Sunday, February 4, 2018

On Writing: Devika Fernando and Tantalizing Temptations

Today on 'On Writing', we have Devika Fernando, who besides being a succesful romance novel author,  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.

Welcome to 'On Writing', Devika!

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You are one of my favourite authors and I am delighted to welcome you to my blog to talk about your recent works and writing. I am thrilled that you are bringing out a new series. Do tell us, what is your latest series about?

Gosh, thank you so much for the compliment! It means even more to me as you’re a prolific writer and blogger yourself.
I released ‘Tantalizing Temptations’ in November 2017 and I’m still very excited about it. It’s the start of a new series where each book is set in a bed & breakfast in a different country. TT charms readers with a cottage in England, a courageous single mother, and a charming gentleman who does much more than help her manage the inn.

Is the fact that you are the owner of an idyllic hotel in Kandy aptly called as Idyllic Vista what triggered off this ‘Inn Love’ series?

Yes, it is. A few author friends of mine kept teasing me that as a writer, having guests from all over the world and managing a hotel would surely inspire new stories. And I finally thought – why not? I’ve always been a fan of writing books set in countries all around the world, as with my multicultural romance novels ‘Saved in Sri Lanka’, ‘Seduced in Spain’ and ‘The Prince’s Special Bride’. And there’s something about being on holiday that changes something in people, makes them more willing to let go and live, to take a chance and make new experiences. Which is the perfect set-up for a love story, if you ask me.

Where all will the ‘Inn Love’ series of romances take the readers to? What was the reason behind the selection?

Book 1 is set in a cottage in England. Book 2 (which I’m currently writing) takes place in a log cabin in Canada. And Book 2 (for which I’ve already written a few scenes) uses a villa in Italy as the setting. I’ve got many more countries planned out. I wanted to choose popular holiday destinations because I enjoy offering glimpses of the setting alongside the love stories.

What is the most interesting part and most difficult part when writing a series?

One of the most interesting aspects is finding a common theme that will be reflected in all books, maybe even characters that will feature in each story.
One of the most difficult aspects is making sure that you explain and repeat neither too much nor too little if the books are interconnected. For example, how much of what happened to characters X and Y from Book 1 needs to be explained in Book 2 for readers to remember/understand?

Do you plan the whole series or go one book at a time?

I outline the whole series or at least the first two or three books roughly, with a separate blurb/short summary for each book and with important notes for the series as a whole. I also tend to plan out the titles in advance so they match in a way. And I think about the cover designs that should match each other.

How long did it take to finish writing ‘Tantalizing Temptations’?

That’s difficult to say as I had to put it on hold for a bit after I had written about half of the book. Roughly, I’d say it took me three months.

Please share a passage or quote from ‘Tantalizing Temptations’ for our readers.

(This is an exclusive excerpt I’ve never shared before)

The ghost of a smile crossed her face, gone in a flash. “You’re such a wise man. And my hero. You saved me again. Perhaps you do need a white horse and gleaming armor.”

It was his turn to attempt a smile, though he knew it fell flat. He brushed his lips over her forehead. “I told you I’d always be at your service.”

He drew back to hold her gaze. “I’m sorry he came here and ruined your day, Samantha. And if I could, I’d promise you nobody will ever come barging in to cause trouble, least of all Patrick. You deserve joy, you have a right to celebrate.”

Her eyes widened. “Oh, celebrate…the champagne. The bottle slipped, and…” She broke away to scan the spot a few feet away where glass and liquid had splashed everywhere, and stumbled in the process.

Acting on impulse, Jonathan looped an arm around her back and one beneath her knees and lifted her. He carried her into the lobby and settled her on a couch, kneeling in front of it.

“Don’t worry about a thing. I’ll clean it. Sit for a while, get your feet back under you. And this evening, I’ll get us a new bottle of champagne and we will have a proper celebration that nobody can spoil.”

Samantha sank back against the cushions and reached for his hands, clasping them.
“Thank you. You’re an angel, Jonathan. I keep expecting you to unfold hidden wings.”

He wiggled his brows, trying miserably to lighten the mood. “First a knight, then a celestial being. What will I be next?”

She smiled weakly. “You’re you, and that’s magical enough.”

That made him swallow thickly. Even in her state, she was such a wonderful and intriguing woman. She made his heartache in various ways. If she had any idea how helpless he felt despite the bravado, how utterly wrapped around her finger he was…

Have you ever faced writer’s block? If yes, how do you get over it?

No. In my opinion, there is no such thing as writer’s block. If you’re a writer, you write. If you don’t feel like it, give it a break or write something else and get back in the groove. These so-called ‘blocks’ are self-created and easily overcome, be it with prompts or sheer perseverance.

How many hours a day do you spend writing?

That depends. Altogether (fiction and nonfiction) six to seven hours or even more. It varies day by day how much of it is for romance novels and how much for my job (I’m a German content provider).

What are the three tips you have for readers of this interview who are aspiring writers?
  1. Read as much and as widely as you can.
  2. Write as much as you can.
  3. Don’t just talk about writing or consider it, actually do it, as regularly and dedicatedly as you can.
Thank you Devika! That was interesting. Looking forward to reading more of your books in 2018. 

More about Tantalizing temptations:


Unhappy in a marriage based on lies and control, Samantha decides to start a new life. She leaves London with her little daughter Annie, and opens her own bed & breakfast in the English countryside. Nothing could have prepared her for the suave gentleman who helps her with the B&B and captures her heart along the way.

Managing hotels all around the world makes Jonathan happy – until fate brings him to a cottage that needs attention and a woman who needs affection. Samantha and Annie make him realize that something has been missing from his life all along.

Will their love stand a chance when her tragic past comes knocking?

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