Saturday, November 9, 2013





1         Please tell us a little about your background;

       A:   I am the mother of two beautiful kids who keep me very entertained.  I am a passionate primary school teacher who loves teaching.  I am a reader from way back and will cook tea with a  book in my hand if the storyline is too gripping to put down.  I am a glass half type of person and try to always look for the positives in life.

2    Have you always enjoyed writing?  Please tell us a little about your writing journey?

          A:    I was a closet writer for a long time.  Even my closest friends didn't know of my hobby!  Then with the publication of 'Destiny Road' my writing became a bit more public.  It has now become a daily ritual I love.

3        How many books have you had published?

           A:      'Destiny Road' is my first and only published novel so far.  I have features in some other publications as part of a collective of authors.  I have also won some prizes in writing competitions.

4        Do you base your writing on personal experience?  Or is it pure imagination and creativity?

          A:      I made the same choice Jessica makes in 'Destiny Road'.  I chose to go and live with my dad for the first time when I was sixteen and had to live with that decision.  Unlike Jessica I had known him my entire life but my parents divorced when I was very young.  My dad died several years ago.  It always haunted me that I never told him how grateful I was that he agreed to let me live with him all those years ago.  I dedicated 'Destiny Road' to his memory.  With the publication I feel like I have said thank you, so hopefully he knows.

5        How hard was it to find an agent and/or publisher?

          A:      I saw a competition to win a publishing contract.  It was through Morris Publishing Australia.  My maiden name is Morris so I thought it too much of a coincidence not to enter.  I never dreamed I would be shortlisted, let alone win a publishing contract!

6        What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

          A:     Writing transports me to my own world.  I can switch off from the humdrum of daily life and get carried away in my story.

7        Did you ever have aspirations to follow a different career to writing?

          A:      From the time I could talk I wanted to be a primary school teacher.  I worked many different jobs to put myself through University and achieve that goal.  I still remember the pride and joy of walking into my own classroom fifteen years ago.  It is a wonderfully, challenging but rewarding career.

8       Who and what are your main inspirations and why?

         A:     My children inspire me to do better all the time.  To keep working towards my own goals.  I can't tell them they can be and do whatever they want and then not follow my own advice.

9       You are a mum.  Do any of your children look like they might also become writers?

          A:    My seven year old has a terrific flair for writing.  He has drawers full of stories he has written already!  My daughter is five and begins school next year.  She does enjoy 'storytime' with her dolls.  I often catch her reading to them.

10       Have you met with any obstacles during this journey?  How have you overcome them?

           A:     The biggest obstacle would be self-doubt.  I'm working on it though.

11      What are you more comfortable with?  Fiction or non-fiction and what genre/s?

          A:     Definitely fiction.  Realistic fiction.

12     Do you have any other passions?

         A:     Reading.  A never ending To Be Read List.  Travel.  Another never ending To Be Visited List.

13    Do you have any plans to give up writing?  Ever?

        A:      Writing has just become part of me now.  Ideas hit me at all different times.  I can't imagine not working on something.

14    What is next in the pipeline for Melissa Wray?

      A:      I have just completed by second YA story, 'Summer Change'.  Are there any publishers out there interested???  I have begun work on my third novel, 'Late Bloomer' and hope to have the first draft finished by Christmas.

15    Do you have any favourite authors?  Reasons?

         A:        Australian, Bryce Courtenay.  He is an amazing storyteller who I had the honour of meeting once.  Sadly he died last year.  I can't bring myself to read his final novel knowing it will be the last one I ever read.

16   Do you have any tips for other emerging writers?

       A:         Just write.  Let the thoughts and ideas spill out.  Don't worry if it's rubbish or makes little sense or you don't know how the storyline will work out.  It will work out and you can edit later.  Go to author talks.  Invest in some writing courses/workshops.  I just joined YA writers group.  Although it's in early stages I think it's going to be a terrific support group.

17   What are your dreams for the future?

       A:       My dreams are for my two children to know the happiness, satisfaction and enjoyment life can offer.  But for myself I just want to know that I made the most of every opportunity.  I don't want to look back and wonder, what if?

'Dreams do come true, if we only wish hard enough'.

Links:    Destiny Road Trailer
               Dream Big - Read Often
               Uncommon YA

 'Destiny Road' is a journey of choices, consequences, heartbreak and acceptance.  Readers will get to experience the journey of not just Jessica but all the characters involved in the story.  Melissa hopes readers connect with Jessica and the fact that we sometimes have to live with decisions and accept the consequences that come from choices.

You can read the 1st chapter free:




  1. Thanks so much for the interview Lannah!

  2. Thanks Lannah for interviewing Melissa.
    I've just learned so much more about Melissa, her writing and what makes her tick.
    Karen :)