Violet and Finn were “meant to be,” said everyone, always. They ended up together by the hands of fate aligning things just so. Three years into their marriage, they have a wonderful little boy, and as the three of them embark on their first vacation as a family, Violet can’t help thinking that she can’t believe her luck. Life is good.
"Perfect for readers looking for something new after all of the 'Girl' thrillers ... Gritty, witty, and a worthy addition to the recent slate of domestic dramas." —Booklist
“Once in a great while, along comes a novel that defies the odds, a true mystery that bars no holds and plays no tricks, leaving the reader both deeply moved and thoroughly astonished. ALMOST MISSED YOU is just such a book." —Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean
“A skillful, insightful debut: a deft exploration of the mysteries of marriage, the price we pay for our secrets, and just how easy it is to make the worst choices imaginable.” —Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls
Some Q & A with Jessica~
Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.
I’m the editorial director of Writer’s Digest magazine, where for the better part of a decade I’ve been working with, interviewing and editing talented writers at all levels. I’ve always been a journalist and essayist, but also a voracious fiction reader. It was only a matter of time before I could no longer resist the pull to jump in and try it myself.
What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
I have a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old, so my non-work time is almost all kid time right now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We all love spending time outdoors—bike trails and state parks and anything by the water—and we all like to keep a page-turner on our bedside tables. A glass of wine with my husband or a good friend is the perfect cap to any day, and there’s nothing like travel to refill my well when it runs low.
Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?
Too many to list, really. Anne Tyler, Alice Walker, Liane Moriarty, Maggie O’Farrell, Jodi Picoult, David Sedaris, Chris Bohjalian—voice draws me in above all else.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I had an earlier novel that attracted an agent but never found a publisher, and then I parted ways with that agent with Almost Missed You just kind of hanging out on my hard drive. When I found my second agent, she felt I should shelve my unsold first novel but was beyond enthusiastic about my newer one, and I put my trust in her. Almost Missed You sold in a preempt within two weeks.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?
You’d think I’d say yes, because there were years of uncertainty and rejection and waiting. But it was all a learning experience that helped me land the way I did, so I guess in that respect the answer is no.
How do you market your work?
Somewhat uncomfortably! I’m active in a number of writing groups, including the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and the Writer’s Digest community, and through my social media accounts (on Twitter @jessicastrawser and on Facebook @jessicastrawserauthor). I also speak/teach occasionally at writing conferences—I’d cut way back on work-related travel when my babies were born, but this year I’m looking forward to getting back out there and pursuing some more opportunities along those lines. My book also includes a reading group discussion guide, so I hope to do outreach to book clubs.
What are you working on now?
I have another stand-alone novel in a similar vein due out from St. Martin’s Press in Spring 2018. I’m wrapping my revisions on that one now.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences?
Very little, if anything. My first, unsold novel was inspired in part by a tragic circumstance in real life, and that writing took an emotional toll. I can also acknowledge from a craft standpoint that I may have been too close to the material. It was freeing, after years on that project, to write something that was pure imagination.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
There will be moments where you’ll be tempted to give up. Resist. Hang onto whatever it is about your writing that brings you joy, and don’t let anyone take it from you. Have faith.