My name is Kelly Gray. I'm a writer specializing in positive, good news topics. I love writing about anything that could change someone's life for the better or at least make someone's day.
It's been an honor to write about culinary, architecture, travel, animals, entertainment and design / build for dozens of magazines and major daily newspapers over the past 22 years. My freelance clients have included these fine publications: Southern Living, Living Luxe Magazine, Plate Magazine, Forbes Travel, OpenTable, Washington Post travel, Los Angeles Times travel, South Magazine, Restaurant Insider, Bespoke Concierge Magazine, Florida Weekly and numerous others.
As a storyteller I am humbled to have interviewed some of the world's most famous people. They have included the king of interviewers himself Larry King, superstars Ziggy Marley, Rashad Jennings, Kenny Chesney, Jane Pauley, Sammy Hagar, Tim Tebow, explorer and "Titanic" discoverer Robert Ballard, Mark Ballas, Amanda Booz, Tommy DiDario, Michael Bolton, Denise Austin, Oscar de la Renta, Walt Wiley, Brian Urlacker, The Spinners, David Nail; design geniuses Colin Cowie, Jeffrey Beers, Robert Courterier and Carlton Varney, celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver, Wylie Dufresne, Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Michelle Bernstein, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Christina Tosi and Tony Mantuano; members of rock bands Foreigner and Chicago; cast members of ‘Jersey Boys’, ‘Xanadu: the Musical’, ‘Les Miserables’, Cirque du Soleil; and, bestselling authors James Grippando, Sandra Brown, Heather Graham, Robert Dugoni, James Maccomber, Dakota Banks, Kathy Reichs, Alexandra Sokoloff, Tim Hallinan, Vicki Pettersson, J.D. Rhoades, Shane Gericke, Mario Acevedo, Michelle Gagnon, Kristin Harmel, Kathleen Antrim, Steve Berry, Rip Gerber, Tim Maleeny and David Angsten among others.
Why this Job: My Life's Purpose
Everything I do including my work is fueled by one singular purpose: helping neglected and abused animals. There are few things in life more gratifying than providing a safe haven for God's creatures. I especially love to foster and rehabilitate animals to later place them in forever homes. As a freelancer, I can make my own hours. This is essential because sick animals often have acute illnesses and even a couple of hours can mean all the difference in pain management and between their living or dying.
I've been bringing home stray animals since childhood, but it was a very special horse named Star Dancer who inspired me to expand to fostering and adopting animals with nowhere else to go. When I met Star Dancer, my life forever changed. I held a fundraiser for my birthday to buy her from her previous owners. Experts warned she might have six months of life left in her, but she and I knew better. Star Dancer lived four more years to the age of 25 until she let me know she was ready to gain her angel wings. She stayed with me as long as she could on this earth.
Like Star Dancer, senior animals have a special place in my heart and it is among my greatest joys to provide a loving and safe place to live out their golden years. Many, especially hunting dogs from so-called luxury hunting lodges, have never known kindness or a nice meal. By the time those dogs gain their freedom, far too many are too far gone to save and there is nothing more to do but say goodbye. In those cases I do everything in my power to provide them with their very own 'best day ever', bring them home to my house, cooking them scrambled eggs donated by my chickens so they can contribute their own loving energy to these animals, and lastly, I involve a care team of local ladies to shower these animals with love. If even for one moment in time, these very special creatures know love and compassion.
Among the animals I've fostered or donated time to help have included goats, horses, dogs and chickens. Only the chickens have come from other loving homes and Flash was born here to his rescue mammas goat, Bianca. Many are special needs requiring specialized care and some require almost constant supervision daily and frequent veterinary care. Having multiple animals on medication and managing disorders is extremely expensive, so we especially welcome donations of horse quality hay, direct to vet care donations and every dollar helps.
Meet the members of my animal family and those I've tried to save here, past and present.
Sharing The Craft of Writing
Helping young writers discover and hone their own writing skills is a passion of mine. In my writing workshops, I have taught throughout the southeast, including as a summer instructor at the University of North Carolina, Asheville for middle-grade students and in adult workshops through civic and community centers. As a featured speaker for at-risk youth organizations, I donate my time and waive honorariums. For private writing workshop events, message me here.
Through internships and apprenticeships, I have helped many aspiring writers launch their own careers. My internships meet college graduation credit requirements. To apply, send a message with a brief cover letter and resume pasted in the body of this form and be sure include your contact information.
I encourage support of the North Carolina Writer’s Network, the North Carolina Writer’s Workshop, the Author’s Guild, International Thriller Writers Association and the Alliance of Independent Authors -- all of whom are outstanding examples of what it means to love reading and writing.
The Journal Project
Sometimes the only way to soothe our tired souls is by putting pen to paper. And even that can be a challenge for young people, especially those without a home. I collect blank journals for donation to children within the foster care system. Children in the foster care system have so few outlets to express their feelings and cope with their circumstances -- please consider donating a blank journal. It truly can change someone's life.
It's a pleasure to be counted among the Simon and Schuster family of authors. I've helped write more books for my freelance clients than for myself, serving as the as-told-to writer of record on numerous non-fiction titles for prominent executives and influential personalities. Click here to message me about working with you to get your book in shape for publishing, to write your book proposal for submission to an agent or publisher, or to help gather your thoughts in one place.