Special Pub Day Edition
Leave a Comment

Deliciously dark and creepy domestic thriller now in paperback–Samantha Downing talks about MY LOVELY WIFE, her publishing journey, and her next thriller, HE STARTED IT

By Leslie Lindsay 

5 juicy stars to this tautly paced, all-encompassing deliciously dark domestic suspense, MY LOVELY WIFE (Berkley, March 26 2019) will capture and ensnare and have you looking twice at your neighbors. 




with new dark cover


#1 Library Reads, IndieNext, and Amazon Best of the Month in Thriller!

“A dark and irresistible debut.”—People

Truly stunning, jaw-dropping, and so engrossing, you simply cannot look away. That’s what debut author, Samantha Downing, is so skilled at in her debut–this is a debut, people!–and you absolutely have to read it.

Here’s the thing: it’s dark. It’s twisted, but on the surface, it’s oh-so-saccharine. Married for 15 years, Millicent and her unnamed husband, the protagonist/narrator have found themselves in a slightly boring marriage. They have two kids, a boy and a girl who are on the cusp of adolescence. It’s a nice life in a comfortable suburban area of Florida where everyone goes to work and then home for a pre-planned dinner. There’s soccer and tennis lessons and Millicent sells real estate.

But MY LOVELY WIFE is a powerhouse of a novel. It’s about drama, a marriage, kids out of control, and the news media; it’s also about the folks next door, who just happen to be killing women for sport. 

Or, are they? There’s
definitely some planning and premeditation. And maybe someone in this partnership is more sinister than the other. Or maybe they’re just in over their head? MY LOVELY WIFE is an effortless page-turner. I simply couldn’t put it down. The way Downing braids past and present and keeps the reader sort of brooding in the past is masterful.

The writing is simple, but the plot is complex, the structure is intense and the pace, relentless. 

Do yourself a favor and buy this book. Now.

But first, please join me in welcoming Samantha Downing to the author interview series.

This interview previously/originally ran March 2019. This is a reprint.

Leslie Lindsay:

Samantha, oh my Gosh! This book! So you’re a bit twisted—and I like that. The seed for MY LOVELY WIFE was first planted when you watched a documentary about a husband who abused his wife and forced her into helping him with his dirty schemes to kidnap women and hold them hostage. It sounds like an episode of “Criminal Minds” (one of my top favorite show—so good for helping with plot problems!), can you talk a little more about that?

Samantha Downing:

Absolutely! When I saw that documentary, it struck me that we’ve never seen a woman initiate a crime like this. It’s always a man working alone or a man who has coerced someone—like his wife—to go along with it. I wanted to explore it the other way, and that’s how I came up with the character of Millicent.

And I agree with you about Criminal Minds!

folding knife

Photo by Matt Hatchett on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

I’m interested in your writerly journey. It might seem like this book was an overnight success…but can you tell us where you started as a writer? Have you always written? Was this something ‘new’ to you? Can you tell us a bit about getting an agent and how MY LOVELY WIFE was acquired, a sense of the timeline?

Samantha Downing:

I don’t think a true “overnight success” exists, at least not that I know of! I am certainly not. I’ve been writing for over twenty years. It’s been a hobby and a passion, something I’ve always looked forward to doing in my spare time. The publishing industry always seemed like this unsolvable puzzle, so I basically stayed away from it.

I wouldn’t be published if not for a friend of mine, Rebecca Vonier. She is one of my critique partners, and she loved this book enough to send it to a friend of hers who went to school with an agent in New York. He referred me to Barbara Poelle, who then sold MY LOVELY WIFE to Jen Monroe at Berkley on a 48-hour exclusive. It was—and still is—a wild ride!

quote calligraphy under cup of lemon tea

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

As a first-time published author, what do you think you did ‘right,’ and what do you wish you had known more about?

Samantha Downing:  

So far, what I’ve done right is trust the people who know what they’re doing. I don’t try to tell my agent, editor, publicist or marketing team how to do their jobs. They know how, so I just stay out of their way! Another thing is to be professional about everything—be on time, on schedule, and prepared. Claiming that you are tortured creative soul will get you nowhere in life or in publishing!

What I wish I had known is how long the process takes. The book was purchased almost 18 months ago and is just now being released. Patience is key! Even if you think nothing is happening, a lot can be happening behind the scenes.

Wow! MY LOVELY WIFE is a stunner—full of twists, well-drawn characters, and riveting suspense.”

—Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author 

Leslie Lindsay:

Was there ever a period where you were ready to thrown in the towel? And what got you over that hump?

Samantha Downing:

Throw in the towel on writing? Never. Because it was a hobby, I did it because I enjoyed it. Some people enjoy cooking or knitting or playing a musical instrument. I enjoy writing. Why would I stop

Leslie Lindsay:

How about research? I am sure you had to do plenty for MY LOVELY WIFE…and gosh, did you worry if the Feds would come track you down based on your browser history?!

Samantha Downing:

I’m pretty sure I would be locked up in a mental ward if someone looked at my search history! There were a lot of things I had to research about dead bodies and preservation of bodies and…well, I shouldn’t say too much. But I do think writers should have their own special browser, so when the NSA or the CIA sees what we’re searching they can just say, “Oh no worries. Just another writer.”

couple wearing grey t shirts walking on shallow water and smiling

Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

Leslie Lindsay:

Can you give us a few facts about you—like, what do you do when you’re not reading or writing? If you have any strange obsessions (ahem), and maybe what’s next for you?

Samantha Downing:  

Let’s see…I’m a dork, really. I read a lot, I binge-watch good and bad TV, and I have to watch Big Brother every summer. It’s a thing, really. I’m also a black belt in karate, just in case a psychopath comes my way (or a mugger, more likely!). Also, animals. I love all animals and wish I lived in a big country house filled with them, but instead I live in a small city apartment. Someday!

My next book is another thriller and I hope it’s as disturbing as this one. That’s all I can say for now! [Editor’s Note: HE STARTED IT will be available April 28 from Berkley. Pre-order now]

Leslie Lindsay:

Samantha, it’s been such a pleasure. Please tell what I should have asked, but may have forgotten?

Samantha Downing:

Not that I can think of. Just want to say thank you so much for having me! I really appreciate it.


Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Gimme a follow on Instagram for more bookish news like this @leslielindsay1

For more information, to connect with Samantha Downing via social media, or to purchase a copy of MY LOVELY WIFE, please see: 

Read an Excerpt!

Order LInks: 

NOW IN PAPERBACK with new Dark cover!9780451491732

Samantha Downing high res credit Jacqueline Dallimore 2018ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Samantha Downing currently lives in New Orleans, where she is furiously typing away on her next thrilling book.




You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these websites: 

I hope you do!

image1 (5)

Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012). Her work has been published in Pithead ChapelCommon Ground ReviewCleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The WakingBrave Voices Literary MagazineManifest-Station, and others. She has been awarded as one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1.


Look for Samantha’s new thriller, HE STARTED IT, coming April 28th from Berkley

#domesticthriller #debut #familyman #MyLovelyWife #tradeedition 

[Cover and author image courtesy of Berkley and used with permission. Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Gimme a follow on Instagram for more bookish news like this @leslielindsay1]


Got something to say? Tell us!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s