This blog is about emerging author Melissa Wray and her journey into publication. It also includes great writing tips, useful links and guest author interviews with occasional giveaways.
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!
Today we welcome the lovely and friendly, Andrea Grigg, who will share some of her highly successful writing journey. Andrea lives on the beautiful Gold Coast, QLD Australia. Andrea has just released her new novel, Being Pretty through Rhiza Press who are currently running a competition to WIN a copy of Andrea's new book. Follow the LINK to enter!
I didn’t start writing until 2008. I’d had an idea gathering momentum for about 3 years and then I just had to write it down. By the time I’d completed the first chapter, I was hooked. I didn’t care if I didn’t get published – I just wanted to see if I could actually write a whole book. I emailed it to several friends and after their enthusiastic and positive comments I started taking my new hobby more seriously. A short four years after I’d typed ‘Chapter One’ I was holding a printed copy in my hands. Pretty cool!
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
The way the characters take over my story and make it theirs. Seriously. There’s nothing more thrilling than having dialogue hi-jacked by a character because he/she knows best what they want to say, not me J
What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?
I don’t think I’m alone when I say this – marketing. I love talking about my books and I’m a social being, but I’m not a natural salesperson. Cold selling is not my thing but at times it has to be done.
Writers are sometimes influenced by things that happen in their own lives. Are you?
Most definitely. We all write from our own core world-view, something that is shaped from very early on, as Valerie Parv once explained at a workshop I attended at the Queensland Writers Centre. God is a big part of my life, has been for years, so my books have a Christian bent.
I’m also ‘influenced’ by conversations I overhear. Sometimes they just sneak onto a page …friends and family have been warned!
Tell us about your publications?
My first book, ‘A Simple Mistake’ was published in 2012. It’s about high school sweethearts who meet again after 10 years only to find much has changed. Nick is now a famous celebrity and Lainey is the girl he left behind. After discovering what kept them apart for so long, they tentatively rekindle their past romance. The feelings are just as strong as before but can Lainey accept Nick’s lack of faith? And can their new relationship survive Lainey’s secret?
‘Too Pretty’, released August 2104, is about Ellie Paxton, a young woman who has endured more than her fair share of criticism – just because she’s beautiful. Frustrated by a string of empty relationships, she makes a promise not to date for six months with the intention of allowing God to fill up the empty spaces rather than a boyfriend. Ten minutes later she meets Nathaniel. He’s determined to avoid a relationship too for reasons for reasons of his own. But there’s a whole lot of chemistry going on and then their paths just keep on crossing.
What is the most surprising thing about writing/publishing you have learnt?
How real my characters have become to me. Ask me anything about them and I can tell you. I’m also surprised at how they have a mind of their own – they get quite bossy sometimes!
Top tip/s for writers.
Read loads of books in the genre you plan to write in; doing that gives you a good feel for it
Be prepared to edit, edit, edit
Go to workshops, writers’ groups and research the craft online. There’s always something to learn.
Other than writing what else do you love?
Family dinner nights with our three adult children and their significant others, reading, listening to music, watching movies, having coffee with friends.
If you had a premonition you would be stranded on a desert island what 5 books would you take?