My first book, The Ninth Life came into being mainly because I became intrigued by the notion that most of us hear voices in our heads at one time or another.
From Pinocchio to Joan of Arc, people have been hearing things and sometimes a little voice can change history, and not always for the best.
Kate Devereau, the ageing artist in my book, has been hearing a voice all her life. Never sure if this is good or evil, she makes a point of ignoring everything it says. Would her life have turned out differently if she hadn’t?
Some people call this the voice of our conscience, a bit like Jiminy Cricket, but how many of us really listen or even obey its commands?
I personally don’t hear any voices, but sometimes I just know I should have done things differently, and have suffered the consequences…
When I researched this topic, I was amazed by just how many famous people have heard voices, going back as far as Moses. Some of these people were convinced they were hearing the voice of God; some thought a heavenly host had visited them. Whereas, on the other side of the scale, if a voice talked you into committing a crime, they usually lock you up and throw away the key.
Personally, I like the idea of a wise voice, advising and helping us with life’s problems. Pointing out the error of our ways would be very handy in our house.
But how many of us would dare to trust it?
Excerpt from The Ninth Life
… as the pain rolled on and on, Kate just wanted to die. She knew no one was going to rescue her, they never had before and it was a little late to start believing they would now. For some reason, she knew it was her lot in life to suffer, to be alone and be miserable, no matter how hard she tried to make her life any different. Surely, it was time for the curse on her life to stop? The voice in her head had said otherwise, apparently, there was much worse to come. But what could be worse than this, she thought.
Once the pain started to make her want to push, it all became a little more bearable. At least she felt more in control of the situation, not just lying there helplessly, being tortured.
The baby, a boy, was born that evening and nobody could have been more pleased it was over than Kate herself.
Throughout the ordeal, the voice had kept up a running commentary about her life being ruined. How she had wasted every opportunity and how sorry it was. The last bit surprised her, for she had always thought it disliked her. It had never said anything with any hint of kindness in it before. If it was simply trying to depress her even more than she was already, it had succeeded…