The Next Chapter

How a moment on a Toronto subway platform led Samantha M. Bailey to write a bestselling thriller

Bailey is the author of the psychological thriller Woman on the Edge.
Samantha M. Bailey is a Toronto-based novelist, journalist and editor. (Simon & Schuster, Dahlia Katz)

Samantha M. Bailey is the author of the bestselling psychological thriller Woman on the Edge. It's a twisty story of two women whose lives intersect in a frightening and mysterious way.

Bailey stopped by The Next Chapter to talk about how a real-life moment on a Toronto subway platform, coupled with her own thoughts on motherhood and anxiety, led her to write Woman on the Edge.

Mind the gap

"Women on the Edge centres around two very different women who are complete strangers. A chance encounter on a subway platform brings these two women together to protect a child whose life is in danger.

So I was standing there and there was a woman who was holding a baby. She was very close to the edge.- Samantha M. Bailey

"I was standing on a Toronto subway platform. I think, like any writer, we observe everything and everyone and want to know what everyone's stories are, so we can write about them.

"So I was standing there and there was a woman who was holding a baby. She was very close to the edge.

"I wondered what her story was. I wondered what she was thinking and if she's happy. And then I wondered, what if this woman walked up to me, asked me to take her baby and then she jumped?

"That's what started the idea for this book."

Maternal musings

"Like everyone who's a mom, I'm a worrier. I think, for new moms especially, you're terrified. You bring this baby home and now you have to keep it alive. It doesn't matter how tired, scared or hungry I am because now my life has completely changed. A lot of those anxieties and those fears helped me create this book. 

It doesn't matter how tired, scared or hungry I am because now my life has completely changed. A lot of those anxieties and those fears helped me create this book.- Samantha M. Bailey

"And then as a writer, especially a writer of thrillers, my mind goes to the darkest of places. I think it's why I write what I write — so that I have a place to put all my fears and all my worries."

Samantha M. Bailey's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now