Devika Fernando, romance novelist, speaks to Sanchita Sen


She brings about the best of both worlds. Meet this romance novelist who brings her rich diversity to play while writing beautiful romances set in exotic locales.

I can imagine what it feels like to deal with new surroundings, to adjust and rethink things you’ve taken for granted your whole life. That makes it easier to write about protagonists facing similar dilemmas. And living in both countries has made me a keen observer, which is a useful skill for an author.

Sanchita: Romance novels, series and should I say travelogues as well, since ‘Saved in Sri Lanka’ and ‘Seduced in Spain’ have in depth description of the places as well, you have written it all. I am sure you love writing all of them, but which format is the most challenging and why?

Devika: I’d say my multicultural romance novels like ‘Saved in Sri Lanka’ and ‘Seduced in Spain’ are the most challenging. As you said, the setting plays an important role too, and it’s sometimes difficult to decide how much is too much. I try to weave the descriptions into the story or dialogue so that I can bring the place alive without boring the reader. Another challenge involved in writing this particular sub-genre is that I choose to pair characters from different countries/ethnicities. It’s a fine line between clichés and something typical for a certain country.

Sanchita: What according to you is the most essential criteria for romance novels to sell?

Devika: That’s quite hard to answer. There are so many factors that play into each other and determine the ‘salability’ of a romance novel. If I absolutely have to choose, I’d say it’s the story itself. It needs to fit the genre and audience you’re aiming for, be edited properly and hook the readers from the beginning as well as keep them entertained and preferably coming back for more.

Sanchita: Since you have seen the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds in Sri Lanka and Germany, enrich us by sharing some of your experiences of this dichotomy.

Devika: Gosh, how to answer this without writing a whole novel? :D I believe experiencing such different worlds has helped me write multicultural and complex characters. I can imagine what it feels like to deal with new surroundings, to adjust and rethink things you’ve taken for granted your whole life. That makes it easier to write about protagonists facing similar dilemmas. And living in both countries has made me a keen observer, which is a useful skill for an author. I always found and find myself picking up things about a place and its people and filing them away in my head for future reference.

Sanchita: The volume of your work is simply inspiring. So what would be your word of advice
to the newbie authors who are still dreaming to get there?

Devika: Thank you. I don’t mean to sound patronizing in any way, but the most important thing is to ACTUALLY WRITE. A lot of (aspiring) authors talk about writing, plan it, want to do it, but don’t take it seriously enough to really do it. Write, write, write, and dedicate yourself to it. It doesn’t have to be every day or thousands of words, but don’t abandon it. The story won’t write itself!

Sanchita: Sneak peek into your next project?

Devika: I’m currently working on a 3rd novel for my ‘Romance Round the World’ series. It’s titled ‘In Love in Italy’ and revolves around a renowned American interior designer who is called to Italy to help give life to a tycoon’s villa. She falls in love with an Italian who isn’t who he seems to be.

Rapid Fire Round (first thought that comes to mind on hearing these words)

a.       Island – Sri Lanka
b.      Continent – Europe
c.       Love – Commitment
d.      Lush – fragrant, exotic flowers
e.      Azure – the blue eyes of some of my heroes ;-)


About the Author

Author Devika Fernando

Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. 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 are sweet, yet deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life.

You will find all her books here
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