MIAMI — A Miami native has her haunting and gripping debut novel set to release Oct. 1st that will be followed by a second book in the series in the fall of 2020.
Vanessa Lillie spent a lot of her time while living in Miami investigating local ghost stories at the public library.
She studied English at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, and received a Masters of Public Administration from American University.
Lillie worked in Washington, D.C., after college until moving to Providence, Rhode Island, which she now calls home with her husband and son. Smitten with the smallest state, she enjoys organizing book events and literary happenings.
Lillie’s debut novel, Little Voices, is a psychological suspense set in Rhode Island. Unpredictable and addictive, the book grabs you from the first chapter and takes you on a twisting, turning journey with a surprise ending that will leave you stunned and wanting more.
From the story’s beginning, on the day Devon Burges almost dies in childbirth and her friend, Belina, is murdered in a cemetery and abandoned on the banks of the Providence River, you will be hooked.
After weeks of recovery, Devon struggles with postpartum life, but it’s not just sleeplessness and new-mom anxiety that are the cause of the vicious, godlike voice she begins to hear preying on her insecurities.
When Alec, another friend, is accused of Belina’s murder, Devon must return to her skills as an attorney to investigate Belina’s life and death.
Nothing will stop Devon from finding Belina’s killer and helping Alec, not even the baby she desperately wants to protect or the cruel voice inside her head. But, as she digs deeper into the crime, staying on the right side of the law proves difficult at best.
Despite believing that Alec is innocent, Devon uncovers his involvement in a money-laundering scheme, ties to a corrupt government official, and a botched FBI investigation.
Eventually finding justice becomes an obsession, one that leads Devon down a dangerous path directly to Belina’s killer.
“This is actually my first interview for my book and it’s really special that it’s for the News-Record. Publishing a book is something I have been trying to do for over a decade. I have been taking a lot of courses and going to conferences and reading a lot of books about publishing, so it’s been something I have wanted for a long time,” Lillie said in a telephone interview.
“After the birth of my son I felt inspired to write a thriller about a new mom who was struggling with post-partum yet still succeeding in a lot of ways. I wrote this story pretty quickly and it came from my experiences of being a new mom and wanting to read a story about a new mom.
“It has certainly been a dream come true and is very exciting to connect with other readers…and this (her book’s genre) is my favorite type of book to read, so it’s great.”
The book’s cover art was designed by Shasti O’Leary Soudant, a transdisciplinary artist, designer and writer, who has done cover art for such well-known authors as Dan Brown, Mary Higgins Clark, John Grisham, Stephen King, James Patterson, Luanne Rice, Anna Quindlen, Danielle Steel and Gore Vidal.
“Getting the book cover designed was a really exciting part of the process,” Lillie said. She sent some ideas along, but what the artist came back with was just amazing to her.
“My agent, who represents best-selling authors, instantly had a vision for where she thought my book would fit in the marketplace and she was able to find my publisher, Thomas & Mercer, very quickly. When I chatted with my editor we just clicked. It has been great to work with people who have a vision for my creative work.”
“I’m actually coming into Miami for my 20th high school reunion at the same time that I will be doing a book signing at Chapters, the most incredible bookstore, in Miami Oct. 12 at 11 a.m. Thomas & Mercer are going to donate the books that will be available at the signing and all proceeds will be donated to the Miami Public Library. It’s so generous of them,” Lillie said.
“The Miami library was a place I went to all the time when I was growing up and they have wonderful summer programs. It is just a really beloved place and I still go back every time I am home and I took my son there the last time.”
Lillie is finishing up the second book now and says she is crossing her fingers that everyone likes it.
“I’m really excited about that one as well. It’s another thriller, but the main character is different. A couple of the secondary characters will be the same as in my first book, so there will be some familiar ‘faces’.”
With 15 years of marketing and communications experience, Lillie edited for an e-publisher for two years. One of her author’s novels even received an EPIC Award in 2009, after which Lillie left to devote more time to her own stories and her addiction to online writing courses.
You can contact Lillie by e-mail at vanessaRlillie@gmail.com, on her website at http://www.vanessalillie.com or via Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/vanessalillieauthor