A BOOK inspired by a former Quirindi woman’s quest to find her missing cousin has emerged as a surprise bestseller.
Write About Me, a book penned by Quirindi-raised Melissa Pouliot, is based on the enduring mystery surrounding the disappearance of Ursula Barwick.
In 1987, 17-year-old Ursula boarded a train and has not been seen by her family since.
She is still officially listed as a missing person.
Ms Pouliot, who was close to her cousin as a child, is a former journalist who wrote the novel as therapy to help deal with Ursula’s disappearance.
In the book, the protagonist, Annabelle, runs away from home and lands in seedy Kings Cross, a move that ultimately costs her life.
The book was ranked number one in its category on the Amazon website for a week in October and several weeks in November, earning it bestseller status.
Ms Pouliot said she was stunned by the success of her debut novel and was already planning a second one.
“It’s been incredibly exciting to have this level of success with the book, not only for me but for Ursula,” she said.
“I am thrilled so many people from all around the world are connecting with the book.”
She said its success had helped highlight the cause of missing people.
“People go missing every single day for a number of reasons,” she said.
“Sadly some are found under tragic circumstances, some are found safe and well but some are never found.”