Interview with Melinda Leigh, Author of She Can Run
More than a decade ago, Melinda Leigh left a career in banking to raise her children and never looked back. She started writing when her youngest child entered first grade as a way to preserve her sanity. Her paranormal romance and romantic suspense fiction has won writing awards across the country, including The Gateway to the Best Contest, The Marlene Award, Where the Magic Begins, Put Your Heart in a Book, and The Golden Gateway 1st Round Grand Prize.
Melinda is also an avid martial artist. She holds a 2nd degree belt in Kenpo Karate, studies Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and teaches women’s self-defense. She lives in a messy house in the suburbs with her husband, two teenagers, a couple of dogs and one neurotic cat with an inexplicable fear of ceiling fans. With such a pleasant life, she has no explanation for the sometimes dark and disturbing nature of her imagination.
I want to thank the Book Connection for hosting a stop on my blog tour to celebrate the recent release of my debut novel. It’s so exciting to share this experience with other book lovers.
When did you begin writing?
I’d harbored a life-long ambition to write a book. My youngest child started school, and I finally had a couple of hours to myself each day, as long as I was willing to slack off on housework. Not being a domestic goddess, that was an easy transition. The first day I sat down at the computer and started typing, I was hooked.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I do most of my writing during the day while the kids are at school. I love to work when the house is quiet, probably because my house is usually chaotic. When I’m behind schedule, I’ll sit down to work again in the evening.
What is this book about?
This book is about a woman dealing with a threat to her life and the lives of her children. She’s learned a dangerous secret about her already abusive and powerful spouse, one that he’ll gladly kill her to keep. How far will a mother go to protect her kids? Like most moms, Beth is willing to give up everything, including her life. That’s the easy choice for her. The harder choice comes when she learns that she can’t do it alone. She must decide whether she can trust Jack with both her children’s lives and her heart.
What inspired you to write it?
I wanted to write an emotionally charged book. For me, nothing elicits more emotions than decisions I make that affect my kids. Not only are Beth’s children threatened, but it was her action that endangered them. She married Richard. Once I had my character in a terrible situation, the story snow-balled from there. The plot complicated itself through multiple rewrites.
How can readers purchase a copy of your book?
SHE CAN RUN is available at Amazon.com in paperback or ebook. The paperback is also available through other booksellers.
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
Yes! Please connect with me. I love to hear from readers. Find me on my website MelindaLeighAuthor.com, on Facebook and Twitter.
What is up next for you?
My current work-in-process is connected to SHE CAN RUN. It’s a separate book with a separate plot, but some of the characters will be familiar. Police Chief Mike O’Connell is investigating a crime spree, and he’s inexplicably attracted to a feisty horse trainer with a vicious stalker. Next Mike’s going to make a shocking discovery.
Who is your favorite character from the book?
Henry. He surprised me. I knew early on that Henry would play a more important role in the story, but as I wrote, he became more than a dog or a plot vehicle. He became a real character.
Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?
I have several other writers that are willing to critique my pages. I’m also a founding member of Liberty States Fiction Writers, a writers’ organization based in Edison, NJ. There’s always someone in the group who’s willing to help with plot snafus or character problems. Writers are uniquely supportive of each other, perhaps because we understand each other so well. In fact, that is the one piece of advice I would share with other writers. Join a writer’s group. The friendships and knowledge you will gain are priceless.
“In her debut romantic suspense, Leigh carefully weaves the subplot of a serial killer with the main plot of an abused wife on the run and successfully ties the threads in a thrilling conclusion… Leigh’s tight, consistent plotting marks her as an author to watch.”