It is often said and believe that as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems and gave them her words. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing.
Her trademark is writing sweet, yet deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust. What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a self-employed German web content writer, as a translator and as a faithful servant to all the cats, dogs, fish and birds in her home. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.
Pakhi Dixti, Associate Editor, News Sense in tete e tete well acclaimed Sri Lankan Author Devika Fernando, excerpts of the Interview.
Q1. When did you start writing?
I wrote my first short stories and poems as soon as I knew how to write; first in German and then in English. Off and on, throughout the years, I continued to write down ideas for novels and even wrote a few short stories. In 2013, I decided to become a romance novelist and started working on my debut, a sweet romance novella titled “When I See Your Face”. I used NaNoWriMo to write it, and self-published it early in 2014.
Q2. What is your inspiration behind it?
I get inspired by everything…news, people I know, things I observe, pictures that act as writing prompts, other stories, whatever I read, my own experiences…the list is endless. I have always loved writing, now more so than ever.
Q3. Struggles that you had to face.
Self-publishing a book isn’t easy, especially if you do it for the first time. There were things to consider that aren’t related to writing, like designing a cover, formatting the manuscript for ebook and paperback, learning how to market a book and create an author brand. Now, with more than ten books out, it has become easier. But there are always challenges for an author. Competition is huge, readers need to be engaged, and promotion can never stop. Also, being an author based in Sri Lanka is a struggle. It would be easier to live in an English-speaking country or even in India, where people read a lot of English books.
Q4. Your books/work as far?
I have already published more than ten books, and I have also coauthored the romantic suspense series “Forbidden” with Mike Wells, which currently features six books. Some of my books are part of an ongoing series: “Romance Round the World” is a series of multicultural novels in different countries; so far, it encompasses “Saved in Sri Lanka” and “Seduced in Spain”. Then there’s my royal romance series with the novels “The Prince’s Special Bride”, “The Prince’s Stubborn Bride” and “The Prince’s Surprise Bride”. I have also written a paranormal romance trilogy with the titles “Playing with Fire” (free), “Dancing with Fire” and “Living with Fire”. There are two stand-alone books titled “When I See Your Face” (free) and “Kaleidoscope of Hopes”. On November 29th, I’m releasing the first book of the “Inn Love” series, “Tantalizing Temptations”.
Q5. Your genre of writing?
I focus on contemporary romance, sweet with a dash of sensual. But I’ve also released three paranormal romance novels and co-authored romantic suspense novels.
Q6. Advice to aspiring authors?
Read as much as you can so you know what readers want. Write as much as you can to hone your skills. Persist. Actually write instead of simply thinking or talking about it.