What Did Author Jenny Milchman Read When She Was Pregnant? Also, Check out Her New Novel ‘Cover of Snow’

Last night I went to a rockin’ book party at my local book store–my cozy and indispensable second home. I was happy to celebrate my friend Jenny Milchman‘s debut suspense novel called Cover of Snow. Jenny is just an all-around cool person. She’s the mom who started the nationally popular Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. She’s also a mom who has struggled for 11 years to get one of her books published. She finally hit the jackpot with Cover of Snow that came out this week. This thriller is about a couple in Upstate New York. Mysteries abound when the wife wakes up to find that her husband, a cop, has hanged himself. But was this really a suicide? Publisher’s Weekly loves the book, writing that “Milchman expertly conveys Nora’s grief in a way that will warm hearts even in the dead of a Wedeskyull winter.” I’m anxious to crack open my copy.

And checkout Jenny Milchman’s guest post below. Find out what she read–and wrote–when she was pregnant. Her love for the suspenseful thriller genrea makes total sense.”

“When I was pregnant, I didn’t read any pregnancy books. As a suspense writer, I have the worst case of medical student’s syndrome ever, and if you so much as breathed the word pre-eclampsia in my direction, I would start actually seeing protein in the little cup they give you at the midwife’s office. No microscope needed here.

So what did I read while I was pregnant? I know this is going to sound weird. Probably even weirder than my extreme suggestibility. I read Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin. Yes, during my very first pregnancy, when every gas bubble could’ve been a kick, and every kick could’ve been a sign I was going into labor, I read a book about a woman who didn’t realize she was gestating the devil’s spawn.

Books have meant different things to me from the time I was able to read, but when I started the process of becoming a mother, they morphed into something else entirely, and I think this morphing is part of what compelled me to read the classic blueprint for paranoia in pregnancy. (Yes, Rosemary, there really is a coven in the next apartment).

As a pregnant woman, things were becoming very, very real. No more fooling around, this wasn’t just playing house. I was about to become responsible for another human being. Forever. Until I wasn’t on this earth anymore, but a part of the earth.

In fiction, I found respite. Nothing real there. I mean, despite my extreme medical studentitis, I pretty much knew that my husband hadn’t traded my womb for a good role on stage. (He isn’t even an actor). Rosemary’s problems were tantalizingly…unreal.

In addition to being a reader, I’m also a writer, although while I was pregnant, I was an unpublished writer. But I was trying awfully hard to get published by the time I became pregnant.

I’d been trying for about three or four years. To get published, not to conceive; lightning struck pretty fast with the latter, thank goodness. I’d written four novels, and they had all gotten close. I had an agent and editors who wanted to buy my work. In fact, I’d even postponed pregnancy for a while, assuming I would be published soon, and then who would have time for a baby?

But it didn’t happen, and before I get all metaphysical about why, and start writing about the child I feel I was meant to have, let me just get on with things and tell you that I bit the bullet, jumped off the cliff, and while pregnant, also wrote my fifth novel.”

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  1. by Jenny Milchman

    On January 23, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Kristen, it was so great to have you at my Montclair book launch! And thank you for sharing this post with your readers. It was a lot of fun to write!