Today I am beyond thrilled to welcome Delilah S. Dawson to the blog! I think her new book, Servants of the Storm (published August 5th 2014 by Simon Pulse) caught everyone's attention with its creepy, but gorgeous cover. Delilah's work was highly recommended to me by someone I trust implicitly. Regardless of whether you like adult paranormal romance or YA paranormal thrillers, I hope you'll give her books a chance.
So here's a secret about me: when I was about 10 years old, I was certain I was going to die at Disney World.
Not because I'd had a terrifying portent or a scary visit to the doctor's office. But because I'd looked at the world around and me and decided that it was somehow rigged. That, just as in movies and books, kids died or disappeared all the time, so must real life be full of random, creepy occurrences with mysterious ends. The center of this maelstrom of terror, in my mind?
Seriously. When I went to Disney World for the first time in 1989, I was convinced that the rides were designed to kill or maim every twentieth kid or so. I thought that the final cart in Spaceship Earth would randomly careen off the track and crash some kid off into the dusty mannequins to rot. Or that the climbing net in the Kids' Zone would disconnect and dump kids into the glistening blue water to drown, their bodies fished out with giant hooks before the next group was allowed inside. Or that Spaceship Earth would catapult someone into the air, and they'd soar over Cinderella's castle, splatter into the carefully swept cobblestones of Main Street USA, and be shoved into a trash compactor by cheerful cast members in Goofy suits. And no one would ever know.
The climax of this belief, which I never told any adult, as I knew they would deny it, was my first trip on the Maelstrom in Epcot. There I was, huddled in the boat between my mom and grandmother, pulling my Donald Duck hat over my eyes, muttering about how the last cart wasn't safe. And then, when the Maelstrom suddenly jerked backward into the darkness, my hypothesis was proven, and I pumped my fists in the air and screamed, “See? We're all going to die! We're all going to die! I told you so!”
Boy, did I feel silly when we exited the ride, unscathed, in a souvenir shop.
Point is, even at a relatively young age, I was looking for the horror in the world. I always felt like there was a creepy underbelly to what the adults told me, that no matter how normal their world was on the surface, something terrifying and mysterious lurked, just around the corner.
So, yeah, when Dovey and Baker are in the abandoned amusement park in my latest book, Servants of the Storm, there are more than a few quotes straight from my own mouth regarding the safety of the rides. The book was inspired by a photoset of Six Flags New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (which you can see here: http://www.lovethesepics.com/2011/05/creepy-crusty-crumbling-illegal-tour-of-abandoned-six-flags-new-orleans-75-pics/), and I knew from the start that Dovey was going to end up on a rusted, broken, twisting roller coaster, the only person awake and able to see the horror that was truly there. There never was an amusement park like my River Fest in Savannah, Georgia, but... well, I wish there had been.
I'm an adult now, and I understand more about how the world works. About insurance and statistics and lawsuits and what the evening news would do to a business that regularly and permanently misplaced children, even annoying ones. But still, whenever I get on a ride for the first time, I wonder...
Delilah S. Dawson writes whimsical and dark Fantasy for adults and teens. Her Blud series for Pocket includes Wicked as They Come, Wicked After Midnight, and Wicked as She Wants, winner of the RT Book Reviews Steampunk Book of the Year and May Seal of Excellence for 2013. Her YA debut, Servants of the Storm, is out in August 2014, with another YA from Simon Pulse in April 2015, a pre-dystopian called HIT. Her Geekrotica series under pseudonym Ava Lovelace includes The Lumberfox and The Superfox with The Dapperfox on the way.
She is also an Associate Editor at www.CoolMomPicks.com and www.CoolMomTech.com, where she is given the more eccentric and geeky products to cover. Delilah lives with her husband, two small children, a horse, a dog, and two cats in Atlanta. Find out more at www.delilahsdawson.com.
Enter to win a copy of Servants of the Storm! Thank you to Delilah for her wonderful post, and a huge thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing the giveaway copy. The giveaway is US only.