Dylan Newton was born and raised in a small town. After more than a decade of working in corporate America, Dylan left it all behind, booted up her computer and began writing books. Today, she has four published novels and she doesn’t plan on stopping.
Dylan’s debut romantic comedy HOW SWEET IT IS (FOREVER July, 2021, paperback) is “A hilarious rom-com romp that delivers on both sweet and heat,” according to Kirkus.
When she isn’t writing, Dylan is pursuing her own happily ever after with her high school sweetheart as they split time between Florida and Upstate New York with their two daughters, and a tone-deaf cockatiel.
Dylan tells GWN’s readers about her new novel.
Interview by Denise Fleischer (Netera@aol.com #dazzlemewithbooks on Instagram)
Denise: What inspired you to move from writing the paranormal to Rom-Com?
Dylan: I’ve always read widely and in every genre, and after writing paranormal for so many years, I wanted to branch out to something new. My agent (Cori Deyoe at 3 Seas Literary) suggested I try my hand at a contemporary romance, and urged me to come up with a unique premise. Of course, with my paranormal background, I immediately thought of a horror writer hero (because who doesn’t want to read about a horror writer hero??) and the idea for HOW SWEET IT IS was born!
Denise: In “How Sweet It Is” you introduce us to Kate Sweet, who is an event planner and Drake Matthews, a bestselling horror writer. What brings these two together? Who convinces Kate to plan an extraordinary book launch? What’s the title of his latest novel and what does it focus on? Did Kate ever read one of his books?
Dylan: Kate Sweet has always wanted to win an event planning award called the EVPLEX, but she knows in order to do it, she must go out of her normal comfort zone of planning princess-style weddings. When her publicist best friend asks for Kate’s help with a book launch, Kate readily agrees…discovering later that it’s a book launch for a horror writer! Drake’s book about a web programmer gone mad, titled Halloween Hacker, is likely to be his 10th bestseller. While Kate has never read Drake’s books, she reads enough back cover blurbs and online interviews to feel confident in her pitch to the Knight of Nightmares for this launch. Little does Kate know, all of her assumptions about the horror writer are completely wrong…leading to some funny mishaps at their first meeting!
Denise: And how did the launch go? Is he plotting revenge in his next novel or is he attracted to her and hopes he can be more than a client?
Dylan: Well, I don’t want to spoil the book, but I can say that the two characters–the Knight of Nightmares and the Queen of Happily Ever Afters–are complete opposites, and we all know that opposites attract. You’ll have to dive in to find out the rest!
Denise: As they begin spending time together, what happens to her orderly lifestyle?
Dylan: It was fun to write the opposites-attract trope, as well as my hero and heroine’s forced-proximity, as they must work together to pull off this horror launch in a way that will win Kate’s award, but also be something that publicity-shy Drake is comfortable with. Kate lives by her spreadsheets and plans…yet she discovers that not even those can save her from the feelings she’s having toward her client. As a planner myself, I hate when things go awry…so you know that’s exactly what I had to do to my poor heroine!
Denise: Can there be a happy ending?
Dylan: I think that’s what life is all about: finding our happy endings. I’m a big believer in happily-ever-afters, and all of my books (be they paranormal romances, or rom-coms) end with at least a happily-for-now, if not a happily-ever-after ending. So, rest assured: Dylan Newton novels all deliver an “awwww” feeling at the end!
Denise: What did you love about writing this book?
Dylan: I’m a huge Stephen King fan, and I loosely based my hero in HOW SWEET IT IS on the famous horror writer. I enjoyed exploring the ways in which horror and romance are alike in this book, especially from the public’s perception. Both genres tend to be lumped together as ‘not serious fiction’ which I find hilarious and sad at the same time. Stephen King and I share a disdain for critics who think genre work isn’t worthy of literary attention or acclaim, because what is life about if not facing your worst fears (the theme of horror novels) and trying to find a happily ever after (the theme of romance novels)? This book is my love letter to romance and horror fans alike: I get you. And I’ve got your back.
Denise: It’s such a great idea. Did the storyline unfold easily?
Dylan: Aw, thanks so much for your kind words! After I came up with my idea for a horror writer hero, I naturally picked his opposite for a heroine. The first scene that came to me was their book research in the mausoleum, and then I crafted the most disaster-filled, cringe-worthy meet-cute I could come up with–basically, I wrote until the scene made me laugh! After those two scenes were written, I knew my characters and the rest of the book unfolded pretty easily afterwards.
Denise: Is this your first book for Forever/GCP/Hachette Books? When did you learn it was going to be published? Did you get a phone call, e-mail or letter that it had been accepted? How long was the production process?
Dylan: Yes, this is my first book with Forever/GCP/Hachette and my agent is the one who told me about the deal in a phone call…also letting me know they wanted not one book, but a series of three! It was a very exciting day, for sure! I signed my agreement with them in 2019, finished the book in 2020, and it came out July 2021.
Denise: How are you promoting it?
Dylan: I’m very blessed that my publisher is excellent at promotion and marketing, so I follow their lead in telling the world about HOW SWEET IT IS, and do my best with my social media presence. My website is www.dylannewton.com where you can find tons of extras and goodies as well as my VIP newsletter group (which I spoil with giveaways every month), and feel free to follow me on Instagram (www.instagram.com/authordylannewton) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DylanNewtonAuthor) .
Denise: Have they asked you to write another Rom-Com?
Dylan: Yes! I signed a 3-book deal with Forever/GCP/Hachette, and HOW SWEET IT IS is the first book about Drake, the oldest of the three Matthews’ brothers. Book two (which features Zander Matthews) is called ALL FIRED UP, and is in the last round of revisions, due out in the summer of 2022. I’m currently writing book three (title TBD) which features Ryker Matthews, and is due out Summer 2023. So if you enjoyed SWEET, hang on–I’ve got books about the other two Matthews’ brothers coming!