Readers, I read this book as soon as I received it, and it surprised me. The technology is believable, because it is only one step beyond what we already are using ourselves. And the human desires and emotions are very real. Most readers will find a little bit of themselves inside these pages. The characters draw you into the story, and you really care about what's happening to them. Then the twists and turns of the story line will keep you turning pages. You won't want to miss this unique story.
Bio: John Faubion has spent many years in
as a missionary with his family. Since returning to the United States,
John has worked as a senior software developer for a large appliance chain. He
teaches an adult Sunday school class and enjoys writing and driving his 1949
Packard automobile. John lives near Indianapolis
with his wife Beth and their daughter.
Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I would love to say that you won’t learn anything about me in any of my characters, but the truth is just the opposite. I’ll use Scott Douglas (in Friend Me) as an example.
Scott let himself be led down a garden path by a woman he thought didn’t even exist. A virtual girlfriend. He convinced himself that what he was doing in private (as he imagined), wouldn’t affect anyone else. And that he was doing nothing wrong.
We men like to deceive ourselves about such things, and I’m no exception. When you read Scott’s thoughts, and experience his emotions and indecision, you’ve jumped right into the heart and mind of more men that you might imagine. I constantly found myself asking, “Is this me?” and didn’t always like what I learned.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I can’t tell you. It’s too embarrassing.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In the third grade. I still have a short story I wrote in class about why grass is green. What’s more, I can still remember the experience of writing it. I guess it was okay, because my mother saved it in a box that I still have today.
Then, when I was eleven years old, I got ahold of a book named The Power, by Frank M. Robinson. He sub-titled it A Novel of Menace. It was certainly that! The completely unexpected twist right in the last paragraph of the book, one that turned the whole story on its head, stuck with me all my life. The experience of reading that book affected me to this day, and made me want to write one that would do the same thing to a reader.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Pretty eclectic. In fiction, I like the thriller and suspense genres. I like the work that James Scott Bell and Lee Child do. My favorite author of all time is probably C. M. Kornbluth, a science-fiction writer who died in 1958.
In non-fiction, I like early church history and the whole gamut of Christian apologetics. I’m a big fan of Biblical Creationism and read quite a bit in that area. My wife and I read through the Bible every year.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m not sure I do. I work a high-pressure day job that takes me from 7:30 in the morning till 6:00 at night. In the evenings, I work on my website, my blog, and try to spend time with my family.
Then, in my free time, I write.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Nothing scientific. I don’t look them up in the Big Book of Baby Names or anything like that. What I try to accomplish is to fit a name to the character of the person in the story.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My choice of a wife. I’ve been married twice, my first marriage ending with her premature death from a stroke in 1989. Both times the Lord has given me a wonderful mate. I’ve seen so many people struggle after making bad choices in this area that I can only be thankful to God for letting me make good choices.
I have a little trouble with saying I’m proud that. I firmly believe that God superintended the decisions, and I owe the results to Him.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A golden retriever. Our dog Bark was the happiest, most carefree creature I’ve ever known. I still miss him. Except for those cold winter nights out in the doghouse, his life always looked pretty good to me.
When I was a teen, we had golden retriever that rode everywhere in the back of my daddy’s pickup. They are loveable dogs. What is your favorite food?
Wow. I don’t know whether to say cold buttermilk or Chinese food. If you were to put both in front of me, I’d take the buttermilk. But if you mean every day? Probably Chinese, but it’s still difficult to make the choice.
Did you know that Kroger low-fat buttermilk only has 100 calories per cup? You can drink a whole half-gallon and only consume 800 calories. I know, because I look for chances to do it.
My husband loves buttermilk, but I don’t. I do use it to cook with. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Working a day job tends to affect your writing habits. As a result, I tend to write in spurts, which brings a unique set of problems, the most important of which is that you forget what’s going on in the story.
To bring myself back up to date (and recall all the fine details that I’ve already forgotten), I use a text reader. I listen to last two to four chapters of the book as it’s read out loud to me. That accomplishes two things. One, I notice unnatural dialog more quickly. Two, it gets me back in the “zone” of the story. When I’m done listening, and have made some revisions, I’m ready to get back into writing.
Tell us about the featured book.
In Friend Me, Melissa Montalvo is the software designer for the “virtual friend” website. She’s been raped as a teen, forced into an abortion. We learn that she’s a real psycho, and that she has already killed two people. Now she’s thirty-four years old and she wants her own husband and family at any cost. The problem is, she can’t have children, and she distrusts all men but one, and she doesn’t know if he even exists. She sets flags in the system to notify her if anyone meeting all her impossible qualifications ever comes on the system. Of course, he does. The problem is, he’s married with a family.
Our protagonists are Scott and Rachel, a young Christian couple. He’s stressed from work, she’s lonely and overweight. He wants some relief from the pressure, and she wants a friend. She recreates her dead friend Suzanne as a virtual friend and is thrilled with the result. She shows Scott.
One day at work he decides he’ll try it for himself. The first question he’s confronted with is, “Male or female?” Yes, he goes down the wrong road, and soon he is in an adulterous relationship with a woman wwho doesn’t even exist.
Or does she?
Melissa realizes that the only way she’ll get Scott for herself is to eliminate his wife, and the children too, if necessary. She begins impersonating their virtual friends.
When Rachel is talking to “Suzanne,” it’s really Melissa behind the screen. She plants doubts about Scott’s faithfulness and love. When Scott is interacting with “Alicia,” it’s really Melissa on the other side. Day by day she becomes the perfect woman to him. Finally she asks, “If anything ever happened to your wife, would I be enough for you?” He answers, “Yes.”
Melissa plans Rachel’s death. And that’s all I’m going to tell you now.
Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Melissa Montalvo folded her hands on her lap and stared across the table at her final interviewer.
He adjusted the name badge on his shirt. Chief Software Scientist Aaron Getz. “You’ve excelled in both your other interviews, but this is a different kind of meeting.” He leaned in toward Melissa. Slender, with thick, curling brown hair, he gazed at her with unwavering eyes.
This was it. She either had the job or she didn't.
"I'd like you to take a look at this, Melissa." Getz withdrew a letter envelope from his jacket pocket, turned it face down, and slid it across the rosewood table. "I think you'll be pleased."
She searched his face, but his eyes gave nothing away. It must be a job offer, but ...
Melissa picked up the unsealed envelope bearing the embossed Know You - AI logo, and withdrew the letter inside. Getz's eyes remained noncommittal as she unfolded the paper.
Dear Ms. Montalvo:
KnowYou-AI is pleased to offer you the position of Chief Architect ...
Her chest constricted as her breath caught in her throat. They were offering her the second position in software development? And more. They were proposing a salary ten percent above what she had requested.
Getz continued to look at her with the same deadpan expression. What did he expect her to say? "Mr. Getz ..."
"Call me Aaron, Melissa."
"I'm very pleased with the offer. When do you want me to start?" She held the employment offer with both hands, unwilling to let it escape her grasp.
Getz smiled. "How about Monday? Or do you need a couple of weeks to finish up with your current employer?"
"No, Monday is fine." She shut her eyes, a rush of relief washing through her. "I would like to know a little more about the project, though. It's all been so super-secret."
"No hurry. We want you to be completely comfortable with everything we're doing here."
His hand glided unerringly across the table to rest on hers. His lotioned skin felt soft and slimy as the fingers moved across the back of her hand.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My primary website is www.christiansuspense.com, and you can read my blog at www.christiansuspense.com/blog.
I’m available on Twitter as @JohnJFaubion, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/faubionjohn.John Faubion is celebrating his debut novel, Friend Me, with a Kindle HDX giveaway!
One winner will receive:
- A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
- Friend Me by John Faubion
Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by John's blog on the 24th to see if you won.
Thank you, John, for sharing this book with us today.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.Friend Me - Christianbook.com
Friend Me: A Novel of Suspense - Amazon
Friend Me: A Novel of Suspense - Kindle
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