Author Interview - Melinda Leigh

Before we start, I want to thank the Bibliophilic Book Blog for hosting me on my blog tour to celebrate the release of my debut novel, SHE CAN RUN.  It’s so exciting to share this experience with other book lovers.

1.    How did you come up with the title?

The title, SHE CAN RUN, is a play on “she can run, but she can’t hide.”  It was meant to convey the feeling that no matter how far Beth tried to run away from her husband, he would eventually find her. It was inevitable from the first page that someday, she’d have to confront him.

2.    Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Love makes us vulnerable, but it is worth the risk.  It takes a lot of courage to trust again after having been in a situation like Beth’s.  Ultimately, love will make you stronger.

3.    How much of the book is realistic?

I admit there are probably more serial killers in fiction than in reality.  But I teach women’s self-defense. The statistics on domestic violence are truly shocking. Over a million women are battered by their intimate partners each year in the US.  Domestic violence occurs in all social, racial and economic circles.  Only a small number of victims seek protection orders, and half of those orders granted will be violated.  Victims are often too frightened to file reports or press charges.  They fear reprisal, and rightly so. Almost a third of female homicide victims are killed by their partners.  Beth’s character is in a very real and very dangerous situation from page one of the story.

4.    If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?

At this point in time, no.  The book is recent enough that my opinions on it haven’t changed. This book took two years to write and went through another two years being rewritten multiple times.  It’s very much a part of me. However, that answer will probably be different in a few years, after I’ve achieved some distance from the story and am able to look at it more objectively. 

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I had absolutely no clue what I was doing when I started.  The first draft was a result of me sitting down at the computer and typing something each day.  No plan. No technical knowledge. No anything.  If I had joined a good writer’s group in the beginning, the book might not have needed to be rewritten five times.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Persistence is a valuable trait.  Submitting written work to professionals takes courage. It means opening your work up for criticism and rejection.  My sheer stubbornness has finally been put to good use. If someone tells me I can’t do something or that I’m not good enough, I want it that much more.   

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I’ve had a love of books since childhood. Becoming an author is a lifelong ambition finally realized.  I’d always been fascinated by stories, hold they’re told, how they’re constructed, how the characters are developed and the plot doled out slowly, so the reader becomes greedy for one more page. 

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

My current favorite authors are Jim Butcher and Lisa Gardner.  I just love Butcher’s wonderfully flawed Harry Dresden character.  I recently read The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner in one night, staying up until 3 am to finish the book.  I’m not a night person. Staying awake until eleven is usually a challenge.

9. Tell us your latest news.

I’m currently working on a book loosely connected to SHE CAN RUN.  Some of the characters will make guest appearances, and Police Chief Mike O’Connell will find himself in big trouble with an inexplicable crime spree, a feisty horse trainer and her relentless stalker.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I want to hear from you!  Please connect with me. You can find me at my website, on Facebook & Twitter

Thanks for reading!

She Can Run Book Summary: Elizabeth was a young widow with two small children when she met Congressman Richard Baker. Handsome and wealthy, with a sparkling public image, Richard seemed like the perfect man to provide the security that Beth and her kids were craving. But when she uncovers a dangerous secret about her new husband, Beth realizes he will go to any lengths—even murder—to keep it. After barely escaping with her life, she and her children flee. They eventually make their way to a secluded estate in the Pennsylvania countryside, where Beth dares to hope she has found a safe place at last…

Forced into retirement by an unexpected injury, Philadelphia homicide detective Jack O’Malley is mourning the loss of his career when his uncle abruptly dies, leaving Jack to dispose of his crumbling country house. Unbeknownst to him, his uncle engaged a caretaker just before his death, a mysterious woman with two children and a beautiful face that haunts his dreams. Determined to know her, Jack begins an investigation into Beth’s past. When he uncovers the shocking truth, and a local woman is viciously murdered, Jack puts his own life on the line to keep Beth and her children safe.

She Can Run is a sexy, satisfying debut from award-winning author Melinda Leigh, packed with enough suspense and romance to get even the tamest heart racing!

Melinda Leigh's Bio: 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.


  1. I'm thrilled to be here today. Thanks to The Bibliophilic Book Blog for hosting me.

  2. Thanks Star for hosting Melinda today. We appreciate your support of "She Can Run."

    Melinda, thanks for explaining right off the bat the message behind the title. You're right, you can run - but eventually you have to stop and face what's pursuing you. Great thematic message!


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