Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Samantha M. Bailey is the friend we all need!

We're pleased to have Samantha M. Bailey back at CLC to celebrate the recent publication of her latest thriller, A Friend in the Dark. Samantha is a genuinely wonderful person and we always love chatting with her. We hope you will enjoy today's interview. There's also a giveaway for A Friend in the Dark on Goodreads that ends later this month. (Ebook, US only.)

Check out Melissa's five-star review of A Friend in the Dark.

Samantha M. Bailey is the USA TODAY, Amazon Charts, and #1 international bestselling author of WOMAN ON THE EDGE, WATCH OUT FOR HER, and A FRIEND IN THE DARK. She lives in Toronto, where she can usually be found tapping away at her computer or curled up on her couch with a book. Samantha is currently working on her next domestic thriller. 

Visit Samantha online:

Eden Miller’s world is crumbling. Her husband blindsided her with divorce, and her daughter barely speaks to her. In an impulsive decision to escape her present and revisit the past, she sends a friend request to her college crush, Justin Ward.

One night twenty-three years ago changed the course of her life. It closed the door on Justin and opened the door to her husband, Dave. But what if Eden could have a do-over?

Eden begins an online relationship with Justin that awakens her in ways she never thought possible, and his voice and words make her take bold risks. But something’s off. He knows too much about her and her family…he’s been following her.

Eden is forced to awaken from her fantasy and look for answers—who really is the man on the other line? The truth about Justin—and about what happened that fateful night two decades ago—puts her and her family in a fight for their lives. (Courtesy of Amazon.)

“Clever, sexy, and compulsively readable, A Friend in the Dark is a pulse-pounding thriller with one jaw-dropping twist after another. Samantha M. Bailey has created a compelling cast of characters, a dark and layered mystery, and an insightful look at marriage, motherhood, and female identity.” 
—Robyn Harding, bestselling author of The Drowning Woman

“This sexy, heart-pounding thriller is everything a reader craves. Brilliant plotting and misdirection and mind games will have you flipping pages at warp speed. With twists and turns galore throughout, this is a one-sit read that will leave you shocked. A compelling look at fantasy versus reality, A Friend in the Dark is sure to stand out as a fan favorite of 2024.” 
—Jaime Lynn Hendricks, bestselling author of I Didn’t Do It

“Samantha M. Bailey never disappoints! A Friend in the Dark is one of the most intriguing and surprising books I’ve read in a while. You think you know where it’s headed…but you don’t. This thriller shocked me to the very end.” 
—Samantha Downing, internationally bestselling author of My Lovely Wife

What is something you would tell the debut novelist version of yourself?
Everything you expect will happen won't. Everything you never expected, in the best ways, will. So, try not to have any expectations, but a lot of hope. 

What did you learn from your first two thrillers that you applied to A Friend in the Dark?

That would take an entire book itself to answer. But one of the greatest lessons I've learned is that my outline is a map. Once I start writing, and especially re-writing, as much as I try to steer the story in a specific direction, ultimately my characters will grab the wheel and take us off road. I just have to hang on for the ride.

Was there anything you had to cut from your novel that you really wanted to leave in?
I have been very lucky in my publishing career to work with fantastic, insightful editors who love my voice and only ever want to enhance it. For A Friend in the Dark, my developmental editor, my acquiring senior editor, and I went through a few heavy revisions, communicating deeply about what the story needed. Revising is my very favorite part of writing. If there were anything I believed shouldn't be cut, my team and I would discuss it, with the shared goal of creating the very best book possible. 

If your life was a TV series, which celebrity would you want to narrate it? (Like how John McEnroe narrated Devi's life on Never Have I Ever.)
I love this question and that show! I'm going to say Scarlett Johansson, because I've been told we share a similar husky rasp to our voices. 

Tell us the strangest way you became friends with someone.
I was and still am a huge fan of author Amina Akhtar. So, when I saw her in the bathroom at the Bouchercon conference in Dallas in 2019, though I was nervous to approach her, I did it anyway because I had to take the chance. Since then, we have become friends. I adore and admire Amina so much, and she's forgiven me for stalking her in what is, of course, the worst place to fangirl.

If we were to visit you right now, what are some places you would take us to see?
I live in Toronto, and there is so much to see and do here. Some of my favorite places are Yorkville, the Beltline, Distillery District, Harbourfront, Kensington Market, High Park, the Toronto Islands, and we have the best restaurants and patios, especially in the summer. 

Thanks to Samantha for visiting with us today!

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