Falling Off the Work/Life Balancing Beam, and also, My Next Book Deal
I have to tell you something that is hard for me, which is that my latest novel, Wicked River, is on super duper promotion today, thanks to BookBub—one of the top influencers in the industry, in my opinion—and my fabulous publisher. You can click below and download it today only for $2.99!
(Why do I have trouble sharing these things? Because it makes me feel like a door-to-door salesman, and I failed miserably when I tried to do that. I was selling diet products—shudder—for which I now, um, hate myself. But I was a broke college student and had bought the stupid thin-is-in rhetoric. Nowadays, the Target ad campaign suits me better. Have you seen those gorgeous models of many sizes?)
Anyway, my book is a better bargain than clothes OR diet supplements, all of which should be flushed down the toilet, in my opinion. The supplements, not the clothes.
Wicked River is about a couple that goes on a wilderness honeymoon only to encounter danger from mother nature, man, and worst of all—their own dark hearts.
This is not a husband-turns-out-to-be-a-baddie thriller. Read it, and you’ll see what I mean.
So What’s This About a Balancing Beam?
I understand why they call it work/life balance. You can topple off.
I struggled as an author even before my career got started. 11 years, 8 novels, and 3 literary agents before my debut, Cover of Snow, got published. Two books after that, and then my editor was let go. It took nearly a year before I landed at my dream publisher with Wicked River.
Which (did I mention?) is on special today from BookBub! Check it out!
All of this explains why I do everything I can to give me a shot in this biz. Writing is a long game requiring investment and time in and a lot of standing around in fields holding up metal poles so that lightning can strike. We make some of our own luck, but there is luck involved, to paraphrase Brad Parks, one of three authors writing what I’d call today’s best “dad lit”.
So when the Decatur Book Festival—the biggest book festival in the country—invited me to be on a panel with Mary Kubica and Emily Carpenter (photographed right with book ambassador Barbara Khan of Baer Books), you can bet I said yes. And when my publisher organized a bountiful breakfast celebration at Bouchercon and offered to fly me down there…ditto. (Thanks, John Thomas Bychowski for the pic!)
That’s when I found out that my kids started school the same week.
There was no way I could say no to these invitations. I’m still trying to make it as an author. Some days, I feel like I will always be trying to make it as an author.
The awesome travel coordinator at Sourcebooks got me down to Georgia and back in time for the first day of school, before whisking me south again to Florida the day after that. Landed at 1 a.m. on Thursday and was scheduled to be home by 1 a.m. on Friday. But I was there for the first day of school. Teetering atop that balance beam, legs so wobbly they could barely hold me up.
There were tears and meltdowns and a few hysterics on the first day, of course…from me. The kids were great. But I had slept five hours out of the last forty, and was wracked with doubt. How much is okay to devote to your career? Am I sending my kids a positive message about dreams and passion and sticktoittiveness, or just missing moments in their lives?
The work/life balance can split you apart.
It was great to meet so many new subscribers while I was away, though! And I missed all of you who have been on this list for a while—seeing some of you in person made all the fatigue and travel heroics worth it.
In the Spotlight
Liz Milliron explains why you shouldn't give up:
I blog with a group of writers at Mysteristas. In 2014, I wrote a blog post about my crisis of confidence. I was trying my best, but nothing seemed to be happening for me. My novel was a hot mess. I couldn’t get a short story published. My friends were all announcing wonderful news like agents and book deals and acceptances. I began thinking that maybe this wasn’t the track for me.
I expected a lot of flack. Except…people were wonderful. So many people who said, “Don’t worry – don’t give up!” Jenny even shared the post on her Facebook page, which got even more comments like that. I’ve never felt so encouraged.
That novel is finally in print. So you, you in the back? Don’t give up. Trust me on this one. We’ve all got your back.
Did You Say Something About a Book Deal?
I did, I did! I am thrilled to report that I’ve landed back with my brilliant and insightful editor at Sourcebooks—the most creative, supportive, and outside-the-box publisher I’ve ever seen—for my fifth novel, Twelve Miles from Mercy. You can read the Publishers Marketplace announcement here:
Okay, so maybe you can't actually read that, and the Publisher's Marketplace Deals are behind a paywall, so I can't even link to it. But this is what it says:
Author of WICKED RIVER Jenny Milchman’s TWELVE MILES FROM MERCY, about a stranger who answers a help-wanted ad from a remote island in Maine, hoping to build a new life there, only to discover that the town itself is strange and she may have made a grave mistake.
In Other Entertainment News
In my next newsletter I’ll give you a movie update! And to bring things full circle, those of you who have been wanting to read As Night Falls, the book the film is based on, will be able to get it cheap from BookBub the last week of October. Hey, wow, I shared that without a blip.
Have a good month as summer wanes, dear readers. I guess I tried to offer a little life perspective in this issue, though I must say, I didn't come up with many answers. Too bad, because I always did want to write my own version of that graduation speech.
So trust me on the diet pills.
Love from the Hills of Wedeskyull,