Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Diversify! - [Author Pack] Delilah S. Dawson

Welcome to the second (very belated) installment of Diversify! If you aren't sure what is up with the flaring capes, legendary names and razor-sharp wit, click here to see my official announcement for my new blog series (the long and short of it: a celebration of the people who make diversity possible in this industry and are working toward change).

Today's post is special, as a) it is a Tuesday, and b) it is this particular heroine's book birthday, which is a very lovely and momentuous occasion indeed and deserves all the bombarding of social media. So Diversify and I are striving to do our part.

Please note: I'm adding a minor warning here because Delilah does discuss abuse and assault in her past. Just keep that in mind. 

Delilah S. Dawson
Author of Servants of the Storm
ATK 100 + a book birthday boost of 50
DEF 100 + a book birthday boost of 50

Power Up Items: Coffee and cake

At arms, if you dare. Delilah's armed with wit, charm and experience in fencing and muay thai - and she's not afraid to use them.

Delilah S. Dawson's power as an author rests in compassion and the need to offer teen readers a different point of view.

"Writing diversity is an effort to show a world beyond my own, beyond the default that's surrounded me all my life. Not that it's been an easy life. As a kid, I lived with alcoholism and domestic abuse, and as a teen, I survived rape and suicide.

I found comfort in fantasy and horror fiction, in worlds that showed the secret darkness I was living while the outside of our house looked All-American and happy. And as an adult, I want to reach out to a wide range of teens and reflect what they're living or give them an escape of their own."

 Because she's a woman, Delilah is aware that some enemies will think they can get the jump on her under the assumption that she'll just hang back and let them hit first.It's why the Unexpected Flurry Attack is her special technique, in writing as well as fencing and muay thai.

Think she'll let you get the better of her?

You'd better have an ice pack or two ready for when she wipes the floor with you.

If Delilah and her protagonist, Dovey, had to pair up and take down the forces of evil, their main strategy would be to "shoot anything with fox ears". 

Delilah's past, and her exterior appearance, are another reason why writing diversely appeals to her.

"As my picture will tell you, I am not particularly diverse on the outside. I'm a married, suburban white mom. More distinctly, I'm a Southern mutt, with no family traditions, histories, or origins. We don't even know where my ancestors came from. Basically, it's boring white people as far as the family tree can drop us. I've always been jealous of people with deep ties to place, with culture, with roots, with more than jeans and an American flag t-shirt as our national costume. My parents valued being normal and conservative and close-minded. And I didn't."

Delilah sees her writing diverse characters as important, particularly after having a lack of diversity in her first two titles pointed out by a reader.

"I realized I hadn't even noticed it. So I started finding ways to incorporate a more diverse cast. It's a great way to rebel while doing something useful. My readers deserve a world that reflects them."

Servants of the Storm, which releases today, is described by Delilah as "a paean to friendship and fighting for what's right as much as it is a creepy Southern Gothic story about demons in Savannah. I hope readers will appreciate Dovey's tenacity and loyalty to Carly and enjoy her adventure."

More power to you, Delilah. Keep up the good fight!

 Be part of the change we need. Be a hero. Diversify.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Support Strange Chem Blog Hop

This morning, I was staggered to read that Strange Chemistry – a YA imprint I’ve always been fond of for gathering talented authors, unique storylines and diverse casts – has come to an end.

I was horrified as I read authors I know discussing future titles that have been canceled, the staff’s reeling from the decision, and the looming concern that even released titles might not be in print for much longer.

Quite a few authors have requested that readers keep them in mind, but I don’t want to leave it at that. I want to give some support to the books that I’ve enjoyed, and the authors that I know will find new, wonderful opportunities and homes for the stories that they’ve woven so brilliantly.

With that in mind, I’d like to organize a Support Strange Chem blog hop.

What would the blog hop entail? It depends on you.

Personally, I’d like the idea of a post highlighting what you’ve enjoyed about Strange Chemistry, and possibly focusing on a particular title you’ve enjoyed. If you’d like to host a giveaway, that would also be a wonderful way of these authors continuing to bring in new readers.

For inspiration, I’m adding a link to the list of Strange Chemistry’s authors here. I hope that we can do something to bring them comfort in this hard time. I know publishing has its ups and downs, but this has been a real sucker punch to all of us today, and it is going to be difficult to find a new normal after this – particularly if you were directly affected.

If you’d like to join in on this, I’m adding a link widget below. I am planning to post on Monday, the 23rd, so keep that date in mind and get your post ready.

This is a crucial period to turn the tide in favor of these books remaining in print or available in some manner to new readers. Let’s make this transition a bit easier, if we can, and give back to the authors whose words have given us a lot.

As always, if you have suggestions or an awesome idea I haven't thought of, the comments are open to you. Let's make this awesome! 

ETA: Rachel Neuimeier, one of the Strange Chemistry authors, has a comprehensive post on the options available for authors affected, and how she plans to go forward. It is well worth the read.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cover Reveal! Will The Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up by Ella Martin

So, I originally drafted this post with a lot of oohing and ahhing over the cover, the design and the colors (all for you to see at your leisure, if you scroll down right now and ignore my yammering on here) -

But you know what?

I'd like to devote a few moments to praising the person who celebrated this cover reveal, who has been looking forward to it first and foremost, and who is the force behind the words within the cover.

Let's talk about Ella.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

{as i #amwriting.} Ready. Set. Write.

Back into the fray, that’s our Kaye!

(No one has ever said this about me. But maybe one day, someone will. And it rhymes, right?)

If you can remember back to my participation in the YA Buccaneers’ Spring Writing Bootcamp (and before that, Writer Recharge), I started out strong but did a little of a “I don’t want to post!” downward spiral at the end. Overall, though, it was a nice experience and I had a lovely team alongside me, and if there is one thing I need, it is accountability.

So, when I saw a few friends discussing a new online summer intensive in the same vein as the boot camp, I had to take a look.

Organized by the same group of ladies behind Writer Recharge, Ready. Set. Write. is meant to provide accountability while being easy-breezy with the updates. Considering last time, the idea of writing paragraphs of updates for each section got me down, I like the idea of quickly dropping in what I’m up to, and then moving on.

In any case, it sounds like a lovely idea, and I’m gladly hopping in. If you want more information, check out Jaime Morrow’s post (where I started) or look up the other hosts!