Ever make a decision that makes you completely terrified, but it turns out to be possibly the best decision you've made (career-wise, that is....)?
That was me, a year and a half ago.
I'll never forget.
Agent Extraordinaire Janet Reid posted on her blog about an upcoming class about the ins and outs of the publishing industry. It was called Polished to Published, and it was taught by Janet's friend, author Jenny Milchman.
I posted in the comments that I wished it wasn't in New York (publishing classes in South Carolina being lacking), and Jenny replied almost immediately. "What would you suggest?" she asked.
When my heart stopped racing (Ermigod, a real writer just spoke to me!!!), I wrote back. "How about an online class?"
Well, Jenny set it up, and then I had to decide: would I put my money where my mouth was, and actually take her class?
I did, and yep: that was the best career-decision I've made. I learned more about publishing in that eight-week span of time than I ever expected. I made a handful of really lovely writing-friends with whom I remain in touch.
And I met Jenny, who's turned out to be the best writing-mentor a girl could ask for.
Jenny's been writing for well over a decade, and she's seen it all. Multiple agents, some near-misses, and something like eight written and polished novels.
She's generous with sharing her experiences, knowing how much we writers need to know: we're not alone, no matter how much it may sometimes feel that way.
She's generous with her time and her space. Jenny's blog consists of guest posts and "made it moments" written by other writers, sharing their own excitement and happiness and sadnesses and roller-coaster writing lives. She's allowed me to post there twice, and I am in amazing company.
She's generous with her love of books. She established a bona-fide book holiday called Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, and celebrates independent bookstores as if each owner is her particular best friend.
In short, Jenny is amazing.
On Tuesday, January 15, Jenny's "debut" (in quotes because, like I said...eight novels!!) novel, Cover of Snow, releases to bookstores everywhere. If I know Jenny, that means it is definitely coming to an independent bookstore near you. It's also going to be available on Amazon and other online outlets. Jenny will be touring the country for the foreseeable future, in support of her book and also indie bookstores everywhere.
This post celebrating Jenny's success is the best way I could think of to help celebrate with her, since I could not be at her release parties this week.
Please - this is a moment over a decade in the making, a moment of success I can't imagine going to a more deserving person. Take a moment and celebrate with her, too. Check out her book. Tell your friends. Nothing helps make a writer's day more than knowing her book is in good hands.
Here's what Cover of Snow is all about:
Waking up one wintry morning in her old farmhouse nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Nora Hamilton instantly knows that something is wrong. When her fog of sleep clears, she finds her world is suddenly, irretrievably shattered: Her husband, Brendan, has committed suicide.
The first few hours following Nora’s devastating discovery pass for her in a blur of numbness and disbelief. Then, a disturbing awareness slowly settles in: Brendan left no note and gave no indication that he was contemplating taking his own life. Why would a rock-solid police officer with unwavering affection for his wife, job, and quaint hometown suddenly choose to end it all? Having spent a lifetime avoiding hard truths, Nora must now start facing them.
Unraveling her late husband’s final days, Nora searches for an explanation—but finds a bewildering resistance from Brendan’s best friend and partner, his fellow police officers, and his brittle mother. It quickly becomes clear to Nora that she is asking questions no one wants to answer. For beneath the soft cover of snow lies a powerful conspiracy that will stop at nothing to keep its presence unknown . . . and its darkest secrets hidden.