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Author uses real life drama as inspiration for debut novel

“Cover of Snow” author Jenny Milchman discusses the inspiration for her debut novel and gives advice for other writers hoping to be published. Milchman will appear at book signings this week in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
by Heather Warlick Published: February 25, 2013

“It wound up being a completely unsalable 180,000 words, but agents were interested enough to give me writing advice, and I was hooked,” she wrote on her website,

With practice, she said, she began writing books worthy of publication and her debut novel has received excellent reviews.

For Milchman, it was a long road to publication. She tried for 13 years to get a book published with a publishing house. “Cover of Snow” is Milchman's debut novel, but is the eighth novel she's written. It was a frustrating time during which “I was so bedraggled, so down-beaten,” she said. Many writers know this pain of rejection after sending manuscript after manuscript to publishing houses.

But it wasn't a question of quitting for Milchman.

“I couldn't not write,” she said.

Now that Milchman's quest to publish has come to fruition, she's embarked on an 18,000-mile book tour along with her husband and two young kids. For seven months, the family is traveling across the country by car. The Milchman kids are being “carschooled” and all are enjoying what has become a “family odyssey.”

Her advice for writers trying to get published:

“The best thing is make friends with booksellers and make friends with authors,” she said. It was her friendship with another author that eventually opened the door to being accepted at a publishing house. “Those kinds of connections, in a way I think it's karma. If you support other people long enough, somebody's going to want to support you.”

One of the take-aways from “Cover of Snow” is that it can seem as if you're at the absolute end of the road and then the door finally opens, Milchman said. She says that concept can help aspiring authors stay on track, too.

“My big piece of advice is don't give up. Keep trying everything. Something's going to work.”

by Heather Warlick
Life & Style Editor
Since graduating from University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, Staff Writer Heather Warlick has written stories for The Oklahoman's Life section. Her beats have included science, health, home and garden, family,...
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