Soon to be self-published author Danyelle Briggs inspired the women of Oglethorpe University as she announced the arrival of her first book, “A Darker Hue of You,” to be in published in January 2022. Pre-order dates start on October 31, 2021, on her website https://danyellebwrites.square.site/ and on Amazon. Danyelle is a senior with a major in Public Relations and a minor in Politics. I received the privilege of sitting down in an interview with her to talk about her new book and her experience throughout the writing process. Being a self-published author at only 21 years old is not something a lot of people her age can call themselves, and this is what caught my attention and sparked my interest to share her story. The premise of her book also captured my interest.
“Every three seconds that passes, a person goes missing in the United States. Six seconds ago, it was Bailey Ramirez. To find out the truth and keep her friends out of jail, Aleigha Emerson is forced to play a game with deadly consequences,” she said of her young adult/teen fiction and mystery/thriller novel.
“A Darker Hue of You” is told from three different perspectives all three years apart. “It is the race against past and present as three stories collide, and lives are forever changed. Time is running out, and when the clock strikes zero, Aleigha Emerson plans to remain unscathed from it all. If, she can make it through her sister’s funeral first.”
She went on to say, “I chose this plot line because after reading so many books and watching so many TV shows, this was the way the story called to me. I knew it had to be centered around women and their interactions with the people around them. I knew there had to be a heavy family aspect. This story had to be written because it’s a glimpse into the darker things that young adults have going on in their lives that we don’t share with the rest of the world.”
She shared that her friends were a big inspiration for her, and they have always been very supportive of her and her art.
“It’s loosely based on my friends and I and the things we experienced. Some of the messages and stuff in the book are real and I think that’s what makes this so cool. My friends played such an active role in this process that I couldn’t have done it without them.”
“I think I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I’ve been writing since I was old enough to know how. My mom always says I picked up a pen and I never put it down.”
Her book is about 300 pages long, and she began the process of writing it three years ago when she was still in high school.
“My biggest obstacle with this novel was editing. I didn’t touch this book for a year after I finished writing and now I can tell how old I was when I wrote a specific section. I’ve been overcoming it by realizing that I laid a good foundation but now I have to cement it.”
“I decided to write a book because I grew up on authors like Cassandra Clare and Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth who wrote these amazing strong female leads, and it gave me so much confidence.”
However, Danyelle saw that these books were missing characters who looked like her, and she noticed that these characters didn’t understand the same struggles that she faces on a day-to-day basis. Growing up, she needed but didn’t have a story with characters of color and a strong female lead in it, so she began to write one of her own that included these kinds of characters.
“I hope to give girls younger than me a sense of belonging when they read about strong women who look like them,” she said.
“It’s like the saying I have tattooed on me; to create your own reality, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Don’t ever be afraid to be yourself and step outside the box. It’s in those out of the box times that the best opportunities present themselves.”