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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Heavy rain in Okanagan results in slowest start to fire season in four years

119 hectares of land burned so far this year, compared to 991 ha in 2019, and 3,835 ha in 2018

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Province releases report on Columbia River Treaty public feedback

Reservoir levels, fair compensation for impacted communities, among many issues raised

George Ross celebrates 95th birthday

The scotsman has been living in Golden for almost 15 years

Golden Museum moving forward with summer camps

The camps will bring kids back to the past for an educational and fun experience

A list of charge rates or Crown referrals from police oversight bodies across Canada

Here are the rates of charges or referrals to the Crown from their most recent annual reports or online data

Highway 1 remains closed near Revelstoke due to flooding

The Needles Ferry is also experiencing major delays due to traffic backed up from Highway 1

Man who rammed gate near Trudeau residence with truck faces multiple charges

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight on Vancouver Island

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

Noose graffiti not tolerated by Vernon resident

Woman, son paint over hateful image painted on neighbourhood fence

Most Read