“Writing is a siren song — it’s really hard to suppress.”
What a celebration! A book signing bubbling with excitement, entertainment, and delicious treats for my friend and fellow writer Jenny Milchman’s third thriller, As Night Falls. Third in three years. That’s a feat bordering on incredible in my book.
But then, Jenny’s a literary dynamo. Cover of Snow, her debut novel, won the 2013 Mary Higgins Clark Award, and her second, Ruin Falls, was tapped by Suspense Magazine as a Top 10 choice for 2014. Jenny is chair of the International Thriller Writers’ Debut Authors Program, and creator and organizer of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, an annual event in all 50 states.
Now that her new book is out, Jenny and her intrepid family are embarking on their third major bookstore tour. One of her first stops, Watchung Booksellers, which hosted Jenny’s signing, is close to her heart because she grew up in Montclair and spent many happy hours browsing there. Jenny inspires me on three fronts:
She’s persistent: It took her 11 years and seven failed books to land a dedicated agent and a major publisher, Random House. During that time, Jenny kept writing, learning, and reaching out for advice. When the draft of her second book didn’t float her publisher’s boat, Jenny came up with a whole new idea and wrote a new draft in nine weeks. Now that’s persistence!
She’s enthusiastic: Even with the joys and demands of a young family, Jenny keeps writing. She’s constantly on the alert for fresh plot ideas and finds them everywhere — in hotel rooms, at book signings. She loves storytelling — and is always willing to share advice and experience.
She’s inventive: When Jenny lived in Montclair, she came up with a popular series called “Writing Matters” and hosted it at Watchung Booksellers. Now that she’s immersed in the thriller world, she’s launched a program for debut authors. Jenny doesn’t just attend events, she creates them — helping other writers, connecting with industry pros, and gaining exposure along the way. Now that’s being “authorpreneurial” — a strategy we all need to embrace in today’s publishing world.
I can’t wait to dive into As Night Falls. Bravo, Jenny — write on!