This blog is about author Melissa Wray and her journey into publication. It also includes some book reviews, writing tips and useful links.
Melissa hopes there is enough time in her life to write all the stories she wants to write, read all the books she wants to read and enjoy all the adventures she wants to have. All lists are long!
Ava Pashley is an indie author. She was born in Sydney Australia and that’s where she lives, although one day would love to live in another country for a while.
She writes because she believe that’s who she is and it gives her great joy. She always wondered why she was different to the rest of her family of business people and law experts; when she began writing in earnest she understood why!
Ava loves the idea of exploring the world of The Storyteller in images, so she has created a page of various boards on Pinterest. A fun way to extend the novel beyond the page!
Thanks for stopping by Ava. I have a few questions for you.
Describe your book in five words or
intrigue, adventure, storytelling, equality.
the ideas for your book come to you?
I’m very into this setting and era, and
there is a lot to draw on, and be inspired by.
a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
This novel revolves
around storytelling. The characters are learning about themselves in the story,
so the reader can take whatever they’d like from their experience of the
characters. The themes of equality and compassion rate high in the novel.
Does the life of your main character parallel with yours in any way?
Without a doubt
something of the heart and soul of an author resides within each character he
or she creates and often within the story itself. Having said that, while I can
identify with several issues in Vicki’s life, including life in a large family,
there is no direct parallel to my own life.
Did you have the manuscript professionally
edited before it went to the publisher?
It’s good idea to. I find engaging beta
readers to test your story is also very useful.
Did you submit your
manuscript to many publishers before you had an offer to publish?
I’m an indie and proud to be one. I
publish under the Medicine Bow Books imprint of Tank & Ferry Entertainment
through Vivid Publishing.
did you become a writer?
I always wanted
to be a writer. Books I read as a child inspired me and made me think that
that’s what I wanted to do.
Did you have to do
much research for this book?
While The Storyteller is a romance-mystery,
it’s also historical fiction, so that always involves a great deal of research.
What would we do without the internet? I’ve travelled to the region where my
novel is set, the Medicine Bow National Forest/Sierra Madre Mountains in
southern Wyoming, which was fabulous, and researched there as well.
Can you tell
me about the main character and what you like/dislike about him/her?
In the novel Vicki
Carlisle is a courageous young writer living on a ranch in southern Wyoming who
falls for the new foreman and risks both their lives while unwittingly exposing
a dark secret in her hometown. Vicki is a woman who through the sheer
exuberance of her imagination is prone to exaggeration. Will, being a steady
young man who is realising that there is more to his life than what he's known,
simply cannot resist her.
Their journey is about being the person you need to
be, living the life you are meant to live, finding the courage and the means to
make it happen. And that might just mean not doing it all on your own as you
thought. I like Vicki’s go get ‘em attitude, her confidence and strong sense of
something that sets this book apart from others?
think anyone has told a story like this one before. Elements of it, perhaps,
but all put together, with setting and historical backdrop, I think The Storyteller is unique.
Who is your favourite
author and why?
My taste is
very eclectic. I like books, if a few happen to written by the same author then
Some writers have a preferred writing schedule.
When I’m story writing I become quite
driven, so it’s all day till it’s time to prepare dinner. Attending to family
always takes precedence though.
Do you have a favourite place to write?
To write I need
to have little distraction, but for the inspiration to write I like nature best,
followed by art. Music and songs inspire me, too, or occasionally a movie.
When did you begin your
I always wanted to write as a child and a
young adult, but it wasn’t until adulthood that life presented me with the opportunity
to begin writing in earnest.
What is your greatest joy in writing?
characters lead me through their lives. I grow to admire them for it.
the hardest part of writing for you?
Editing out a
really good piece of writing because it doesn’t work for the story anymore is
difficult and requires a firm hand. You get better at discerning whether the
good bit stays and the rest should go instead!
Then there is
wondering if I’m good enough at writing. Self-doubt is hard work.
I’ve revised my story for the twentieth time and it still needs another
revision I’m pushing up hill well and truly. That requires a lot of stamina,
and in stark contradiction to my second point, self-belief. Go figure. You
can’t give up on yourself or your story. That is the hardest part of all.
The actual writing because that’s pure
What's next for you? Are you
currently working on or have plans for future projects?
Currently, I’m working on short stories,
something I’m very keen to explore further.
Do you have any tips for writers about the
writing process or the path to publishing?
First, treat everything as a learning
experience. Secondly, read the inspirational words of other writers and famous
people who have trodden the path before you, adopt one of their never-say-die
maxims as a mantra and recite it every day. Don’t give up.
What are the
greatest obstacles you've experienced on your writing journey?
Being found by readers is the greatest obstacle. You’ve got to
push through and press on and promotion and marketing are very hard work, particularly
when you’d much rather be writing.
do you love most about writing books?
Finishing the one I’m writing, and thinking about the next. So many
projects, so little time! The whole universe is crammed with stories; it’s mind-blowing!
advice would you have for anyone wanting to write a book in your genre?
If you want to make lots of money, write in the genre where the best
sellers are. If you love a certain genre and that’s what you really feel
comfortable and authentic writing, then write that.
than writing, what else do you love?
I really love travelling. I love exploring. I love history. I like
all kinds of arty things. And vintage things and antiques.
What were you in a past life (if anything) before you became a writer?
First and foremost, always a mum. It has helped me become an author.
your perfect day.
Any day travelling with my husband is the perfect day. Any day with
him is a great day.
five words best sum you up?
I will drink
The Storyteller By Ava Pashley
power of the written word will change her town forever…
Carlisle, a young woman with ambitions that stretch far beyond the confines of
her father's prosperous ranch in the high country of southern Wyoming, writes
the adventures of her suffragette-like character Evangeline and has them
published in Quest & Quill. When Evangeline tackles two age-old taboos, all
hell breaks loose in her hometown of Feather Ridge.
simultaneous arrival of Will Harrison, a young Montana rancher who takes up the
temporary post of foreman while Vicki's father recuperates from injury,
complicates her less than simple life. In
need of a new direction after his own personal tragedy, Will finds passionate
Vicki, her five beguiling sisters, a busy ranch and becoming embroiled in the
town's upheaval much more than he bargained for.
with mystery and intrigue, The Storyteller will deposit you squarely in Feather
Ridge, a little town with a big secret, and won't let you leave until the
storyteller has spun her final web of words.
www.avapashley.com The Storyteller is available at online bookstores (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc,) as paperback and ebook