Rising YA paranormal romance author Danielle Belwater published her debut novel, Of Fire and Roses, in February this year. Fellow What If writer Reece McPherson chats to her about life, the universe and desert islands…
Reece: You’re trapped on a desert island. What three things do you wish you came armed with?
Danielle: That’s a tough one! Can I have 4? Or can I combine them? My island survival kit would comprise of, first and foremost, my nespresso machine (this is a magical island where electrical items work without being plugged in), my laptop computer and my Paperblanks notebooks with a box of Pilot VBall BG05 Gel pens. (I know that’s more than three but it’s too hard!)
Reece: You’re a published author with a young family. How do you manage it all? How do you make your books your priority amongst everything else?
Danielle: This has been one of the most difficult obstacles I’ve had to overcome. When I first started writing Of Fire & Roses, it completely took over my life. Every spare second I had was devoted to penning my manuscript. I would find myself angry at anything that took time away from my writing, including my family. I had it the wrong way round.
I have had to let the urgency go and put my family first. Whatever writing time I get after that is a bonus. I have made my peace with that and it has made life a lot less stressful.
Reece: How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?
Danielle: I have always had a fascination with the paranormal since my brother used to frighten me with ghost stories when I was five. Growing up and still today, my main coping mechanism when life gets a bit much, I find myself looking for a book or movie that I can escape into, totally immerse myself in another universe for a short time. I am just as at home amongst ghosts, witches and the supernatural as I am sitting in my lounge room.
Reece: What do you love most about being published?
Danielle: What’s not to love? I think it’s a mix of things. Being able to pick up a book in my hands and say I wrote that, I really wrote that. There is such a sense of self accomplishment that comes with that, even more so when I get a good review. To know that words I have written have entertained someone, even for a little while, is truly humbling.
Reece: What’s your advice for young men and woman of the future?
Danielle: Don’t lose sight of your goals. As you get older, life can sometimes get in the way and it is very easy to get sidetracked on a different path. You look up 40 years later and realize that you aren’t where you had expected to be or not achieved goals that were so important to you when you were younger.
Don’t let obstacles stop you. Obstacles are there to teach you how to deal with life and it is sometimes easier to quit than find a way around it. Work and work hard and you can achieve anything.
Reece: Thanks, Danielle, for sharing your time with Cheryse’s readers.
Danielle: My pleasure, Reece 🙂
Danielle Belwater adores the concept of true love and thoroughly believes everyone has their Prince Charming or Snow White out there somewhere, even if they have to fight demons, ghosts and wizards to find it.
She lives in rural South Australia with her husband, young daughters and way too many animals to mention. She spends most of her time dreaming up characters, stories, ghostly tales, and watching Firefly re-runs. She also cooks the odd meal for her family to avoid them looking like skeletons at official author functions!
Blurb to Of Fire & Roses:
Nate moves from the big city to a small, forest town with his father after his mother’s tragic death. Alone and angry, Nate feels even more isolated by his father’s inability to communicate and relate to his only son in the wake of their loss.
Nate takes to the forest in an attempt to find some peace, but instead finds a beautiful girl with flaming red hair. But before he can speak with her, she vanishes. Unsure if the girl is a vision or real he searches desperately for her.
When Nate finally meets Cora, his world is turned upside down and inside out.
Dreams of his own death plague his sleep as old, dark magic, hidden for centuries, resurfaces and has its sights clearly set on Nate.