Creep by Jennifer Hillier

by Terence Cumberworth

Jennifer Hillier wants to get into your head. That’s right, she wants to play with your mind. Her first published novel, CREEP, is a psychological thriller designed to do just that. Here’s a glimpse:

Pulsing with the dark obsession of Radiohead’s song “Creep”, this taut thriller – Jennifer Hillier’s superb debut – rockets from its seductive opening to a heart-pounding climax not easily forgotten.

IF HE CAN’T HAVE HER . . .

Dr. Sheila Tao is a professor of psychology, an expert in human behavior.  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, riddled with guilt when they weren’t, she knows 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 she’s taking control of her life. But when she attempts to end the affair, Ethan Wolfe won’t let her walk away.

. . . NOBODY ELSE CAN.

Ethan has plans for Sheila, plans that involve posting a sex video 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.

SPECIAL MENTION

CREEP, which hits the bookshelves on July 5, 2011, has already received a battery of outstanding reviews. Take a look at this one written by an eminent bestseller who knows the genre well:

“Jennifer Hillier’s CREEP is top-of-the-line thriller writing. You better call in sick, because you’re not going anywhere until you finish reading. Oh, and you might want to lock the door too. Just to be safe.”

Jeffery Deaver, author of CARTE BLANCH

Other similar reviews can be found at Jennifer’s website.

THE STORYTELLER’S AFFAIR

In the fifth grade, Jennifer’s teacher discovered that her young student appeared to have talent and referred her to a summer writing class. That’s when the love affair began.

“I loved it. I really loved it.” Jennifer recalled, “And from then on I thought it was cool to tell people I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.”

But the lovers drifted apart.

Life went on for Jennifer and she eventually married. The newlyweds settled in Toronto, Canada, Jennifer’s birthplace and home while growing up. Then one day a call came, her husband accepted a job in the United States and the couple moved to Seattle, Washington.

That’s when the journey back to her estranged lover began.

“I went round and round with Homeland Security, I couldn’t find a job, and so I decided to go back to writing.” Jennifer chuckled, “Besides, I had plenty of time.”

Jennifer used that time to write her first novel. “It was a disaster,” she said, “Crap. That’s what it was. It couldn’t be fixed. I got all the bad stuff out of the way.”

Not to be detoured, Jennifer took hold of her true love and set out to write her second novel: CREEP.

“I applied what I learned and I wrote knowing what the end would be. My characters came alive and their dialogue and action heightened the suspense. I want to get into the head of the reader. And I think I succeeded with CREEP.”

Her secret for keeping the love affair with writing alive?

“Stay upbeat in spite of the difficulties.”

THE JOURNEY

The journey to publication was fraught with discouragement for Jennifer. It took her seven rewrites and 14 months to finish CREEP. And it only got worse from there.

“I sent out 98 Queries. The first rejection letter came back on my 10th wedding anniversary. Not a good night. And 47 more came not long after.”

Hope seemed elusive even though she received 10 letters that asked for more information. She responded to those requests and waited. Finally, Jennifer received good news, an agent agreed to represent her.

“It only takes one to believe in you.” Jennifer’s tone turned reverential as she spoke of her agent, Victoria Skurnick of the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency, ” I feel so lucky to work with someone who does.”

Two more rewrites and a year elapsed since Jennifer signed with an agent. On July 5, 2011 CREEP will be released.

ON WRITING

“Write. Don’t talk about it, just write.” Jennifer advised, “It comes down to time management. Carve out the time and make it count, whether one hour a week or eight hours a day.”

Jennifer seems to take her own advice. Not an early bird by her own admission, she begins her day around 9am. She starts by tackling administrative matters such as responding to e-mails. Then she hunkers down, for four hours, to writing the story at hand. The workday ends for her with blogging.

She shared a final and interesting thought on writing.

“The inspired stuff and that which seems like work always seem the same. In the end, no one can tell the difference.”

What more can be said?

SOONER AND LATER

CREEP by Jennifer Hillier will be available on July 5, 2011 at bookstores and online. To learn more about Jennifer Hillier, please visit her website.

Another psychological thriller by Jennifer Hillier is due to be released next summer.

C. B. Worth

C.B. Worth worked for 25 years in the field of human behavior as a counselor and administrator. Now retired he devotes his time to his true love: writing. He resides in southern California with his wife.

Visit him on the web at www.cbworth.com

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