Category Archives: Romance Writers

Back from RWA National Convention

I didn’t know much about the RWA association except Nora Roberts was a member and had an award in the association named after her. What an honor. All I knew is that I wanted to experience something as wonderful in my lifetime.

My friend and agent/editor type person suggested I join the RWA to get help with what she preceived as a romance manuscript instead of a literary piece. So I went on line and learned a little about what the organization did for writers. I was impressed with the contests, education and nurturing of writers and joined in September of 2011. But failed to take advantage of their offerings–shame on me.

One thing I did know was that I wanted to be around romance writers and decided to attend their convention which just happened to be in our own backyard in Anaheim this July. So as soon as registration opened up, I jumped on it. Even registered Tim to attend the luncheons with me.

Time passed quickly and I prepared the best way I knew how–I wrote stuff. I think I may have spread myself a little too thin. I didn’t concentrate on the one book that was totally and completely romance. Members of my local chapter, LARA, Los Angeles Writers Association, suggested I used this conference as fact gathering event rather than a place to showcase my completed works. So I signed to volunteer, looked at all the workshops and made a spread sheet of the one’s I wanted to attend and finalized my agent/editor appointments.

Being a RWA conference virgin was as exciting as the real thing. Tuesday, July 24, Tim and I plunged in by helping carry books to the appropriate author’s table in the Literacy Book Signing event in the Anaheim Convention Center. It was hot, grueling work, but I actually got to touch Nora Roberts’s books and sit in her chair for a picture. Then I mapped out my own book signing-strategy.

The next day at the signing, we were only allowed fifteen minutes to run a football-field’s length ballroom to obtain as many of our favorite author’s signatures and books as possible. I got some great ones. Missed a couple and then returned to my duty station to ring people up and run their credit cards. It was pure delight to look into the faces of other conventioneers and ask to see what they were purchasing. It was an experience I shall not soon forget.

Wednesday I helped with registration and the goody room, which I absolutely loved. So much that I spent 5 hours in there. Thursday started workshops and we took some great ones. Friday I assisted with the agent/editor appointments and tried my hand at an impromptu pitch. Fell flat on my face. My own appointment was scheduled for the afternoon so I memorized my pitch.

I must have done well–not at the book I was pitching–but for the other manuscripts I’ve written because the editor I met with asked for pages that might fit the Harlequin Heartwarming genre. Yippee!! I just have to figure out how to get them to her for review.

More workshops, delicious luncheons and a fabulous awards ceremony concluded my first time-virgin experience and I must say it was very exciting and well worth the wait. Even Tim, who I dragged to the convention, had a great time and learned so much about the writing experience and the business of publishing. Time now to get back to the WIP (work in progress). See, I’m learning the romance writing jargon and discovering the meaning being all those the acronyms.

I can’t wait for next year’s convention in Atlanta.

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HEY! I’M PUBLISHED!!!

Carol Malone is a published author!

Who’d a thought when I started this journey of writing for the sheer passion of it, I actually live to see something published. Well, there you have it. “…stranger things in heaven and earth, Horatio.” Now this Carol Malone is published. Man. I like the sound of that–not that I’m bragging or anything. Nothing quite as crass.

More than anything else, it’s the start of the fulfillment of a dream. I hope you’ll take the time to read my story. Its not romantic in any way, but it speaks to family and the problems that arise where passionate people dwell.

Let me know what you think. Here’s the link. (Poetic, don’t you think?)

Be sure to click on CAROL ANNE MALONE, scroll down and click on “THE GARDEN.”

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Romance Writers Unite

When I wrote my first short stories in high school, without mentioning how many years ago that was, I never in my wildest or even my sanest dreams thought I’d one day pursue a career as a romance writer. But as I often did while driving across the barren desert between California and Utah, I thought up stories. Stories of love, romance and HEA—that’s happily ever after.

After college I let life drift over me and I lost my muse to getting a job and working in the private sector. Soon I was married to Tim Malone and raising my son, Mike. Life slipped into a series of routines that we all fall into from time to time and I never took up pen or paper. I let the story of my life be written on blank pages never to be heard or seen again. I didn’t even keep a journal except for times when I was venting my frustrations and anger at my spouse or son. Thankfully, there were not a lot of journal entries.

Something happened to me in 2008. Mom had been dead for two years and I’d been feeling something was missing from my life. Tim, my husband and best friend and I decided to take a class at Moorpark College, the local community college near Camarillo. We took a class in English essay writing. Not a formal class, by any means, but it opened my flood gates. At the same time I was dieting and exercising and generally opening myself up to all kinds of exciting and passionate pathways. I wrote my first romantic manuscript from one of the stories I made up on a trip to Utah years before in less than three weeks. Viola! I’d accomplished something I’d never done before—a full length romantic manuscript.

By the end of that year, I’d written four more manuscripts and another one in 2009. I suffered some health setbacks in 2009, and my writing took a back seat. In 2010, I found a former editor who worked for St. Martin’s press in New York. She’d relocated to Santa Barbara and now taught struggling writers how to edit their own work. I had the very special honor of working with her for nearly a year. She taught me how to edit and recognize what works and what doesn’t. I nearly finished the first re-write on my first manuscript.

At the end of 2011, I joined the RWA, Romance Writers of America association and have continued to learn what I needed to do to fulfill my dream and publish something. Then I joined our local romance writers group, LARA, the Los Angeles Romance Authors, and found a home. Several already published authors have opened their vision to me and now I hope to be able to do the same for others.

My motto has become, “Discovering women of passion—one story at a time.”

It’s so important to dream. To dream big. Then to make a plan to follow that dream to its conclusion. Now with so many different ways to become a published author, the sky’s the limit. If only I’d followed my heart and dreamed this dream a long time ago. But regrets are for the people who never move forward. And I want to move forward.

I’ll be attending my very FIRST RWA national conference at the end of July. I’m so excited and maybe just a bit overwhelmed at all I want to learn and do. If you’re a romance writer and plan to be at nationals, look for me, I’ll be the one with my eyes wide open and my face in a state of constant amazement and I’ll be volunteering for a number of events during the conference including registration.

Here’s to dreaming big and finding our own HEA.


Romance Writers of America®
32nd Annual Conference
Anaheim Marriott®
Anaheim, California
July 25-28, 2012

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