01 April 2013

Author Spotlight #1 + Giveaway: Melissa Wray

Title: Destiny Road
Author: Melissa Wray
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Published: August 15th, 2012 by Morris Publishing Australia

Destiny Road is about a sixteen year old girl Jessica, who is building up to making a most important decision. One that will affect the rest of her life. It is a story of decision, growth and acceptance.

Jessica is sixteen when she meets Bill for the first time. Six months later she is moved away by her mother, to begin a new life, away from what she knows. Away from the man she is just realising she might have wanted in her life all along, her biological father. So begins Jessica’s journey of living with the choices made by herself and those around her.

Read the 1st chapter for free or purchase the book here.


Hi Melissa! Welcome to Sab The Book Eater! Did you know you’re the first author I’m interviewing on my blog? So… thank you! I’m pretty stoked about you being here ;-)

Wow! What a fantastic honour to have. Thanks so much for having me.

Now before everything else, can you tell us a bit about yourself? What makes Melissa Wray, Melissa Wray?

Firstly I am the mother of 2 beautiful kids who keep me very entertained. I am a passionate primary school teacher who loves teaching. I am a closet writer that has only recently opened up about writing. It has been a hobby for the last few years until the publication of Destiny Road. I am a reader from way back and will cook tea with a book in my hand if the storyline grips me. Lastly I am a glass half full kind of person and try to always look for the positive.

You must be asked this often but I’m interested to know… what inspired you to become an author?

Honestly I only ever thought I would be a writer. It feels strange to consider myself an author of a published novel. I began a writing course several years ago but it was for writing for middle aged reader (7-10 year olds). The Young Adult genre was totally unexpected for me yet I think I have found my voice when writing within it.

You have an interesting story about becoming a published author. Can you tell us more about it? 

I had finished Destiny Road and saw a competition to win a publishing contract. It was through Morris Publishing Australia. My maiden name is Morris so it thought it too much of a coincidence not to enter. I never dreamed I would be shortlisted, let alone win a publishing contract! It’s been loads of fun and I have learnt heaps along the way.

About your book, what inspired you to write Destiny Road?

I made the same choice Jessica makes in the story. I chose to go and live with my dad for the first time when I was 16 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 thankyou, so hopefully he knows.

What was the writing process like?

It took about 18 months to write – lots of late nights after the kids were asleep. I sent it off to be professionally assessed. Then I spent another 6 months reworking, adding and editing. I added more to the storyline (about 15,000 words more!)  including new characters and events.

I’ve always been interested to know how authors come up with the characters in their books, especially the names. How did you come with up yours? 

I am really bad with names! I think that comes from being a teacher and lots of names remind me of students. I wanted a name that was Australian but feminine and came up Jessica. The only name of any significance in the book is Dempsey, I always liked that for a girl’s name but didn’t use it for my daughter as we already had a name picked out. I love creating the characters though and trying to bring their personality to life. Sometimes their names evolve during the story. 

What can readers expect from Destiny Road?

A journey of choices, consequences, heartbreak  and acceptance. They will get to experience the journey of not just Jessica but all the characters involved in the story. This was a surprise to me by the time I finished but I was pleased that this happened. I hope readers connect with Jessica and the fact that we sometimes have to live with decisions made by people around us. We also have to accept the consequences that come from their choices and our own.

(Still haven't figured out what to call this part but I guess I'm sticking with it)

Milk chocolate or white chocolate?
Milk Chocolate (lots)

Quick fix to a sad day?
Big cuddles with my two children.

Rock, paper, scissors?

Guilty pleasure?
Salt & Vinegar Chips

Top 5 favorite books:
The Bronze Horseman By Paullina Simons
The Power Of One By Bryce Courtenay (along with ANY of his other books!)
Twilight/Hunger Games Series (can’t decide between the two)
The Magic Faraway Tree By Enid Blyton
The Gruffalo By Julia Donaldson (Picture Story Book I read to my kids)

About the author
Melissa Wray

I have always loved reading. I grew up about 600m from the local library so I spent a lot of time there! 

I was always going to become a primary school teacher. My proudest moment (up until then) was the day I stepped into my very first classroom.

I’ve been lucky enough to live and travel overseas and see some amazing places. Italy, Spain and Egypt to name a few. It was a tough life! 

I grew up mostly in Geelong, with some time spent in Townsville, north Queensland. 

When I started writing it was more of a hobby. I enjoyed creating stories but then I started to become addicted to writing them. It's a juggle sometimes to balance reading all the books I want to read and writing all the stories I want to write - oh decisions, decisions!


Open internationally
2 winners will be chosen and will be contacted via email
Winners will have 72 hours to respond before another winner is chosen
Prizes are available on Smashwords in PDF format

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for hosting me Isabel. I am thrilled to be your first author spotlight. Good luck with it!