Hi Danielle and welcome to A Passion for Romance !
o Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I always find this one of the most difficult questions of all. Who am I? Like a lot of people I struggle talking about myself. When I’m not writing, I’m spending time with my family or decorating cakes. I love being creative in a totally different media.
o When did you start writing and were you always interested in being a published author?
I have always written in some form from a very early age. I wrote little stories as a kid in school, then wrote poetry as a teenager to deal with all that angsty teenager stuff. From as early as I can remember I had wanted to be a published author. But the task had always seemed too great. I didn’t know where to start or how to write a novel. It wasn’t until I made some friends who were authors who helped to guide me in how to write and prepare a manuscript that I thought my lifelong dream may just become a reality.
o What do you think is or has been the hardest part of getting published?
For me? It would have to be self doubt. One of the things that always held me back was my negative inner dialogue. Nothing was ever good enough so to actually submit my writing to a publisher was probably one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever had to do. Even now, I close my eyes and cringe when someone tells me they are reading my books!
o What inspires you to write?
I don’t know that I’m inspired to write, more compelled to. Having an overactive imagination I’ve always got stories, characters, ideas running around and around in my head. The only way to make the voices stop is to write their story. I also find it incredibly therapeutic. Having suffered anxiety for a long time, it gives me relief and a way to express myself in a non-threatening environment.
o Do you plot out your stories or just wing it?
Both. I try to have an idea where the story is going and how it is going to end, but as to how my characters get there, well, I don’t generally know that until they tell me!
o What drew you to writing YA ? Would you or have you tried any different genre?
Maybe one day I’ll try something different, but for now, I love the genre. I think having issues in my teen years with bullying and fitting in, it is a way to create a different outcome (after a few ups and downs of course). I also struggle with growing up myself, so writing this genre keeps me young at heart. Lastly, I want to inspire young adults to write themselves. I get so excited to hear from my readers who are wanting to write and always love speaking with them about how they can achieve their writing goals.
o Do you have a favorite scene in this book? If so, could you share an excerpt with us?
One of my favourite scenes is where Cora is discovering her power and experimenting late one night when Nate discovers her. It shows not only Cora’s vulnerability but Nate’s unwavering faith in her no matter the situation.
“Shh.” Cora opened her eyes and squinted, focusing all her attention on the air above her hands. The shimmering glow had returned. Her veins darkened, resembling roads on a map. A wisp of silver smoke curled upward, forming a small cloud, swirling an inch above the cup. Tiny crystals had formed at the base of the mug and blossomed over the entire cup leaving it coated in a thin icy white film. I shook my head and blinked. Cora took her fingers away from the cup and shoved her hands back into the relative safety of her lap.
Cora nodded toward the object on the table, giving me the okay. I reached out and touched it. It clinked and steam no longer rose from its contents. I wrapped my fingers around the outside and picked it up. The freezing cold shocked me and the mug fell from my hands and onto the table with a loud clunk. The coffee had frozen into a solid block. I tapped the surface. Yep, coffee popsicle.
“How did you do that?” I picked it up again and looked at it from every angle. Cora put her hands on the table and shrugged.
“I’ve no idea.”
“Does this have anything to do with the dreams you’ve been having?” The memory of Cora sitting on the floor, clutching her arm came back to me. She claimed it had been a dream. I wasn’t convinced.
“I don’t know.” Cora looked away but I didn’t miss the pink flush rise in her cheeks.
I leaned toward her, picking up her hands between my own and breathed warm air into them. They were frozen.
“What’s going on, Cora? Talk to me.” I pleaded. She lifted her head but didn’t speak. “Cora, this is me. Do you seriously think that little of me? That I would judge you?”
The muscles in her jaw tightened and she flinched. “No, that’s not… No. Ugh.” She diverted her gaze to a drop of spilled coffee on the table. I cupped her chin in my hand and turned her face toward mine, making sure she couldn’t look away.
“Cora. I’ve just watched you take iced coffee to a whole new level, and while the notion of instant iced beverages excites me I think there is perhaps something a little bit deeper going on.”
The tightness in Cora’s face eased and she released her bottom lip from between her teeth and it went from white to a kissable rose pink. I couldn’t resist and brought my lips to hers but got a mouthful of hair instead.
“Don’t.” I turned her head back to face me. This time when I kissed her, she didn’t pull away. “Tell me.”
“I don’t know where to start.”
“Try the beginning.” I squeezed her hand.
After a minute of silence she finally spoke. “At first, I couldn’t control it. Stuff would just, you know, happen. If I was upset or angry. Now I can make things change on purpose.” She blew out the breath she had been holding as if she’d just confessed to grand theft auto.
“See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?” I couldn’t let her see my amazement at what she’d done. She was clearly having a hard enough time dealing with this as it was.
“I just don’t understand why you didn’t think you could talk to me about it.” Cora avoided making eye contact with me, instead, scratching at her cuticles.
“Is there something wrong with me?”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“There is absolutely, positively nothing wrong with you.” She could grow another head and I’d still think she was the most beautiful person I’d ever seen. “Granted, some answers would be nice, but I have no doubt that you are now, and will always be, perfect.”
o Do you have any other stories in the works?
I’ve always got stories in the works. I’m currently writing Book 3 in the Erlanis Chronicles, which continues the story of Nate and Cora but the focus shifts and things go in an unexpected direction. I’m also writing a novel called “Let Her Go” which is a ghost love story based in Japanese mythology.
o How does your family feel about your writing?
My family are very proud of me. There are times when they wonder why I put myself through the stress (and there are stressful times, it’s not all high fives and hours peacefully in front of a computer), and it probably took until my first book was published for them to see how serious I was. (I’d spent years saying I was going to do this and going to that… but never following through with anything. It had become a running joke. But now they take my writing very seriously and can see how passionate and dedicated I am to creating my stories.
o When you aren’t writing, what do you do for fun?
When I’m not writing, I’m decorating cakes. There is nothing like modeling something out of nothing and creating beautiful works of art. Kind of like creating a book, only in 3D.
I also love taking my girls to the Monarto Open Plains Zoo near where we live and seeing the rhinoceros.
OF BLOOD & Snow
(Erlanis Chronicles, 2)
by Danielle Belwater
Evernight Teen Publishing/63K
Blood is thicker than water, or so the story goes…
As fast as Cora can run, there is no escaping the blood that ties her to an ancient, evil past.
Amongst the bitter cold and driving snow, Nate must find a way to protect the love of his life, before the darkness falls and Cora is lost to him forever.
14+ due to adult situations
Why? Why did I need to go home? Other than for shelter, no one needed me there. Nate was all I had left. He was my reason for breathing and now the sole reason I got up every morning. The thought of harm coming to Nate made my heart hammer in my chest even harder. I jammed my hands deep into my coat pockets and focused on letting oxygen flow into my lungs.
In a single moment of clarity, I knew. I mean, I knew I loved Nate; that was without question. But if I didn’t have him in my life, it would be nothing but vacuous space.
I brushed snow off the fallen tree trunk and sat down. My thinking tree. Nate and I came here often to sit and talk, read, or watch the day simply pass us by. I piled up handful after handful of snow, heaping them on top of each other until a small avalanche rolled off the log and into a heap on the ground.
You are the key.
I leapt off the log landing two feet together, crushing the peak of snow beneath my shoes.
“Who’s there?” I shoved my fists into my hips and squared my shoulders. If there was someone there, they didn’t know who they were messing with.
The rustling of leaves came from above and a sprinkling of disturbed snow flittered down in front of my face. The flapping of beating wings and the call of a solitary bird echoed overhead. I caught sight of white feathers tipped with black before they disappeared above the trees and out of sight.
“Is anyone there?” I called out again, but I had a feeling I wouldn’t get a response.
The softness of the voice rolled around my head as I lingered amongst the tall trees on my way back home.
I am the key. The answer is within my blood. What did that mean?
About the Author:
Danielle Belwater adores the concept of true love and that everyone has their Prince Charming or Snow White out there somewhere, even if they have to fight demons, ghosts, and wizards to find it.
Danielle has been having a love affair with words since she was young and in primary school, writing some rather imaginative tales. This love has followed her into adulthood.
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!
Danielle is passionate about reading and her interests include pretty much anything with words from rolling four volume epics to the daily newspaper.
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