Donnell Watts didn’t let the tragic events in his life cripple him. Instead, the Maryland native used them as a motivating tool to accomplish a goal.
In 2007, Watts’ 18 and 20-year-old nephews, both of whom he was close with, were killed. Watts and his wife Celestine, grieved their loss but used the time to become closer in their marriage. It was from that unfortunate event that prompted Watts, a U.S. mail handler, to write his first novel “Destiny Deferred-A Love Story.”
During the year it took him to complete the novel, Watts, 56, said he spent a lot of restless nights juggling writing his book and still working fulltime at the post office. But completing his novel was something he knew he had to do.
“God just put it on my heart to write a book,” Watts said. “In the beginning, I went home, talked to my wife, and I went downstairs in my basement and wrote the first three pages. When she read them, she gave me confirmation that this is what I must do, so that’s how the book was born.”
Watts, who dabbled in poetry, said the 220-page, 10-chapter novel is his first. The main characters, David and Tamara’s 23-year romance, begin in a fictions high school located in the inner city of Baltimore, which isn’t too far off from his own love story.
“We have been married for 33 years and have a wonderful marriage,” he said. “But there’s a lot of ups and down, so we thought that in the book we could write about some of the teachable moments that we have learned in our marriage, some of the good things and some of the bad things,” Watts said.
Watts said the book will help everyone no matter what stage of their relationship they’re in. But advises that spouses need to take time with one another and practice forgiveness in order to have a successful marriage.
“You have to learn how to be married,” Watts said. “There’s a huge learning curve. Feelings are well and good, but you have to do love, not just be in love. My wife and I, we try to out do each other in kindness, but no matter what, we always put God first.”
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