Being creatively fulfilled is something that has always been important to Daniella Rushton, a whimsical, fairy tale loving author who hails from the Leicestershire town of Ashby-De-La-Zouch.
She is the proud author of two enchanting fantasy books, which are written for young adults.
Here, she tells our editor Louise Steel about her catalyst for writing, and the inspiration behind her magical ‘Panther Tales Trilogy’…
“You’re never too old for fairytales,” says Daniella Rushton, who has recently released the second in a trilogy of books called ‘The Panther Tales’ – a magical series, which is written in the fantasy genre.
‘The Queen and the Powerful Pendant’ came out in September, and follows on from her first book ‘The Watchers and the Gifted Ones’, released in 2020. They centre on a girl called Hannah who discovers she possesses a real extraordinary imaginative gift, when she meets a magical panther called Parky…
The stories, which are directed at young adults, touch upon empowering themes such as love, kindness, patience and redemption.
However, at their heart, the message behind the books is quite simple; believe.
It’s a message which is very important to the author, and one which should be embraced wholeheartedly, she says.
“More than ever, we need to believe in ourselves and believe in each other, and that’s what the Panther Tales are all about,” explained Daniella,
“In the first story, if Hannah (the main character), doesn’t believe in the gift she’s been granted from the Great Star of the Cosmos, quite simply, her imagination will not come alive. So that’s the core theme of the story – to believe, and that’s something which is important in all areas of life I think.”
Daniella’s most recent book is set in the fictional town of ‘Ashby by the Sea,’ a destination which is inspired by her beloved hometown, in the heart of North West Leicestershire.
However, this isn’t where the idea for the original book was conceived, back in 2017.
She was actually staying at her family’s home in California when her son Bertie set her the challenge to write, and the creative ideas came pouring in like the sun which defines this glorious location.
“As soon as he said it, my mind exploded. Suddenly everything around began to inspire me. It was as though the whole world had turned into technicolour!” Daniella told Pukaar.
“I saw this big copper panther statue in a thrift store and knew that I had to have it. I also knew that a story hinged on it. I bought him home and called him Parky. That was it. He came to life just like he does in the story!”
Daniella says that the main aim of her writing is to open up her reader’s imagination and make them believe that anything is possible.
She also hopes that her story of becoming a published author, will inspire people to believe in themselves, and to explore their own creative gifts.
“If when Bertie asked me to write this book, I didn’t have the courage to believe in myself, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now,” she said.
“I want to spread that courage to others who feel as though they might want to explore the creative gifts they have, but perhaps have the doubts that we all have.
“We’re all gifted in one way or another and to me, there’s no point in having a gift and not sharing it.”
Daniella says that making the leap to becoming a published author has given her a fresh lease of life. In fact she goes as far as to say that she’s “found herself” as a result of her new creative outlet.
“When you find something that you can do well, and are comfortable in doing, then your world does open up,” she revealed. “I feel that I’ve found a place for my creativity to flourish. I feel as though I’ve fallen into place.”
Being creative is something which has always been fiercely important to Daniella. After leaving school, she attended the London College of Fashion and later, The Birmingham School of Acting, which led to a string of supporting television roles.
However, after becoming a wife and mother, her creative pursuits took a bit of a backseat.
Now the spark is alive once again, and she is relishing her new role as a creative storyteller
“I view my whole life as a creative process, whether that’s furnishing a home or hosting a dinner party. But writing has truly fulfilled me,” she said. “To own something and know I’ve put it all together myself, is an amazing feeling.
“I’m absolutely panther proud!”
Daniella is currently putting her impressive imagination to work on the third and final story in the Panther Tales trilogy.
To find out more about her work, visit: www.thepanthertales.com
By Louise Steel