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Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.

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I find it a wonderful coincidence that–just as I’m writing a book about a woman searching for a long-lost childhood friend–I suddenly find my own.

Carla and I were only seven when she moved to Vancouver…too little to really understand that we should exchange addresses and phone numbers and vow to keep in touch. All I knew at the time was that one minute this little girl was my friend, and the next minute she was gone. I never knew what happened to her, but as I grew up in a small northern community with little fluctuation, her absence was very strongly felt.

When I first joined Facebook, I viewed it as an opportunity to reconnect with all the “missing” friends from my childhood. From time to time, I would type Carla’s name into the search box, but I always came up with nothing. Finally, a high school friend had a friend on his list that had the same last name as Carla. I contacted this girl, thinking she must be a sister, and it turns out that she was a friend of Carla’s family! Not only did she know what Carla was up to, she could put me in touch with her! She took my email address and I waited.

About a week later, I received an email from this girl I’d been looking for, off and on, for over two decades. I wasn’t even sure she’d remember me, but I was thrilled that she did. I was so happy to hear that she is doing well, a career woman living in a beautiful place with a loving husband and brand new baby. She is smart and she is funny. When she sent me photos and I finally saw what she looks like after all these years, I’m not ashamed to admit I got a bit teary. “Just think,” she wrote, “if I hadn’t moved away, we might have ended up best friends.” That would have been wonderful, but I am still thrilled to reconnect with her now.

Unfortunately, my poor protagonist won’t fare as well as I did, I suspect. There is no rational explanation for her friend’s sudden disappearance. But we’ll see…I’m only on page 260. Things could still turn out as well for my protagonist as they did for me.

Ever have a time when life imitated art for you? Or have you ever reconnected with a long-lost friend? How did the reunion go? Share!

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