The Samaritan’s Patient will go live on Amazon on January 25. It’s the story of a teenage girl caught up in a website of disaster.
This novel might never have been written had I not seen a PBS interview with two New York Times writers, Megan Twohey and Gabriel Dance, on December 16, 2021. The reporters did an extensive investigation into a website on which subscribers discussed committing suicide and shared methods for doing so. Most visitors to the site were thirty or younger. There were 1.2 million messages. At least forty-five suicides in multiple countries were linked to the site.
At the time of this broadcast, I had just completed my second novel, The Seven-Day Resurrection, and was wondering what to do next. The PBS interview was so shocking that I could not stop thinking about it. What motive could a person have for encouraging strangers to kill themselves? What could one possibly gain from such an endeavor? And what could provoke someone to throw away the gift of life at such a youthful age?
The Samaritan’s Patient is a blend of two stories: the famous parable of Jesus in the Bible, and a young person with good intentions who gets caught up in a social media nightmare.
God did all the work on this book. He created the character of Paige Abernathy and told me how to build the novel around the circumstances of her personal life—her parents, her friends, and most of all, her Christian faith. He also created the crisis that launches her on a journey of new experiences and personal growth.
I am amazed and grateful that God would choose someone so ordinary and unaccomplished as myself to do this work. Each novel God has written through me has been a great personal gift, and a reaffirmation that God has a plan for each of us. I pray that The Samaritan’s Patient will be as great a blessing to its readers as it has been to me.
Click here to read a sample chapter from The Samaritan’s Patient.