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!
Today we welcome a talented author who not only wrote this fabulously titled book but illustrated it as well!
Quick Plug …
‘Bullies, Bees and Brussels Sprouts’ is a story about respecting individual differences and environmental awareness.
Tell us a little about your writing journey.
From childhood I always dreamed of writing and illustrating a children’s book, but never found the right time, as I travelled overseas in my early twenties, then I married raising three children and then when my Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers she became the centre of my world for 16 years. When both my Mother and Father passed away I decided the greatest remedy for my overwhelming grief, was to write the book which had been tucked away in my imagination for so long. Issues such as needless bullying, environmental awareness, the endangerment of animals and the respect of individualism were all very important to me, so I began my animating and writing journey.
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
The greatest joy of writing fiction is crossing the threshold between reality and fantasy. My imagination is endless, it takes me everywhere, and as one of the greatest women who ever lived on this Earth quoted:- "The most beautiful world is always entered through...Imagination".
What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?
The hardest aspect of being a writer for me is ‘time’. I need to lose myself, sit alone somewhere, where I can let my imagination run free without interruption!
Writers are sometimes influenced by things that happen in their own lives. Are you?
Many challenges in my life have influenced my writing especially needless bullying which I unfortunately encountered throughout my school years as I was born with a physical anomaly which unnecessarily opened a door to children’s taunts. In as much as I had some very close friends, the years of torment never waned, and at times of loneliness I discovered my love of writing stories and drawing.
Tell us about your publications?
I have only written "Bullies, Bees and Brussels Sprouts"...so far, however contemplating two picture books at present.
What is the most surprising thing about writing/publishing you have learnt?
Surprisingly there is so much to learn in the world of writing, illustrating and publishing, regarding publicists, design, research, structure, and printers. In fact it can be daunting finding the proper channels for advice and guidance but having the support of my family, made it much easier for decision making and added help.
Other than writing what else do you love?
Growing up in a small terrace house in an inner Sydney suburb, prevented me from having animals, but animals became an important part of my children’s lives and I soon realised the truth in the quote:- "Until you love and are loved by an animal your soul remains unawakened". The unconditional love given by an animal is one to cherish. Throughout my children’s lives we’ve been surrounded by dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, birds, guinea pigs, pet mice, pet rats, even hermit crabs and an axolotl! It’s one reason why I love to draw them mainly in animation to bring out their characters.
What would your dream location for writing be?
My dream location for writing would be sitting under a willow tree beside a babbling brook.
Five words that sum you up.
I am a passionate, peaceful but playful, patient, perceptive person.