Readers, please welcome author Devika Fernando on ILuvFiction today, part of the Blog Tour hosted by The Book Club. We will straight away move to the interesting part, the questions, we are dying to ask Devika.
ILF: How did ‘Playing with Fire’ happen, the inspiration and idea?
Devika: I am a writer who reacts strongly to visual input, whether it’s just a normal photo I find on social media or whether it’s an actual writing prompt. A good picture just gets my mind whirring. “Playing with Fire” was inspired by amazing art on deviantart.com, of a woman conjuring a ring of fire in the forest. From that spark of idea, the story formed itself like a fire burning brighter and brighter. (Pardon the pun *lol*) 🙂
ILF: What were the challenges faced while writing this book? Were you thinking of the series right from the beginning or the idea came after you started writing this book?
Devika: To answer the first question: This was my first foray into paranormal romance, so it was a challenge to balance all the action / magic / paranormal with the general romance theme I was used to writing.
As for the second question: After I had the outline of the story, I just thought to myself, what about writing one for water too? And from that I realized I could make a whole range of books, so the series ‘4 Elements of Love’ was born. The Water book will be the second one, it’s a work in progress. I think Earth will be third and Air will be fourth.
ILF: What are essential steps to be kept in mind after finishing the draft and before publishing?
Devika: I always go through several rounds of editing. During the first rounds I check whether there are any plot holes, whether everything makes sense and whether I need to include more romance. Then I cut out introspection / backstory, which is my weakness. The last editing rounds deal with the language and style aspects and correcting mistakes.
As a general rule, editing is very, very important. And I have learned to always rely on two, three beta readers before my final round of editing and then publishing.
ILF: What do you like most and least about being a writer?
Devika: I like the writing most. 😉 It’s just in my blood to write, I can’t not do it. I like editing least, and formatting can be a bit of a pain in the neck (especially for paperbacks).
ILF: Upcoming writing projects in the works? If so, when can we expect the fantastic book?
Devika: Some of you might have seen that I am co-authoring a book with bestselling author Mike Wells. It’s a romantic suspense novel called “Forbidden”. I have done my part and Mike will now weave his magic. The book should be out by the end of this year.
As for my own projects, I’m writing on the contemporary romance novel ‘Saved in Sri Lanka’ for NaNoWriMo, and I want to continue working on ‘In Deep Water’ (4 Elements of Love, Book 2).
ILF: What’s the one thing about you that might surprise readers?
Devika: Hmmm… that I’m a shy introvert at heart?
ILF: You have self-published three books. Give us three tips on self-publishing.
Devika: I’m still learning myself (and I honestly think that the learning never stops), but here’s what I have to say:
- Research and collect information about self-publishing before you start.
- Never ignore social media or start with it too late.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
ILF: Advice for aspiring authors.
Devika: Write as much as you can, and read as much as you can. Because practice makes perfect, and there’s so much to absorb and get inspiration and advice from.