marion leigh

"It's Minx, Petra Minx."

How Marion Leigh came to write A Holiday to Die For

Posted by Marion Leigh on April 15, 2018 . 0 Comments

How Marion Leigh came to write A Holiday to Die For

Authors are often asked what inspired them to write a particular book. In the case of A Holiday to Die For, Marion Leigh answers without hesitation: the road trips she made to Namibia a few years ago. The first took her from Cape Town, South Africa, to the southern and central areas of Namibia, and back, for a total distance of 4700 kilometres on a mix of tarred, salt and gravel roads. The second was from Kasane, Botswana, to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, via the Zambezi Region and Etosha National Park.

‘From the moment I experienced the magnificent sights and scenery of Namibia I knew I wanted to integrate them into one of my Petra Minx adventure novels. So after I finished Dead Man’s Legacy, the setting for the third book in the series was never in doubt. The starting point for the plot was something I saw when...

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Valentine’s Day, a long tradition of love

Posted by Marion Leigh on February 14, 2018 . 0 Comments

Valentine’s Day, a long tradition of love

Traditions, like language, evolve over time, and the origins of Valentine’s Day are awash with stories and legends. In the early Christian calendar, there were several saints named Valentinus, not all of whom had their saint’s day on February 14. The one most celebrated in the English-speaking world is St. Valentine of Rome, the patron saint of engaged couples, happy marriages and stranger things like epilepsy and beekeeping.
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Marion Leigh benefits from taking a break

Posted by Marion Leigh on December 10, 2017 . 0 Comments

Marion Leigh benefits from taking a break

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Sometimes, taking a break is the right thing to do. I know it now, having spent the first five months of 2017 desperately trying to finish my third novel (Destination Wedding, a.k.a. April in Africa) while juggling home renovations, family visits and helping to sell a big boat.

By June all was done, and I was too. When I boarded a ship to take me from North America to Europe, I had no desire to write. It wasn’t the dreaded writer’s block – in fact, being on the high seas gave me some great ideas for the fourth Petra Minx adventure if ever I get that far! And I wasn’t sick or unhappy, far from it.

I just needed to take a step back, to stop striving in the way...

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Marion Leigh’s third novel ready for Beta readers

Posted by Marion Leigh on May 07, 2017 . 0 Comments

Marion Leigh’s third novel ready for Beta readers

Marion Leigh loves to read, but in the weeks leading up to World Book Day on April 23 she was glued to her desk editing the third Petra Minx adventure thriller. Reading, like a lot of other things, had to take a back seat.

Now, as Mystery and Thriller Week draws to a close, Destination Wedding is ready to go to a group of “Beta readers” to get their feedback on everything from holes in the plot to errors of all kinds. Based on their comments, Marion will re-edit the novel prior to publishing. To whet your appetite, here’s the story line:

From the moment RCMP Marine Unit Sergeant Petra Minx arrives in South Africa to join her friend Carlo at his cousin’s wedding, she has no time to relax. She rushes to help two teenage girls whose phones are stolen on their first...

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The Morning After The Night Before

Posted by Marion Leigh on December 28, 2016 . 0 Comments

The Morning After The Night Before

In the run-up to Christmas and New Year this phrase might resonate more than usual if you’re feeling the after-effects of too much partying.

It’s also the title of a narrative poem written by Marion Leigh and illustrated by Manifesto Design. The poem is based on Marion’s favourite Christmas book, The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore.

In Marion’s house, it was traditional to read the Reverend Moore’s poem every Christmas Eve after hanging up stockings for Santa to fill and setting out a plate of mince pies and a glass of milk for him.

Marion’s poem uses the same rollicking rhythm as the original and is simply a bit of fun. Please enjoy it and take it easy this New Year's Eve! 

The Morning After The Night Before Christmas PoemContinue Reading »

Writing: a job like any other?

Posted by Marion Leigh on November 07, 2016 . 0 Comments

Writing: a job like any other?

Readers tend to think that being an author is a glamorous occupation. Actually it’s a hard solitary job.

If you look up the noun ‘job’ in the Oxford Paperback Thesaurus, the first example of usage says: my job involves a lot of travelling. The second one warns: this job will take three months, and the third states: it’s your job to protect her.

Unless you’re a top-selling author like Stuart Woods who owns a plane and travels frequently, your job as a writer is more likely to involve a lot of time sitting at a desk. Some authors may be able to write anywhere on a laptop, iPad or in a notebook, but Marion Leigh isn’t one of these.

‘I need a quiet stable environment where I can work without interruption or distraction. Occasionally I’ll take a break to get a glass of...

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Summer equals boating for Marion Leigh and Petra Minx

Posted by Marion Leigh on August 22, 2016 . 0 Comments

Summer equals boating for Marion Leigh and Petra Minx

Summer is the season to get outdoors and indulge in your favourite pastime, whether it’s tennis, golf, cycling, hiking, or just relaxing in the garden with a good book. Marion Leigh, author of the Petra Minx adventure thrillers, spends the summer boating, a passion she shares with her feisty young protagonist Petra Minx.

Petra, a Marine Unit Sergeant in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, loves the water. In The Politician’s Daughter, she works with RCMP Liaison Officer, Tom Gilmore, to set up her cover before joining megayacht Titania as a hostess in a bid to find the missing Emily Mortlake. Not surprisingly, when Tom asks her for a code word, she picks her favourite boat, a Lazzara 84 motor yacht.

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Words for the Wounded 2016 Independent Author Book Award

Posted by Marion Leigh on July 03, 2016 . 0 Comments

Words for the Wounded 2016 Independent Author Book Award

Congratulations to the winners of the W4W 2016 Independent Author Book Award. Entries were judged by Felicity Trew of the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency and the results announced in June.

Marion Leigh’s adventure thrillers featuring Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Petra Minx didn’t make the top three, but they did garner two commendations: Dead Man’s Legacy was Highly Commended and The Politician’s Daughter, Commended. 

Marion Leigh Words for the Wounded Prize

Interestingly, the first and second prizes were awarded for non-fiction: From Both Ends of the Stethoscope by Dr. Kathleen Thompson, and The Man Who Didn’t Go to Newcastle by Alison Clink. Third place went to The Secret of Skara Vhore by Jennifer M. Calder, the first novel...

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The Dreaded Synopsis

Posted by Marion Leigh on June 01, 2016 . 0 Comments

The Dreaded Synopsis

Remember precis-writing in school? How you had to read a text then summarize it, keeping all the main facts but stripping out the detail? Not easy to do, even on a text of a hundred and fifty words.

So how do you summarize a full-length novel of 80,000 to 100,000 words? Literary agents and publishers typically ask for a 500 or 1,000 word synopsis. Do you write it first or after the novel? Apparently the late great Sidney Sheldon was never sure where his plot was going until he’d finished writing.

Marion Leigh has done it both ways. For The Politician’s Daughter, her debut novel featuring Marine Unit Sergeant Petra Minx of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Marion wrote a chapter plan for the first two-thirds of the novel then followed her nose to the end...

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Rosie Aims High Commemorates a Raccoon’s Epic Climb!

Posted by Marion Leigh on May 16, 2016 . 0 Comments

Rosie Aims High Commemorates a Raccoon’s Epic Climb!

33 years ago, on May 19, 1983, a 3-month old raccoon climbed more than halfway up the South Tower of the Royal Bank Plaza, then the tallest skyscraper in Toronto, Canada. According to next day’s Montreal Gazette, the crowd that gathered nicknamed the raccoon “Ricky” and watched him climb the outside of the iconic gold building to the 23rd floor. People let out a cheer as he climbed onto the window washing scaffold that had been lowered from the roof to rescue him.

Living in Toronto at that time, Marion Leigh was fascinated by the raccoon’s exploit and thought it would make a good tale for children. She dashed off a short story about Ricky, called The Expedition. This languished in a drawer for over two decades until Marion had time to think seriously about writing.

After publishing The Politician’s Daughter, the first adventure thriller...

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