Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Look Who's Here!

Thanks for stopping by! I have the lovely and talented Jennifer Hillier as a guest today. Her debut novel, Creep, is releasing on July 5th and on presale now. I was lucky enough to snag Jennifer for an interview before her craziness really starts. I love a good thriller, and I can't wait to read this one!

So read on to learn more on Creep and Jennifer's path to publication. Also, Jennifer is giving away an arc to one random lucky person who leaves a comment, so be sure to leave a note! Coolness!

About Jennifer:

Born in Toronto, which is where she spent the first three decades of her life. When her husband was offered a transfer to Seattle, she didn't know which would be worse: leaving Canada or moving to the West coast. She spent her first few months on American soil bemoaning her existence and writing her first novel. Now nicely settled in the Pacific Northwest, the only thing she misses – other than family and friends – is snow.

Jennifer blogs at The Serial Killer Files ( You can also find her on Facebook (, Twitter (!/JenniferHillier), and her official author website,

1.   1. Tell us about your book!

Thanks for having me, PK! Very happy to be here. CREEP is a psychological thriller about a popular college professor who is stalked and terrorized by her teaching assistant, also her former lover. I've always been fascinated by villains, and serial killers are my favorite kind. Having worked on college campuses for a quite a few years, I always wanted to write a story that took place in a university setting.

2.     2.  How long have you been writing?

Like most writers, I've been writing my whole life. But other than a few angsty years in high school where I wrote tons of short stories, I didn't get serious about writing for publication until 2007 (which is when I wrote my first novel, now trunked).

3.     3. What was your path to publication like?

Other than the rejections, it's been pretty great! Ha! In all serious, my path to publication has been fairly linear. I wrote a novel, revised it six times, then sent out about a hundred queries to literary agents (but not all at once). I received rejections on about half of those before signing with my agent, then got rejected three times by editors until my publisher made an offer. While it all seems straightforward in hindsight, at the time it felt like a rollercoaster! Every rejection stung like crazy… but in the end, it was all worth it. It really just takes one yes.

4.  4.   How long did it take to write the first draft?

Five months. And then I spent another nine months revising.

5.   5.    Is published story very different from your original?

The main storyline is the same as how I originally wrote it, but during revisions, I cut out an entire subplot and tightened up the writing considerably. My first draft clocked in at over 135,000 words. Yikes! The book that will be on the shelves in two weeks is just under 95,000 words.

6.     6.  Plotter or pantser?

I've always been a pantser, but I'm seriously rethinking this! My first drafts are always a mess.

7.    7.   Advice to aspiring authors?

I'll pass along the advice I got from Stephen King's book, ON WRITING, because it definitely worked for me: read a lot and write a lot. I'll add to this that we have as many chances to get published as we can write books, so if your first book doesn't make it, write another one. Of course, this is much, much easier said than done.

8.       If you were a car, what kind would you be? And why? 

I actually think I'd be a motorcycle. Free-spirited and independent, but not so great in the rain.

This was so much fun, PK! I'd love to offer one of your readers an ARC of CREEP. Anybody who comments below by Friday, June 24th will be entered in a random drawing. Again, thanks so much for having me!

Thank you so much, Jennifer! The literary world awaits your debut!! Wishing you much success. :)

Readers, don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win! Thanks so much for stopping by here. 


Trisha said...

Congrats Jennifer on your novel's publication! Sounds like an intriguing read, and I like that genre. Gotta add it to my TBR list!

I am so a pantser as well...and like you, my first drafts are usually somewhat frightful. hehe

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Congrats Jennifer on a wonderful book. I wish you every success with it.

I was in Toronto a month a go for the first time then went on to Niagara Falls before touring part of the US. Thought Toronto a good place to be.


Liz P said...

Great interview. I'm really looking forward to reading CREEP!

Sophia Richardson said...

Comment! I so want to get my hands on Creep. And cutting 40k words? Pretty impressive.

Richard said...

Achieving success at a young age is awesome. Some of us have been writing for thirty and forty years and have yet to get published. Congratulations, and hope you sell millions of copies.

Lizz said...

Sounds thrilling!!! I'll be sure to check it out!

Sarah said...

Great interview! This books sounds awesome.

Laurel Garver said...

Great interview--and I'm totally fascinated with the collegiate setting, since I work in scholarly publishing. I swear my office is in the creepiest building on campus!

Anonymous said...

Great interview!

I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle area) and then moved to the midwest for a few years.

I'm back now, so I can TOTALLY identify with you on the lack of snow. I do miss it, and the fun times it brings.

But, sometimes it's kind of nice knowing I don't have to buy a snow shovel...again (those things always used to break on me come spring when I was trying to chip away at the sheet of ice on the back steps)

Anyway, this was a great interview. Thanks for sharing your path to publication. I especially liked your sentence, "It really just takes one yes." So simple and true!

Christi Corbett

Liz Fichera said...

CREEP is on my TBR for the summer. Hope you sell a zillion copies, Jennifer!

Budd said...

Wow, you took that killing your babies line seriously. That is a whole lot of words coming out.

Love that you would be a motorcycle, but I have a follow up. what kind of motorcycle?

kmckendry said...

Great interview! College campuses can be creepy at times! Congratulations Jennifer on getting a "yes" finally. I'm still waiting for mine.

Jennifer Hillier said...

Thanks so much, everyone!

@Trisha: Aren't first drafts horrible when you don't outline? Sheesh!

@Welcome: Thanks! I love Toronto, and miss it every day.

@Liz P: Aw, thank you :)

@Sophia: I hugely overwrote in my first draft. 40k had to go... I might have cried a little.

@Richard: Thanks so much for saying I'm young, haha!

@Lizz: I hope you do, thank you!

@Sarah: Thanks so much!

@Laurel: College campuses can be so creepy! Especially the older ones.

@Christi: I think I have idealized memories of what snow is really like, haha! Shoveling and driving over ice is so NOT fun.

@Liz F: And the same back to you, Liz!

@Budd: I'd like to say Ducati, but I'd probably be a very old, very beat up Triumph.

@Kmckendry: Your yes will come. Just keep going! :)

Lisa Gail Green said...

Sounds great! Thanks for the interview. I appreciated the advice, and also loved Stephen King's ON WRITING.

Racquel Henry said...

Excellent interview. Jennifer, I Can't wait for your book to come out! :)

Angela Felsted said...

Great interview and very positive advice!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The revising always takes longer, doesn't it? Good interview, ladies!

Jennifer Hillier said...

@Lisa: ON WRITING is one of my favorites. So much good stuff in there.

@Raquel: Thank you so much!

@Angela: Thank you so much!

@Alex: Doesn't it? What's up with that? ;)

ali said...

Great interview! And yay for another Canadian! (I'm from London, about an hour and a half away from Toronto). I'll definitely watch for this book!

Jennifer Hillier said...

@Ali: Yay for Londoners! I used to visit my best friend all the time at Western :)

Nas Dean said...

Hi Jennifer, Hello PK,

Congrats Jennifer on your novel's publication! Sounds like an intriguing read. And thanks PK for bring us Jennifer!

Nas Dean said...

Hi Jennifer, Hello PK,

Congrats Jennifer on your novel's publication! Sounds like an intriguing read. And thanks PK for bring us Jennifer!

William Kendall said...

Congratulations, Jennifer!

We Canadians are all over the map, aren't we?

RosieC said...

Great interview, PK. And congrats to Jennifer! I'd love a chance to read it, too.

East for Green Eyes

Kristin said...

No need to enter me in the contest, but I just wanted to say I loved Creep and this was a great interview with Jennifer!

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