If you’re feeling a bit low on energy and your writing is drifting instead of driving forward, here’s one antidote: Get thee to a book party!
There’s nothing like being among your own — like-minded readers and writers — to give you a shot of adrenalin. That’s why I was doubly excited to celebrate the publication by Ballantine Books of my friend Jenny Milchman’s second novel, Ruin Falls. First, I had the chance to hear Jenny talk about her new book and give her a hug as she signed a copy for me. And second, I took heart from Jenny’s writing journey, which has certainly had its share of ups and downs.
It took her 11 years, 22 drafts, and 15 almost-offers before her haunting debut thriller, Cover of Snow, sold (see Book Party). Her new novel, Ruin Falls, took 9 drafts to whip into shape. And that’s not unusual by any means. They’re not kidding when they say that writing is rewriting! A Booklist review says that Jenny has carved out “…a new niche with this unusual mix of ecothriller and family suspense drama,” and bestselling author Nancy Pickard says, “Jenny Milchman has a rare gift for combining beautiful writing with heart-pounding suspense.” Who could ask for more from a thriller?
All of which should be hugely encouraging to us. With persistence, drive, faith, and craft, Jenny beat the odds to find an agent and sell her first book to a major publisher. And with persistence, drive, faith, and craft, she came up with a winning idea for a second book within a year of publishing her first. What an accomplishment!
I have Ruin Falls sitting beside me and can’t wait to read it: If you’re a thriller fan, be sure to check it out. A rising tide lifts all boats: That’s how I feel about Jenny’s publishing journey — uplifted. Bravo, Jenny: Write on!