Have you heard of Daria White?
Welcome to my interview with the oh so talented Daria White! She discusses her books and difficult issues surrounding the black community. Let’s see what she has to say!
Hi Daria! Please introduce yourself and share 5 fun facts!
My name is Daria White. I am a sweet romance author, but I plan on branching out into other genres. 5 fun facts? I sometimes mimic my singing voice to sound like other singers. Love homemade popcorn. I love ice cream even when the weather is cold. I’m obsessed with old Hollywood movies. I will read a book more than once if it’s that’s good.
How did your writing journey begin?
I think I was thirteen or fourteen. I’m an introvert, so I would write things down in journals. Next thing I knew, my imagination took over. Though my degree is in healthcare management, my passion is writing.
Tell us about your published or work-in-progress books!
I have too many to count. I have a series, Bridge Point Romance, two novels, Match-Made Christmas and Wish for Love, three short stories, and my first novella, My What if Christmas Wish. Christmas Therapy is my upcoming romance novel for July, and The Wedding Report I have set for the fall. I am working on a cozy mystery series, so I have plenty of works in progress.
What is your favourite thing about writing romance?
I love showing the emotional intimacy with my characters. I love breaking down the walls around their hearts so that they allow love into their world. It’s scary, but without it, they know they’ll always live in regret and “what ifs?”
What are your favourite themes to write about?
I think with my leading ladies, I love showing their journey of confidence. Showing them to let go of their past to embrace a better future is my favourite part. I also love showing strong family dynamics. They are a great support system, so I like portraying families.
What advice can you give to aspiring writers?
You can do it. I’m not a trained writer. This comes naturally to me, but while I’m not trained, I have learned along the way by getting into writer groups, taking a writing class, and reading to learn from the best. If writers want this, it’s possible. Keep working hard. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
Have you used your writing to discuss issues of racism?
No. I don’t make race an issue since my parents taught me to see people past their color. Since it’s who I am, I reflect that attitude in my books. Readers will find my characters have strong relationships due to them finding common ground and building from there. They’re one big family, but I may tap into the subject some more. How so? I have a few concepts in mind. I may publish some short stories that reflect racism and the negative side of it, but I still want to show what can happen when we find common ground. They may even be short novellas.
Being a black woman and an author, what do wish to share with everyone about the experiences of discrimination you have faced?
As a Black woman I have felt prejudged. As soon as someone looks at me, the change in their demeanor says it all. I know the look too well. It’s not until they get to know me, and that’s if they want to, a light bulb goes off. It’s as if they realize, “we have more in common than I thought.” I know that not all whites believe this way. I’ve even had some say, “I can’t imagine what you’re feeling.” My response, “I wish I couldn’t.”
I’ve learned to adjust in any environment, regardless if I’m the only Black. While I show respect to others, it doesn’t mean I’ll receive it. I’ve been singled out in school. I’ve been misunderstood because of cultural differences. Bullied. Followed in certain places. I’ve even been called the N-word. The person claimed to be joking, but I didn’t take it that way. I try not to assume the worst. I don’t like pulling the race card. Give the benefit of the doubt, but the truth is, racism is still alive. It never died.
What do I want from all of this?
Understanding, not sympathy. Instead of talking to me, most non-Blacks don’t care. They won’t look beyond the surface. I’m not trying to be friends with everyone. That’s not possible, but I don’t think human decency is difficult to give. If the only problem people have with me is my skin color, I don’t know what to tell them. I can’t change that. If I could, I still wouldn’t. The color of my skin is a gift and so is theirs. We’re all human.
As a Black writer, I feel like I have to work twice as hard for credibility. No, I’m not an expert. Like any beginner, I’ve come a long way from my first novels. I know there are some who won’t read my work because of preference, but others won’t because Black characters are on the cover. Or they see my author profile picture. I push through knowing there are those who will read no matter who the author is, but I’ve felt as if I’m at a disadvantage sometimes because I’m not a white writer.
Some may argue against this…
But on average, how many whites regularly read books by Black authors? How many non-Black publishers or agents have written, “didn’t connect with it” or “not realistic,” because of cultural references inside the book? Is that fair? Whose standard are we going by? Is there someone on staff that can relate?
I’ll read a book regardless of a person’s color. The characters don’t have to be Black for me to enjoy a great story. This is not always reciprocated. Non-Blacks reading something by me or another Black author? Rare. Now I know I have fans that are not Black, so I appreciate those that take a chance on me. It gives me hope for more.
Let’s talk about the characters you write and your favourite qualities about them!
I think my favourite is their resilience and how they refuse to settle. No matter what obstacles they face, they never give up. Another is showing their sense of humor. I love writing dialogue, so banters between characters show a fun side to them. It’s another way to break down barriers.
What have been your biggest wins in your writing career?
Starting my podcast over a year ago. It’s expanded my platform and now I have listeners worldwide. I’ve also joined the writing community on social media, so I’ve built friendships with more writers.
What are the greatest challenges for you as a writer?
I think earning credibility as an indie author. They have stereotyped indies for not being professional. We’re changing that every day. I work hard to put my best work out there with the resources I have. I still make mistakes, but I won’t give up.
How have the recent social issues involving racism affected you and your writing?
It’s taken a serious toll on my emotions. I can’t speak for the entire Black community, but it has been an emotional roller coaster. Anger. Hurt. Disappointment. Frustration. I can’t even name everything I have felt. Sadly, it’s nothing new, and I’ve been triggered recalling my own experiences. I’m grateful for my Christian faith, so I’m not hopeless. I have support from family and friends, but it’s a challenge.
What’s interesting is that it’s had a positive influence on my writing. I’m more determined now than ever to write stories that have Black characters in leading roles. In my genre alone, sweet romance stories and novels with us in the lead are slim. I’m one of the few in my category writing them. I feel lost in the shuffle sometimes in an industry that’s predominantly white, but it pushes me to keep going. I decided a long time ago to be a part of the change. I’m committed to the work.
What are your future plans for yourself and your career?
I haven’t figured out everything I want for myself, but I want my writing career to be my key source of income. If one of my stories was turned into a film, I’d love it! I don’t think things in our world will ever be back to normal because of the pandemic, but traveling is on the list.
Any last thoughts to share with Daria White readers about you and your books?
On my podcast Writer in the Making, I have an episode called “Let’s Meet at the Bridge.” I was at a loss for words for about two weeks before recording that episode. All I say is, can we meet at the bridge? Can we get to know each other and see people for who we are? With over seven billion people on the planet, I don’t expect to agree and get along with everyone, but there’s nothing wrong with showing kindness. The truth is never easy, but we have to face it. It’s been brushed under the rug too long. It’s been rationalized. Even if you haven’t experienced it, it doesn’t mean it’s not real. I say let’s work together. We’re all the same inside.
As far as my books, I plan on writing more stories. It may range from sweet romance to cozy mystery. I see nothing wrong with writing what interests me. I work to get better every day as an author, so I hope readers won’t hesitate to give my books a try. As I mentioned before, my upcoming release is Christmas Therapy for Christmas in July. For more information, readers can go to www.dariawhite.com. There they can find where my work is available and subscribe to my newsletter. Thank you for the opportunity Kirsten!
Thank you so much Daria White for talking about your empowering characters and personal experiences with racism. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for the writing community! Stay in touch with Daria on her website, Twitter, and Instagram, and check out her books Christmas Therapy, Christmas Connection (Bridge Point Romance, #1), and Wish For Love.
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