Melinda Leigh is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author with numerous awards. She is several series available; including Morgan Dane, Scarlet Falls, She Can Series and Midnight series. For a full book review of Midnight Obession click here to view it on The Writing Train.
EVERYONE PLEASE WELCOME MELINDA LEIGH
*How is the Midnight Series different from your other series?
Each of my series is about a different family or community. The Midnight Series centers around the four Sullivan siblings, a very close family who know how to stick together. The Midnight books are also bit darker than my other series, and I allow myself to have a bit of fun weaving unique aspects such as Celtic lore and Viking history into the plots.
I really enjoyed the Sullivan household and all the aspects of the plot. Marvelous.
*What did you experience writing this particular book? Take us behind the scenes.
I absolutely love research and found the Vikings fascinating. I spent many more hours than I should have researching their culture and burial customs.
It really showed in the writing. Weaving in the viking culture into the plot was very interesting. It was portrayed perfectly in the killer.
*Who is Louisa Hancock to you?
All of my characters are special but Louisa is a little bit of a misfit. Despite her genius and trust fund, she has difficulty relating to other people. This is her vulnerability, and it makes her unique.
Great job. Everyone has their quirks, good and bad.
*What does Conor Sullivan represent? I noticed the obvious and subtle ways he was portrayed throughout the book.
Conor is a nice man. He’s the kind of man who quietly runs his own business, takes care of his siblings, helps his neighbors, and rescues animals. He’s not looking to be a hero. He’s not an FBI agent or a superspy or a sniper. He’s just being who he is and doing the right thing. In my opinion, nice men don’t get enough credit.
I admire the way you portrayed him throughout the story. His strength, love, and care for Louisa was brilliant. It seemed to match the Sullivan family values as well.
*Do you use specific techniques for tension and pacing?
Not really. Some of this just comes with experience—and revisions. Trust me, the first drafts of my books are NOT tight and fast.
Ah, yes, the power of revisions. I know this more in writing poetry. You see so much more when you rewrite and revise your work.
“Revision is not going back and fussing around, but going forward into the process of creation.”-May Sarton
*Do you use the same blend of narrative and dialogue in all your books? The first thing I noticed was an excellent blend between the two.
I don’t think about blending narrative and dialogue. I just go on instinct as I’m writing and revising.
Then I love your instinct! Can I borrow some? Don’t make me beg.
*I found Midnight Obsession to be a stellar and extremely balanced book. How much is from good writing, and how much of the process is from a team of editors polishing the manuscript?
I believe in giving each of my books a solid edit or two BEFORE I turn it in to my publisher. After that, multiple editors get their crack at it. So I’d have to say it’s a combination of all those things.
Lovely. Simply lovely.
*Does writing romance come naturally to you? What made your book stand out was the level of tension throughout the story and a strong core of romance.
Since I’m married to the love of my life, the romance comes naturally. ☺ Love makes people vulnerable and makes it possible to challenge characters emotionally. I also find romance to be a unifying theme. While most people don’t aspire to be the victims of serial killers, they understand the quest for love. I think most humans want to be loved.
Romance is a unifying theme. Many things can be understood from this viewpoint.
*Tell us a little about the antagonist and his M.O.
The killer has a fascination with Viking culture, specifically warriors and their quest for Valhalla. Louisa’s father, Ward, is a renown expert in Viking burial customs. So the killer captures him for his advice. In his own twisted mind, he is bringing Ward’s work to life.
This was a very creative use of the Viking culture. A+
*What are you working on next?
I’m currently writing Book 2 in my new Morgan Dane series. Circumstances made former prosecutor Morgan Dane open her own law firm. In Her Last Goodbye, Morgan agrees to help a man suspected in the disappearance of his wife, but the investigation turns on her in a way she never expected.
Write on sister! Looking forward to the next book. I haven’t read Say You’re Sorry yet. So, sorry. Pun fully intended.
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