This blog is about emerging author Melissa Wray and her journey into publication. It also includes some writing tips and useful links.
Melissa hopes there is enough time in her life to write all the stories she wants to write and read all the books she wants to read. Both lists are long!
Creative Kids is an Australian website with the aim to help writers promote their work. It is the brain child of emerging writer Georgie Donaghey. What started as a small possibility soon grew wings and took flight. It is a thriving, successful web site that continues to expand. Read on to learn more about this inspiring lady!
the Creative Kids Tales site born?
I had been writing for some time and
involved with different writing groups.I even ran a local branch of the CBCA for a couple of years but felt
restricted.After the birth of my third child
I had an idea for a website that offered everything an emerging children's author
needs on their journey to publication.
I searched the internet and whilst I
found sites that offered some services, I couldn’t find a site that offered
everything, especially a site for Australian emerging children’s authors.In 2011 Creative Kids Tales was born.
Creative Kids Tales assists emerging
authors all over Australia and we even have a large overseas following
too.We now average over 55,000+ hits
per month. Creative Kids Tales is a proud partner with Love2Read and has been
archived under the National Library’s Pandora Archive.
does the site offer?
One word - Everything!It’s a one stop shop for emerging children’s
authors.We have a growing list of
emerging authors and illustrators who each have a profile where they can
display their work.We have a complete
listing of children’s publishers, 4 pages of useful tips for writers,
competition and industry information and upcoming events. We have a Pitch ya
book! page for established or self-published authors to promote their
book.Our testimonials page is filled
with encouraging words from some of the biggest names in Australian children’s
you enjoy most about facilitating such a site?
Again everything!It’s hard work but I know that I’m helping to
make a difference in someone’s life.Writing is a solitary occupation and to have a network of like-minded
people is great!By providing the tools
and resources we do, it takes some of the research work away from budding
writers, freeing their time to create stories and adventures for children to
I love interviewing well known authors
and discovering new things about them.Meeting
fellow emerging authors and illustrators, swapping stories, tips and
information. Every day I learn something new about this important industry.
have some favourite writers that have been featured?
No, I love them all!Sorry, but I do.I’ve learnt something from every author I’ve
interviewed. Each one has given me a piece of advice or idea I have been able
to take and use in my own writing.
could invite ANY author to feature, who would it be and why?
A tough one!I never imagined I would have been able to interview
children’s literary royalty such as Mem Fox, Andy Griffiths and Jackie French
but I did and they were all very generous with their time and support of
Creative Kids Tales.All the authors we
have featured have been fun and taught us lots along the way.I guess two authors I would like to feature
would be Emily Rodda and Morris Gleitzman.
the most surprising thing about writing/publishing that you have learnt?
This industry is definitely full of
surprises.When I started my writing
journey I would never have imagined I would have a successful website and be
able to have my own radio show.This has
been a rewarding often scary adventure that I wouldn’t swap for anything.My dream was to be a published author. I’m
not saying that won’t happen but I’ve learnt there are so many other ways to be
involved in the industry I love.I’ve
made some remarkable friends along the way.
about the team behind the scenes (or screen!)?
just the two of us. I have a talented
husband who is my internet guru.The
first two weeks of the month I spend gathering content, interviewing people,
reading upcoming releases, writing reviews, researching the featured author of
the month and preparing their intro.I
write the ‘What’s new’ page which is a summary of the previous month and
highlights events coming up in the next month.Around the 15th of the month I send my husband the emails on
average around 30 emails.He then spends
the next two weeks uploading it to the website so on the 1st of each
month a new edition is released.My
sister designed the logo for Creative Kids Tales,
Georgie, you have
appeared as an emerging writer. Can you tell us about your own writing?
had hoped the creation of Creative Kids Tales would help promote my writing but
instead most of my free time is spent promoting other emerging authors.
still love writing, although I spend less than half the time I used to, actually
writing for me.With the website and
three young kids, plus working fulltime it’s hard, really hard.I used to write on the train to and from
work, now I spend this time reading new releases for review or writing content
for the website.I’ve decided to write
when I can and focus more on it when I’m able to change to part time work.
Can you share with
us, the Authors Shelf and tell us why it has you so excited?
I read an email from friend and
author, Deborah Abela advising to SCBWI members about a Northern Beaches radio
show.They were looking for authors or
people from the book industry to talk on air.I emailed the host, Robert Salisbury who kindly invited me in for a
chat.I was petrified and suffering from
a cold which is a great start to a radio career, although I didn’t know it was
going to turn into a career at the time.
I chatted with Robert for about 40
mins of the 60 min show and basically had a ball.
After a few weeks I contacted my local
station 2SSR 99.7FM Sound of the Shire (notice the little plug there) as I
noticed their program guide was lacking in a literature content and thought it
might be a good idea for a show.Again
at no time was I thinking I would present.Within 24 hours I received a reply loving my idea.I was invited in for a sound check, I didn’t
even get the three pieces of dialogue read before I was ‘welcomed aboard’.Three weeks later, radio and legal components
passed in their course I was well on my way.I’ve now enjoyed a fair amount of air time with my mentor, Yasemin Kemal
and have one last practical exam to pass before The Author’s Shelf goes live.
I’m excited because the show will be
an extension of the website.I’m still
working on the exact format of the show but basically I’ll be chatting with
authors, both established and emerging, discussing industry news and have the
occasional giveaway with a little music along the way.Anyone who has a computer or access to Tunein
radio will be able to listen to the show.
I blame Deb for this and have made her promise
to be the first guest on The Author’s Shelf.
Sorry did you want the long or the
your favourite author?
Hmm too many children’s authors to choose
from and many I now call friends so I don’t want to offend or forget anyone.
James Patterson is my favourite author
in the adult genre.How’s that?
had a premonition you would be stranded on a desert island, what 5 books would
you throw in your bag?
Winnie the Pooh, let’s face it with all that water visiting the 100 acre
wood would be a welcome change.
Any of the James Patterson/Alex Cross series.I’ll need to keep my brain active.
How to build a raft whilst stranded on a desert island.After all I don’t want to be on the island
1001 ways to use coconuts.I
don’t think I could live on Mary Ann’s Coconut Cream Pie everyday.
Arthur Fales (my main work in progress.I can always use more editing time)