Tell us about your writing journey. How many manuscripts and years before publication?
If there was a prize for starting things - books, hobbies, crafts, sports - then I would win, hands down. Hand me the trophy! It’s finishing them that’s the problem. I have the first few chapters of a few different projects…
I have half a book on my experience learning to ride a horse, a synopsis of a fantasy trilogy, the first chapter of a kids' book, a sketchy draft of a manuscript about my travels in Europe, the list goes on. But have I done anything with any of it? I’m afraid not.
It’s amazing what impending motherhood and the desire to not want to go back to work can do. I wrote the first draft of Of Fire & Roses in three months. Within six months it was contracted to Evernight Teen Publishing.
Can you tell us more about your life in rural SA and what you get up to when you're not writing?
There is nothing better than space. Lots and lots of space - oh, and animals! When I’m not writing, I’m probably thinking about writing, or pretending I’m not thinking about writing. I also watch my horses. Sometimes I even ride them. I live for my two girls, who I love dearly, but do on occasion wish I could donate them to charity.
You write under a pseudonym. Why so, and why did you pick the name you have?
Now there is a funny story! At least it’s funny now. I wasn’t laughing a week ago. My original pseudonym was named for a fictional place in my favourite series of books. But as I learnt only 10 days from release, some authors aren’t always happy about that! Also being stuck in an out-of-the-way place where there is no internet has made for a very interesting few days. That was how Belwater was born.
The 'Danielle' comes from a character from my favourite movie, Ever After. It’s one of those movies that always leaves me with the warm fuzzies.
Why does YA and 'new adult' appeal to you?
I struggle with the concept of growing up. I often look behind me and wonder where did the time go? What did I do with it? Did I make a difference? They are tough years to get through and I survived through my love of books and movies.
I see myself in those who would be reading my novel, and if I help even just one person get through another day, then it has all been worth it.
Finally, please tell us about your latest release!
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?
Of Fire & Roses tells the story of Nate West who is dealing with his mother’s tragic death and moves to a small out-of-the-way town with his father. Shortly after relocating, he meets Cora, whose family is cursed with pain and loss.
But loving Cora is going to take more courage and determination than Nate ever thought possible when he becomes the curse’s next target.
Find out more about the gorgeous Danielle here!