My Bookish Ways

Scare-a-Thon Q&A: Jennifer Hillier, author of Creep and Freak

Please welcome Jennifer Hillier back to the blog for the Scare-a-Thon! Jennifer is the author of the thrillers Creep and Freak, and I was happy to catch up with her. Also, be sure to check out her books, because they’re awesome, and perfect for a creepy Halloween evening!

Jennifer, welcome back to the blog! Since the last time we talked, you released your 2nd novel, Creep. Speaking of Creep, it was super creepy (couldn’t help it)! For those that haven’t read the books, will you tell us a bit about the series?
CREEP is my debut novel, a psychological thriller that stars Dr. Sheila Tao, a sex addicted psychology professor who has an affair with her student, Ethan Wolfe. When Sheila tries to break off the affair, Ethan shows her his true colors, and she discovers that he’s a psychopath.

FREAK is the follow up to CREEP, and it follows the characters (everyone who didn’t die in CREEP) a year later. That’s about all I can say without spoilers!

What are some of your biggest inspirations in your writing (authors, novels…)?
Let’s see…
Writers who inspire me:
Stephen King, because like most writers in my genre and generation, I cut my teeth on King growing up.
Chuck Palahniuk, for his ability to write so sparsely and still say so much, and for his ability to infuse social commentary into a fictional story.

Novels that inspire me:
Joseph Finder’s PARANOIA, which me kept me guessing till the very end, and will soon be a feature film starring Liam Hemsworth and Harrison Ford!
Chelsea Cain’s HEARTSICK, the first novel that introduced me to a seriously badass female serial killer.

What are a few things you consider truly terrifying?
Clowns, porcelain dolls (they look like dead little girls to me!), and Hannibal Lecter.

What’s one of the scariest books you’ve ever read?
IT, by Stephen King. Everything about that book gave me chills, because the main characters – all children – were so real to me that their fears became real to me.

How about one of the scariest movies you’ve seen?
Definitely The Exorcist, because the Catholic girl in me wonders whether that could really happen! Paranormal Activity would be a close second.

Are you a Halloween kind of gal? If so, how do you celebrate?
I love Halloween. I love the pumpkin carving, the costumes, the candy, and the love for all things spooky. I usually celebrate by watching scary movies while handing out candy.

What’s next for you? Anything you’d like to share about upcoming projects or events (or anything at all!)?
I’m happy to announce that my third novel will be out from Simon & Schuster/Gallery books in 2014! The working title is MAGNOLIA, and it’s a psychological thriller about one of the US’s worst serial killers, who was never caught. He’s now 82 years old and getting bored playing Bingo in the old folks home, and so he decides to come out of retirement for one last hurrah. I can’t wait to dive into this story. I’ve written a synopsis but don’t have an outline, and so I’m excited to see how everything unfolds.
Keep up with Jennifer: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Purchase Creep: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
Purchase Freak: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

About Creep:
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 heartpounding climax not easily forgotten.

If he can’t have her . . .

Dr. Sheila Tao is a professor of psychology. An expert in human behavior. 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, riddled with guilt when they weren’t, she knows the three-month fling with her teaching assistant has to end. After all, she’s finally 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.

. . . no one 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.

About Freak:
Sitting alone in a maximum-security prison cell, Abby Maddox is a celebrity. Her claim to fame is the envy of every freak on the outside: she’s the former lover of Ethan Wolfe, a psychopath who allegedly left more than a dozen dead women in his wake and nearly added Seattle professor Sheila Tao to the tally. Now Abby, serving a nine-year sentence for slashing a police officer’s throat in a moment of rage, has little human contact—save for the letters that pour in from demented fans, lunatics, and creeps. But a new wave of murders has given Abby a possible chance for a plea bargain—because this killer has been sending her love letters and carving a message on the bodies of the victims: Free Abby Maddox.

Jerry Isaac will never forget the attack—or his attacker. The hideous scarring and tortured speech are daily reminders to this one-time Seattle PD officer, now a private investigator, that he is just lucky to be alive. Abby Maddox deserves to rot in jail as far as Jerry is concerned. But she alone may possess crucial evidence—letters from this newest killer—that could crack open the disturbing case. Can he put the pieces together before Abby’s number one fan takes another life in the name of a killer’s perverted idea of justice?

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