I have such a treat for y'all today. If you haven't heard the name Jenny Milchman, prepare yourself. She's going to be the next Laura Lippman, and you heard it here first. When I read COVER OF SNOW, I was blown away - how could this be a debut? I wasn't the only one, Jenny was nominated for a slew of awards, and has had an amazing amount of success for a new author. If you haven't read it, get a copy now, and while you're at it, snag yourself her new book, RUIN FALLS. Here's Jenny!
Set your music to shuffle and hit play. What’s the first song that comes up?
It’d be something country. Maybe Sugarland or Lady A. That’s because we’re on the road, 4 months and 20,000 miles on the world’s longest book tour now that my second novel has come out. My kids are in the backseat—we “car-school” them—and my husband works from the front. And there’s something about the road that calls for country.
Now that we’ve set the mood, what are you working on today?
Absolutely nothing! Well, I’m filling out this delightful set of questions, of course. And Tweeting, FB-ing, answering email. But I just turned in edits for my 2015 release, As Night Falls, and I’m in a lull period prior to starting my next novel, and finalizing this one.
What’s your latest book about?
Ruin Falls is about a woman whose children go missing at the start of a long awaited family vacation. But this is not a child-in-jeopardy novel, don’t worry. The kids are safe all along, and the mom and you as reader both know that. The suspense in the story comes from whether Liz Daniels can become the kind of person who can get her children back.
Where do you write, and what tools do you use?
I’m pretty much a word processing kind of girl. In fact, until recently when we rented out our house for the world’s longest book tour, I wrote on a machine that had no USB port, was running Windows 98…and backed up on floppy disks. (This led to all sorts of fun encounters at Staples or Office Max where the clerk looked at me like I was Encino Man). Now I use a real, internet-enabled netbook, but I still won’t go on the web or do email or social media while I am writing in the mornings. Instead, I stare out at a mountain, and a creek, and use the screen only as a portal into my story.
What was your favorite book as a child?
Anything by Stephen King.
What’s your favorite bit of writing advice?
Find the joy. I know the whole, Writing is easy; you just sit down and open up a vein school of thought. And maybe it’s true for some writers and some books. But I think that when we are just itching to get to that computer or pad of paper every day, travel into the world of our story, then our readers will be just as excited to keep turning the page.
What do you do if the words aren’t flowing?
Knock on wood because so far at least this hasn’t happened, at least not during a first draft. Revising is like boxing my way out of a concrete cell, though. I weep, I pull hair out. Not even necessarily my own hair. But a first draft is more like a river that pulls me along.
What would you like to be remembered for?
A bookseller in Olympia, WA told me that after reading one of my books, she feels a little stronger as a person herself. I would love to be remembered for giving people that.
Jenny Milchman is a suspense writer from the Hudson Valley of New York State, who lived for seven months on the road with her family on what Shelf Awareness called "the world's longest book tour."
Jenny's debut novel, COVER OF SNOW, won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for best suspense novel of 2013, and has been nominated for the Macavity and Barry Awards.
RUIN FALLS, Jenny's second novel, was published in 2014 to starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal, and chosen as an Indie Next Pick.
Jenny is Vice President of Author Programming for International Thriller Writers, and the founder of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, which was celebrated by over 700 bookstores in all 50 states and four foreign countries in 2013.
Jenny is currently on a second World's Longest Book Tour, from 4/22/2014 until 9/3/2014 (with some additional Fall and Winter dates), covering 40 states, 20,000 miles and almost 200 bookstores, libraries, book clubs, and other events. See http://jennymilchman.com/tour/over-the-falls-2014 for a full tour schedule and map. Jenny would love to meet you on the road!
About Ruin Falls, released 4/22/2014
Liz Daniels has just set off on vacation, but when the family stops for the night, she wakes to find a terrifying reality. Her children are missing, and the hours tick by without anyone finding a trace of them. But in a sudden, gut-wrenching instant, Liz realizes that no stranger invaded their hotel. Instead, someone she trusted completely has betrayed her. Now Liz will stop at nothing to get her children back. From her guarded in-laws’ farmhouse to the woods of her hometown, Liz follows the threads of a terrible secret to uncover a hidden world created from dreams and haunted by nightmares.