Pat Benatar has been one of music's leading ladies for more than three decades, breaking new musical ground by giving hard-hitting rock a multiplatinum, Grammy-winning feminist twist with anthems "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "Love Is a Battlefield."

In the Lindenhurst native's new autobiography, "Between a Heart and a Rock Place," Benatar writes about the toll being a pioneer took on her personal life and how she and her husband and longtime collaborator, Neil "Spyder" Giraldo, made it through - together.

Calling from her Los Angeles home, as she prepared for both the book tour and a summer concert tour with REO Speedwagon, Benatar said she enjoyed her new role as author so much, she's going to write a novel next. 

What made you want to write the book?

Well, I didn't want to write it. I'm really a private person and I'm really not all that interested in getting the whole story out there. But [publisher] HarperCollins approached me and they wanted to do it about the beginning and that was interesting to me. . . . The beginning was intense and crazy. There's a lot of stuff there that I thought women would be interested in reading about and a lot of stuff people would want to know, so I said OK.

You talk about all the obstacles you had to overcome. Was it hard mentally revisiting those times?

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The odd thing is I didn't hold onto the emotional stuff that was happening. I was always going forward. So it was difficult to go back and think about all those terrible conflicts with the record company. I had forgotten it. I mean, I knew it was there, but I had kind of buried it.

Was writing about growing up in Lindenhurst easier?

I'm a voracious reader, and my favorite thing about reading people's autobiographies is you get some insight in how they got to be that person. You are such a product of your upbringing, so I thought people would be interested in mine. . . . My mother was my biggest problem the entire time. (Laughing) She kept asking me, "Are you gonna put this in there? Did you say this?" She was just adorable. I had to tell her, "Mom, it's not about us when we were growing up. It's about the other part."

WHO Pat Benatar

WHEN | WHERE 7 o'clock Wednesday night, The Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington

INFO Free, 631-271-1442,