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Destiny on and off the page

Pivotal moments affect the lives of authors and characters, as Melissa Wray discovered.

Melissa Wray's debut novel  was released in 2012. (Cover image of 'Destiny Road')

A father saying ‘yes’ to his daughter proved a pivotal moment in the life of author Melissa Wray, and the protagonist, Jessica, in Melissa’s debut young adult novel 'Destiny Road'. Two years after the book’s launch, the Geelong-based author looks back on her path to writing the novel, which she describes as “a story of choices, consequences, heartbreak and acceptance”.

Melissa has written a moving account on her blog about how pivotal moments, regret and death led to 'Destiny Road', saying “It came about because one night I was lying in bed and couldn’t sleep. There was an unspoken conversation going on in my mind.”

What was the inspiration for this book? It came about it memory of my dad. He said ‘yes’ when I needed him to, just like the main character Jessica in 'Destiny Road'.

Describe the main character: Jessica is a 16-year-old girl who meets her biological father for the first time. She goes on this journey of living with the decisions made by others, as well as living with the decisions she ultimately makes. You can’t help but feel connected to Jessica as she struggles with the different relationships in her life.

What was your favourite book as a child and why? I loved 'The Magic Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton. I was sure our giant plum tree was my very own magic faraway tree.

Author Melissa Wray.

Who is your favourite author? Bryce Courtenay, because he was such a brilliant storyteller. I always felt like I’d had an exciting history lesson after reading his books.

Where do you write? In the office on gloomy days, so I have a view across the horizon. In the kids’ playroom or kitchen on sunny days, so the sun can stream in through the window. Sometimes I take it with me to the beach.

If I wasn’t a writer I’d be... an illustrator, but I struggle with stick figures… so, maybe not.

Other than writing I’m passionate about... education. I am a primary school teacher and think that all children should receive the best education possible.

My highest point in writing was... when I launched 'Destiny Road' at the local library in front of family and friends and sat down to sign books like a real author!

My lowest point was... No low points, only learning curves.

Best book-to-movie adaptation? The most recent one I was impressed with was 'The Fault in Our Stars'. A very clever adaptation, I thought. I still needed loads of tissues!

What are you working on now? I recently submitted a young adult manuscript to a publisher and am waiting for further feedback. So in the meantime I am well over halfway into writing the third YA story. Hopefully it comes together!

'Destiny Road' was published through Morris Publishing Australia, and can be ordered through bookshops; through Amazon and Smashwords.

Read about Melissa’s experience of writing Destiny Road following her father’s death on her blog.

Follow Melissa’s Facebook page here.

Comments: (copied from previous platform)

Melissa Wray 18 September 2014 at 16:18

Thanks so much for your support Alex. Don't forget to enter!

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