THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY

By Cheryl Norman

RUNNING SCARED, my romantic suspense from Medallion Press, started out a silly game. Good friend Marv Jones and I were training to run the Marine Corps Marathon (when I was younger and thinner), and every Saturday morning we did our long run of the week, a distance of fifteen to twenty-two miles, along the same route in south Jacksonville. Running several hours is a challenge both physically and mentally. We talked as we ran to monitor our pacing and breathing, but also to avoid boredom.

Before dawn one Saturday, we ran through an exclusive neighborhood and saw a suspicious car speed away. We began a game of what if that turned into a murder mystery. We added to it with each mile, naming the characters and fleshing out the plot. We laughed about it later then forgot it for several years.

Later I quit my job and decided to write fiction. What better story to start with than our silly murder mystery? Thus began my first novel, the story of a young woman training to run her first marathon when she witnesses a murder. Ten rewrites later and I finally knew Detective Rick Edwards and Ashley Adams and their dark secrets. I knew why they couldn’t fall in love with each other and why they would. I knew who killed whom, and why.

I’ve written many other books since my first version of RUNNING SCARED, but none took so long to revise. My friend Marv was able to read the finished manuscript but sadly died before seeing the book in print. I dedicated RUNNING SCARED to his memory. Little did we know that Saturday morning when we started spinning a tale of murder and intrigue to pass the time that I would someday write the novel and see it in print.

We writers never know when inspiration will strike. But I’m proud of the book RUNNING SCARED that evolved from that early morning training run. I think Marv is, too.

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Cheryl Norman is the award winning author of Last Resort, Running Scared, and Restore My Heart. Her latest release is the witness protection romantic suspense Reclaim My Life. Visit her Website at http://cherylnorman.com . She also hosts the Grammar Cop blog at http://grammar.cherylnorman.com

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