Like millions of people around the world, Melissa Doyle’s life was thrown in to disarray when the pandemic hit in March 2020.

While being between jobs, stuck at home, and feeling like an empty nester after her eldest child left for university overseas, Melissa found herself at what she describes as “a loose end”.

While reflecting on her decades-long career and the countless inspirational stories she had heard along the way, she decided to start writing her first book, titled 15 Seconds of Brave.

“I wasn’t quite sure what to do so I wrote a book about eight different people who have been through extraordinary experiences, some of them pretty harrowing,” she told Today Extra.

“Some of these stories I’d held in my hand for many, many years until the time was right to do something with them and this just felt right.”

Doyle revealed the intricate detail she went into to ensure she did the stories justice, with some of the interviews even taking one whole year to properly unravel.

From a child bride who was abducted and turned into a soldier, to people who have battled inner demons and substance abuse, Doyle revisited each one with respect and dignity.

“We had to go really gently, a lot of these people I have interviewed previously and I have a habit of keeping in touch with them,” she said.

“I can’t sit down and get them to tell the most traumatic experience of their life and walk away – I check in.”

15 Seconds of Brave is available now at all good bookstores.

Image credits: Instagram 

This article first appeared on OverSixty.