Q&A for Roz Nay Author of Our Little Secret @RozNay1 @StMartinsPress @kab0207
Roz Nay grew up in England and studied at Oxford University. She has been published in The Antigonish Review and the anthology Refuge. Roz has worked as an underwater fish counter in Africa, a snowboard videographer in Vermont, and a high school teacher in both the UK and Australia. She now lives in British Columbia, Canada, with her husband and two children. Our Little Secret is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter @roznay1 and on Facebook.com/roznay1
1. We are getting ready to read your book (we can’t wait), how did you feel about finishing your first book?
Surprised, mostly! I wrote Our Little Secret in chaotic, scattered patches in betweenparenting two children who were really young at the time. I didn’t have a dedicated writing space – I frequently had glitter and glue stuck to the corners of my laptop – and I’d write when the kids were napping. So to get to the end of it felt magnificent and actually highly unlikely.
2. How was writing different from all the other things you’ve done? How was it the same?
Writing’s harder than any other job I’ve done because it’s so consuming. There’s not really much time in the day where I’m not thinking about it. I love that about writing – the world it offers inside of my head – but I’m having to learn new skills around switching my head off at night. Getting a book together is piece by piece, page by page – it’s a slow, insistent build that’s as much about not giving up as it is about skill. That determination isn’t particular to writers, though: It’s just about setting a target and trying your best to hit it. We’re all doing that every day in our own ways.
3. I have read about some of the fascinating things you’ve done in life, I would like to know more about what they were like: underwater fish counter? Snowboard videographer?High school teacher?
Being an underwater fish counter was the best job I ever had and honestly, I’d have done it forever if it was a paid position! I volunteered when I was 21 on a tiny island off the coast of Tanzania, where I lived in a grass hut with no running water and documented fish life in order to try and help get the reef protected. It was a great adventure, one I’m currently revisiting for a thriller plotline in book 3! After that I worked as a freelance snowboard videographer, filming pro snowboarders and selling the footage to video games and video magazines. That was fun, too, although I think by then my parents were hoping I’d come home and stop mucking around underwater and in snow. Hence the high school English teaching career, which actually I loved, too: there was never a dull moment and I never really knew, day-to-day, what the kids were going to come up with next. It was endlessly interesting being surrounded by young people who were just beginning to think and write and discover themselves. I’d still be teaching now if Canada would recognize my UK training- but then maybe I’d never have had time to write a debut novel.
4. What has brought you to all these vastly different jobs?
I’ve always had the well-developed sense that life is short. From a really young age, I wanted to seize every opportunity available to me and that meant getting out and seeing the world, even if I did it on a shoestring budget. I still live by the premise that if your life flashes before your eyes, at least make it interesting to watch But I’ve slowed down a lot on the travel front – once I had children, the adventure became more about raising them.
5. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time? (What little there is with kids lol)
If there’s spare time, I go outside. I live in a beautiful part of the world where there are mountains and lakes, so I try to get out with my dog a lot, snowshoeing or hiking, and in summer I lake-swim as much as I can. My kids are now getting into skiing so we go up the hill when we can. I also very much enjoy eating and watching television. I’m not going to lie.
6. Favorite guilty pleasure food?
Cold cans of Coke and Ruffles original potato chips. I try not to buy either but usually can’t help myself. Writers need snacks! It’s an arduous business, sitting still.
7. What are your favorite genres to read?
Growing up in England, I always made a point of reading the Booker Prize winners each year, which meant that I grew up on a steady diet of fantastic writing. I’m a huge fan of Donna Tartt and Ian McEwan. This year’s discovery has been everything John Green writes. I also like literary thrillers – The Headmaster’s Wife is currently my favourite read of 2018 –and in my own genre I’m a massive Jessica Knoll and Harriet Lane fan.
8. Is there another book in your future?
I’m currently editing my second book, which is due out in Canada in April 2019. It’s a thriller about two sisters with a dark past, and how far they’d go to protect each other. I’ve also been signed here for book 3, and just started writing it this week. It’s a couple vs. couple narrative, where one set meets the other abroad and then cannot get rid of them…
9. What would you like to write about?
I seem to be most interested in the things we hide from each other and ourselves. Thattheme works its way into everything I write! I’m always on the lookout for situations in which characters will change the story as they tell it back to themselves. Other than that, I always try and write a balance of creepiness and sweetness. I like thrillers with a love story embedded in them. The two go so well together.
Roz Nay’s first book Our Little Secret is Available for Purchase on 4/24/2018. To Purchase it from Amazon click HERE