In which we welcome Delilah

For the month of December–with bonus posts on November 30 and January 1!–I am delighted to welcome a wonderful assortment of guest bloggers to take over the helm. Please enjoy their generous contributions to the blog this month. My own bloggery will resume January 2. I wish you and yours happiness and health this holiday season. Please note: comments are disabled until my return.

In Which Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
or, How to Move on After Your Favorite Series Ends

I write for the same reason I read: to escape.

And it’s not that my real life is so terribly troublesome. It’s simply that airfare has gotten very expensive and someone has to watch the children and I’m not actually allowed to kiss the devastatingly handsome Victorian carnival ringmaster, who also just so happens to be a vampire. My favorite books all include romance, an adventure, and just enough worldbuilding to shield me from reality. I don’t want to read Elvish or learn a new metric system just to enjoy a book series, but I do want a secluded world where mortgages and in-laws fade into the background.

That’s one of my favorite things about Deanna’s books: the worldbuilding draws you in, but the characters keep you there. Most recently, I fell into the rabbit hole of A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS and woke up a few days later stretched out on a chaise, fanning myself from a May sun that wasn’t yet sweltering and wondering if I could pull off a bob.

I can’t, for the record. We Delilahs do not share straight hair.

But it was hard to recover from such an engrossing read. Even though I recognized that the story ended right where it needed to, I wanted more.

The answer, of course, is to find a new world to fall into. To find the next book.

For me, the trick is that the books have to have a similar feel. When I finished A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS, I picked up THE TYPEWRITER GIRL by Alison Atlee for another dreamy historical about an uppity woman. When I finished the OUTLANDER series by Diana Gabaldon, I found the INTO THE WILDERNESS series by Sara Donati. When I thought I couldn’t wait for the next book in Cassandra Clare’s THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS, I discovered her INFERNAL DEVICES series set in the same world but during a different time. When I ran out of GRAVE WITCH books by Kalayna Price, I turned to the Cady Bell series from Jenn Bennett.

The best way for me to find new books lately is crowdsourcing with Facebook and Twitter. But you have to be really, really specific. “Looking for a fun and romantic historical magical realism book like the Julia Grey series; no erotica or knights” will get better results than “Need a new book. Suggestions?” And don’t be afraid to wade into the responses to help hone your target. “Not really looking for memoir or high fantasy. Any bodice ripper favorites?” can get people back on track when they start discussing favorite books that are surely lovely but not exactly what you need.

Another way to find your next book boyfriend is to go to Goodreads, look up the book or series that stole your heart, and see which lists it’s on. Other people have probably curated some helpful lists like “Fav reads of 2013” or “Paranormal steampunk romance”, and you can mine their similar taste for books that will fill the void. If you’re not into Goodreads, you can always look up the book on Amazon and see what books other customers bought along with it.

And of course you can never go wrong asking a librarian or bookseller for recommendations. Most bookstores have a shelf for employee favorites, and you might find a like-minded reader. You can also ask at the front desk who’s in charge of Romance or Scifi or whatever genre you like and milk that person for favorites. Or, going truly old school, you can see which authors blurbed your beloved book and check out what they’ve written, since blurbs mostly come from like-minded writers.

Right now, I’m preparing for my own book depression, as my BLUD series for Pocket will wrap up in January with book 3, WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT. It all started when I had a dream that I woke up naked in a forest with an extra naughty version of Mr. Darcy staring at me, and I’ve explored my world of Sang for three books, three e-novellas, and several short stories. From the bludbunnies to Eris and Odalisque the vampire horses to the traveling carnival to the cabarets of Paris filled with rainbow-hued dancing girls, that world has become real to me, a place I can always go to dream up new stories. I wish I could take my characters to twisted versions of America and Australia and send them running away from hordes of vampire koalas and clockwork kangaroos. But all good things must come to an end, even if the writer—and the readers— aren’t ready.

The only answer, of course, is to find the next book.

Delilah S. Dawson is the author of the steampunk paranormal romance BLUD series for Pocket, including WICKED AS THEY COME, WICKED AS SHE WANTS, and WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT. Her first YA, SERVANTS OF THE STORM, is a paranormal horror about Savannah and demons and will be out this August. She just sold a second YA series to Simon Pulse. Find her online at www.delilahsdawson.com and on Twitter at @DelilahSDawson.

Note from Deanna: THIS Delilah is the reason the heroine of A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS got a name change. She was originally christened Delilah Dawlish in my first draft, but I realized it was FAR too close to Delilah Dawson, so her last name was switched to Drummond. I still love both Delilahs…