Saturday, February 22, 2014

Talking with author Danielle Belwater

Have you always wanted to be an author?

My Mum often says I was born clutching a book.  As soon as my little fingers could grasp a pencil I was writing.  My bookshelf has notebooks filled with the angsty poems of my teenage years and stories I wrote as a 7 year old at primary school.  Recently, my parents dug out the first story I wrote them when I was about 5, complete with stick figure illustrations. It’s one of my most prized possessions.

Are you a plotter or a punster or combo of both? And you explain the difference?

Before starting “Of Fire & Roses” I would have told you I’m a plotter through and through. But with writing my first full manuscript I discovered the liberating freedom of ‘pantsing’.  I think my characters were a bit relieved too! They aren’t as obsessed with planning as I am.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?

I’m not allowed to drink Coke Zero and write at the same time. (This has resulted in me having to replace my laptop due to a major spill).

Can you please tell us about your latest book(s)?

“Of Fire & Roses” tells the story of Nate West. As he struggles with his mother’s death, his father sinks deeper into depression and moves him to a tiny village in the middle of nowhere. Angry and frustrated, Nate loses himself in safety of the dark forest, where he meets the flame haired Cora. 

But loving Cora is going to take more courage and determination than Nate ever thought possible and must cheat death in order to save the people he loves and himself.

How did you come with the idea for this story?

Music speaks to me. For “Of Fire & Roses” I was listening to Never Let Me Go by Florence + The Machine. The haunting music and dark lyrics are a lament to heartbreak so cruel that only death can bring release.  I thought to myself, what if love can defy death?

Can you share with us your current work(s) in progress?

I have started working on Book 2 of the Erlanis Chronicles which takes place six months after the end of book 1. I can’t say too much without giving it away!

The other project I am really excited about is a book based in Japanese mythology. It is the story of Michio Hunter, who, after a traumatic event travels to Japan to stay with relatives and hopefully find himself again. He meets Reika, the ghost of a Japanese girl who is trapped between worlds. Michio must go to the Underworld and pass the trials to be able to rescue Reika’s soul.  Michio falls in love with Reika but how do you love a ghost?

Who is the one author that you would love to meet someday and why?

Juliet Marillier is one author I have admired for many years. Her Daughter of the Forest series of books were gifted to me before I left for Europe about 8 years ago and they kept me warm on many a cold English winter night. Her stories are full of such beautiful imagery and you are so drawn in, you would swear that the place and characters were as real as you and I. You want to cry when Juliet’s characters cry, you want to visit her stunning locations. You become totally immersed in her world and I often struggle to leave the book behind once I’ve finished reading so tend to go back and read them time and time again.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” Is one of my all time favourite movie quotes from Finding Nemo.  I’ve changed it just a fraction, “Just keep writing, just keep writing…”

If you have an idea, then anything is possible. I’m living proof.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?

To have a book published has been number 1 for many years! So now that’s about to be achieved I will have to work on something else!  My bucket list is something that has been a work in progress for 10 years and I’ve done a few things, others need some attention. But I think for my next trick, I’ll be an extra in a movie!

What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for?

I have Burial Rites by Hannah Kent sitting on my Kindle taunting me. It’s one of those books I just can’t wait to read but want to give myself the time it deserves to read it slowly and be immersed in the haunting tale.

What is one book everyone should read before they die?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. One of the funniest and greatest books ever. How could it not be, it gave us the answer to the meaning of life.

What is your favorite time of year & why?

I love Winter.  When it’s cold, you can always add layers. When it’s hot, there’s only so much clothing you can take off before causing a scene.

Who is your Celebrity crush?  And what would you do if you ever meet them?

People drool all over Ryan Gosling – meh, Johnny Depp – yeah, he’s okay. George Clooney – just don’t see it.  But Henry Cavill has to be the most droolworthy piece of manflesh I have ever set eyes on. If I were to meet him… hmm, hopefully I wouldn’t pass out during the encounter, but if I did remain conscious, I’d have to ask him to put on the Superman suit.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just thanks for having me on your blog, I’m just so excited to be able to share my first ever novel with the world, I truly hope that readers enjoy it.  It has been a labour of love and I hope that this is the first of many.  I want readers to be able to lose themselves and escape real life, even if it’s just for an hour or two.

Of Fire and Roses

Erlanis Chronicles #1 

Evernight Teen

Add to your Goodreads shelf

Nate West’s mother is dead, his dad a lost cause. Anger has become a way of life, until he meets and falls in love with Cora Ewell. But Cora has a secret, one that could kill them both.

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.

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!    

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