Author of the Month
Delilah Devlin [nov 2010]
Chosen by MyShelf.Com reviewer and Babes to Teens columnist, Beverly Rowe

 

Delilah Devlin is definitely queen of the paranormal romance. Her stories are steamy, sexy, believable and filled with realistic characters that are exciting to read about and that you would love to know.

I've read a few of Delilah Devlin's books and she is intelligent and intuitive. The first book she wrote was co-written with her sister, Elle James/Myla Jackson, and called Sophie s War. They decided to collaborate and write what they knew...it was a comedy about a female officer in an Army National Guard unit prepping to go to war. Her well researched books and short stories are satisfying and will definitely make you look for more.

Her life has been filled with adventure, and that shows in her work as she includes her own life experience in the stories. The winner of many awards, Delilah is a work-a-holic and a very prolific writer with incredible drive that has dozens of books and stories published with a number of publishers.

One of the main reasons I chose Delilah as the Author of the Month was because of her incredible willingness to help other writers. The web site that she shares with her sister, Rose's Colored Glasses, is filled with writer's resources, and they have a constant flow of classes on plotting, dialogue, characterization, and many other subjects, in addition to a critique group. They have helped many authors become published, and are working with and mentoring many others.


Interview

Bev: Tell us about your journey to publication.

Delilah: I started writing in January 2000, a challenge my sister (Elle James) and I took up together at the same time. We were both working at a large financial institution in the IT department and were on duty the December 31st, 1999 when the world was supposed to end. We took a look at each other and decided then and there, we were going to do something more exciting with the rest of our lives. I started trying to write for Harlequin, but kept getting rejections that asked me to tone down the sex. When I discovered Ellora s Cave, I shot them a proposal and was contracted within weeks. I haven't had to tone a damn thing down since.

 

Bev: I adore your cowboys. How much of these characters is based on the real cowboys you met while living in Texas?

Delilah: My house in Texas had a working ranch for its back yard. I saw up close and personal how they operated. Met the cowboys. Drooled over those wranglers and slow drawls. Every time I write a western, I can hear those boys in my head.

 

Bev: I'm currently reading Darkness Captured, Wow... shapeshifters, vampires, demons, this book has it all. Tell us about developing the idea for this exciting paranormal romance.

Delilah: I m a mythology buff. And when I sat down to craft my dark underworld, I wanted it to have a deep, primordial history. I pieced together bits from old Sumerian and Judeo-Christian lore that were already intertwined, then began to craft a rich history for the vamps, weres, and demons living in southern Louisiana. Those old bones of legends were very much part of the stories, but you ll have to read them to see how they play out. The tale of Ishtar and her sister, Solomon s key, Lilith and her expulsion from Eden. All of that plays into the story.

 

Bev: And the characters...Gabriella and Guntram Brandt....tell us about developing them.

Delilah: My vampires originated in Sumer, but gravitated into Dacia, then across to Romania, but eventually moved into the new world. Their names are Romanian, and bits of that language still live in their speech. My werewolves are Germanic. Their temperaments are very German.

I lived there for 7 years and Guntrum is an amalgam of men I knew fierce, intelligent, not terribly verbal or romantic, but incredibly driven. I find that hugely sexy. Gabriella is a modern woman, trying hard not to cede her power to a mate, but at her core, needing a strong, determined man to force her to accept him. They are made for each other. She had to be dragged to hell to figure it out.

When she was her most desperate, he was the man she needed. So far as how they came to me? I don t really know. Ask Mr. Muse.


Bev: How many books do you have published now?


Delilah: Hmmm I ve written all lengths of stories, nearly 70 published, which include short stories, novellas, and single title length books in many sub-genres of erotica and erotic romance.

 

Bev: Which are your favorites to write about and why? Paranormal characters, or Cowboys?

Delilah: Cowboys are extremely easy and fast for me to write, because their world isn t as complicated. Paranormals, especially the longer stories, require a lot more research and thought to build the worlds.
When I m yearning to write something easy, I like cowboys best. When I want to drown in an alternate dimension and forget about everything else, I love my dark worlds.

 

Bev: I know that helping other writers along the road to success is high on your list of good deeds with your sister on the Rose's Colored Glasses website. I have taken some of the classes you offer, and while I have not yet been published, I know that a lot of your students have been. Can you tell us a bit about what you do at that site?

Delilah: When Elle and I began writing, we didn t have a lot of support. Sure, we joined RWA and a local chapter, and took classes, attended conventions, but when it came down to the nuts and bolts of writing and figuring out how to get published, we had to make a lot of mistakes before finding our way. We both believe in the concept of karma. We believe that if you create a positive energy around you, if you help others, that good things come back to you. So we developed RosesColoredGlasses.com. We publish a quarterly newsletter full of writing related tips. We offer some classes for pay (very inexpensive!), some for free, which offer a lot of feedback. We have a loop where writers can talk, ask questions, share their triumphs and cry on a shoulder when things don t go as planned. We run a large critique group because productive ones can be very hard to find. We have some other adjunct groups associated with Rose. If you re a writer and looking to find folks to talk with, join our loop.

 

Bev: I know that you have received numerous awards for your books. What was your first award? Which one means the most to you and why?

Delilah: My first big award was a Maggie for Long Contemporary for a book I still haven t sold (it s under the bed for now). The one that means the most to me was one I didn t actually win. I was a finalist in the 2009 Australian Romance Readers contest. I liked that one because it wasn t one I entered, readers had to submit my name.

 

Bev: Tell us about your work habits. Do you outline? How much do you work each day?

Delilah: I am a prolific writer, meaning simply that I write a lot. I also suffer from a short attention span. I want to hop from project to project, which is why I like to write short stories so much. When I have to write long, as I am doing at this moment, I have to work other projects alongside the bigger work. While I ve been working on this second book for Berkley, I have written two novellas, two shorts and I m editing a collection of shorts for another publisher. I blog every morning, and consider those my morning pages. I check the email for anything I have to answer right away, then I close up the email and the Internet and write for several hours straight. When I find myself bogging down inside one story, I hop to another, and eventually, I reach the end of everything. I only write morning to mid-afternoon. But I edit and promo at night when it s quiet and I don t have to overwork my tired brain with too much creativity.

 

Bev: Do you need to do much research for each novel? Which one required the most research?

Delilah: It depends on the story. I wrote a novella about a woman whose expertise was cave rescues and read up and interviewed a fireman whose specialty was just that. I wrote about a vampire who woke up in a funeral home and had to pay a local mortician a visit to see what the equipment looked like, what the prep rooms smelled like and what he did to a body he received for funeral prep. The most research I ve done was a ton of reading for both the Dark Realm stories and my new Viking series for Berkley, because I wanted to do some deep world building using Sumerian lore and Norse customs and mythology.

 

Bev: Your stories cover a broad spectrum of subjects and settings...How do you keep your stories fresh?

Delilah: I try not to recreate the same characters over and over. I try to find a new, fresh problem for my hero and heroine to overcome. I change up settings, change up personalities, change up the sex. It has to fit the characters as they grow inside my head. They have to feel real, and I haven t met too many cookie-cutter people in my life.

 

Bev: Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share with your fans?

Delilah: None other than I love to hear from readers. I want to know what resonates with them in my stories, what they might like to see more of, what touches them, what pisses them off. I have an active dialogue with my loopies. And I often turn to them for help when I m floundering with an idea, a title or a concept. The most fun I ve had writing in a long time is the free story, Bad Moon Rising, that readers are helping me plot. I welcome questions from them and from other writers. I might not get back to them the same day, but I promise not to blow them off. I always keep in mind that I m doing what I love by the grace of the powers that be who blessed me with a talent, and by the generosity of the readers who buy my work.

Read Bev's review of Darkness Captured


Websites:

http://www.delilahdevlin.com/printable-booklist/

2010's Honorary List

 
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