Curbing curiosties, or an interview with Tony Cliff author of the Delilah Dirk series (and a giveaway)


delilah dirk

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant (Delilah Dirk #1)

By: Tony Cliff

Publisher: First Second

Publication Date: August 27th, 2019

Lovable ne’er-do-well Delilah Dirk has travelled to Japan, Indonesia, France, and even the New World. Using the skills she’s picked up on the way, Delilah’s adventures continue as she plots to rob a rich and corrupt Sultan in Constantinople. With the aid of her flying boat and her newfound friend, Selim, she evades the Sultan’s guards, leaves angry pirates in the dust, and fights her way through the countryside. For Delilah, one adventure leads to the next in this thrilling and funny installment in her exciting life.

A little bit Tintin, a little bit Indiana Jones, Delilah Dirk is a great pick for any reader looking for a smart and foolhardy heroine… and globetrotting adventures.

How would you describe the DELILAH DIRK series to new readers in 5 words or less?
“Quick reading. What’s to lose?” (I usually tell people, “I designed it to fill the Indiana Jones-shaped hole in my own heart.”)

What is your writing process? What is your typical process of bringing your comic to life?
It’s an iterative process, like multiple laps around the same racetrack, and what I want is to be able to have a good picture of the whole story at any given time. It all starts out as jumbled notes, scribbled here and there. I corral those, put ‘em in order, and that’s my first lap around the track. It’s rough, but at least I can see it from beginning to end. Then I just keep going over it, refining with each repeated lap until it looks like it’s ready to print. Then my editor sends me out for one more lap, just for good measure. I mean, did I just describe the same process that everyone else uses? I don’t know. Maybe. The salient point is that there’s always an understanding of and a way to look at the complete story, which is useful for asking friends and trusted readers for feedback. Since the whole thing takes a year or two, getting feedback along the way is useful. (In case that needs to be said).

A book goes through a lot of different versions and rounds of editing before it’s complete. What are some “fun facts” or behind the scenes details you can share about the characters from your book or the world you created for it that may or may not have made it to the final draft of the book?

Well, for the first DD book, I wrote an drew out a complete alternate fourth chapter. At the writing stage, I didn’t know which approach I preferred. So I drew them both out and asked friends. IIRC, the consensus was in favour of the one that ended up in the book, and either way I think that was the right choice. You can read that alternate chapter here:

Who was your favorite character to write and who gave you the most trouble? Who is your favorite to illustrate?
“Villain” dialogue is always the most fun to write (for the obvious reasons of it being indulgent and theatrical), but come on, how do you pick a favourite character? I feel like if I could pick a favourite character I’d be doing a bad job of writing. I like them all. The hard part is making them each individually consistent and trying to find the discipline to ensure they make their own choices the way they would, instead of steering their decisions in a way that makes the story do what you want. It feels like in general, that’s the big challenge of writing a thing: finding the story that springs from what your characters are most inclined to do, according to their individual natures. Again, is that obvious? I don’t know.

What scene from the book are you most proud of (because of how you handled the atmosphere, characters, dialogue, etc)?
There’s a bit near the end of PILLARS OF HERCULES where DD & co. have to squeeze through a collapsing hallway, and the comic panels each get narrower and narrower as the hallway does so. I like the way that worked out. There’s also the sequence where DD is opening a door, and is illustrated such that she could be hauling on the bottom-right edge of the book’s page, and when the reader performs the act of turning the page, it is conceptually similar to opening the door, revealing the surprise behind it. I don’t know how many people will notice that, or if it will have anything more than a very subtle subconscious effect, but I hope so. I love that sort of stuff where the mechanics of the comic medium can reinforce the story elements, ideally without drawing TOO much attention to themselves.

What is next for you? What are your currently working on?
You can expect a children’s book out from me some time in the future. It’s called LET’S GET SLEEPY. Sleepy is a mouse, everyone else in the book is a cat. It’s got a hunting-and-finding thing going on. I’m also illustrating another graphic novel that I can’t talk about and doing some motion graphic design for an animated project that I can’t talk about.
But I CAN talk about the fourth Delilah Dirk book. It’ll take us back to DD’s youth, pitting her against a ferocious pirate foe, and making it explicit what sort of pushback a young English girl might have faced if she wanted to run around and swing swords in the 1800s. You know, for the one or two twelve-year-old readers out there who haven’t read SENSE AND SENSIBILITY yet.

Tony Cliff – a life-long resident of Vancouver, British Columbia – began his comics work as a contributor to the Flight series of anthologies. His first major published work, Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, is a NYT Bestseller, a Publishers’ Weekly Best of 2013, and was nominated for Eisner, Shuster, and Harvey awards. Delilah Dirk and the Third Pillar of Hercules will be the third book in the series, following 2016’s similarly well-received The King’s Shilling. He is strongly opposed to bios that conclude with one quirky attempt at humour.

Find the author:

Website | Delilah Dirk Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Week One:

3/8/2019- Character Madness and Musings– Interview

Week Two:

3/11/2019- Eli to the nth– Review

3/12/2019- Lifestyle Of Me– Review

3/13/2019- Novel Novice– Review

3/14/2019- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

3/15/2019- The Layaway Dragon– Review

Week Three:

3/18/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

3/19/2019- BookHounds YA– Excerpt

3/20/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

3/21/2019- Christen Krumm, Writer– Review

3/22/2019- Bibliobibuli YA– Interview

Week Four:

3/25/2019- Kelly P’s Blog– Excerpt

3/26/2019- Hauntedbybooks– Review

3/27/2019- Lone Tree Reviews– Excerpt

3/28/2019- Twirling Book Princess– Excerpt

3/29/2019- Lisa-Queen of Random– Spotlight




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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author image, info, giveaway, and more were provided by Rockstar Book Tours.

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