Monday, November 9, 2020

We Hear Voices

I’m delighted to welcome author Evie Green here today to talk about her upcoming new release, WE HEAR VOICES.

Dark Matter meets The Shining  in Evie’s eerie yet oh-so-intriguing horror debut, WE HEAR VOICES (Berkley Hardcover; On sale December 1, 2020), the story of a young boy and his sinister imaginary friend who encourages him to carry out some very dark deeds.

Rachel has always put family first—her three children are the center of her world. So, when a mysterious and deadly flu takes its toll on children around the world, she is immensely grateful that none of her three suffered a terrible fate—especially her son, Billy, who was infected.

But there’s something off about Billy upon his recovery. He won’t stop talking about his new friend, Delfy. At first, Rachel shrugs it off—all children have imaginary friends at one point or another, don’t they? But soon, Billy isn’t behaving like the sweet little boy Rachel knows him to be. He becomes increasingly violent—and he tells his mother that Delfy is to blame.  Soon, Rachel can’t help but wonder if her little boy is dealing with something much more malicious than an ordinary imaginary pal….

As Delfy’s influence becomes perilous, Rachel must choose between protecting Billy, and protecting the rest of her family —even if the consequences tear them apart.

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Evie as she tells us about her intriguing new book. Welcome, Evie.

What inspired you to write this story?


Many years ago, when I was about 9 or 10, I read a book by John Wyndham, called Chocky. It’s about a boy with a voice in his head, told from the point of view of his baffled father. A few years ago, I found a copy of it in a second-hand bookshop, so I read it again and could not get the ideas it sparked off out of my head. I started writing without really knowing what was going to happen, and many years later, WE HEAR VOICES is the result. 

This is your first horror novel. What drew you to write in the genre?


Funnily enough, I never set out to write a horror novel! I wrote the book that was in my head, and I suppose it went through a few gears, from thriller to speculative fiction, then sci fi, and finally to horror. Genre is a strange thing! Also, its first draft didn’t have a pandemic in it. I added it in as a bit of exciting background, with absolutely no idea of how relevant that aspect would become. It did mean I was well up to speed with face masks and so on by the time COVID-19 came along.


Your story is about a boy with a dangerous imaginary friend, but also about a family, and how that family copes in the aftermath of challenging times. Why did you choose to incorporate such a strong family storyline into your novel?


WE HEAR VOICES is a family novel before all else. I have three teenage children, and two stepchildren, so my family is at the heart of all I do, and I’m really interested in the immediacy of questions like how far you would go to protect your child. One of the protagonists, Nina, is a teenage girl, and in a way she’s a lot like my eldest child, in that she’s more sensible than most of the adults around her! I think that teenagers have an undeserved bad reputation: I love having them around, and always really enjoy meeting their friends. In my other life I write YA fiction, so I’ve got a great affection for good teenage character and wanted Nina to be as much a part of the plot as her mother. However, Rachel is really at the center of it all. She’s had her own struggles in the past, and has to contend with a desperately ill child, a pandemic, dealing with her ex-husband, and then death and destruction at the hands of her own possessed child. She could easily fall apart, but she manages to hang on most of the time.


What kind of research was required before writing WE HEAR VOICES?


As space travel is a part of the book, I spoke to an old university friend, Kevin Fong, who’s now an expert on the human body in space as well as a medical doctor and astrophysicist! During the course of our conversation, we also talked about pandemics, and he said that the number one worry of governments worldwide is a pandemic, and that one would happen sooner or later. We had absolutely no idea at that point that there was one approaching. I was mainly after his expertise on space colonisation, however, and took the information he gave me and ran with it, fictionally. My brother is an epidemiologist, so I also got some advice from him, though the pandemic itself is just ending at the start of the book. I considered whether the WE HEARVOICES world would have had a full lockdown and decided that it wouldn’t, for economic reasons, so they have rules about facemasks and so on, but the virus has mainly been left to sweep though the population.


What do you hope readers will take away from your novel?


The one thing that didn’t change through the many drafts of this novel was the ending: I’ve always wanted it to end with a shock (as I like reading books like that) so I hope that’s enjoyable. In a broader sense, I suppose I’d like them to think about family, about the questions of how far you defend your child if they do something indefensible, and what on earth a parent can do if they feel their child is out of control. Child mental health is a huge problem worldwide at the moment, and it has huge ramifications for the future.


Evie, thanks so much for joining us today and giving us this insight into your fascinating story. It definitely fits with our world today from the pandemic aspect. 

Meet the Author


Evie Green © Charlotte Knee Photography 2020

Evie Green
 is a pseudonym for a British author who has written professionally for her entire adult life. She lives by the sea in England with her husband, children, and guinea pigs, and loves writing in the very early morning, fueled by coffee.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. So could you answer Evie’s question, how far would you go to defend your child (or family member) if they did something indefensible?


  1. What a fascinating premise. When serial killers are identified I feel for their families. I wonder what they go through and thoroughly enjoy books that question just how far love and support should go. Lionel Shriver's We Have to Talk About Kevin was a stunning example and it is a genre which draws me in each and every time. Thank you both for fueling my bookie lust. Again.

  2. Delfy sounds like a really bad influence! Excellent timing for the book too, considering the pandemic.

  3. I'm always interested in learning how authors go about doing what they do. And this sounds like a very eerie story! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Timely story indeed. And space travel is involved? Very interesting.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.