Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Author of the Week: B. Danielle Watkins

B. Danielle Watkins, Author

A&RBC: How did you become a writer?
B. Danielle: Well to be honest, I have been writing all of my life.  I remember winning an award in 4th grade for a story I created for an assignment. I have always had a very active imagination, I guess that’s contributed to growing up in the home alone sometimes you have to play by yourself, and make it interesting. I used to write plays as a child, and then gather the neighborhood kids and practice all day, and when our parents came home from work that evening we would put chairs in the yard and perform like we were on Broadway. In 2000, at the age of 15, I got a poem published in a collection along with ton of other amazing writers.  This particular project, however, I never expected or intended for it to ever be shared with the world.  The manuscript sat on my computer for three years before I even considered doing anything with it.  It was something that I did because my friends enjoyed the story, and I enjoyed their reactions.  One of my close friends from New York, who is a film writer, read it and encouraged me (well bullied me) to pursue publishing options, and I was abrasive to say the least. As Marsha Ambrosius stated in her song “Lose Myself” “I had a paralyzing fear of facing failure”. But God makes no mistakes, and it sat for three years because I had to mature before I got to this point, and now here I am, not only a writer, but a Self-Published Author.
A&RBC:  Where does your inspiration for your characters come from?
B. Danielle: *Blushing*I was in love.  I was in undergraduate down in North Carolina, I hadn’t been a Zeta for a year yet, and I had a new relationship; my first real relationship. I was so in love I didn’t know what to do with it, and I couldn’t possibly just tell him, so I started writing a fictionalized version of my feelings.  I was a college student and an active member in the sorority so my schedule prevented me from writing a lot, and then we broke up. It took me about a year to pick up and start writing again, and that’s when I started to take people in my life and make their true characters dramatic and extreme.
A&RBC: What are you hoping readers take from your book?
B. Danielle: My book is not a “Traditional Romance Novel”, this is not the happy fairy tale world people fantasize about.  If nothing else I want my readers to take the reality of the story.  Yes it is a fictional story, but the moral of the story is very real. Nothing ever goes as planned, and love will run its course with or without you.  This is a world of jealousy and envy, and if your relationship is not strong enough to endure it, it will not survive it.  This is a three part series, and that is shown across the board, this is not a fairy tale ending, in life there is pain especially when love is involved.
A&RBC: If you were to write a book about a controversial topic, what would it be?
B. Danielle: Man, that’s a good question.  I think it’s a tossup between abortion and homosexuality.
A&RBC:  Most writers have a process or method for writing their books, what is yours?
B. Danielle: I just sit down and say I am going to write today.  Now that I have two more books to push out in the next year I don’t have the kind of time not to write at least one word a day.  Sometimes I can sit down and knock out a lot of writing, and sometimes I can sit down and not write a word.  But I will sit in front of my computer and just start typing.  I have to reread a lot before I start writing just so I can ensure that the story is flowing, and the dates and times coincide. Nothing special or ritualistic just focused with some music playing in the background.
A&RBC: What is your favorite genre of books?
B. Danielle: I love African American fiction and non-fiction.  Something about our passion is amazing and to read about it is inspirational.
A&RBC: Are you an avid or occasional reader?
B. Danielle: Well, I am neither.  I am a binge reader. I can go months without ever picking up a book, or even looking at one, and then one day decide I want to read and go buy 5 books and read all five consecutively. Since I spend my spare time writing these days I haven’t read much, but there Is the occasional itch to read every now and again.
A&RBC: What are two things you want your readers to know about you?
B. Danielle: I am crazy shy.  Some people would beg to differ, because once I am comfortable I am the polar opposite, but with this book I think my humility has channeled a whole different level of shy. Let’s see what else. I am not finished yet, this is the first, but it will definitely not be the last. I have come to the conclusion that I will make writing a career and not a hobby, and I will do whatever it takes to make that a reality.  I will be someone’s favorite author with an internationally recognized catalog of works.
A&RBC: If you could interview one of your favorite authors, who would it be? Why?
B. Danielle: Toni Morrison.  I love that woman.  She writes so deep that it takes some people years to read and fully understand her works.  She is an amazing author, and her person exudes in her works.  I would want to interview her for nothing else but for the wisdom she has and to take that opportunity to learn from her.
A&RBC: What is or was your dream job?
B. Danielle: I want to be a full time writer.  I want to see my works on stage, and on film.
A&RBC: What new projects are you working on?
B. Danielle: I am currently working on three projects at the same time.  I am writing the second book in the “No Other Man; A Three Part Tragedy” series, entitled “Redeye”  I am in talks with a woman who would like me to write her story as a young child being molested in the Philippine Islands, and I am also preparing for “No Other Man” to be a stage play here in Las Vegas, NV in summer 2012.  The script is in the writing stages, and we will begin casting in the Spring.
A&RBC: Where can readers find you?
B. Danielle: Right now, the most direct way for readers to get to me is my email. Bdwatkins.mgt@gmail.com. I am an Amazon Author, and I also have a Shelfari Authors account, so if they want to contact me, I am findable and very willing to talk.  My website http://www.bdanielle.com/ will be up and running by the end of the year and then they will have direct access to me as well as my works.

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