Samantha M. Bailey is the USA TODAY and #1 nationally bestselling author of Woman on the Edge, which has sold in eleven countries to date. She is also a journalist and freelance editor; her work has appeared in NOW Magazine, The Village Post, The Thrill Begins, and The Crime Hub, among other publications. Watch Out for Her is her second novel. Samantha lives in Toronto, where she’s currently working on her next book.
Want to keep up on all things Samantha then check out her website SamanthaMBailey.com or follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
What does your writing space look like?
My writing space is in my kitchen. I have a big, beautiful desk I splurged on, after WOMAN ON THE EDGE came out, that faces the wall, where I've hung a canvas print of pretty yellow flowers. Next to the print is my whiteboard to-do list. One of my favorite things is to cross things off that list. I try to keep my desk as uncluttered as possible, but at the moment, I have a stack of papers to the left of me—drafts of my proposal for my next book, my old-school paper calendar, notebooks, and so many post-its I could wallpaper the house with them. I have a little white vase that holds a pink flower, a blue bowl with all my earbuds, and to the right of me is my ring light and webcam. And of course, my computer and phone. I also have a white privacy screen for all my on-camera events to hide the dishes piled on the counters behind me.
If you could spend a day with another popular author (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
At this point, after more than two years of the pandemic and not seeing my author friends for so long, I really want to spend time with all of them. Even though I'm getting to chat with Amber Cowie and Hannah Mary McKinnon on screen, I want to hug them, have a glass of wine, laugh, and sit across from them talking about books, publishing, our lives, and everything in between.
How do you celebrate when you finish your book?
I sleep. When I'm immersed in a book, I wake up before five a.m., work as many hours as I can while also juggling being a mom of a pre-teen and teenager, and think about my book and characters all the time. Once I've finished a draft, I tend to feel like I've been hit by a truck because I've been running on adrenaline and caffeine, so I collapse in a heap of happy exhaustion. After some rest, I usually get a massage to untangle my knots, watch shows I need to catch up on, spend time with family and friends, and force myself not to think of my next book idea for at least a few days.
Is there something you do/have while writing that helps your process? (Music, snacks, etc.)
I always need a fresh notebook for every new book idea, my favorite blue coffee mug that I bought at the dollar store, and I usually listen to music before I start writing. I can't write while listening, but prior to working, I love music to inspire and motivate me, set the tone for the plot, help me narrow down the motivations and arcs for my characters, and better access their thoughts and feelings.
What book are you currently reading?
I'm currently reading IT COULD BE ANYONE by Jaime Lynn Hendricks, described as: “A suspenseful tale of a deadly destination wedding...a twisty domestic thriller that will appeal to readers of Liane Moriarty, May Cobb, and Lisa Jewell; its unforgettable characters and unpredictable plot will stay with you long after the last page.” I completely agree. From the first line, I was hooked. I read Jaime Lynn’s suspense, FINDING TESSA, and she has a remarkable talent at sucking you in.