Happy Wednesday, writer friends! Today I welcome Jennifer Hillier, whose thriller Creep is being released by Simon & Schuster in July. Jennifer was another one of my first followers, so I feel like I’ve known her a long time though I only started blogging seriously in September.
It’s been soooo fun getting to hear Jennifer’s journey and find out what happens after you get an agent and a publisher. She spills it all on her blog, so you should definitely check it out! I’m a regular stalker. And what’s mega fun is that you can pre-order Creep on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Chapters Indigo. Jennifer also has an official website (don’t you love the sound of that?), which you should visit, too.
Okay, so read this deliciously tantalizing description of Creep:
Dr. Sheila Tao is a professor of psychology. An expert in human behaviour. And when she began an affair with sexy, charming graduate student Ethan Wolfe, she knew she was playing with fire. Consumed by lust when they were together, desolate and depressed when they weren't, she realizes the three-month fling with her teaching assistant has to end. After all, she's engaged to a kind and loving investment banker who adores her, and her life is about to change for the better. But when she attempts to cut the affair dead in its tracks, Ethan Wolfe won't let her walk away.
Ethan has plans for Sheila, plans that involve posting a sex tape that would surely get her fired and destroy her prestigious career. Plans to make her pay for rejecting him. And as she attempts to counter his every threatening move without her colleagues or her fiancé discovering her most intimate secrets, a shattering crime rocks Puget Sound State University: a female student, a star athlete, is found stabbed to death. Someone is raising the stakes of violence, sex, and blackmail . . . and before she knows it, Sheila is caught in a terrifying cat-and-mouse game with the lover she couldn't resist — who is now the monster who won't let her go.
What have you experienced thus far in the publishing process that you didn't expect?
I honestly didn’t expect things to happen so quickly! I was prepared for it to take years to see a book in print, and I was prepared to write lots of books before even getting close. I spent fourteen months total writing and revising CREEP. I signed with an agent three months after I started querying, and I was submission for only two months (which, admittedly, felt like an eternity at the time) when my book sold. When I look back at 2010, I can’t believe so much happened within such a short time frame. I feel very lucky, and very blessed.
When might we see the inevitably awesome cover for Creep? Do you get any input in this process?
I haven’t heard anything about the cover art yet, though the cover copy (the back cover blurb and opening pages) was sent to me back in November. I wake up every morning expecting to see the cover art in my inbox! I don’t get any input in the graphics or design, but I definitely trust my publisher to know what will best sell the book. In my head I picture it being very edgy, very slick, very broody, with giant letters that shriek “CREEP”! It’ll be interesting to see how far off the mark I end up being.
**Editorial Note: since the interview Jennifer has gotten her cover art! She can’t let us see it yet, but read all about her initial impressions here.
What do you have planned for Creep's release date? Will there be a book release party?
I actually don’t have anything planned at the moment. I currently live just north of Seattle, WA, but most of my family and friends are in Toronto, Canada. So I might do something back in my hometown to celebrate, since I know way more people there than here.
Now that you have an agent, how you do propose future projects? Do you just shoot her an email, or call her up and share your ideas? Does she give you timeframes for when she'd like to see your next book?
My agent and I have already had a few discussions about my current work-in-progress, and she’s ready to see it whenever I’m ready to show it to her. Which I so am not! It’s a first draft, and like most first drafts, it’s in rough shape. I’d be embarrassed for her to read it as it is now. Most of our discussions are via email because with the time difference (she’s in New York), it’s just easier, and she’s always lightening fast with her email responses. We’re hoping to submit a proposal for the first book to the publisher (who has first right of refusal) before CREEP is out, but I want it to be the best it can be before anybody sees it.
If you were in one of your books, what would be your weapon of choice?
Ah, my favorite question! Definitely an ice pick. You can buy one for $2.99 (very practical for this economy) and for just a bit more, upgrade to one with a rubber handle (which of course I would do – who wants calluses?). In my stories, my villains are always hands-on. Death is always personal to them... and messy.
Thanks so much for the awesome interview, Jennifer! I'll definitely be in line to get Creep in July (for my birthday!).
Don't forget to drop in Friday for my interview with Talli Roland! And, if you want to enter the drawing for a $15 Amazon gift card, go to this post and leave a comment.