Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Nov 28, 2019

Mark interviews Samantha M. Bailey about her debut thriller Woman on the Edge, about her lifelong writer journey, her relentless determination, and the patience, practice, and persistence that it took to get here.

Prior to the interview, Mark gives a brief personal update about his progress on NaNoWriMo and a trip he will be taking to speak to a group of writers in Sudbury, and then shares a word about the episode's sponsor.

You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at


In their interview Mark and Samantha talk about:

  • How, at 10 years old, Samantha submitted her first manuscript to a publisher, which was rejected - and how it was her first lesson in developing a tough skin and not giving up
  • Samantha's life-long love of really dark tales and thrillers, but how Jennifer Weiner's novels inspired her to write in a similar genre
  • The completion of her first novel, landing an agent and trying to sell that first novel, then a second novel and how neither of them worked out
  • The multiple queries Samantha sent to her current agent before the two actually connected
  • Her experience self-publishing one of her novels under a different name several years ago and the relationships that came out of that
  • How Samantha never considered giving up and knew that she just had to keep going
  • The way that writing Woman on the Edge changed Samantha's life and the inspiration for the novel
  • Why Samantha set this novel in Chicago rather than in her home of Toronto - but how Chicago, to her, invokes the spirit or essence of Toronto to her in several ways
  • The two perspectives in this thriller, from the POV of Morgan (the main character), and the flashback sequences of Nicole, the woman who handed Morgan her baby before she jumped
  • How Morgan's POV was re-written into first person to give that part of the tale such a sense of urgency
  • The wonderful experience of working with her agent, Jenny Bent, who worked with Samantha to polish up the manuscript and then sold the book to Headline in the UK and Simon & Schuster Canada for CA and US distribution
  • The sales of translation rights to 7 other countries
  • The exciting promo that is planned for the book for release day in Canada (Nov 26, 2019) - eBook, audiobook, and paperback
  • How the paperback is coming in the US in the spring of 2020, but the eBook is being launched in the US in November
  • How Simon & Schuster Canada is the publisher of Samantha's dreams
  • The morning television programs Samantha will be appearing on as part of the book's Canadian release, as well as the scheduled bookstore and library appearances
  • Advice that Samantha would offer to her younger self: "It won't be fast, it won't be easy, but it'll all be worth it."


After the interview, Mark reflects on Samantha's upbeat positivity and the hard work, determination, and never-give-up attitude she adopted which helped lead to her unique path of success.


Links of Interest:


Samantha M. Bailey is a Toronto-based journalist and freelance editor who’s written extensively for Now Magazine, Oxford University Press, and several other publications. She is also the co-founder of “BookBuzz,” a promotional and interactive author-reader event held in New York City and Toronto that has attracted the attention of prominent publicists, influential media, and bestselling authors.

Samantha holds a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics and credit that degree with her writing career because she wrote her first novel while taking a course on imagination. Now her imagination leads her to create dark and twisty stories.

Her debut psychological thriller, WOMAN ON THE EDGE, is being published in nine countries world-wide, including with Garzanti in Italy, Roca Editorial in Spain, Heyne in Germany, General Press in Hungary, Euromedia in the Czech Republic, Ikar in Slovakia, Znak in Poland, and in North America with Simon and Schuster Canada, and the UK with Headline.

Samantha loves reading as much as she loves writing, so if she's not tapping away at her computer, she's probably curled up on her couch with a book.


The music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0