Thirty years on, I wonder: has there ever been a work of fiction that lingered so long in gestation? Where did I go wrong? Or did I go wrong? Perhaps it was simply meant to be that The Voices in My Head (aka the book I familiarly call “Tess”) was destined go through the number of drafts it did.
If I hadn’t started it way back in the grieving years after my second husband died, if I hadn’t written that first draft that found the wonderful agent Tim Curnow on its first time out and if it hadn’t been rejected by seven major publishers in a long 18 months – two liked the first half, another two liked the second and the fifth found the first few pages too “slow” – the book would never have been written. Which would have been a pity because Tess was determined to survive.
Through it all, while the essence of Tess herself didn’t change, with each draft, she developed – or grew. She had stepped up shortly after I first visited a lovely old building that would turn out to be the setting for this book and she haunted me in the years her story sat mellowing in the same drawer in different houses. In fact, despite a variety of takes on the same major theme – I replaced only one of the main characters and, as it’s turned out, she too needed her place in this story.
Huge thanks for the lovely testimonials and reader comments I’m continuing to receive and will be progressively posting on the Books page of this site. My thanks, too, to Jess Erickson and the team at Spiro Books for the interior design and Luke Harris of WorkingType Studio for the great cover. I’m both thrilled and relieved that the book is now out and about and to report that for those of you who prefer to purchase your books from a bookshop,The Voices in My Head is currently available from two terrific stores: New Editions on the corner of Henry and High Streets, Fremantle, and Crow Books on Albany Highway, East Vic Park. Otherwise online at https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/0994162537.
Aimed at those from university-age upwards, it will provide some thought-provoking reading. I hope you enjoy it and I’d love to hear from you.
All my good wishes for 2024 and lots of happy reading and writing!