faces when he read the first love scene I wrote. He began to refer to my hero as "Banana Boy"..so cruel.

Congrats on GR, Lynz.

:) Jen

Christine Wells said...

Delilah, welcome to the Lair! Your stories sound very intriguing. I think that's a great point about the erotic detail being specific to your characters. People tend to assume that if you write these scenes they must be autobiographical. In reality, writers are like actors. We try to live in a character's skin and imagine how they would feel in a given situation. It doesn't mean we would feel and act that way ourselves.

But the revelation of a secret fantasy is an interesting problem. Is a dream better when it's not acted out? I wrote a book about a heroine whose erotic diary was read by the hero. He then tried to act like her fantasy lover did but when it came down to it, she realized didn't want her fantasy to become a reality. I think those kinds of dreams are safest locked away in our heads!

Congrats on the GR, Lynz!

Christine Wells said...

Jen, Banana Man? Snork!

My heroes are all dubbed "Wicked Lord Jasper" and my novels are referred to as "Oh, another Jasper".

Donna MacMeans said...

Congrats Lynz - LOL on the canary plumage! You keep an eye on the GR. He's likely to sneak over there today with his fuzzy red handcuffs.

Welcome Delilah - love the sound of your Orchid Soul series. Is there significance behind the name chosen for your dating service?

Jen - banana boy? LOL! Shame on the husband for laughing at your efforts. I hope you made him redeem himself by means of extreme devotion. If not, AC can lend you her riding crop (grin).

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Delilah! And thanks, Jo, for bringing Delilah to the lair! Your books sound so intriguing, Delilah--can't wait to get my hands on them!

As for sharing my own deepest darkest fantasies, well. Let me just say that at this point in my life as the mother of small kids, it's a purely non-sexual fantasy.

I want free time.

Like twelve hours in a row of it. Enough to sink into a project (namely a disastrous WIP) & really wrap my brain around it. Enough time to stare into space & day dream until solutions appear, with enough time left over to begin executing them.


Oh, & a date with my husband, where we had enough time to see a movie AND grab dinner, & then maybe walk around the lake holding hands without worrying that we'll have to take out a second mortgage to pay the sitter.

I know, I know. You can say it. I'm boring. :-)

Joan said...

Delilah, welcome to the Lair!

Your books look fantastic! But really have a heart...my TBR pile is spilling out the door.

I have ever only ALLUDED to aspects of my fantasy...and that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And yeah...our cockadoodle doo chook has suffered through many a double entrede (?sp)

jo robertson said...

Pink Peony said: I haven't quite forgiven him when he laughed and made faces when he read the first love scene I wrote. He began to refer to my hero as "Banana Boy"..so cruel.

That's hilarious, Pink, in a sort of mean way LOL. At least your husband read the scene. Mine skims over them.

So what did you conclude? Is it normal to fantasize about others if you're married?

jo robertson said...

Delilah, you're so bad! We have a lot of jokes about the GR, but that one never entered my head. He's a wicked, wily one though, and although he's virtual, he's not a euphemism for, uh, you know.

Or maybe he is?

jo robertson said...

Christine, that's so true and it's where many writers stumble, I think. The sensual scenes of the works shouldn't be interchangeable among books, but organic to the characters. Otherwise the scenes are just yucky.

jo robertson said...

Fuzzy red handcuffs, Donna? Oh, my!

Did anyone watch a recent episode on Oprah at night when she had a sex therapist and a couple she'd counseled on the show? It was really great, and tasteful as Oprah always does.

An interesting point was the domination fantasy. She explained that many women (read -- all the women I know) who are high-powered, busy, take-charge kind of women, enjoy the fantasy of losing control in the bedroom.

jo robertson said...

Such a good point, Susan!

Remember the scene in HARRY MET SALLY (I think) when the girl talks about children draining every sexual impulse out of you? I had friends who had four teens and used to rent a hotel room once a month for a getaway. They said it was worth its weight in gold and I believe it!

Of course, knowing teens, they probably thought Mom and Dad just needed a little rest LOL.

jo robertson said...

And Susan, you're not boring at all! All young mothers fantasize about that most precious of commodities -- TIME!!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Joanie! We really do have to get that naughty chook under control, don't we? However, after his visit back to the old homestead and his recent tours with Bandita Donna, I'm afraid that ship has sailed.

Janga said...

Susan, your post reminded me of one of my favorite jokes.

Short version: an incredibly hot man walked over to a woman sitting in a bar, leaned close, and whispered, "For $20, I'll do anything you want."

She pulled out a $20, leaned toward him, and whispered, "Clean my house."

Delilah said...

Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone! :)
I totally understand wanting free time as well. Sometimes, a week on a beach with nothing but good books to read and my favorite umbrella-drink is exactly what I fantasize about.
But there's a selfish joy in reading books, IMHO. We enjoy the escape for a while, to be someone else, adventurous, sexual, violent or inhuman (I'm thinking vampires for some reason).
LOL, we may laugh at "banana boy" but how many of you started thinking of forbidden fruit and went ... hmmmmm! ;-p

Delilah said...

Janga, that's hilarious! My heroine has the same thought when she's initially trying to come up with a fantasy for the matchmaking service. :)

Well, it's off to work I go, but I'll check back in a few hours.

Thanks for the comments. I'm open to questions if you have them, too.
Later...

jo robertson said...

ROTFLOL, Janga! I think if more men figured out that more women want those honey-do chores done, they'd get more action!

jo robertson said...

I agree, Delilah. The serpent in the Garden of Eden knew what he was proposing with that apple LOL!

I'm not much for sharing my fantasies, must be my generation, but something that really appeals to me is a man who's confident enough to do the things that are traditionally "women's work." Put an apron on my husband, park him in front of the kitchen sink, and I'm ready to rip that apron off!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome to the Lair, Delilah!

HUGE thanx to Jo for luring you here!

So where does such a busy lady as yourself (day job, family/kids, writing!) find inspiration for your books?

And I LURVE the fact that your first sale resulted from a dare by your DH!

AC

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Lynz, way to go with the chook! Were you saying HE was your greatest erotic fantasy? You naughty little chicken, you! ;-)

Jo, great interview. Delilah, a big fat welcome to the lair! I loved your story and I love the sound of the books. What a clever premise. Are you hoping to do more stories based around Orchid Soul? It sounds like it might be an unfailing source of inspiration (a bit like our cabana boys!).

Anna Campbell said...

Actually right now, my fantasies are really prosaic. I'd REALLY like someone to come in and take over the house and the garden. And NOT TALK TO ME!!!! Yes, I have a book due in a month and everything else is going haywire. I want elves. They don't even have to be good looking as long as they're quiet and efficient!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Forgot to say CONGRATS on the GR, Lynz. Hope you've kept him away from that canary. Talk about your 'star-crossed' lovers!

And Jo, you MISSED seeing the GR's fuzzy red handcuffs at the Bash in DC. Our wily chook is getting quite an eclectic wardrobe, I must say. ;-)

AC

Anna Campbell said...

Janga, just read your post. Clearly I'm not the only woman in the world who has prosaic fantasies! ;-)

flchen1 said...

Hi, Delilah! Thanks so much for sharing your own story (as well as your stories) today--how fun that your husband urged you on to writing success! I think that books like yours can help us be a little freer in sharing those intimate fantasies with our SOs--it can be a hard conversation to initiate because so many of us are raised thinking that fantasies (especially erotic ones) aren't something we talk about. By reading a passage aloud or even pointing it out for the other person to read, that can give us a voice without making us quite so conscious of it being our own :) Your stories sound great--I love the variety of characters! Are any of them based on real-life people you know? ;)

Congrats on the GR, Lynz!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Aunty Cindy, no fantasy sharing LOL?

That was a cute story about Delilah's husband giving her a dare. I definitely think alcohol was involved :-D.

jo robertson said...

I did miss seeing the fuzzy handcuffs, darn it! Pouting. Serves me right for missing national this year. I won't make that mistake again!

Pat Cochran said...

Love the idea of a bubble bath and
massage, but even more enjoyable
for me : having Honey run my bath
and scrub my back! LOL!

I certainly wouldn't turn down the
additional idea of having someone
come in to house-clean for me! That
would really warm my heart!!

Pat Cochran

jo robertson said...

Wise remarks, Fedora. I think younger generations are much better at sharing their thoughts and fantasies in this area. My daughters are very upfront and outspoken. Uh, as long as I don't mention their daddy!

jo robertson said...

Too funny, Pat. I never thought of having someone else run the bath for me. Duh! That's a real treat, along with the back wash and rub down later on :-D.

Delilah said...

Thanks flchn, Anna, Cindy & Jo!
I consider myself lucky to have a supportive spouse indeed. :). As for Orchid Soul,the trilogy addresses the different type of couples and their fantasies with respect to their different challenges in their lives. I had fun writing the stories and miss the characters. Does that happen to you writers? Do you miss your characters, too?
I'm getting more & more curious about the handcuffs and what the rooster has to do with it. Is that even legal? LOL!
;)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Delilah! Welcome to the Lair. Always love to have erotica writers join us here. Keeps the cabana boys on their toes, if you know what I mean!

Secret fantasies, huh? Who have I shared them with? Well, gave hubby a few subtle hints, then less than subtle ones until well, we'll just call it "research" took place!

Oh, and a few banditas have glimpsed into my world through print, hehehe

Joan said...

Oh, and a few banditas have glimpsed into my world through print, hehehe

Rabbit?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Joanie, that just sounded BAD!

PinkPeony said...

...So what did you conclude? Is it normal to fantasize about others if you're married?...

Hi Jo... Yes. We agreed that it was "normal" for married people to fantasize about others. You might be married, but you ain't dead! Now whether one divulges their fantasies with their partner is another matter. :)
Jen

jo robertson said...

That would be a sensitive issue, Jen. I'm thinking NOT your brother-in-law, but George Clooney's fair game. My husband tells me all the time that I'm in love with the dude. Hey, it's George, what can I say?

jo robertson said...

I definitely miss my characters when I've finished writing a book, Delilah. In fact, it's part of a series, I have to be careful the secondary characters (who were primary in the first book) don't take over the second story.

Don't you think you develop a relationship with these imaginary friends LOL?

PinkPeony said...

Jo...I can envision you George at his villa in Italy slurping pasta. Pass the chianti. :)

My husband has a thing for Natalie Portman. I think she's a size minus zero. It's a good thing it's his fantasy cause I could never even be a size that's a single digit.(where do I put my other thigh?)

jo robertson said...

Natalie Portman's adorable! I can see why he'd have a thing for her, PinkP.

Nancy said...

Lynz, congrats on grabbing the rooster!

Delilah, welcome. This is a fun interview. Sorry I'm so late to the party.

The dh reads what I write, but we don't discuss the hotter scenes. I wouldn't be surprised to find that he skims over them, too.

jo robertson said...

I want to thank Delilah for guesting with us today and for all who participated. I know we had a lot of lurkers today because the visit hits were high! Thanks to those who visited but didn't comment.

Stay tuned for the announcement of our two winners!

Nancy said...

PinkPeony, I left single-digit sizing behind in my early teens. Very few actual women with any height on them can live in that zone.

Natalie Portman is very cute, but I'd hate to have to maintain that figure. I do, however, have "her" laser pistol from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It has great sound effects. *g*

jo robertson said...

Oooh, sorry I missed your comment, Nancy. LOL at your husband skimming the naughty bits. Seems strange to me (my husband does too) that these are the men with whom we've had children, but they don't want to read about the process??!!

Silly men!

Nancy said...

Jo and Pat, after I had back surgery, I spent 6 months in a cast, and the really great part (the only really great part) was that the dh washed my hair every morning. That was fabulous.

On the day the cast came off, though, he announced that the beauty parlor was closed. *sigh*

Jo, just saw your reply to me. I suspect the real catch is that he doesn't want to be asked to discuss those scenes.

Delilah said...

Sorry for the delay, but it's been an unexpectedly busy day ... but I'm back!
Hmm, fantasizing about others? I honestly like some traits about actors, but haven't found them all in one yet. This imaginary guy would have Vin Diesel's voice, Daniel Craig's intensity, Djimon Hounsou's body and the laughter of a pirate. Mmm. Oh, yes, and he'd have to draw me a bubble bath and do the dishes without request. 'Nuf said. ;)
I think fantasizing while married is perfectly normal, as long as you know when you are mentally or emotionally stepping over the line. Deep fantasizing might help uncover a part of you that you want to discover. I don't see any harm in it.
Some would say that role-play falls into this category. I say as long as there is trust and love between the couples, go for it!

Delilah said...

Yes, I do agree that Natalie P. is cute and tiny. I'd love to know how Kathy Bates would've done as Princess Leia, though, wouldn't you?

Nancy, thanks for joining us. You were only fashionably late! I'd also like to give a HUGE HUG and THANKS to Jo Robertson for being such a cool moderator, an awesome friend and for drumming up this blog chat. Thank so much to all of you who participated and hope to hear from you again someday.

THANKS!!!

Delilah