Note: This post was written in collaboration with my friend Elena from eLitere.ro.
Social Media is an amazing tool to promote your business, book, art project or blog if you know where to look and how to use it. We’ve come to meet even more amazing people, and discover books or films that made us happy or broke our hearts. We bring you a new interview today, with a lady whose name was mentioned before on eLitere and on Alina’s Bookish Hideout: Devika Fernando. She is the author of contemporary romance and paranormal books such as When I See Your Face: A Second Chance at Love, Kaleidoscope of Hopes: A Second Chance Workplace Romance and the book series Fire Trilogy (Elemental Paranormal Romance), Romance Round The World and Forbidden, a romantic thriller series written in collaboration with American author Mike Wells, writer of Lust, Money & Murder series.
When was your passion for writing born?
Devika: When I was seven years old. I was always being read to and reading books, and I really wanted my own story too. It was a very short, short story. The real passion for writing arose during my teenage years, though it was mostly poems in English and novel ideas (just a few chapters here and there) in German. In 2013 I decided to really make my dream come true and become a romance novelist.
What inspires you the most?
Devika: I react very powerfully to pictures like fantasy art, romantic photos or even places that I can imagine as the setting for a novel. Sometimes new items or a book I read might spark an idea. Ultimately, I regard everything and everyone in life as an inspiration for writing.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
Devika: I don’t suffer from it. If I ever feel a little reluctant to write, I just push on and write anyway. Even if I might not be satisfied with what I’ve written, it’ll still have taken me a step further. If I get stuck, I sometimes switch to a different story or chapter or just read what I’ve written and fall back on track.
How has literature shaped the way you look at the world?
Devika: That is a wonderful question that I’ve never been asked before! I think it has made me observe more, and understand more, especially emotions and how they are sometimes hidden or unconsciously portrayed. And it has made me believe in love more because romance novels show that ultimately true love can overcome almost any obstacle.
“Artists instinctively want to reflect humanity, their own and each other’s, in all its intermittent virtue and vitality, frailty and fallibility”, said Tom Hiddleston in an interview some years ago. What are your thoughts on fandoms, on the way artists and their fans can interact nowadays?
Devika: It’s such a beautiful and meaningful quote, with which I heartily agree, being an artist myself. I think fandoms offer many benefits. They can bring people together, even if they might live on opposite sides of the globe or would otherwise never meet or talk, but are passionate about the same thing and will never run out of a topic to discuss. I’ve found three of my closest friends through a fandom. I also think being an ardent fan of someone or something brings out our creativity. It can give us strength to go on, things to look forward to, joy in hard times.
And with the internet, the possibilities seem endless. We have the chance to get to know a little more about the artist or even interact, and that in turn might make us understand and appreciate their work even more. Then there’s fanfiction. I know some people have very strong (negative) views about it, but I can’t see the harm in it. Some have discovered their inner writer through it or practice and end up writing wonderful books or even opening the door to success.
The only thing that makes me a bit weary of fandom is the ‘fanatic’ aspect. With the internet, some fans have started stalking artists or posting inappropriate stuff and totally ignoring privacy.
What would you say to those who are just discovering your novels? Why should they read your stories?
Devika: Another good question, thanks! I’ll give them three reasons: firstly, my characters don’t just fall in lust, kiss after the first page, and enjoy romps between the sheets, but really fall in love with each other. Secondly, I try to explore exotic settings in my novels that add to the fascination. For example, you can take a virtual trip to Sri Lanka in my multicultural romance novel Saved in Sri Lanka and you’ll find out a lot about Iceland in my upcoming paranormal romance novels Dancing with Fire and Living with Fire. Thirdly, there is always an aspect of the heroine (and hero) not only finding love but also finding themselves and learning to love themselves.