Two stories in two books and 2 stories a year out of 28 stories a season doesn't equate into 7 years worth of material . Even while Kes wa on the show by 3rd season they weren't writing much more than her saying "yes, doctor." I think it shows Jeri Taylor wasn't lying. What reason would she have to lie for if she's admitting it was their own lack of success.
Besides, everyone wants to blame Rick Berman or Jeri Taylor.
Did anyone bother to ask what Jen Lien wanted? Did anybody consider she didn't want to stay doing Trek. That she didn't like the job. She has said since the start that the choice to leave was mutual.
As Guy has correctly pointed out, actors have agents.
Ratings was a small part of what modern Trek is all about. Voyager held enough in the ratings to last but Seven of Nine gave Paramount something else they wanted too, a strong boost in merchandising. Seven's image made them LOTS of money!
If you watch the episodes in seasons 1-3 again and read the Voyager books from the same era, you will see that Kes had more than two stories each year. There were many episodes where she wasn't the main character but still played a very important role. Compare that to Harry Kim who really was the one with two episodes each year when he was more than just a visible character in the background.
In season 3, the season you accuse the character for doing nothing more than saying "yes Doctor", Kes was the main character in "Warlord" and "Before And After". She did also play a very important role in "Basics #2", "Sacred Ground", The Swarm", "Darkling" and "Scorpion". She was often visible and highly involved in many other episodes. That's a lot more than saying "yes Doctor".
I don't think you know more than most of the rest of us what Jennifer Lien wanted. What I know, and I have that from many sources was that she enjoyed being a part of the Voyager cast and that she got very sad and depressed when she was kicked out.
If your theory about Jennifer Lien leaving to do voice job instead of acting had been true, then those in charge of Voyager would have trumpeted it out in every possible statement and everyone of the many Star Trek magazine over and over again that Lien was leaving because she wanted to do voice job instead. Not to mention that Lien herself would have been showed up making the same statment.
None of that happened. Instead we got half-done weak explanations about the writers being so lousy that they couldn't come up with stories for one character (which is a lie) and the usual crap about "mutual agreement", a word which makes me cringe. My exprience from the world of music tells me that everytime the words "mutual agreement" shows up, then it's foul play involved.
And no, Taylor wasn't telling the truth. Her own writing confirms that.
As for the merchandising, I'm not surprised considering the fact how Seven Of Nine was marketed by those in charge of Voyager. I mean, you could hardly open a Star Trek magazine without one poster, one lengthy interview and several pictures of Seven and you could hardly access the official Star Trek website without finding a picture and an inteview there too. Sometimes when reading those magazines and interviews I got the impression that season 1,2 and 3 was just something out of my own imagination and that Voyager actually started when Seven arrived. If Kes had got the same marketing as Seven did, then Kes would have been the great star of the show.