Q&A with Samantha M. Bailey

samantha-baileyIf you love reading thrillers you’ve surely already seen the dynamic debut novel from Canadian author Samantha M. Bailey – WOMAN ON THE EDGE – featured on a bookstore shelf near you. Hopefully, you have already bought a copy and burned through it in a couple of days like I did. If you haven’t…go buy it now.

Samantha’s success story is one that many debut authors hope to have. But her road to success has been a long one, and it was her hard work and dedication to her craft that earned her a place on the bestseller lists.

In addition to being a fantastic writer, Samantha is also a huge supporter and champion of other writers. Her support of my own publishing efforts has been incredible and though we’ve never met in person, I’m happy to call Samantha my friend.

Reading through her Q&A answers I found myself nodding in agreement with so many of them. Especially when she talked about sharing the moment she had dreamt of her entire life with her children. Enjoy!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was ten years old and submitted my first story, Freddy the Flame, to publishers. They rejected it with a very kind, encouraging note, and the fire to write was ignited. Pun intended.

What was the first thing you did when you found out your book was getting published?

I fell to my knees and sobbed. Then I laughed in shock. Then I cried again.

How long did it take you to write your debut novel?

The first draft took a year. But all told, it took six years from the time I came up with the premise while on a Toronto subway platform to the day I saw it on bookstore shelves for the first time. My agent and I spent three and a half years revising it draft after draft, and I must have torn it down and re-built it twenty times. Once it sold to my editors at Simon & Schuster Canada and Headline UK, the last revisions took about six months or so, which felt like a blink of an eye after so many years leading up to that point.

Then, of course, copy edits, proofreads, and finally the moment I’d dreamed about for seventeen years—when I pointed to a shelf at a bookstore and said to my kids, “There’s Mommy’s book.” An epic journey worth every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears I shed.

What does your writing schedule look like?

Right now, it looks a bit manic because I’m promoting Woman on the Edge at the same time. I usually get up at 5 or 6 am, which for a former night owl, is a shocking change. But I don’t have enough time during the day to really focus on writing, and I actually love the dark silence in my house when it’s just me and my words. I write until my kids get up for school around 7:30 am, then I’m all Mom—making breakfast, packing lunches, finding homework. The minute they’re out the door, I turn to my emails, social media, and promo and back to writing until the kids come home around 4 pm. It’s hectic, and all I ever wanted.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk or habit?

I’m very protective of my writing space. I tense up when anyone comes close to my “office,” which is a desk shoved against a wall in my kitchen. We had guests over recently, and a glass of wine appeared on my desk, next to my computer. I can’t explain to anyone who’s not a writer how much my computer means to me. I calmly walked over, plucked it off my desk, and shooed everyone out of the kitchen.

Now I have a room divider to enclose my little space, so it’s all mine. Also, every time I start working on a new book, I need three things: a pretty new notebook; a new, though cheap, pen; cream instead of milk in my coffee. Those small pleasures make me so happy and excited to be starting a fresh story.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

How much I didn’t know. I’ve been writing novels for seventeen years and with each one, I learn so much about the process. With Woman on the Edge, I learned the most. I learned how to outline, plot, and plan; to revise from scratch; to be patient and listen fully to all feedback. I also started using craft books more, and there are three I can no longer write without: On Writing by Stephen King, Story Genius by Lisa Cron, and Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody.

What is your biggest writing-related dream? I’d love to see Woman on the Edge as a film or TV series.

Thank you! That’s pretty much my dream, too. I have two film agents at UTA, and like with everything in this wild, amazing journey, I’ve learned to control what I can, which is writing and promoting and to let go of all the things I can’t control and trust the professionals who work on my behalf. But I can’t say I don’t imagine seeing my book on the screen. That would be incredible.



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.


Amazon Canada


Buy Local

Amazon US 

Barnes & Noble



Amazon UK


Photo credit: Dahlia Katz Photography

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. 

Author Website: SamanthaMBailey.com

Instagram: @sbaileybooks

Twitter @sbaileybooks

Facebook: Samantha Bailey Author

Publisher’s Website: simonandschuster.ca  


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: