Friday, May 15, 2020

"Little Voices"

Vanessa Lillie has fifteen years of marketing and communications experience and enjoys organizing book events and literary happenings in the Providence, Rhode Island area. Originally from Oklahoma, Lillie calls Providence, Rhode Island home with her husband and sloth obsessed son.

Her debut thriller, Little Voices, was an Amazon bestseller and number one psychological thriller for all of September 2019. Little Voices received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal as well as must-read lists in Real Simple, Refinery29, Cosmopolitan UK, and Bookish. It was also named one of the best debut thrillers of 2019 by Bolo Books.

Lillie applied the Page 69 Test to Little Voices and reported the following:
From page 69:
Ten minutes later, I return to him in the kitchen. Ester is slumped in the crook of his arm as he sips coffee with the other hand.

“Careful,” I snap, letting my nerves out on this silly situation. “You could burn her.”

“I’ve got it,” he says, defensive as I quickly take her back into my arms.

I nuzzle her as anxiety punches my gut until it finally deflates into embarrassment. “I’m sorry,” I say. “I’m nervous.”

He raises his eyebrows.

“No, I’ll drive myself.”

He bows his head to the side as if he knew I’d say that. “Call me when you’re back. Tell Dr. Lauren hello.”

I kiss him on his smoothly shaven cheek before he can notice my eyes filling with tears.

I really do hate lying to him.
This passage makes me smile because that moment between a husband and wife and the coffee came from my own postpartum experience. I walked into the kitchen and my husband was holding our baby and sipping his coffee, and I made myself not snatch the baby out of his hands.

However, that’s where the similarities end. In this scene, the main character, Devon, is lying to her husband. She promised to go to therapy, but is pretending that's why she's leaving her house for the first time since she returned from the hospital after giving birth. Instead, she's going to investigate the murder of her friend. This is a journey of not only finding justice, but also rediscovering the person Devon was before the baby.

It feels right that a small part of this scene is rooted in my real, post-baby life. I wrote Little Voices as a new mom who wanted to see motherhood at the heart of a thriller. Taking my own struggles and emotions as a scared new parent, I amplified and fictionalized them on the page.
Visit Vanessa Lillie's website.

--Marshal Zeringue