One of the earliest memories of Griffin native Quimby Melton III was going to the train station in Griffin — now home to the Griffin Regional Welcome Center — with his mother, May Wingfield Melton.
It’s not that the two were traveling on all of their visits. Melton said they would go to watch the people traveling to and from Griffin.
“I’ve been blessed with a mother and father who just loved people,” Melton said. “I will never forget these trips to the train station.”
Melton’s childhood spent in Griffin and as the son of a newspaper publisher influenced the author when he was developing the plot and characters for his second book, “The Fortune Teller’s Daughter”.
“All of the characters are composites of people I know and I have talked to,” Melton said.
The title is based on a trip his father and younger sister Leila Melton Stone took to visit a fortune teller in Jenkinsburg when Stone was around 7 years old.
Melton said his father, Quimby Melton Jr., took his sister because she was curious and asked him to go, so he did.
Melton said he came up with the idea for “The Fortune Teller’s Daughter” while he was finishing his first book, “Dancin’ with the Devil at Midnight”, which is based on the 1983 cold case of the murder of Timothy Coggins.
The book chronicles the lives of Coggins and of accused murderers, Frankie Gephardt and William Franklin Moore. The book also covers Gebhardt’s murder trial in 2018 where he was found guilty of Coggins’ death.
Melton said he found writing fiction to be much harder than non-fiction writing.
“It is tough trying to write in the style I want. I am still working on my writing,” Melton said. “It takes discipline to sit down and write.”
Set in the rural middle Georgia woods, “The Fortune Teller’s Daughter” focuses on fictional gypsy Lady Knight, who tells the fortune of billionaire Gerald DeLong. While Lady Knight sees his life will soon be filled with danger and grief, she wants a good tip and only tells the billionaire what he wants to hear.
The story also includes a cult-like compound, a seditious leader, ransom, revolution, and Lady Knight’s daughter Dominique.
“The characters, while they are fictional, are as real to me as Frankie Gephardt,” Melton said.
The Fortune Teller’s Daughter is published and is found on amazon.com. Profits from both books go to local charities.
“I never wanted my books to be about Quimby,” Melton said.