Interview with Author Saranna Dewylde
Saranna De Wylde has always been fascinated by things better left in the dark. She wrote her first story after watching The Exorcist at a slumber party. Since then, she’s published horror, romance and narrative nonfiction. Like all writers, Saranna has held a variety of jobs, from operations supervisor for an airline, to an assistant for a call girl, to a corrections officer. But like Hemingway said, “Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it.” So she traded in her cuffs for a full-time keyboard. She loves to hear from her readers
1. What inspired you to start writing?
At my 8th birthday party, I watched The Exorcist. After it was over, instead of being afraid, I was exhilarated. I decided that I wanted to do that to people. The film wasn’t simply horror, it was the whole gamut of human emotion. I wanted to make people feel things. So I wrote my first story, in green colored pencil. (It had to be green to match the murder mist.)
2. What comes first, the plot or characters?
Characters. When I know who they are, what they want, and why they can’t have it, the rest just falls into place.
3. Describe your writing space.
My office is a bit musty. I’ve had it professionally cleaned several times, but I just can’t get it to smell like anything but the people who lived in this house before we did. It’s a Grand Dame, one of those old Victorians on a lush, tree-lined street in a small town that likes to play up it’s nostalgic Americana and pretend like needles in the street a few blocks over aren’t actually a problem. I have movie posters on my plain, white walls. The Howling. The Wolfman. The Shape of Water. The Lost Boys. Swamp Thing. And Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula. Specifically, that scene with Mina in that gorgeous red dress. My overhead light is this cute art deco piece but much too small for the room. I have two desks, one for my giant desktop, and another for my laptop, files, and research books. It’s a comfortable space and I’m so grateful to have it. Up until recently, I’d been using my walk-in closet as an office and this space is so much better since I have a clear demarcation between work time/work space, and the rest of my life.
4. Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.
Actually, I do. The hero for the third book in the Fairy Godmothers series. His name is Tomas Rivera and he’s a divorce attorney who falls in love with his best friend, a romance novelist. It’s totally meta, but I think that’s why I love him so much. He’s everything I’d want in a hero and I didn’t realize it until I was halfway through the book.
5. Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
I’m working on a vampire series and I plan to release the first three books in October. These are unvarnished me. They are the books I’ve always wanted to write. I’m having a great time with them and I hope that shows in the work.
6. Who is your favorite author and why?
I don’t have a favorite author. I read so many different kinds of books. However, right now, I’m having a love affair with Tananarive Due. Her writing just digs inside my head remodels the insides. She’s wonderful.
7. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Traveling is my absolute favorite thing to do, second only to writing. My favorite place I’ve been so far is Prague.
8. If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?
Oh! Prague! I love the energy, the history, the rich and layered culture. Art and stories are everywhere.
9. Do you have any writing buddies?
I do! I think it’s so important for writers to have that kind of support system because it is such a solitary endeavor. I am a much better author and a happier, healthier person because we drive each other to do better.
10. What is your favorite childhood book?
From when I was really small, it was The Golden Egg Book. My mother potty-trained me with that book. (TMI? Hahaha.) Then it was Flap Your Wings Junior and Ferdinand.
11. If you could choose one superpower, what would it be? What would you do with that superpower?
I wish I could reverse chronic illness. I’d heal myself, and then everyone else.
12. Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
I really wish I could say something cool here, like I lather myself up with rosewater soap, dance around naked under the full moon and offer the blood of those who have wronged me to my cannibal muse, but alas, I mostly just make facial expressions along with my characters as I write their dialogue. I know a few authors who do that as well, so I don’t think it’s that unique. My family sure gets a kick out of it, though.
13. What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?
I don’t really think it’s strange, but it’s something that stands out in my memory. I also write as Sara Arden and in my first book for Harlequin, my hero has a prosthetic limb due to a war injury. When he and the heroine have sex, I didn’t want to gloss over that part of their intimacy. There have to be physical allowances made for choreography, and does he keep the prosthetic on, or remove it? I wanted to honor that experience with true representation, but also with respect. I’m lucky in that I have friends who did some reaching out to interview subjects for me. They were more than happy to tell me about their experiences and answer all of my questions. I thought it would be really awkward, but it was more rewarding than anything. The people I talked to were happy for that representation and to see someone who’d been through what they had get their own happily ever after.
If love is the source of all the magic in the universe, and the town of Ever After, Missouri, is the epicenter of enchantment, then the locals are in dire need of a reboot. At least according to resident fairy godmothers Petunia, Jonquil, and Bluebonnet. Their solution? Blow a bit of fairy dust in the direction of those in need of romance. . . . What could possibly go wrong?
Blake Woolven is the bad boy CEO of Woolven Industries, but he’s badder than the luscious, BBW Randi Rutger would’ve guessed. After Woolven took down her father’s company and devoured it like a shaking rabbit, she’s determined to get close to him and make all the Woolvens pay for destroying her father. Blake knows Randi’s agenda, but the wolf inside him will do anything to have her. Even expose the Woolven family secret. When Randi sees Blake and his brothers shed their skins beneath the moon, she’s terrified. With her loyalties torn, Randi must choose between avenging her father and the big bad wolf who clawed his way into her heart.
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