Vanessa Lillie is originally from Miami (Mi-am-MUH), Oklahoma, and studied English at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO, before moving to Washington, D.C. While there, she was lucky enough to join the local chapter of Romance Writers of America and credits much of what she knows about thriller writing to romance authors.
Now living in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband and dinosaur aficionado four-year-old son, she’s smitten with the smallest state, and enjoys organizing book events and literary happenings in the city’s robust creative community.
Devon Burges is in the throes of a high-risk birth when she learns of her dear friend’s murder. The police quickly name another friend as the chief suspect, but Devon doesn’t buy it—and despite her difficult recovery, she decides to investigate.
Haunted by postpartum problems that manifest as a cruel voice in her head, Devon digs into the evidence. Meanwhile, the voice in her head grows more insistent, the danger more intense. Each layer is darker, more disturbing, and she’s not sure she—or her baby—can survive what lies at the truth.
Author’s Corner – interview with Vanessa Lillie
Can you tell me something about you that your readers might not know?
I have a marketing background, so if I wasn’t a writer, I’d love to work for Rhode Island tourism bureau because I’m obsessed with my newly adopted state. Fun fact: Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is our state’s full name, which makes it the smallest state, but with the biggest name.
Have you always wanted to be an author or is this a new venture for you?
I have always loved reading and writing, but I didn’t get serious about it until my early twenties. It took me ten years and three books, but I finally found a story that connected me to my agent and publisher (and now real live readers!).
What are some of the jobs you had before becoming an author? How have they helped you in your writing career now?
I’ve worked in marketing and public relations since college. I really enjoy sharing news and information, so that part of this process has really helped me. I also was a server at restaurants and bars in college, so the ability to work hard and be gracious also goes far in this business (and life).
Stranded on a tropical island, what would be the top three books you’d have with you?
Can I cheat and say a gigantic complete works of Jane Austen, obviously a how-to-survive-on-a-tropical-island guide, and maybe something hilarious like Bossypants by Tina Fey.
If you could recommend any other book(s) that you’ve read and loved recently, what would it be?
Gretchen by Shannon Kirk is creepy and fantastic. Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle has some fantastic twists. After the Flood by Kassandra Montag is a gorgeous dystopian debut about a mother’s love. And I loved Miracle Creek by Angie Kim.
I’m also about to start an early reader copy of your latest, Christina, Behind Every Lie, and can’t wait!
If you were granted one wish, what would it be?
Rolling back environmental damage would be pretty great. I just watched Aladdin with my son, and I’m pretty sure letting the genie go free is the right answer though.
If you could invite five people (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
Let’s have a dinner with lots of good vibes and inspiration. First, Oprah. Brenee Brown is a new favorite. I’m pretty obsessed with Beyonce and it’d be nice if she brought her husband. Michelle Obama. I’d also like her to bring her husband.
Writing Little Voices
Let’s talk about Little Voices. Can you tell my readers a little about it, how you came up with the idea and what inspired you to write it?
This is the thriller I wanted to read as a new mom hoping to see someone like myself at the center of a dark and twisty plot. There are so many big emotions when you’re a new parent, and I found putting those feelings into my writing really helped me process the experience and hopefully tell an entertaining story.
Describe Little Voices in three words
Terrors of motherhood.
What actress would you cast to play Devon?
I pictured Jessica Chastain as I was writing it.
Was the ending planned from the beginning or did it evolve as you wrote it?
I thought about the story for many months as I took long walks with my newborn son. By the time I sat down to outline and then write the story, I knew most of the major twists (though I was still surprised by a few).
What do you think readers will love about Little Voices?
It’s a thriller with a new mom at the heart of the story. She’s struggling with postpartum (as most do), but she’s also returning to her old self to help solve the murder of a close friend. I wanted readers, particularly those who are parents, to feel empowered by her journey as well as sympathize with her struggles.
I loved the themes of postpartum depression and new-mom anxiety. Was this intentional from the beginning or does theme develop over progressive versions of the book as you write?
Since I was a new mom when I wrote this story, those feelings and fears were front and center. In fact, I think if I were to write Little Voices today, it’d be a very different book since there’s so much of that time that I’ve already forgotten
What’s next for Vanessa?
Are you working on a new book? Can you tell my readers a little about it, a blurb, potential release date, etc? Where did you get the idea?
Yes, my next book is called For the Best and scheduled for release in September 2020. I’m just starting some major edits, but big picture, it’s about a woman accused of murder who creates a true crime vlog to search for the real killer.
Get in touch
Vanessa loves connecting with readers. You can get in touch with her at:
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