Wednesday, May 1, 2013


 Where did you grow up? Do you think your childhood impacts your writing?  
I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey, just outside Philadelphia.  It’s a great location, with New York City, Philly, the Jersey Shore (not the one on MTV) and the mountains all within a 2 hour drive.  Everyone’s childhood has lasting effects that must bleed into the writing.
 Do your siblings if you have any, find their way into your stories? 

I have a small family with just one brother, so most of my characters will have siblings and/or close cousins.  Interplay between family members is a great way to define characters.

Growing up were you considered a “bookish person” ?   
Yes, I was a total dork as a kid. My nose was constantly in a book. 

Are you married, single? Children?   
I’ve been married for nineteen years and have two teenagers.
Who do you read?  What genres do you enjoy? Can you list 5 that you think we would enjoy I mostly read thrillers, romantic suspense, and some occasional sci fi and horror. 

Here’s my classic recs: 

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
Bag of Bones Stephen King
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. 
Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons

More current books that I’ve loved:

Buried by Kendra Elliot
Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan
Pines by Blake Crouch
Already Gone by John Rector

Who is your all time favorite author and why?   

I don’t have one favorite, but I have been a Stephen King fan the longest.  Anyone who can scare the snot out of me with words on paper is a powerful writer.
Ebook or paperback?  Why?

 I read almost exclusively ebook now. The Kindle Paperwhite is kinder to my eyes after a long day of on-screen reading for work.  Plus, I can keep an endless number of books in my purse. My husband has also pleaded with me not to bring any more print books into the house. Before I switched to Kindle, books cluttered every surface and corner in our house.
How many books do you read a month? What are you reading now?  

At this very moment I’m finishing Buried by Kendra Elliot. FABULOUS!  I go through spurts of intense insane reading when I can clear a book a day. When I’m in deadline mode (like now), I can’t read anything.  I have enough voices in my head with my own characters.
 What's your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies? 
 I’m not a TV watcher, but the last couple of weeks before a deadline are exhausting. When I finish a book, I try to take a few days and vegetate in front of the TV with my kids. We might spend 2-3 days just watching Doctor Who.  Other than that, I love martial arts, spending time with my family and dogs, and reading.
Where do you get your story ideas from?   
Story ideas can come from anywhere. Sometimes I read news headlines to jog my imagination, but I don’t click through to the article.  My brain usually comes up with a more exciting explanation than reality.
 Does your environment, mood play a part in what you write?  Environment not so much. I can write anywhere.  I’m doing this interview on a plane at 31,000 feet with a baby crying three feet to my right. The guy behind me has kicked the seat a hundred times.  My mood, on the other hand, greatly impacts my writing. Emotions in my head tend to end up on the page.
 How long have you been writing? 
I started writing as a hobby when my youngest child went to school full time.  It was years later that I decided to turn my hobby into a career.  So I’ve been a serious writer for six or seven years.
Do you have a writing “ritual”?  Where, music, etc.  If you use music can you share a few of the titles so we may check them out.   

I prefer to write without music or TV in the background. I have more than enough voices in my head.  That said, general noise doesn’t bother me.
 How do you do your research?  Ahead of time or do you “drop ship” it as needed.   
Both. It depends on the story.  Some books, like Midnight Sacrifice, require extensive research before I start.  Others are a mix, depending on how many odd topics I toss in the book. At heart I am a nerd. I have to limit my research time or I will be sucked into the depths of learning when I should be writing.
 Do you set daily or weekly writing goals? What are they word count? Chapters?   
I like to write 1500 words a day, but life often intrudes. I actually haven’t written a word in nearly three weeks due to a family emergency. I’ll be hitting the keyboard hard for the next six weeks.
 Do you get a chance to write every day? If so do you prefer to write during the day or at night?  
I write every day, if possible, preferably in the daytime when my kids are at school.  I like quiet if I can get it.  If necessary, I’ll write every waking hour to get the story out on time.
What do you hope your Books bring to readers?  
I hope I’ve given readers a mini vacation from the stresses of their lives. A literary get-away. 
 Where do you see yourself in your career in 5 years, 10?   
The industry is changing so quickly, but I hope to continue to write 2-3 books a year as long as my readers continue to enjoy my stories.
Would you like to tell us what you're working on now?  

I’m writing SHE CAN HIDE, book #4 in the “She Can” series. Horse fans are going to love this one.
 What advice would you give to unpublished authors?   
Write every day and don’t be afraid of criticism or rejections. Both force you to grow as a writer.  
Favorite color?  red

Favorite food?  Coffee ice cream
Favorite time of year and why?   
Summer because I love the heat. When winter comes, I want to hibernate.

A fun fact that readers wouldn't know about you.   
I suffer from chronic insomnia, which found its way into Midnight Sacrifice.

Point, click, die.
When two hikers disappear, their hometown in Maine blames the blinding storms. But the truth is far more sinister. Unaware of the danger, tabloid photographer Jayne Sullivan follows an anonymous tip to find the most reclusive sculptor in the art world. Instead, she finds sexy handyman Reed Kimball—and a small town full of fatal secrets.

Five years ago, Reed buried his homicide detective career along with his wife. But when a hiker is found dead, the local police chief asks Reed for help. Why was a Celtic coin found under the body? And where is the second hiker? Avoiding the media, Reed doesn’t need a murder, a missing person, or a nosey photographer. Then Jayne is attacked, and her courage is his undoing. Reed must risk everything to protect her and find a cunning killer.

One by one, people are mysteriously disappearing from a small Maine town.

Four months ago, a ruthless murderer killed two people and kidnapped three more, including Danny Sullivan’s sister, who barely escaped. Unfortunately so did the killer, vanishing without a trace into the vast wilderness. When the police fail to find his sister’s captor, Danny returns to Maine to hunt him down.

He begins his search with another survivor, bed and breakfast owner Mandy Brown, but her refusal to cooperate raises Danny’s suspicions. What is the beautiful innkeeper hiding?

Mandy Brown has a secret. But sexy Danny Sullivan, his relentless questions, and the desire that simmers between them threaten to expose the truth. A revelation that puts her family in danger. As more people disappear, it becomes clear the killer is planning another ritual…and that he’s circling in on Mandy.


Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker. A life-long lover of books, she started writing when her youngest child entered first grade as a way to preserve her sanity. in 2007, she joined Romance Writers of America, learned a few things about writing a book, and decided the process was way more fun than analyzing financial statements. It was time to get serious about making her hobby a career. She began submitting her work in 2008. In 2009 she signed with an agent, who sold Melinda’s debut romantic suspense novel, SHE CAN RUN, in 2010 to Montlake Romance.

SHE CAN RUN released in November 2011 and became the #1 Bestseller in Kindle Romantic Suspense. SHE CAN RUN has been nominated for a 2012 Thriller Award for Best First Novel.

Melinda is also an avid martial artist. She holds a 2nd degree black 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

To find out more about Melinda and her books you can connect with her online:

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

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  1. Anyone who reads Midnight Sacrifice, and its predecessor, Midnight Exposure, will not be disappointed.

    Both books have the perfect balance between romance and suspense, not an easy feat.

    While the books are stand-alone books, I prefer to read books in a series in order and would recommend any reader do so.

    Also, I have read the two books in your “She Can” series, She Can Run and She Can Tell, respectively. It is another great series, Melinda, and I cannot wait to read the next in the series, She Can Run.

    Marijane Diodati