by Julie, falling in Somerville
I am delighted to welcome Michelle Corbier back to the blog today to tell us about her new book, Hollow Voices!
Creativity from Adversity
Writing a book about toxic workplaces isn’t interesting. Who hasn’t worked for a boss they wanted to throttle? Therefore, I never considered writing a book based on my work life—until I did.
To decompress after an especially difficult shift, I would express my frustration by writing. While struggling with an obnoxious employer, I satisfied my thirst for justice by journaling. I actually continued journaling for over a year.
I shared the idea of creating a story from this journal with an editor. She was brutally honest and explained that the concept was boring. That was the best investment ever. The editor stated no one wanted to read about my workday unless I presented the tale in an entertaining manner.
Exit truth, enter fiction.
At that time, writing was a hobby. So, I toyed with writing this story from the first person perspective. Perhaps not a big deal for most authors, but I generally write in third person. In addition, I wanted to develop a psychological thriller. Mysteries and fantasy are my comfort zones. This provided an opportunity to push my creativity.
After crafting a meager story, I tabled the project and returned to mystery and paranormal. The WIP would gather dust for five years before I re-explored the concept. Two developmental editors later, Hollow Voices materialized.
In the story, Julia Toussaint becomes depressed after her son’s death. A hostile work environment compounds her stress. How she deals with loss and handles a narcissistic boss makes the story unique and relatable. The story explores not only toxic workplaces but mental health. An achievement as my first psychological thriller and first novel in first person.
For me, writing is cathartic. Creating novels exploring different aspects of humanity brings me joy. Hollow Voices is a triumph in my writing career. To craft something satisfying from a tremendously difficult time is to come full circle and close a chapter. And the book’s ending is also gratifying.
About the Book:
Dr. Julia Toussaint is recovering after the death of her son, Evens, when she catches her psychiatrist in a lie. Now, she doubts many things from her past, particularly surrounding the death of the woman who murdered her son.
Julia starts over in a new city with a narcissistic boss harboring his own dark secrets. Suddenly, the past catches up with her in the form of a blackmailing police officer. Fighting to maintain her sanity, Julia struggles to protect the people she loves.Time is crucial and Julia must remember what happened after Evens died because her actions will have fatal consequences.
About the Author
As a military dependent, Michelle moved between California and South Carolina. She enrolled at the UC Santa Cruz before attending Michigan State University. After twenty years in clinical medicine, Michelle works as a medical consultant. If not writing, she’s outside gardening or bicycling.