Nelson author Roz Nay will release her second novel Hurry Home on July 7. Nay’s first novel Our Little Secret was an international success. Photo: Tyler Harper

Thriller Queen: Nelson’s Roz Nay gets personal in Hurry Home

Nay’s new novel launches July 7

When it came time to find inspiration for her latest novel, Roz Nay’s day job provided all the horrors for a plot she would need.

The Nelson writer’s latest thriller Hurry Home, which comes out July 7, is based on Nay’s experiences working in child protection services. One of her protagonists, Alex, also works in child protection.

It was there, in how she pays her bills, that Nay found her new book.

“I live in this idyllic town and know all the worst things about it,” said Nay. “I know about all of the underbelly, what’s really happening with all the kids, and there’s a lot of that in there.”

But it took Nay years longer than she expected to shape the plot of Hurry Home.

Nay released her debut Our Little Secret in 2017. The book was a surprise bestseller, earning Nay international acclaim, a two-book contract with Simon and Schuster Canada and cachet as a new writer to watch among thriller fans.

Her sophomore effort, however, did not come easily. Hurry Home, which she began working on in 2017, was initially set to be released in 2018.

“It’s difficult following when everybody’s watching and wants something and is like, ‘is it ready, is it ready?’” she said. “It’s hard. With Our Little Secret it probably took me a year to write it, but it wasn’t any pressure or expectations.”

The plot of Hurry Home centres on two sisters, Alex and Ruth, who haven’t seen each other in 10 years and share what Nay describes as a terrible secret.

Nay said she first wrote the book as a family drama that featured more tragedy than thrills. Even though Our Little Secret was a genre hit, Nay said she still hadn’t learned how to write thrillers and needed guidance from her editor.

“It was like being in a science lesson and not writing down what was happening, and then being told to do the experiment again. So I didn’t understand the formula and that was a problem.”

The solution for Nay was to consider the memories and anxieties that keep her up at night.

The sisters’ secret — no spoilers here — is based on an accident she witnessed as a child while visiting her grandfather’s farm in Scotland.

Nay also has two children of her own. What she deals with as a child protection employee is never far from her thoughts at home.

“I always seem to write about young kids and the worst imaginable things happening to them,” she said. “It’s just an outlet for things that I’d worry about in the real world. I can put them in there and not put them somewhere else.”

Writing Hurry Home has also been a personal breakthrough for Nay’s development as a novelist. She just finished the first draft of her third book, which took just eight months to write.

That book is inspired by travels she took across Africa in her 20s, and was far easier for Nay to write than Hurry Home.

“I didn’t know how to plot the thing. I was just winging it massively. And with Book Three I plotted it, and that made a massive difference.”

Nay will launch Hurry Home at Touchstones Nelson from 7 to 9 p.m. on July 7. To meet occupancy limits, Touchstones asks visitors to preregister for 20-minute time slots by either calling 250-352-9813 ext. 460 or emailing shop@touchstonesnelson.ca.

@tyler_harper | tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Arts and Entertainment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greenwood candidate named in Elections BC, human rights complaints

Elections BC said they won’t act because they have no legislative authority on candidates’ behaviour

Former MLA Bill Barisoff endorses Veintimilla for Boundary-Similkameen

Barisoff served as MLA for the Okanagan-Boundary riding from 1996 to 2001

WATCH: This family will soon be cultivating the largest sun-grown cannabis harvest in Canada

Farming an intergenerational skill for the Kelowna-based Geen family

No repeat ACM ahead of Greenwood byelection

Sound problems disrupted the livestream of Monday’s forum at the MacArthur Centre

Greenwood candidates meet at MacArthur Centre

Forum was live-streamed on Facebook, but sound problems quickly set in

B.C. starts October with 82 more positive COVID-19 tests

10,899 tests a record for a single day, Bonnie Henry says

Missing mushroom picker in northern B.C. found dead

Witset elder found deceased in Price Creek area more than two weeks after he vanished

BC Greens focus on long-term care reform in first platform promise

Greens have promised to move away from the for-profit care home model

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

‘It’s a nightmare’: Northern B.C. family desperate after living in hotel for a year

Renae Podgorney says because of a lack of rentals, she’s now applying to rent a one-bedroom unit

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Costs climb to more than $100K for BC SPCA to care for animals in B.C. farm seizure

Eight puppies, of the 97 animals seized have now died from parvovirus enteritis

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

Be prepared and drive safely, say BC RCMP as winter draws closer

Police provide list of ways to stay safe while driving in winter conditions

Most Read