Seth Fishman gave up on his third novel in 2010.
A literary agent who studied with Chang-Rae Lee at Princeton University and represents acclaimed author Téa Obreht, Fishman had written two unpublished books before finishing a thriller about a poison taster. The novel drew interest from publishing houses but his only offer was from a small book packager, which he turned down.
He then took all the drafts of his book and threw them in the trash. "I just didn't want to write anymore," Fishman said. "I found myself at a real dead end."
At the time, authors such as John Green ("Paper Towns" and later "The Fault in Our Stars")...