Dr Lindsay Simpson says she has enjoyed the privilege of hearing other people’s stories.

It is a harrowing tale and one we have watched unfold – on 7 December 2003 Daniel Morcombe disappeared on the Sunshine Coast while waiting for a bus. For author Dr Lindsay Simpson, the writing of the story was a two-and-a-half year fulltime journey.

“I was not prepared for how long the writing of Where is Daniel? would take and the magnitude of the task,” Dr Simpson says.

“Although I knew it was a 10-year police investigation, I hadn’t appreciated how much had been happening throughout the years when Daniel was abducted to when they found his remains,” she says.

“The events were unfolding as I was writing. Essentially, I was part of a living story which I had then to capture into words.”

Dr Simpson met Bruce and Denise Morcombe on Magnetic Island where she lives.

“They were visiting the primary school as part of their Foundation program for schools. I often find my books seem to choose me rather than the other way around.

“I spent a lot of time on the Sunshine Coast visiting the place where Daniel was abducted and then to where his remains were found. I would drive around the area wondering what happened to him and trying to imagine how terrified he must have felt.

“Then my task was to capture all of these things, including the court proceedings, inquest, committal hearing and trial as well as the minutiae of the police investigation and the hours I spent with Bruce and Denise during the writing process.”

Dr Simpson said often a book represents an important part of the healing process.

“For them it is a major milestone along the road to recovery. Although the Morcombes have often said they hate the word ‘closure’, it is a book they can have and hold forever.

“I always enjoy the privilege of hearing other people’s unique life stories.”

Where is Daniel?, published by Macmillan Australia, is out now. RRP$32.99.

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Where is Daniel?