I am so happy to welcome Samantha Bailey to the dance this weekend. I met Sam virtually in a Facebook group for debut authors, and she immediately impressed me with her warmth. Later, when her book launched in Canada at the end of 2019 and promptly landed on The Toronto Star Bestseller list, I celebrated with her from afar. While WOMAN ON THE EDGE is Sam’s debut, she’s been in the business for seventeen years. She’s written five manuscripts, had two agents, and experienced hundreds of rejections. And she’s still kind, generous, and hopeful?! This is a woman I want as a friend. Read on to find out how she does it, and also for a chance to win WOMAN ON THE EDGE.
Samantha M. Bailey is a Toronto-based novelist, journalist, and freelance editor. She is also the co-founder of BookBuzz, a promotional and interactive author-reader event held in New York City and Toronto. Her #1 bestselling psychological thriller, WOMAN ON THE EDGE, is published by Simon & Schuster Canada and Headline UK, and will be translated into seven languages. You can connect with Samantha on Twitter @sbaileybooks; Instagram @sbaileybooks; and on her website at SamanthaMBailey.com.
Which talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could draw. I have zero visual artistic talent, and I’m in awe of authors who not only write gorgeous prose but can also create drawings, paintings, and graphic art. I can barely draw a straight line and all my characters look like carrots.
What time of day do you love best?
Until recently, I was a total night owl. I loved going to bed around midnight with a book and reading until I felt sleepy. I’d get up on weekdays around 7:30 am and on weekends at 8:30 am. I could only do this now that my kids are a bit older. Before I had kids, you’d have been hard-pressed to see me on-the-go on weekends before noon. But when Woman on the Edge was published in Canada and the UK, and promo became very busy—beautifully so—I didn’t have enough time during the day to work on my next book. I would always see the “5 am Writer’s Club” on Twitter, and at the same time, my friend, Karma Brown, and I were discussing her non-fiction book, Time Change, set to be released in 2021.
One morning my eyes flew open at 5 am. I was going to dive right back under the covers but decided to get up and see how it felt to write in the dark, before the sun rose, when the house was quiet. That one morning changed my life. I loved the silence and darkness and that I didn’t feel like I should be answering emails or be on social media. It was just me and my story. Now I try to go to sleep by 11 pm and wake up at 5 or 6 am. It’s been glorious. Though I am drinking a lot of coffee.
Share one quirk you have that most people don’t know about.
I am a total, unapologetic carnivore and can polish off an entire rib-eye, bone in, in one sitting.
Have you ever traveled to do research for your writing? Where did you go?
While I didn’t travel far for my research, I believe in totally immersing myself in my characters, when I can. So, I’m lucky to have a friend who is a Detective-Constable with the Toronto Police, who offered to help with any questions I might have. He invited me down to the station and I spent a day as a suspect. He led me through the Sally Port to the fingerprinting and onto the evidence room. I was giddy with excitement because, of course, I wasn’t under arrest, and I was so intrigued. When he asked if I wanted to be locked in a holding cell to see what it’s like, I jumped at the chance. He told me to bang on the door when I’d had enough, and it clanged shut. I was alone in a tiny cell—white-washed brick walls, a stainless-steel sink and toilet, and a small bed. I’m claustrophobic and immediately panicked. It took all of thirty seconds to bang on the door and beg to be let out.
Tell us about one of your proudest writing moments.
My proudest writing moment was the day my agent told me that Nita Pronovost from Simon & Schuster Canada had made an offer. I’d already accepted an offer from Headline in the UK and in seven European territories, but I’d always wanted to be published by Simon & Schuster Canada. I love their books, and they are a publisher in my home of Toronto. When Nita and I talked on the phone, everything clicked into place, and it felt so right. I wanted to work with her so much that those few days of waiting after our call felt like forever.
When I found out that Nita wanted to work with me, too, I fell to my knees and sobbed. After seventeen years, five books, two agents, so much rejection, revising, waiting, and hoping, I didn’t believe it was real. I had to ask if it was really true. And my instincts were correct. Simon & Schuster Canada has the most phenomenal, dedicated team of people from my editors to my publicist, marketing and sales team, and everyone else who works so hard on my behalf. All those years and all the fear and worry were so worth it.
About the novel:
A moment on the subway platform changes two women’s lives forever—a debut thriller that will take your breath away.
A total stranger on the subway platform whispers, “Take my baby.”
She places her child in your arms. She says your name.
Then she jumps…
In a split second, Morgan Kincaid’s life changes forever. She’s on her way home from work when a mother begs her to take her baby, then places the infant in her arms. Before Morgan can stop her, the distraught mother jumps in front of an oncoming train.
Morgan has never seen this woman before, and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life. She also can’t understand how this woman knew her name.
The police take Morgan in for questioning. She soon learns that the woman who jumped was Nicole Markham, prominent CEO of the athletic brand Breathe. She also learns that no witness can corroborate her version of events, which means she’s just become a murder suspect.
To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically retraces the last days of Nicole’s life. Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia or was she in danger? When strange things start happening to Morgan, she suddenly realizes she might be in danger, too.
Woman on the Edge is a pulse-pounding, propulsive thriller about the lengths to which a woman will go to protect her baby—even if that means sacrificing her own life.
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