Today I had the pleasure of talking books with a fellow Australian blogger and Author Melissa Wray.
Melissa Wray is an emerging author, blogger and mother. She is an established reader and procrastinator. Melissa grew up 600m from the library so learnt to love books from a young age. She can cook dinner, read a book and sort out squabbles all at the same time. Melissa has spent the last couple of years applying herself in the writing world. She can’t plot her stories to save herself so hopes they will all come together by the last page and get published. Eventually.
Her debut YA novel Destiny Road is a story of choices, heartbreak, consequence and acceptance. You can read the 1st chapter for free here.
What are you currently reading?
The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa. It’s the final book in the trilogy. The second book left readers on such a cliffhanger. You know what that does to fans, mmhmm, sends us crazy!
What’s the last book you brought?
Happy Pants by Heather Gallagher. It’s a picture story book that alludes to post natal depression in mums. The author lives nearby and it was launched at my local indie book store. I try to go to as many author events as possible.
Do you prefer to read books in print or electronically?
Print! I love books in print. There’s something more satisfying about reading a hard copy book. Turning the pages, flicking back to re-read, having it beside your bed beckoning you to curl up and read … Plus I love a good book mark and am gaining quite a collection. I do have loads on the kindle to read though.
If I was to walk into your house right now, what would your bookshelves look like? Do you have an organisation system (genre, colour, author…) or are you just happy to go with the flow?
My bookshelf has books grouped in genre from Young Adult, Adult, Non Fiction and one whole shelf for Australian author Bryce Courtenay. Love those doorstop books! I do have books in several different places around the house though, which means I probably need a bigger bookshelf.
How often do you read?
Daily. I usually have 2 books on the go. 1 hard copy and 1 EBook. Reading is my reward as well e.g. do a load of washing – read a chapter. That’s a fair deal right?
Describe what you would expect to find in your dream book?
A strong heroine. An adventure with twists and turns I wouldn’t see coming. A happily ever after. Oh, and a drool worthy male character or 2 wouldn’t hurt.
How do you choose what to read next?
I read mostly YA. They seem to love a trilogy so I am always waiting for the next book to come out. I like to read books of authors that feature on my blog so I try to read something they have written as well.
So you’ve started a book and discover it’s not for you. Are you more likely to discard it or finish it?
Discard. It pains me to say that because I never use to and I can appreciate the blood, sweat and tears that go into writing a full length novel. But I’m a time poor mum now so I want to be engrossed and enjoy what I read.
If you could read any book again, for the first time, what book would you choose?
The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simmons. I would read it at least once a year so it kind of feels like new each time between the gap.
What is it about books that appeals to you so much? What is your favourite part about reading?
The escape from reality and the connection to the characters and events. I love when I think I know what is going to happen. I stay awake to crazy hours to find out if I’m right.
Can you tell us a bit about your blog and how long have you been blogging for?
My blog Dream Big … Read Often came about when I won a publishing contract for my debut YA novel Destiny Road. I was advised to create one and get blogging about the release. That was about 2 years ago. It has evolved now into a tool to feature other authors and offer them support and promotion. It’s my way of saying thanks to those who have been supportive of me. Plus I get to pick up some cool writing advice along the way. It also offers Flash Fiction Friday where writers can submit a 500 word piece/extract as well as links to make connections. Check out the link if you’re interested!
What has been your favourite book you’ve reviewed on you blog?
I do more interviews and promos than reviews. I do have a 5 star review coming up (with a competition) that made me cry like a baby on the plane as I was reading it. Pa Joe’s Place by Australian author Clancy Tucker. Well worth a read but keep the tissues handy.
Do you have any advice to other bloggers out there?
Try and stick to a schedule. I post Tuesdays and Fridays and generally have it pre-scheduled in advance so I keep on top of things.
Make connections with other bloggers. They do a fabulous job of promoting books and give great ideas and motivation.
Hold events/giveaways occasionally to increase the reader’s interaction with your blog. I love when people take the time to comment. Don’t feel pressured to post though, just have fun with it.
Thanks so much for this opportunity Jess and happy blogging!
To learn more about Melissa and her books and blog check out the following sites:
To purchase a copy of Melissa’s novel, Destiny Road, head here: