Monday, August 1, 2011

Jennifer Hillier

Jennifer Hillier makes her fiction debut this summer with Creep. Originally from Canada, she lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest.

Last month I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I pretty much jumped from Nancy Drew right to Stephen King.

When I was growing up, I don't remember there being the incredible selection of young adult books that there are now. Oh, I'm sure they existed back then, but for some reason they just didn't enter my reading orbit. I wanted to read what my mother was reading, and my mother was a long-time fan of Stephen King. She finally gave me permission to read Pet Sematary when I was 10 years old. It wasn't exactly the warm and fuzzy animal story I thought it was going to be… but I sure was hooked on all things spooky after I finished it.

Right now I'm rereading my favorite Stephen King book, IT, for maybe the dozenth time. Whenever I'm not feeling super confident in my own writing, I pick up this book, because there's something about the characters, the story, and the voice that never fail to remind me why I wanted to be a writer in the first place.

IT is about seven children who battle a monster that constantly changes into each child's deepest fear, whether it be The Mummy, The Teenage Werewolf, a giant eyeball, or a giant spider. At the most basic level, IT is a horror story. But it's also so much more than that. It's about friendship, childhood, courage, abuse, and loss. King remembers so well what it's like to be a kid, and even though the majority of the story is set in 1958, the kids are totally relatable. And because I can't help but love them, and root for them, I totally believe everything that's happening to them. I never have to suspend my disbelief, and every time I read this book, their fears become my own.

There's something to be said for a book that can still scare you even though you've read it a dozen times and know what's coming.
Visit Jennifer Hillier's website.

--Marshal Zeringue