After over twenty years in clinical medicine, Michelle Corbier now works as a medical consultant. Her writing interests cover many genres—mystery, paranormal, and thrillers. When not writing, you can find her outside gardening or bicycling. Learn more about Michelle and her books at her website.
Bike for your mental health
One of the earliest skills I taught my son was to ride a bike. The first bike—only bike—I owned during childhood had orange handle grips with multicolored streamers. It had tall handlebars with a long narrow seat which accommodated me and my baby sister. Because my father served in the Navy, we moved frequently, and I lost that bike. But the desire to speed down a road on two wheels continues.
Bicycling gives me the sensation of flying like a bird. Free, floating above all life’s concerns and complications. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “Health benefits include improved cardiovascular fitness, stronger muscles, greater coordination and general mobility, and reduced body fat. As with other types of exercise, it can also help improve mental health by lowering stress levels and stimulating feel-good endorphins.” Well said.
In Hollow Voices the protagonist, Dr. Julia Toussaint, bicycles to release stress and remain fit. An activity she shared with her son before his death. While my son never appreciated bicycling, it’s something I still enjoy and wanted to include in my novel.
Medicine is a stressful occupation. While the benefits are many, it wears on medical professionals physically and mentally. The idea for the novel began during one of the most stressful moments in my career. I contemplated leaving medicine, a job to which I devoted most of my life. Caring for people gave me purpose. Medicine provided personal satisfaction, job security, and a stable income. Unfortunately, the work environment became hostile. When things became tense, I resorted to writing.
In the novel, Julia suffers a total mental collapse following the death of her son. Disconnected from reality, she seeks treatment for her mental health. In time, she recovers and discovers a new purpose. But when the people she loves become threatened, she takes drastic action with fatal consequences.
Change is a fundamental component of life. While some changes are more traumatic than others, how we cope with those events defines our lives. In Hollow Voices, Julia experiences situations familiar to many people, from office politics, personal loss, to a mental health crisis. Books may transform readers to new vistas or reflect current circumstances. In this novel, a mystery collides with reality.
If I’m having a hectic day, nothing satisfies like biking. Trudging up a hill admiring the scenery, matching my strength against nature, or soaring down a trail with the wind whistling in my ears. Join me. Hop on a bike and drift away on a cloud of endorphins. And when you finish, relax with a good book.
Recovering after the death of her son, Dr. Julia Toussaint starts over at a new job with a narcissistic boss. Suddenly, the past catches up with her when a police officer blackmails her. In a fight for her sanity, Julia struggles to protect the people she loves.
Time is crucial and she must remember what happened after Evens died because the decisions she makes will have fatal consequences.