As jotting down thoughts in her notebook that she kept hidden underneath her mattress has become a memory of her past, Danielle Dominique never imaged that little spiral notebook would bring her this far. But she’s just getting started. Motivated by love and her ability to create stories at the drop of a dime, Danielle Dominique is becoming known for her hidden talent in writing. As her novel and series, both titled In Love There’s War, is creating a frenzy amongst her followers, Danielle calls it destiny as she effortlessly adjusts to her new position as a director, producer and screenwriter. With a full cast, two beautiful daughters and a fan base that grows by the minute, this soon-to-be Hollywood favorite has a lot on her plate. Most women would panic with a plate as full as hers, but Danielle handles it well as she walks in her purpose.
The introduction of In Love There’s War is just a warmup for this talent mogul. Her first novel is only the beginning of a trilogy she’s looking to completely release by the summer of 2017. As this summer will bring the release of In Love There’s War II: The Reign of Temptation, the premiere of In Love There’s War: Season II will shortly follow as the war of love continues. Danielle has a laundry list of plans to continue showcasing her talent once the production of In Love There’s War is complete. We got a chance to get more information from her in an exclusive interview found below.
Q & A
Q: Danielle Dominique. That name rings bells. It sounds like someone fierce and famous. Is that your real name or a stage name that you created as an alter ego?
A: That’s actually my real name. My mother named me Danielle Dominique Nelson. My first name came from a character played on General Hospital and my middle name came from a nighttime show called Dynasty. When I was young, I didn’t like my first name that much. I thought it was bland; too simple. I wanted something more unique. Of course, over time I grew to love it. Especially once I combined my first and middle name for entertainment purposes. I love it now! It rings a bell to me, too!
Q: Your bio says you’ve been writing since you were young. You started out with poetry and then ended up writing novels. How did that happen?
A: When I was young, poetry was my outlet for things I had experienced with old boyfriends, friends, family and life in general. Anytime my feelings got overly hurt from a breakup or an argument, I used poetry to release it. It was like my therapy. It was my way of telling my side of the story through words. Then, one day, I started realizing I was a story teller just like my father. I would create the craziest stories just to make people laugh and they would believe me. Eventually it became a high and I purposely created stories just to see people’s reactions. It wasn’t until I experienced this one specific heartbreak that I started writing stories. I was so hurt and I needed to write about it but I didn’t have time to find words that rhymed, so I wrote it as if I was telling someone else. When I re-read it, I realized how good of a story it was, so I kept going. I created more characters, scenarios, locations and so on. Now, here I am, writing stories.
Q: It seems like you went from writing novels to filming in the same breath, how did that happen?
A: That’s a good question because actually, I did. Screenwriting was always my dream career. I loved writing but I wanted to see it come to life through film. Before I decided to write my first novel, I reached out to a friend of mine that’s in the film industry for advice. I told him that I wanted to write a series that would also be a book, but I didn’t know which one I should do first. He told me to write the book first, then attempt to turn it into a series. He went on to explain how depending on my book’s success, a network might pick it up and produce the series. However, my impatient self decided I wasn’t going to wait on a network to pick me up; I was going to do it myself and pick the network. That’s exactly what I’m doing.
Q: Tell me about the creation of In Love There’s War. What made you write such a touching love story?
A: Love made me write it. A lot of times people are at war with love. Whether it’s fighting to stay in love, fighting to find love, fighting to end love, or fighting to get the love you lost back. For me, In Love There’s War was my way of showing those different levels of love. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it to go beyond one book or one season, but I’m not complaining.
Q: I see In Love There’s War is really taking off, how does that make you feel?
A: It makes me feel great to know something I thought was an imperfection is such a talent. I use to think these stories playing in my mind were signs of bipolar or schizophrenic disease, but now I know it’s a gift so I’m happy. Sometimes it seems so surreal to see so many people admiring my work, but it is truly a blessing and I’m so grateful to God for this talent and opportunity.
Q: Jada and Chase seem to have everyone at the edge of their seats waiting to see what they do next. What can we expect from Jada and Chase in the next season?
A: You know Jada and Chase are going to send everyone through a rollercoaster of emotions, which is exactly what you can expect from them in the next season. They’re going to find love, lose love, think they have it all figured out, and surprise you with the complete opposite. It’s going to be a rough one for them and the audience, but it’s going to be even better than the first season.
Q: I’m sure everyone that watches your show has a favorite character. They’re all amazing and have a uniqueness about them that contributes to the show. How did you create your characters?
A: I promised not to disclose names, but some of my characters are generated from close friends, family and people I’ve known over the years. When I say “generated”, I mean their personalities, not their situations. For instance, Nicole’s character is a reflection of my sister. She’s funny, vibrant, stylish, and the one that tells it like it is. She doesn’t sugar coat anything for anyone. She can be cut throat but she loves hard. Nicole is also my sister’s middle name.
Q: When scrolling through your Instagram, you have some great footage and photos of your cast on and off set. It seems like you all have a great time together. How is it working with such a large cast?
A: It’s definitely a different experience. Especially because this is my first time directing a film, so having a large cast makes it a little harder to get accustom to my new role. I’m learning how to deal with the different schedules, personalities, attitudes and opinions. Other than that, we’re like family. We have so much fun on set with each other. It’s never a dull moment with them. I can’t wait to for this to be my full-time job.
Q: Who do you admire in the industry?
A: In the film industry, I would say Tyler Perry, Shonda Rhymes, Mara Brock-Akil, Lee Daniels and Gina Prince-Bythewood. As far as authors are concerned, I love Stephanie Meyer, J. K. Rowling, Terry McMillan and Sister Souljah.
Q: I know In Love There’s War is only the beginning for you. What’s next for Danielle Dominique
A: Well, I’ve started some ghostwriting projects that I’m extremely excited about. I’m working on another series and two movies that I’m looking to add to my collection. Not to mention the many manuscripts I have sitting in my hard drive waiting to be published. So, I have a lot coming down the pipeline. It’s just a matter of time.