- You’ve written romances of all kinds – second-chance romance, paranormal, royals, single mom etc. Which one is your favorite kind and why?
Oh, that’s an interesting question I haven’t been asked before. I think the books in my Inn Love romance series have been my favorite to write so far. I chose a different country and fictitious inn for each book, and being an innkeeper myself, I could subtly weave my own experiences into the stories. Plus, I just love armchair travel and can get lost in the research for the settings.
On the other hand, I also loved writing my paranormal romance trilogy because I’ve always enjoyed various elements of the supernatural. It was something completely new for me to write, bringing its own challenges and more freedom to try out something different.
2. Could you tell us about your educational background?
I don’t often talk about it because (especially in Sri Lanka) people tend to look down on me for not being a degree holder. I graduated from German high school with top marks, but I never attended university or got any other kind of degree (although I started an office management diploma in Germany for a few months, several years later). Life happened and I made some choices I don’t regret at all.
3. How easy or hard is it to put yourself in the shoes of the different characters you write?
I’ve always had a very vivid imagination and also been observant, so I find that part easy. And I think being an introvert helps. I can get into other people’s hearts and minds and empathize, which is important.
4. What are the challenges you face while writing series as opposed to standalone romance novels?
Some of my series feature stand-alone books even though they have a common thread or theme. I think it’s remembering details from previous books that need to be consistent. I’m pretty bad with dates/time frames, names, things like that.
5. Do you believe there is a formula when it comes to writing romances?
Well, if it’s genre romance, then of course there are certain unspoken rules; and if you write for a publisher, there are ‘spoken’ rules too. I’m not constricted by those but try to work with popular tropes and keep in mind what readers enjoy. I guess that is a formula in itself.
But I believe there’s only one rule that HAS to be met when writing romance: a happy ending a.k.a. HEA (happily ever after) or alternatively HFN (happy for now) if it’s a series.
6. Which are some books on romance writing you’ve read and would recommend?
I have to say I haven’t read any of those – although I do read general romance or writing advice blog posts. In that regard, I can recommend Jami Gold and the guest authors on her site, as well as Jesse Stuart.
7. Could you name some of your favorite romance novels?
That’s impossible, sorry! Some of my favorite romance novelists are Nora Roberts, Sylvia Day, and Cass Michaels.
8. Looking back at your journey as a writer, what are some things you would avoid doing today if you could?
Hm, another great question. I’ve learned from reviews of my earliest books that I shouldn’t get too lost in describing the setting and the background information but weave it into my plot and have my characters interact with it instead.
9. What do you consider your greatest achievement till date?
Writing-wise? Probably that I embarked on this self-publishing journey at all. I started in 2013 and I’ve published almost 20 books so far, some of them co-written.
10. What is your advice to aspiring romance writers?
Read as much as you can, and write as much as you can (ideally both in your genre, but that doesn’t have to be). And never forget that writing itself is just the start, it’s the marketing effort afterwards that counts, too.