Long and Short Reviews welcomes Saranna DeWylde who is giving away a copy of How to Lose a Demon in 10 Days, which releases today, and an ARC for How to Marry a Warlock in 10 Days, which releases next month. She's currently working on the fourth book in the 10 Days series called How to Get a Date With Death in 10 Days.
Saranna actually almost deleted How to Lose a Demon in 10 Days. It had started out as a short story for a Harlequin Cravings call, but it was rejected and Saranna didn't think she could do anything else with it.
"Then I saw a post on one of my writer’s loops about a contest sponsored by Dorchester on Textnovel. So I entered," she said. "And I won."
Saranna watched The Exorcist at her 8th birthday party and decided she wanted to make people feel all the emotions she did. She wrote her first story that night and though she was going to become the next R.L. Stine. A few years later, romance novels came on the scene, and Saranna actually chose her pen name when she was 12.
"When I told my mother I wanted to write romances, she told me that I needed a good romance novel sounding pen name," she told me. "So I chose Saranna because my name is Sara and DeWylde was the last name of a character in one of the books I was reading. Saranna DeWylde is my George Stark. I don’t think the real me is as exciting as Saranna."
"How do you personally distinguish between pornography, erotica, and erotic romance?" I asked.
"Pornography is meant to titillate your body, erotica is meant to stimulate your mind and your body, sometimes your emotions and erotic romance is meant for your mind, body, and always your emotions with a Happily Ever After or a Happily For Now."
Authors that Saranna believes writes excellent erotic fiction include Justine Elyot, Jennna McCormick, Kate Pearce, Bertrice Small, Tiffany Reisz, Megan Hart, Lauren Hawkeye, Colette Gale—with her favorite erotic author being Justine Elyot.
"Her books always engage me on every level and her use of language is an art form. She’s a master of her craft," Saranna explained.
Saranna told me she always had trouble talking about how she develops her stories because her characters and plot come to her fully formed like Athena from Zeus' head.
"It’s like I’m not even writing the book," she said, "I’m just transcribing it."
"What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?" I asked.
"There are so many. I think writers are influenced by everything they read, see, hear, experience. I’m a voracious reader. But one of the kindest authors I’ve ever met is Amanda Ashley. I wrote her a fan letter when I was 16 and asked her about getting published. She responded with a personal letter, bookmarks, and advice on how to get published. She’s a classy lady and I’ve always promised myself that if I ever got published, I would remember her kindness and pay it forward."
I asked her about her writing space.
"It’s less than ideal. My husband and I give in-home care to my bedridden mother-in-law. We don’t have a lot of space, so I have to write at the kitchen table. So, of course, the table is covered in books, promo stuff, my lists of projects and things to accomplish, notes about this project or that. It’s very scattered and crazed."
Saranna is always writing—producing anywhere from 5K-10K a day, nearly every day, even holidays.
"My husband has worked two jobs forever to keep us financially solvent so I feel like if he’s working, I should be too. I get up and I write until my kids come home from school and then I make dinner, spend time with them, and when they go to bed, I write some more. Throughout, I have to see to my MIL’s needs."
"What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?" I wondered.
"I don’t know if it’s a writing quirk, but I used The Shining as a tutorial for my kids on why they shouldn’t interrupt me while I’m working."
When she's not writing, one of her favorite things to do is spending time with her daughters. They go to museums, to the lake, on nature walks, and sometimes just for random drives in the country.
"What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your books?" I asked.
"That I’m funny. Or so I’ve been told. I’ve always thought my writing was kind of dark, but I guess I have that gallows humor that’s a staple for law enforcement, or corrections."
She's a former corrections officer which made her pick up some strange habits.
"I tend to be weird about eating or drinking anything that’s been unattended or sitting with my back to the door," she admitted.
I asked Saranna how she did research for her books.
"A lot of the things in my books include things that already interest me and that I’ve already read about or experienced. Although, I hesitate to say that given some of my work is more erotic in nature and everyone assumes that because I write about explicit sex I’ve done everything I write about. Which is so not true."
"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I asked.
"Dear God. What’s NOT? I have a klutz gene, so if it’s possible for me to trip, injure myself or make an ass of myself, it will happen. I fall up stairs, I’ve lit my own hair on fire trying to light a candle… I think one of the most embarrassing things that’s happened to me was probably when I met a good friend of mine. We really hit it off when my other friends brought him to the movies. We ended up holding hands and it was just… we clicked. So after the movie, we exchange numbers, etc. Then we said our goodbyes. And I decided to finish off the half of box I had left of Tart N Tinys. And he decides to come back and go in for the romance novel style back-bend kiss. There is not enough room in the human mouth for two tongues and a half a box of Tart N Tinys. I choked and shot them out of my nose that deadly, sugary, BB assassins. The green ones were the worst. He laughed so hard, I thought he was going to die. Needless to say, we decided to just be friends. Neither of us could get that imagery out of our heads. We’re still friends, have been for fifteen years."
Another embarrassing moment happened with the man who would later become her husband—thanks to her mother.
"When I first met my husband, I knew on our first date I was going to marry him. So the next day, I went out and bought bride magazines and started planning the wedding. I know, a little psycho, but when you know, you know. So he came over the day after and my mother dumped them all in his lap. I, of course, had to play it off. I told him I just liked the magazines and had been buying them since I was a little girl. The look on his face when she dumped those in his lap was like he’d been scaled with boiling oil. Luckily, by then, I was prepared for her antics."
Finally I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"
"I have a place on my website called The Dungeon. It’s my page for advice to writers."
About the Author: 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.
Find Saranna online at
Grace does. She's got more demon than she can saddle. In fact, she's got a sinfully sexy Crown Prince of Hell named Caspian. She's also got ten days to get rid of him or Bad Things shall ensue. See, her Russian mobster ex-boyfriend didn't take kindly to her smutty Mephistophelean contract. It's not that she's conspiring with fiends; that was his idea. It's that she's conspiring against him with outrageous devilry that runs the gamut from embarrassing to a dead hooker turned dominatrix demon gunning for his soul.
One should never trust demons, let alone shag them. They don't have hearts. Yet Grace is buying hers some slightly tarnished armor and hoping that once he's been shoveled into it, kicking and screaming, he'll find it's just his size. This damsel in distress needs a dark knight for a Happily Ever After.