Suraya’s dream all her life has been to be an author. But first she became something else…. A media and communications professional. Suraya began her working life as a trainee director to Television New Zealand after completing a post graduate Diploma in Broadcast Communication with University of Auckland. From there her interest in electronic media extended to writing and presenting for radio. This experience proved invaluable when she joined the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council as Communications Manager and was given a regular weekly environmental slot on local radio. The internet was in its infancy when she took up the position of Information Manager at The Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand. “I remember the late Paul Reynolds, Internet Developer, for whom I had the greatest respect,” said Suraya, “Paul had just published a book on how to surf the Internet. “I organised the launch of his book and set up a series of workshops on how to surf the Internet. That seems amazing today and that was less than 20 years ago. But as I ran those workshops I knew the possibilities were immense and what could be achieved in time was limited only by imagination.” After several jobs in the communications industry, including a five year stint at the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, she became a marketing manager and general manager for two service organisations. “My dream was to make money from writing but I saw how little writers made in this country and decided I couldn’t live with that…..but the other thing was I couldn’t master the craft.” The time to follow her dream came when ill health forced her early retirement. She enrolled at the University of Auckland and completed an Honours degree in English Literature before completing a Master of Creative Writing. She emerged with the draft of a novel and the belief that the time had finally arrived for her to start writing and selling her creative work. Due to the changing environment, Suraya discovered that NZ publishers were reducing the number of books they published. She was not alone in her frustration with the situation. After analysing the market, the state of publishing world wide and the emerging epublishing industry Suraya decided to take matters into her own hands. With a rough business plan and passion she entered Massey University’s ecentre, a business incubator. Suraya released a closed beta website in October and has since then built up The Story Mint membership to over 200 people representing 15 different countries. These countries include USA, China, Australia, India, UK, Germany, Mexico and Georgia. “We are a global writing community and we will grow from there.” Suraya is married to Bruce and they have five children. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand.