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The Last Friend – My Take

“Fifteen years after his daughter’s abduction, her last friend knocks at his door.” This quote from the cover blurb still spooks me out. Part of the reason is that I know what this “last friend” is all about (you’ll find out too, and even more in The First Friend).

But another part of me is spooked by the story itself.

an unexpected and exciting series of events that will grab readers.  – The BookLife Prize

This story deals with kidnapping. Have you ever wondered what happens to the kids you see in the missing posters? The ones where there’s an amber alert one day and then…nothing? In my research for this novel, I learned that “what happens” isn’t really pleasant. In fact, what happens is so unpleasant that I had nightmares about it happening to my own children for days.

I took what happened to me (in my nightmares) and used it to build Donovan Glass, the abducted girl’s father. My dreams and nightmares guided Donovan. They also helped him land in a big heap of trouble, which is ultimately where The Last Friend begins.

Other sad things happen when a child is abducted. Having never experienced that situation, I relied on my past experiences. Not long ago, I had a conversation with an old friend who came close to losing her son when he was a teenager. I remember how she explained those days, the uncertainty and fear. I see now how it aged her, changed her in a way that can never be fixed. Like Donovan, she was locked out from her child, unable to communicate, left with nothing but her own faith that he would survive, recover, and get back to himself. That sort of thing ruins people.

No stranger to tragedy, Donovan shares my old friend’s faith that everything will be okay. Except in Donovan’s case, fifteen years of faith results in the kind of closure that no parent ever wants.

Pretty damn grim, isn’t it?

Well, not really. Earlier in this post, I said I know what this “last friend” is all about. For Donovan, this last friend is a breath of fresh air. The last friend brings him pieces of his daughter he never experienced, pieces that only a true friend could know. In many ways, the last friend is Donovan’s view into his daughter’s final days, an experience that he clings to.

And, man, was that ever heart wrenching to write. It’s the one memory I’ll always take away from this novel; sitting at my desk and choking back my sensitive side, wondering if this the male version of early manopause or something, because I’m not Donovan and my kids are playing outside, right front of the– and then panic struck. And I no longer let those kids out of my sight 😉

If you haven’t voted already, head on over to https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2SCU5IFFPG9EJ and nominate me. I’d be super happy if you did!

 

HC