Reba: Welcome to my front porch Melodie. Would you like sweet or unsweet iced tea? Oh, don’t answer that…you’re from Arkansas…you drink sweet. So I hear you just came out with a new book called Redemption Song. How exciting. Tell me a little about yourself.
Melodie: My name is Melodie Murray and I live with two kiddos, a husband, and a dog in Pocahontas, Arkansas. I teach teenagers math for a living and also attend Arkansas State University a couple of nights a week and during the summers, working on my MS in Mathematics. I am actively involved at my church, singing on the praise team and leading bible studies for community members at a recovery program that we sponsor.
Reba: Wow! you are one busy lady. I am sure writing has to be important to you to find all the time to write a book. Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you think contributed to that decision?
Melodie: I always dreamed of writing books as a kid, but never imagined that I would actually do it one day. A little over three years ago, I was driving my mother home from an appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and had lots of time to think. I had just come out of a reading frenzy, for lack of a better description, and found myself plotting and imagining my own characters the entire drive home. The next day, I began to write, and I haven’t stopped since.
Reba: So basically you went to the Mayo Clinic and caught a writing bug. I bet they don’t put that on their brochures! 🙂 What led you to write in the Christian genre?
Melodie: When I began writing, I actually completed an entire young adult fantasy novel. I was on a mission to show kids, like my students, that they could find entertainment in a book without foul language and all of the other garbage that so many authors use to appeal to that age group. But the farther I got into the project, the less comfortable I felt with it. I finally realized that God didn’t want me to try to blend my beliefs into their world. He wanted me to just focus on His world and write for His glory. So I chucked the other novel and started on REDEMPTION SONG.
Reba: Oh, I totally agree. I think a good story doesn’t need all the graphic violence and foul language. If you need that to write, I suggest reading a dictionary to increase your vocabulary. I understand you are a self-published author, like me. What is the scariest thing that you have experienced with self-publishing? The most exciting thing?
Melodie: I published REDEMPTION SONG, and later realized that I had left someone out of my acknowledgements. I made the correction on my computer file and republished it. When it went live, the document completely lost its formatting! There were absolutely no indentions and no page breaks between the chapters. I wanted to crawl in a hole! My novel was live for the world to see, looking terrible, and I had no one who knew a single thing about self-publishing that could guide me in the right direction. Luckily, the team over at worldliteracycafe.com is understanding of newbies and gave me a contact for a professional formatter. He had it fixed within two days and everything was fine, but it was definitely a LONG two days. The most exciting has happened recently. I did a free promotion and REDEMPTION SONG had 18,000 downloads in two days. A couple of days later, I began receiving emails from fans of the book explaining the different ways it had influenced and encouraged them. It was the first time I felt a real connection with my readers, and I realized how much I truly love them.
Reba: Hold the Phone!!! 18,000 downloads! Wowza, that is pretty impressive. Maybe, I need to think about doing that. It sounds like Redemption Song is a pretty amazing book! Why don’t you tell us a little about the book you are currently promoting and why are you passionate about it?
Melodie: REDEMPTION SONG is a Christian romance about two very different young adults. Rebellious, teen celebrity, Ethan Carter, is accustomed to getting what he wants, when he wants. But when a punishment for drunk driving introduces him to Alaina, a witty, outspoken Christian from his granny’s church, he learns for the first time that money can’t buy everything. A soulful journey from beginning to end, these characters face some difficult situations, learning that choosing to do what’s right doesn’t always mean choosing what’s easy.
I am passionate about this book because I consider my writing to be my ministry. I do not preach within my stories, but I allow my characters to go through real-life situations where they must draw closer to God. I pray that my readers are encouraged to do the same.
Reba: I am usually not into romance novels, but I think Redemption Song is different. I really loved it and encourage all my readers out there to buy it. Melodie, do you have any other titles already available or coming soon?
Melodie: I am currently working on a novel entitled, ESCAPE TO ECUADOR, a romance about some college missionaries building a school for a remote Quechua tribe in the rainforests of Ecuador. A more detailed description of this novel can be found on the Books page of my website.
Reba: We are so glad you stopped by today. Do you want to take that pecan pie home with you? How do we keep in contact with you and find out more about you and your book?
Melodie: REDEMPTION SONG is available to purchase at
The easiest way to stay in contact with me is at my website http://www.melodiemurray.com.
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