Why a missionary kid?

Sam is a missionary kid
Sam is a missionary kid

This was a question a few of my early readers asked.

Between 1983 and 1986, my family were missionaries in Nepal. I had trouble adjusting to life in Australia and was bullied when I was at school. I drew on many of my experiences when writing the story, so that was part of it.

I also wanted to explore the aspect of exclusion when it came to bullying. It seemed that most of the stories I’ve seen lately dealt with teasing and physical bullying, however my experiences of bullying have been mostly exclusion. I wanted a character who would start out as having experiences that would mean she wouldn’t be sure about the exclusion to start with, after all, you can’t join in a conversation about Masterchef if you haven’t watched it.

As a missionary kid myself, I knew another language and had a lot of experiences many kids of my age couldn’t relate to. I also had no idea what was popular, and we didn’t have a TV when we first came back to Australia.

While most kids won’t relate to the experience of being a missionary kid, they are likely to relate to the feelings of being left out and different, as well as being bullied.

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About Melissa

Melissa Gijsbers started writing when she was in High School during the 1990s, even winning some awards for a short story and a script. For many years, life got in the way of creative writing, however she did start blogging around 2006.

She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her two sons and a pet blue tongue lizard.

Melissa Gijsbers, Author, Speaker & Booklover
Melissa Gijsbers - Author, Speaker & Booklover
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