Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Vanessa Riley | Listening to Your Voice
Author Guest / August 16, 2019

Last fall, the leaves started turning gold and brilliant red. The birds sang as they migrated South, and I was forty-thousand words into creating, The Bewildered Bride. Everything was wonderful. Peace and love seemed to be everywhere. Then, the words stopped.   Nothing. Not a jot. Not even an extended ellipse.   I’m not one to panic, but for a writer to have their characters who had been happily chatting with you to go silent—that’s a Danger-Danger-Will-Robinson moment.   After a long sigh, several hazelnut lattes, prayer, and begging my muse, I closed up my laptop. I shut my eyes and listened. My heroine of The Bewildered Bride, Ruth Croome Wilke, had something to say, and it wasn’t the story on the page.   Her voice, I had suppressed. I’d convinced myself it didn’t matter. She would be happy in the end. When her story became tough and gutting, I stopped listening to her.   I didn’t want to face her truth. I wanted her to bottle up her pain.   I was hypocrite, and why would someone who’s been through so much want to waste her energy on someone who discounted the power of her voice.   Ruth had been…