Pinball wizard

Happy new year!

I am once again a Canadian resident.

We made the drive from Seattle to Toronto in four and half days, arriving on New Year's Eve around 7 p.m. If you were following me on Twitter (and if you're not, why aren't you! I'm at @jenniferhillier), you already know the drive was completely boring and filled with tweets about donuts and windmills and crying cats and my intense dislike of peeing in public restrooms. (Hello, McDonald's? Your bathrooms are DISGUSTING.)

But I'm here. My furniture and clothing and books aren't here, and won't be until sometime between January 10th and 12th, but we made it, and the cats are okay, and other than being super tired and maybe a little cranky, I am here.

Confession time.

I don't like change.

I say that I do. I fantasize about doing amazing, crazy, wonderful things with my life that are totally outside the box, but in the end, I don't like change. When confronted with it, my first instinct is to lie on the floor and turtle up. And moving from one country to another is probably one of the biggest life changes there is.

My mood right now is all over the place. I feel like a pinball – I'm bouncing off sharp edges and soft edges, boomeranging back and forth between moments of extreme excitement at what the future holds and desperate sadness at what I've left behind. Sometimes it feels like I'm falling into a dark hole, but then suddenly I get cannonballed back out again for huge, joyful bonus points. Crazy, yes? But I can't think of how else to explain it. Life has been so unpredictable lately, in both good and not so good ways.

Life is a pinball machine. And despite some bad bounces, a lot of really good things happened.

The Highlights of 2011:

Signed another book deal in April. FREAK will be released this summer.
(I've seen a cover, but I can't show it to you yet. And psst... you can pre-order it already!)

Saw my debut novel, CREEP, hit bookshelves in July in the U.S. and Canada.

Visited the offices of Simon & Schuster in NYC, and met my editor and sales team.

Met my agent in person, and we had dinner with Margaret Atwood.

Spoke at the Debut Author's Breakfast at ThrillerFest in NYC.

Had a wonderful (but thoroughly awkward) conversation with my favorite thriller writer, Jeffery Deaver. 

Finally met some writing friends in person (JB, Ghenet, Lisa, Dan, and Nancy, to name a few!)

Launched CREEP at my favorite bookstore in Toronto with friends and family in attendance.

Launched CREEP in paperback in the U.K. 
Many thanks to Catherine, my editor at Sphere UK, for this picture she snapped in the supermarket!

Made some new best friends (you know who you are, and there aren't enough words to describe what you've brought to my life).

For 2012, I hope:
  • To embrace life in Toronto once again.
  • To write a new book and get back that feeling of pure joy that can only come from a creating a new story.
  • To see FREAK on the shelves this summer.
  • To attend more writers conferences, because I believe it's important to be around other people who understand this special breed of crazy.
  • To never take my family or friends for granted, because in the end, they're all that matter.
  • That each and every one of you gets whatever it is you want most this year.

Let's bounce, people!

What do you want most this year?


* * *