“Everything a great suspense novel should be — tense, emotional, mysterious, and satisfying…Let’s hope this is the start of a long career.”
Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“It can happen and it can happen in the best possible way, if you keep at it and keep honing your craft, and find people who can help you — it’s possible.”
Jenny Milchman, author of Cover of Snow
What could be more fun than a book party celebrating the publication of a new novel by a beloved member of our writing community? That’s exactly how I felt sitting in my favorite local bookstore, Watchung Booksellers, and hearing Jenny talk about the long road to publication that she and her debut novel, Cover of Snow, have traveled. In all, Jenny’s novel has been 11 years in the making. It’s a literary thriller — and so, it turns out, is Jenny’s publishing story.
It’s a tale of twists and turns, some 22 drafts, numerous submissions, the kindness of another author, and the belief and support of a dedicated agent and publisher. And best of all, it’s a story with a happy ending: Jenny is now a novelist published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House. I can’t wait to read my signed copy!
What I loved about this book celebration was the aura of possibility that floated above us all. Jenny’s editor, Senior Vice President of Ballantine books Linda Marrow, talked about how hopeful she was about publishing: “The good news is that there is so much talent crossing our desks. We are starving for wonderful books and we drink them up.” And Julia Kenny, Jenny’s agent at Markson Thoma, said of Jenny’s writing: “I loved her work and we were on the same page.”
So here’s what I came away with: It can happen! You can start out with just an idea and a dream — and become a Big 6 author through hard work, persistence, networking, and the willingness to re-envision your story and keep honing it until it’s polished and complete. As Ballantine editor Linda Marrow put it: “Work hard, believe in what you’re doing, and get as much feedback as possible before you go out with your story.” Encouraging advice — and totally doable for all of us. Bravo, Jenny! Write on!