Those of us who are avid readers have probably dreamed—or perhaps still dream—of one day writing and publishing a book of our own. But most of us have no idea how much work it takes to get from idea to manuscript to proof to published book, not to mention all the steps in between. And we don’t always realize that for every author taken on by a big-name publishing house, there are likely a hundred more who get published by small outfits or who self-publish their works, and there are thousands more who have little more than dreams.

Jennifer Hillier, a writer born to two Cebuanos and based in Toronto in Ontario, Canada, is one of the lucky, talented ones. And beyond that, she’s labored through the hours of writing and revising that mark the difference between dreamer and writer.

Her debut novel, Creep, was published in hardcover by Simon & Schuster in July 2011, picked up by Little Brown UK / Sphere earlier this year (where it went into reprints), and published as a mass market paperback by Gallery Books in July 2012. Creep tells the story of Dr. Sheila Tao, a professor of psychology and secret sex addict who gets involved with one of her students. When she tries to break it off with him, though, things take a turn for the darker.

But Jenny isn’t one to rest on her laurels—her second novel, Freak, came out in hardcover just this month. A sequel to Creep, this novel focuses on a series of murders related to the events in Jenny's first novel.

Both books have just been made available in the Philippines via National Book Store and Power Books. In fact, she will be in Makati on September 2 for a book signing (check out the poster in the gallery below for more details). These victories, for Jenny, are particularly sweet because of how much work she put into making her dream of being a published author a reality.

(Photo by Steve Hillier; used with permission from Jennifer Hillier.)

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