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.
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.