Milchman's babysitter confessed to her one night that he was planning to kill himself. By telling her parents when they returned, the babysitter was found, and saved.
"That experience was formative," she remembers. "In years to come I felt terrified that the decision had been left in my eight year old hands."
Milchman eventually started a career as a psychotherapist, helping people professionally find a way out of their desperation. And while her expert background influences her writing, so does the work of literary greats such as Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Nancy Pickard, who describes Milchman's debut as "absorbing from start to finish."
In "Cover of Snow," Nora Hamilton wakes to find her policeman husband missing from their bed. Minutes later, Nora discovers his body, a victim of suicide. He left no note or sign of why he'd take his own life, and the grieving wife wants answers. Her search in an insular, frigid mountain town that is determined to keep its deadly secrets buried proves more and more difficult as she meets resistance from her husband's friends, partner, and his own mother.
Outside of her writing, Milchman is known across the country for founding "Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day." In just two years, the holiday is already celebrated in all 50 states and four foreign countries by more than 350 independent bookstores.
"We need to nurture in kids a deep engagement with text, minus any distractions, and we need to show them a world where every store has its own unique identity," Milchman said. "Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day is a celebration of locavorism, a return to Main Street, and entails giving a child the tactile, interpersonal and physical experience of being in a bookstore."
Milchman will be appearing at the Northshire Bookstore on Saturday, March 23, to discuss her book and sign copies. The event starts at 7 p.m.