Guest -Melinda Leigh

Posted by Patrice Wilton | 8:31 AM | 19 comments »

Welcome to the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers, Melinda! We are so happy to have you with us today. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, Patrice, and thanks for inviting me to your blog today. I love to hang out at home with my family and dogs. I’m a terrible cook, a reluctant housekeeper, and an Olympic level procrastinator, but once I get sucked into the vortex of a story, it’s hard to stop writing. On my most productive days, I’m still in my pajamas at noon. I’ve been yanked out of my creative stupor many times by the mailman, who must think I’m a total slob.

 Melinda, you have won numerous contests over the years with your romantic suspense stories. Did this help in your agent hunt, and secure your first sale?

SHE CAN RUN is the first book I ever wrote. The one I started by sitting down in front of the computer and saying to myself, “I’m going to write a book.” Needless to say, the first draft wasn’t pretty. Entering contests helped me develop my craft. They gave me important feedback and taught me to accept criticism. Most importantly, they flagged the aspects of writing that I needed to learn. SHE CAN RUN went through five complete rewrites, each one a little better than the last, before I signed with my agent, who subsequently sold the book to Montlake.

Melinda, can you tell us about Montlake Romance, and the vision for this Amazon romance publishing line? You are one of the first authors under contract, and it must be a thrilling, exciting time. Will they market for you, or will you be expected to market yourself?

I’m thrilled to be publishing my first book with Montlake Romance. Since Montlake’s vision is to publish the most compelling romantic fiction, I am honored to be among the first authors chosen for the new imprint. The experience has been nothing but positive. The staff has been supportive and knowledgeable in all areas of publishing. Still, all writers need to market themselves, even those with plenty of publisher support. A team effort is the best approach to building a successful career.

 Can you tell us a little about your contracted story, SHE CAN RUN?

SHE CAN RUN, available November 28 from Montlake Romance

When a woman on the run takes refuge at a secluded mansion, she finds herself under the watchful eye of a former cop whose curiosity about her shadowy past is matched only by their undeniable passion.

Ten months ago, Elizabeth Baker uncovered a dangerous secret about her politician husband—a secret that nearly got her killed. Now she and her children are running for their lives. When Beth is hired as the caretaker of a remote Pennsylvania estate, she dares to hope she has found a corner of the world where Congressman Richard Baker can’t find them. But when her new boss dies suddenly and his nephew inherits the estate, Beth is faced with outwitting a former homicide detective who is very smart, very suspicious—and very attractive.

Forced into retirement by an injury and grieving the loss of his uncle, Jack O’Malley is unprepared to share his new home with a strange woman and her two kids. He is even less prepared for the instantaneous attraction he feels whenever Beth enters the room. She is beautiful, intelligent, kind…and obviously terrified of someone or something. As Jack’s investigation uncovers the shocking details of Beth’s past, the rural community is shaken by the murder of a local woman  Driven by instinct and desire, Jack is determined to keep Beth and her children safe, even if doing so means putting his heart—and his life —on the line.

Wow - Melinda! This sounds like a fascinating story. I see why you never gave up on this book, and I'm so proud and pleased for you that Montlake had the vision to pick this up. I wish you great success with this new publishing venture. Thank you for coming here today. And please let us know what you are currently working on.

Find out more about Melinda at

Pre-order SHE CAN RUN on Amazon


  1. Traci // September 9, 2011 at 11:23 AM  

    Your cover is so striking!! So tell us, does the amazon romance line require an agent?

  2. Nightingale // September 9, 2011 at 11:31 AM  

    Enjoyed meeting you Melinda! Thanks for the information on Montlake. And I agree with Traci. Your cover is very striking.

  3. Melinda Leigh // September 9, 2011 at 11:47 AM  

    Traci, in a July interview, the publisher stated, "We review books that have both been independently published and are submitted to us by agents. Montlake Romance is not currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts."

    Here's the link for more info:

    And thanks, Traci and Nightingale, for your praise of my cover. The Montlake team did a fabulous job!

  4. Allison Chase // September 9, 2011 at 12:03 PM  

    Hi Melinda! Congrats on the sale! I agree about that cover - very sharp! I see the book will be available as both an e and print book, which is great. Can you tell us what (or if) Amazon is doing to promote the line?

  5. Patrice // September 9, 2011 at 12:28 PM  

    Good question, Allison. I'd like to know more about this as well. I think this could be a very exciting new publishing house.

  6. Melissa Alvarez // September 9, 2011 at 12:39 PM  

    Your book sounds fantastic Melinda! Do you have plans for a sequel? I loved the cover too.

  7. Melinda Leigh // September 9, 2011 at 1:20 PM  

    Allison, Montlake has provided me with excellent support through every stage of the publishing process.

    Melissa, my current work-in-process is loosely related to She Can Run. Some characters will make reappearances.

    What do you all think about recurring characters?

  8. Beth Trissel // September 9, 2011 at 1:39 PM  

    Welcome to the Fuzzies Melinda. I
    sooo understand about procrastinating until I finally get sucked into a story. Yours sounds fabulous. Love the cover too.

  9. Cynthia Thomason // September 9, 2011 at 2:51 PM  

    Very interesting Melinda. Thanks for all the wonderful info. Your book sounds great. HOpe you have lots of success. As far as recurring characters, I love them. Working on a book now which will be a follow up to my Jan. release (if it goes to contract.) We always have our fingers crossed in this business.
    Cynthia Thomason

  10. Shelley // September 9, 2011 at 2:59 PM  

    Love the cover and I'm really looking forward to reading She Can Run.

  11. Mary Ricksen // September 9, 2011 at 3:37 PM  

    I know what you mean about the PJ's. I never burned dinner so many times as I have when I started writing! LOL!
    Great post Melinda! Thanks for visiting our wonderful blog!!

  12. Melinda Leigh // September 9, 2011 at 4:01 PM  

    Cynthia, good luck with your with WIP. I'll cross my fingers for you.

    Shelly, thank you!

    Mary, I once set fire to the microwave. Glad to know I'm not the only obsessed writer!

  13. Patrice // September 9, 2011 at 4:14 PM  

    Melinda is not the sloth she pretends to be - LOL. She's a kickboxing champ, a mother, a wife, and a kick ass suspense writer. I can't wait to read She Can Run and good luck with the wip. Can you give us a hint of what's in store?

  14. Judy // September 9, 2011 at 6:13 PM  

    Melinda, I love your cover and your story idea. Good luck with it! It's so exciting to be on the cutting edge of something and I'm wishing you all the luck in the world...

  15. Melinda Leigh // September 9, 2011 at 8:18 PM  

    Patrice, the book is in its initial stages, and I don't want to jinx anything.

    Judy, thanks you. I'm thrilled.

  16. Nancy J. Cohen // September 10, 2011 at 5:50 AM  

    Congrats on your sale. I, too, would like to hear more info about Montlake. As for recurring characters, I like them and I also liked when books are linking in some way as in spin-offs or series.

  17. Melinda Leigh // September 10, 2011 at 5:08 PM  

    Thanks, Nancy! I love series books and spinoffs,too.

  18. Josie // September 11, 2011 at 1:31 PM  

    Hi Melinda,
    Thanks so much for joining the Pink Fuzzies today. Sincere congrats for your contract through Amazon. I wish you many sales.

  19. Melinda Leigh // September 12, 2011 at 7:36 PM  

    Thanks so much, Josie. The Pink Fuzzies were gracious hostesses.