HANK: It’s a big BIG book, with a perfect high concept:
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…
Irresistible, right? Brilliant, right? And the amazing Samantha Bailey’s WOMAN ON THE EDGE hit number one in Canada! (And the print version is now also available in the US for those who didn’t already grab the e-version.)
And hurray, she agreed to answer the Career Authors 11.
1. What book changed your life?
Night by Elie Wiesel. It broke me, and I sobbed for days after. It also inspired me to go after everything I want and live my best life because we never know how long it’s going to last.
2. Was your first published book the first manuscript you ever wrote?
Ha ha! Not at all. I wrote five manuscripts over a seventeen-year period, and Woman on the Edge is the first to be traditionally published, and my first thriller.
3. Stephen King says, “The hardest part is just before you start.” What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
I agree with Stephen King. There’s that moment of self-doubt after I finish outlining the scenes right before I start the first chapter, and I’m deciding what goes on the page and what doesn’t. Then I breathe and get to it, knowing the magic, at least for me, is in revisions.
4. Do you know the story’s ending before you start?
Yes, but the story definitely evolves as I write, and I let the characters lead me where they need to go. Sometimes I’m surprised when the ending becomes something very different than what I originally envisioned.
5. When you’re having a difficult writing day, what do you tell yourself to get through it?
I tell myself that for six years I wrote and re-wrote Woman on the Edge, and I can do this one sentence at a time.
6. Do you read your reviews?
It’s a tricky and excellent question. Reviewers put in so much time and effort to write their thoughtful opinions of my work, and I want to make sure to appreciate and honor that. If I’m tagged in a review, I’ll definitely read it because it means someone wants to share it with me, and also wants their followers to be able to follow me. I don’t, though, check reviews I’m not tagged in very often because I need to allow my readers to experience my book without my interference.
7. Besides being persistent and correcting your spelling errors, what’s your best advice for a new author?
I have three suggestions that have helped me so much: embrace the revision process because it’s where the best work happens; find your people, the ones who will celebrate and support you; and know that it likely won’t be fast or easy, but it’s so worth it.
8. What’s your definition of writer misery?
9. What’s your definition of writer happiness?
An entire day to write without interruptions.
10. What’s your favorite book on writing?
11. What book are you reading right now?
I’m so lucky to have an ARC of The First to Lie by Hank Phillippi Ryan, and I’m completely engrossed. Right from the opening line, I was hooked.
ed note: Awww. I just burst into tears. Thank you!
HANK: What questions do you have for Samantha? Tell us on the Career Authors Facebook page! We may not be able to see each other in person, but let’s talk there.
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