Author Craft Review 1: Jessica Strawser’s Almost Missed You

The purpose of this blog is to highlight techniques/tricks used by recently-published authors, so that upcoming authors can build a relevant reading list based on what publishers are currently buying.

TODAY’S BOOK: After hearing author Jessica Strawser describe her novel’s premise at the 2016 Writers’ Digest Conference, I wormed my way through the throng of fans to secure one of ten advance reader copies of Almost Missed You, a suspenseful story that will likely land in the Women’s Fiction section of bookstores.

THE PREMISE: While relaxing on the beach, a women’s husband kidnaps her baby boy. No note, nothing. Everyone always said Violet and her husband were meant to be, so what could possibly have gone wrong?

Here’s what I think Strawser did especially well.

THE SURPRISE POV: Just when you think you’re getting a He Said She Said in the vein of Gone Girl, Strawser gifts readers with a third point of view. She first lightly introduces the character in a prior chapter, and though I’m surprised when this POV begins, I was like, “Duh doy! Of course it makes sense to see the story from this character’s vantage.”

Yes 2

THE SUSPENSE FACTOR: Strawser weaves just enough foreshadowing into each chapter to make me want to skip my bus stop so I continue my ride on the Almost Missed You train without interruption. On several occasions, I literally skipped ahead to sneak a peak at how the next chapter would start, before flipping back to my bookmark.

giphy (1)

THE ENDING THAT BRINGS THE STORY FULL CIRCLE: Almost Missed You finishes with a graceful nod to where the story began, like a sandwich if you will, but without the cheese for those with intolerances to sappy happy endings.

Hold the Cheese


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