Jennifer Hillier

The end of a decade

Jan 11, 2021 | Book Events, Conferences, Jar of Hearts, Little Secrets, Writing Process

(Note: This is a repost from a newsletter originally sent to subscribers on December 10, 2019)

Well, hello there. It’s been a minute since I’ve connected with you guys here. You look great! Did you do something different with your hair?

I went into 2019 with every intention of it being a quiet year. Since I didn’t have a new book coming out, I didn’t think I’d do any book events. It seemed like the perfect year to take some real downtime and just exist in my natural state as a hermit, an eccentric writer and recluse who never goes anywhere and just sits at home all day with her cat (minus the cat, because my beloved Kobe died in 2015, and my son is now allergic). Pajamas and Netflix for 2019? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Except… it didn’t quite play out that way. If anything, it’s been the busiest year ever. I finished writing my sixth book and have done what feels like 17 million edits (okay, more like four, but same thing). I did my first high school talk in March and my first book club in April. I was invited to announce the nominees for Best Debut Novel at the Arthur Ellis nomination ceremony, and around that time was also when I learned that JAR OF HEARTS was nominated for three awards – the ITW Thriller award, the Anthony, and the Macavity. A first for me!

In July I traveled to New York City to attend ThrillerFest (but who am I kidding, I love that city and I love that event, and I always end up going), where JAR OF HEARTS won for Best Hardcover Novel.

In September, I was invited to a truly lovely dinner at Natalie Jenner‘s home, with fellow local authors Samantha Bailey and Hannah Mary McKinnon. This might sound weird, but it was the first time I’d ever had dinner with a group of other writers in my own ‘hood. Usually I have to travel by plane to see my author friends. (Also, Natalie and I share an editor, and her debut novel, THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, comes out May 26.)

And then in October, I traveled to Wisconsin for the Fox Cities Book Festival, where I did a talk with the amazing Hank Philippi Ryan.

In early November, I was at Bouchercon in Dallas (where Lou Berney won both the Anthony and the Macavity for his tremendous novel, NOVEMBER ROAD). But I ain’t sad about it because, as cliché as it sounds, it really is an honor just to be nominated. And Bouchercon was extra fun this year. I got to spend time with the Minotaur Books team, catch up with so many friends, meet some fabulous #bookstagrammers, and connect with my Thrill Begins family.

(Instagram: @the_reading_beauty)

And in between all that, I went to Florida for March Break, Las Vegas for my five-year wedding anniversary, and Montreal for a bachelorette party. I was maid of honor at my best friend’s wedding. I spent American Thanksgiving in Green Bay, WI with my husband’s family. Our little boy turned five (five!), and now here I am, about to release JAR OF HEARTS in mass market paperback on January 28. Oh, and there’s a whole new book coming in April 2020.

(Click here to pre-order the mass market paperback of JAR OF HEARTS. It includes an excerpt of the new book, LITTLE SECRETS.)

(Click here to pre-order LITTLE SECRETS, coming April 21, 2020)

There was almost no downtime. But that’s okay, because it was a fabulous, fulfilling year. And to top it all off, I signed a new contract with Minotaur for two more books.

It’s the end of a decade, guys. Ten years ago this month, I was unagented, unpublished, and dreaming of being a working writer. And now here I am, ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. I don’t love every part of my job, but I love most of it, and what I don’t love is more than tolerable. Which I figure makes me one lucky SOB.

Wishing you and yours the happiest holiday season, and cheers to a new decade! (Though I have to admit I’m a little disappointed we don’t have teleportation and time travel heading into 2020 – was that not what we were promised back in the eighties, when I was a kid? HELLO. McFLY.)

See you next year!

<3 Jenny

p.s. This is by far my favorite picture of 2019. Did I mention I was a lucky SOB?