Hi everyone! We’re into day 6 of the 31 Days, 31 Authors event and the featured author is Danielle Burton! To some readers, she may be new to the literature scene, but she has already made a name for herself with several releases on the site, Wattpad. One of those stories, Excuse Me, First Love, was recently released on Amazon. She is definitely an author to follow in the new year.
Now, here’s Danielle!! 🙂
Danielle Burton is a native Detroiter and multi-genre novelist with deep appreciation for Black love. She’s penned several novels, a few available online, but Excuse Me, First Love is the first on her publishing journey. She has a knack for creating complex characters and then getting them into plenty of trouble. From sweet and heartwarming, sexy and scandalous, to dark and twisty, Danielle’s stories have a way of reaching down into your soul and evoking each and every emotion you have stored there.
Aside from her writing, Danielle is a self-taught graphic design artist and African culture enthusiast. She resides in Michigan with her beautiful, but troublesome toddler and her loving husband, though she has plans which involve world travel.
An early version of her debut novel ‘Excuse Me, First Love’ garnered more than 1.8 million reads online in just a few short months and is winner of the Wattpad Hot New Adult Romance Award.
Reading is my first love, but writing is the love of my life.
1. Besides writing, what else do you like to do?
I’m a very crafty person and I love learning new ones. I crotchet, do origami, make beaded jewelry. I also love designing book covers. I design all of my own as well as design for other authors, indies specifically. And of course I READ. It’s how I fell in love with writing.
2. What inspired you to become an author?
Reading! As a teen, I read vicariously. My mom, sisters, and I would visit the library all the time and I’d always leave with at least 20 books, 25 was the limit. What made me fall in love with it was when I read my first horror book by a black author. I was astounded because until ten I didn’t know such a thing existed. I soon realized there wasn’t nearly enough of it and that inspired me to start creating my own stories. I write romance now but horror, paranormal and basically anything otherworldly is still my first love. I write those genres under a different pen name and will be publishing soon.
3. What was your first reaction when your debut novel was published?
Nervous. I was afraid no one would like it and that I would get horrible reviews. But then as the sales and reviews started rolling in I was overjoyed, proud of myself and I felt very accomplished.
4. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
As an author, I’d like to have grown my audience tremendously and begin to buid upon my other pen names. (I have 2) I’d love to get to the point where marketing is no longer necessary and my work sells itself. A best seller list or two also wouldn’t hurt.
5. What advice can you give to anyone who wants to become an author?
Be your own biggest fan. Not everyone is going to like your work and that’s okay. Don’t let it break you. Also, you’re not alone. A lot of veteran authors don’t like to help noobs but there are plenty who will, I’m one of them.
Write for you and no one else. If you love it, your readers will too. Don’t try to keep up with trends, they are ever changing and they eventually die.
Last, write because you love it, not for the potential money, because if the money doesn’t come, you’ll get deterred, maybe give up. If you write for the joy it brings to you and readers, the money is just an extra incentive.
Excerpt from Excuse Me, First Love
“Soooo, we’re just gonna pretend you’ve never been in love with her?”
I could’ve kicked myself for sharing that information with him. Shortly before Gabi’s departure I’d confided in him about my feelings for her. We were just kids, but I knew I wanted to be her first, her last, her forever. She was my everything and I’d had every intention of telling her that. She’d beaten me to the punch when she’d come to me crying yet again. Two weeks later she was gone.
But now she was back and being in her presence caused those old feelings to surge forth. Try as I might, I hadn’t been able to shake off the moment with her in my bedroom all week. Having her in my arms, so close, the sweet scent of her perfume and her soft lips on my cheek–memories came floating back. Ones I thought were dead and buried. Along with them came the reminder of the feeling of her being gone. A pain so excruciating I wanted to rip out my own heart. A pain I knew she shared.
Sure I’d thought about the prospect of us being…us, but the same fears that kept me from acting back then weighed down on me. She was my friend. My best friend. Taking it there could ruin things quick, fast, and in a hurry. So even if I wanted to…No.
For all I knew her leaving right before I confessed my feelings could’ve been a sign. Our friendship was meant to be only that, a friendship.
“Your silence speaks volumes.”
I glanced at Benji and shook my head. “That was a long time ago. Things change.”
“You know, I might believe that, if you weren’t always staring at her.”
“What? I don’t stare at Gabi.”
“Whatever, just run.” I put my earbud back in, and two seconds later he snatched it out again.
“How can you not know you’re in love with someone?”
I wondered if I tripped him if he’d fall and bite off his tongue. Maybe then he’d stop asking me dumb questions. “Simple, because I’m not.” I faced forward and tried to ignore his stupid grin.
“Yeah, keep lying to yourself…JJ.”
Win Danielle’s Excuse Me, First Love, as well as book from each featured author through the 31 Days, 31 Authors Giveaway! Click on the Rafflecopter link to enter: