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The Last Friend Gets a Deal!

MeetAfter thirty sleepless nights, The Last Friend ended up earning a spot as one of the Kindle Press’s publication choices for 2017. For me, this is a huge achievement. Between convincing current and potential readers to nominate my novel for publication, and then, finally, to receive notification from Kindle Press that my novel will be published…it’s all be a dream come true for me.

Here are some items that have me extremely excited about The Last Friend.

Editing: FINISHED

Tonight (October 28, 2017), I’ve finished my addressing all of the editing comments. This brings The Last Friend one step closer to its publication date, and I’m super excited about that.

Meeting my Amazon Guardian Angels

But let’s take a step back a few weeks when I met a couple of amazing and enthusiastic product managers, straight from the Amazon imprint. These young ladies were extremely encouraging, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic about making a big impact on the publishing industry. Not with my novel in particular, but with all of the novels Kindle Press publishes. It was very good for me to have this meeting, and I left it feeling like there was no better place for The Last Friend.

More About The Editing

Over the last couple of weeks since that meeting, I’ve received my manuscript back from a Kirkus editor who had approximately 300 points for me to consider in the novel. I’ve found the editing extremely valuable. I’ve learned a lot about grammar, my own writing flaws, and how the pickiest of readers might interpret the words I put on my pages. I hate to be sneaky, but I’ve stalked my editor, found him on LinkedIn, and he’ll be getting a connection request because I don’t think I can publish another novel without his keen eye to detail!

New Cover

Right around the time that the manuscript came back, the Kindle Press team contacted me to say they wanted to create a cover that would better position The Last Friend for success. I haven’t seen anything yet, but I’m anxious to see what they come up with. (Yes, I’ve been scanning some Thomas & Mercer covers to see what they might come up with!).

An Insight

This has come up a few times in conversations with various people — bloggers, the Kindle Press ladies, and others — so I need to (finally) make it official. And what better place than right here. This novel wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t read Sarah Denzil’s Silent Child. I’m often inspired by other novels, and the inspiration I felt after reading Sarah’s novel was tremendous. Our novels are incredibly different, but I worked very hard to try and capture the feelings and emotions I experienced while reading her novel. I owe a lot of gratitude to Sarah for publishing Silent Child. If you haven’t read it, check it out.

In Conclusion…

Looking at The Last Friend, I have to say that I’m beyond excited about getting this novel on the Amazon shelf for you to read and tell all of your friends. I still remember writing the final pages of this novel, seated at my desk and swearing at myself to hold my s–t together and finish this before I ruin the moment.

I hope you get the same satisfaction from The Last Friend. If the attention it’s garnered so far is any indication, I think you will.

Stay tuned through my A-List at http://alistharvey.com.

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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