My mother loved reading novels from Danielle Steel… It’s amazing how much power is in a name…
It all began when a tiny baby was born in South Africa. And yes, that tiny baby was me! Soon that baby grew up and began to discover the things in life which would make her completely happy.
It started in Grade 3, when my favourite subject was sport. I clearly remember my sport teacher, who was my absolute favourite teacher as a child, as he made me love sport (which is quite impossible!) Soon, my writing skills began to develop when I wrote a story which turned out to be a bit of a comedy, where the narrator would make jokes amidst telling a story about a princess (with a talking dog) and a prince. From there, my primary school life was enjoyed more thoroughly if I did two things: learnt about animals and wrote stories. More clearer memories of my early short stories are from when I was in Grade 6. My ‘first’ short story was entitled ‘One Home to Another’, and involved me having to save a jungle from destruction with the help of talking animals. I then began writing other stories. ‘Animalia’, ‘Aqua City’ and ‘Big Things Come in Small Packages’ were similar in that I wrote of myself in circumstances were animals could talk (as every child wishes!). I also wrote a story about befriending a gorilla. My short stories were also used in competitions, such as the Write4Fun competition in Grade 9 (Which can be found on this website: http://www.write4fun.net/view-entry/115790). I entered The Age Storywriting Competition a year prior with my first short story based in a historical setting. It was good story with a strong moral lesson, and up until now, it is one of the stories I have kept in mind to continue working on.
The end of Grade 6 saw the creation of many more stories, and I continued to write up until Year 9. At the young age of 15, I had written a grand total of 14 stories; 7 short stories, 3 novelettes (ranging around 10,000 – 17000 words), 3 novellas (ranging around 20,000 – 35,000 words), and 1 novel (based in Japan, 49,706 words). To this day, I’ve only continued on with 2 of those stories (one of which was the historical fiction short story initially submitted to a competition (later turning into a novelette), and the other which became my first published novel).
After 15 years of age, I took a break from writing until I graduated high school aged 18. A long break from schooling for three months before university started proved worthwhile and very special indeed, for it was in those months when I reconnected myself back to my writing, and began working on an old novella (which turned into the very same story to be my first published novel).
Writing for me has always been a part of my life, especially reading. I don’t know why, but all I know is that I have been blessed with an amazing gift I know can help people, whether it be to teach them various lessons through the story and the struggles my characters go through, or just to entertain them through a hard day.
My mother loved reading novels by Danielle Steel. When I was born, she named me Danielle. I look back now and think ‘Wow. It’s amazing how much power is in a name.’ Perhaps it was coincidental, or, perhaps it was just the way it was meant to be all along…