First novel tells of life on the front-line

14:44 12 December 2012

Front line service in Iraq has inspired Melanie Hudson to write her debut novel, The Wedding Cake Tree,

Front line service in Iraq has inspired Melanie Hudson to write her debut novel, The Wedding Cake Tree,

Archant

Old photo inspires Parracombe author to pen poignant tale of love, loss and re-discovery.

Front line service in Iraq has inspired Melanie Hudson to write her debut novel, The Wedding Cake Tree,Front line service in Iraq has inspired Melanie Hudson to write her debut novel, The Wedding Cake Tree,

FROM front line service in Iraq to a cottage in leafy North Devon, Melanie Hudson’s life has had more twists than a novel.

Now she’s written a book of her own, and her links with the armed services provide an intuitive route into a romance shaped by media and modern conflict.

Melanie, 41, from Parracombe, wrote The Wedding Cake Tree, published this month, on retiring from the Royal Navy in 2010.

She said she was inspired to write the tale of love, loss and re-discovery after browsing through some old photos and discovering a picture of herself in combat fatigues fast asleep on a truck trundling through Iraq.

She said: “I smiled at the photo, looked across at my sleeping baby, and wondered if my son would ever know who his mother ‘really was’.

“That gave me the idea for the story, which is about a woman who finally tells her daughter about the life she lived before her daughter was born – and her hopes to puppeteer her daughter’s life from beyond the grave in the process.

“The Wedding Cake Tree is a fairly simple story, but, most importantly to me, the hero is a modern-day soldier and I couldn’t have imagined casting anyone else for the role.”

The self-published book was shortlisted for a HarperCollins/Alan Titchmarsh Peoples’ Novelist Award, has been printed by Stockwells Press and is available in paperback and as a Kindle download.

Melanie added: “As an independent author I am my own agent and publicist so a new journey is about to begin.”

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