Melinda Leigh

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Interview By: Tamazon

Date: March 07, 2012

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Current Release: She Can Run

Describe your current release in two sentences?

Elizabeth’s marriage to a shady congressman puts her and her children’s lives in danger. To save them, detective Jack O’Malley will risk his own life.

What was your childhood ambition?

I wanted to be on the US equestrian team. I was obsessed with horses. Obviously, that didn't work out, but life has turned out pretty great all the same. I LOVE being a writer. I've channeled my love of horses into my latest draft. In SHE CAN TELL, my heroine is a former member of the USET. So all those riding lessons are finally paying off!

What is the one thing you do not want to live without?

My computers! I honestly have no idea how writers actually wrote books with pen and paper. I rewrite everything a zillion times. I'd need a forest of paper and the biggest trash can in the universe to write a book manually.

Please describe your writing environment.

I write in a lot of different places. I have a desk in the corner of the bedroom with a mongo-big monitor for the really serious stuff, but my laptop goes everywhere with me. I've even been known to prop it on the steering wheel of my car in a parking lot while I wait for my kids to finish an activity.

What is your favorite TV show?

Hmmm. I don't watch much television, but I try to catch Castle every week. It starts as all good stories should, with a nice, juicy murder. The romantic tension between Castle and Beckett is fabulous, and there's just the right touch of humor.

What are you working on?

I just finished the draft of She Can Tell, the sequel to She Can Run. My next release is Midnight Exposure, a separate romantic suspense, due out in June. I'm starting on the next book in the Midnight series as soon as I finish cleaning out my desk. It turns into a disaster zone toward the end of a project. During those last few weeks, when I'm finishing up a book, I eat, sleep, and dream my manuscript. The absolute best feeling in the world is turning in a book, then clearing my desk of the billion little notes I wrote during the last, obsessive push to finish. Did I mention that I was a geek? I probably don't need to now.

What career fields have you worked in?

Eons ago, I was a banker. Can you say epic fail? I had zero interest in the entire business. I was thrilled to be let go during a bank merger. I practically cart-wheeled to my car on the last day. In my head, there was confetti and noise makers.

Being a stay-at-home mom is great. I love being with my kids. Being a writer lets me have the best of both worlds.

Where do you want to travel?

Oooh..I really, really want to go to Stonehenge. When Midnight Exposure comes out, everyone will know why. Dum dum dum dum...

How do you mesh your personal and professional life?

It depends on which phase of the book process I'm in at the moment. The end of a manuscript tends to be all consuming, but when I finish, I try to take a break and enjoy some downtime with the family. Also, I don't work as much in the summer when the kids are home, and the house and pool are filled with teenagers.

The beauty of writing, though, is that I can adjust my schedule according to my family's needs. Sometimes this means writing until midnight, but that's OK. I'm there when they need me.

What are your plans for the summer? Any books you are looking forward to?

A fun part of every summer is the Romance Writers of America conference, where we writers get to speak with actual humans, in-person, like regular people. Writers spend A LOT of hours alone inside our own heads. We can get a little crazy when we finally get out!

I'm looking forward to moving my office outside to the patio. There is sure to be a fabulous family vacation in there somewhere.

What has been the best way for you to engage readers? Face to Face / Chatting Online / Twitter / Facebook / Blogging

I am on Facebook and Twitter and I've blogged, but most of the interaction tends to be with other writers on those platforms. The best days, though, are when I wake up to a message from a reader in my email telling how much they liked my book. It totally makes my day.

What is the best thing about being an author?

There are so many thing I love about being a writer, it's hard to narrow this down. I love working in my pajamas. Also, getting paid to make stuff up is pretty cool. I've always been a bookworm and have had a head full of stories as long as I can remember. Learning how to structure those thoughts and bring that story to life is so much fun.

Thanks so much for joining me today! I can't wait to share my next romantic suspense with the readers of Night Owl Suspense. Readers can contact me anytime through the contact page on my website. I love hearing from you!

Melinda Leigh

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