As the fall season comes to a close, the Grimsby Author Series welcomed two bestselling Canadian authors to our virtual stage. Samantha Bailey and Amy Stuart remain bound by their ability to dominate with their thrilling new fiction. From the first chapter both authors create an explosive atmosphere, tension forced to the brim. It is with this heavy impact that Bailey and Stuart release their creative capabilities, start to finish.
Standing on a Toronto subway platform, Samantha Bailey found the inspiration for her debut novel, Woman on the Edge. While watching a mother, stressed and exhausted with a newborn, Bailey thought, “What if? What if she wanted me to take her baby?” That is where the roots took hold as the story began to grow. The timeline follows Morgan Kincaid who must retrace the steps of the woman, Nicole Markham, who jumped from the train platform. Through pulse-tensing twists Bailey compels readers to constantly guess what will follow on the next page—this sense of the unknown is heightened to the brink by using dual perspectives.
How does one write a best-selling thriller, one might ask? People, Bailey describes. When creating, her Beach Babes are her support, “They will tear you apart because they want the best for you and that makes [the work] easier,” she says about the group of women she goes away with each year. When it comes to research and the details that honed each brilliant shift, Samantha Bailey also utilizes the power of people. More specifically detectives and private investigators. On one occasion, a friend that works as a detective constable contributed to her exploration by inviting her to visit a police station. Here, she entered through the sally port and was a suspect for a day; there were fingerprints, the evidence room and a short-lived stay in a holding cell. Bailey says, “people were generally very willing [to talk],” when she probed various departments about details (but only after thoroughly explaining the research was for a novel, of course).
In 2017, Amy Stuart joined the Grimsby Author series with her first novel, Still Mine. Though her novels can be read as stand-alones, Stuart knew that the story of Clare O’Dey would not fit into one book. Now, in the midst of a pandemic, her journey has spread across a third. Still Here is the latest novel from this best-selling author. In Still Here private investigator Clare must face some bitter truths when her partner Malcom goes missing and Clare knows that she might be the one with the answers needed to find him. But is Malcom the man she thinks he is? Intricately coiled, Amy Stuart bends the mind as the truth unfolds.
While writing the Still series, Stuart knew that she wanted Clare to be the hero in a way that would redefine what it meant to be one. “I wanted Clare to feel really authentic,” she admits, knowing that at the beginning her main character would have to make some controversial decisions. It is no wonder that women are the leading authors in the thriller and suspense genres. Stuart interprets the female influence on crime fiction as being “the idea of fear and the way we experience fear. There is a language that women can speak to each other about fear, like walking alone at night.” It is with this genuine connection that readers are able to witness Clare’s journey.
Behind Amy Stuart a white board is filled with pink post-it notes, all lined up. “When you’re not actually writing, you need to be productive. It’s a thought organizer and reminds me, ‘hey, you have a book to write!’” says Stuart, looking at the layout of her Plot Board on her wall. For the audience, the mind sprints forward while imagining the many paths of Clare O’Dey detailed on those notes over the years. We are very grateful for this small glimpse into the process behind her creation.
A great author brings forth the power of people to let a book be heard even in the midst of a pandemic. The Grimsby Author Series is overjoyed to have had two of them join us for the close of the Fall 2020 season. A big thank you to Samantha Bailey and Amy Stuart for joining our virtual event, we look forward to more from both of you. Thank you to Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra for providing our remarkable door prizes for the evening. As always, contact our beloved Epic Books of Hamilton for signed copies of Woman on the Edge by Samantha Bailey and Still Here by Amy Stuart.
This blog post was written by our wonderful guest blogger Teanne Teeft, thanks Teanne!
The recording of this event is unavailable due to technical difficulties. We apologize for any inconvenience!
A note from the Grimsby Author Series committee…
The Grimsby Author Series committee would like to thank our loyal community for sticking with us while we navigated our first ever virtual event series this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events would not be possible without all of you, and we could not ask for a more wonderful and supportive audience. We would also like to express our heartfelt appreciation to all the people who sent us letters and filled out our feedback forms, as well as those who so generously submitted donations during this difficult time. All of your lovely sentiments about our Series and the library are so appreciated and we are overwhelmed by the show of love and support. Thank you!
We are looking forward to the New Year with a whole new roster of virtual author events in 2021, with guests like Mary Lawson, Jesse Thistle and more. We will be announcing the full line-up in January so stay tuned. Have a wonderful, happy and safe New Year from all of us on the Grimsby Author Series committee and Grimsby Public Library!