I’d like to welcome my good friend and former chapter mate, Delilah Dawson, to the Lair!
Hi, Delilah, 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 just 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 with 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/.