In her early thirties, author and poet Melanie Jane Molloy trained to be a adult teacher and life coach and, after home-schooling her daughter and helping her achieve her dream of running a business, Molloy decided that it was time for her to pursue her dream as well. She’d long had a passion for writing, having penned her first novel at the age of eleven, and found freelance work as a ghost writer before publishing her first book, Flourish, a collection of poems, affirmations and inspirational quotes. Released in November of 2013, Flourish focuses on creativity, love, confidence and peace, and the quotes and mantras contained with are designed to boost the mood of the reader and guide them in a positive direction.
Molloy’s work has been featured in Greetings UK magazine and showcased at various art exhibitions. She is also the author of Magic in Tuscany, the story of two women whose lives become intertwined in the Tuscan countryside, and she is currently working on another romance novel entitled Under the Tropical Sun.
Molloy, who was born in Liverpool, currently resides in Shropshire, where she can often be found sitting beneath a tree, either writing or meditating. To learn more about Molloy and her work, visit her online at authormelaniejmolloy.wordpress.com, or check out Molloy’s new business at www.women-enterprise.com, where she offers advice, training resources and writing tips. And this weekend only, download Flourish for free from Amazon.com!
What was your childhood like, and how did it shape who you are today?
I was born to a single parent who always did her best for me. Whilst we didn’t have a lot of money in the early days, we were spiritually rich. The simple pleasures brought us both joy. We’d spent lots of time going for walks in nature, drawing the surroundings landscapes whilst sat on hills. I loved architecture and museums and thankfully mum did so too, as she used to take me for fun days out there. I was taught to value the simple things in life, which is nature, love, peace and the quality of time spent with others, which I’ve now come to see as true wealth. Mum always said you’ll never remember the nice new sofa I bought when you are an adult, but you’ll always remember the nice days out and how they made you feel, which I happen to agree with her now. I think this attitude has made me very appreciative of everything I have in my life right now and has made my life richer; more enjoyable. I’ve also passed these values onto my daughter too.
Although we weren’t rich in monetary terms I was fortunate to experience the finer things in life. I had friends who were wealthy and introduced me to a horsey way of life. My teenage years consisted of riding all their horses, doing voluntary work in a riding stables and getting to live another one of my passions which is dancing. I used to perform all over the country, tap dancing and doing jazz. I think this helped to increase my confidence and helped get me through my turbulent school years. I loathed school. I had been being bullied and this had impacted my school work. I eventually lost faith in the education system and left school when I was 15 with no direction. My teachers words, “You’ll never amount to anything,” stayed with me for a long time. My only regret is that I wish I’d erased those words sooner. I think my childhood helped me to become stronger, more resilient and more determined to prove them wrong. It enabled me have more patience when teaching my own daughter and has taught me to always empower others, as what you say really does have an impact on others’ lives.
Who are your biggest creative influences?
My biggest creative influencers were my grandparents, my mum and daughter. My grandparents loved to write. My grandfather wrote a script for TV and my Nan won a competition in school for her story. My mum loved to write too and was always writing her own stories that she’d often read to me as I was growing up. I think growing up in such a creative environment certainly rubbed off on me. My daughter also acted as a catalyst. It was her dream to become a professional writer, so I eventually coached her to bring that goal into fruition. After watching her live her dream, it inspired me to follow in her footsteps.
What inspired you to write and publish Flourish?
I’ve always been creative since I was a child. There is a standing joke in my family that “I was born with a pen in my hand.” I was an avid reader of Mills and Boons and I sent my first novel off to them when I was 11.
Ironically, I never had any interest in poetry, much preferring to write novels, however after a bizarre event, I discovered that I could turn my hand to it. It’s quite a funny story how it transpired. I’ve always slept-walked and have been known to send texts whilst asleep so it came to no surprise to find that I had created my first poem in my sleeping hours. I woke up one morning to find a poem at the side of my bed and had no recollection of how it had got there. I believe that my grandparents also wrote poetry and my mum said she believed it was one of them that had written it through me. That was the start of my passion for vision poetry. I figured if I could write a poem whilst asleep, I could certainly do it in my waking hours. Over the next year, I compiled 46 positive poems. With my mum’s encouragement, I decided to turn it into a book that would inspire and empower others to achieve their goals too.
I have a driving force within me to get my positive poetry book onto the national curriculum so teenagers and adults can study it as part of their GCSEs. Children and young adults are under so much pressure to perform at school, I feel that it would be nice if they could read something that would inspire them and also give them the confidence to follow their dreams. My self-development poems have been described as being empowerment for the soul, which I think most people need these days.
Have you always had such a positive approach to life, or was it something you had to work at?
My mum was a very positive person. She always encouraged me, however I was the type of child that if someone said blue I’d say black, so I think I was quite a pessimistic negative person growing up. She described me as quite a handful. I never really got the best start in school, as I had epilepsy as a child, so in my junior and senior years I was often reprimanded for daydreaming when, it fact, it was due to my condition. I was also bullied at school so I had low confidence, which I feel contributed to my negative outlook on life. However, I became much more positive in my twenties when I was teaching literacy and numeracy students to achieve their own goals to read and write. Seeing the amazing results I was getting with my students helped me to adopt a sunnier outlook. I think it was a gradual progression for me, but my biggest turning point I think was when I took my daughter out of school to home educate her. I had to have the right mindset to cope with everything and so that I could keep her focused too. I was also reading a lot of self-development books around this time and using coaching techniques on both of us before I had even decided to train to be a coach. The techniques worked. I could see noticeable and lasting changes in both of our lives and this was one of the reasons I eventually decided to train to be a life coach.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a teacher and life coach?
The most rewarding aspects of all the self-development work that I have done with others is seeing the difference that I have made to others’ lives. Seeing a smile light up their face, or receiving a letter from someone whom I have helped and telling me that they still have my tailor-made vision poem on their wall gives me a sense of huge satisfaction. It fills my life with meaning and purpose. It makes everything that I do so worthwhile.
What was the inspiration behind Magic in Tuscany?
The inspiration behind Magic in Tuscany came from a dream. I woke up and thought that would make a feel-great book or movie. Before I could forget it, I jotted it down in my notebook and so Magic in Tuscany was born. I often get inspiration from my dreams and have learned to keep a notepad at the side of my bed just in case inspiration presents itself whilst I’m asleep.
What do you find most interesting or exciting about the romance genre?
I find romance genres interesting because they have an optimistic and happy ending. Most of them give you a real good-feel factor and keep the mind focused on the lighter side of life. I think a lot of people are bombarded by the not-so-good outcomes in relationships and life, so romantic novels can be a form of escapism for some people. I believe that they also make people feel optimistic and help them to create their vision for their ideal relationship. I always keep all of this in mind when I’m writing for my readers.
If you could offer one piece of advice to your 18-year-old self, what would it be?
I would say, “Melanie Molloy you are a wonderful person. You have a very important role to play in this world. The sooner you realize that, that’s when you’ll see your reality change. To make changes in your life you have to begin from within. Stop looking for approval from the outside and learn to love and accept you. Once you learn to realize that all of the love you seek is within you, then you’ll find you can do, be and achieve anything you want. You can do it! Start believing in yourself and begin the self-development work now, as it will help you!”
What is the best meal you’ve had recently?
I love food. I’ve been a vegetarian for the past three years. I love cooking and being cooked for, and my friends Jas and Mandy are fantastic chefs and are always cooking me their delicious cuisine. I’m very blessed because I get to try all of their new yummy recipes. I love Indian foods so I think it has to be an Indian speciality of Dahl. I also have a sweet tooth too and my favourite dessert to date is yummy pancakes with spicy sautéed apple, roasted hazelnuts and a swirl of cream.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I love the world that I live in. There is lots of goodness and beauty in it, however if I could change anything, I would change the policies in our schools. I can never see the point of recalling facts about history and replaying it over and over again when there are more important issues out there. I truly believe that what the mind focuses on, we just create more of the same. I believe we can’t solve something with the same level of thinking that created it in the first place. Instead, I would add more emphasis on teaching children the power of positive thinking/self-love and the important role it plays in helping them achieve their goals. I would have children being taught how to visualize their ideal outcomes and the power of living in the now and finding the medium between the two. Emotional intelligence would be high on my agenda. This would involve teaching children how to manage their emotions using great tools such as meditation and yoga and using tools to motivate them. I would teach them that the only way to find peace in the outer world is to find it in their inner world first. All change has to start from within. If each child in the world was taught this, then I believe that we would have complete peace on earth and it all begins with one person.