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Interview with sweet, tender romance author, C. A. Malone: The Next Big Thing

Author and Book Coach Beth Barany tagged me for this blog meme, with her permission, of course.

It’s been said the greatest books ever written are still waiting to be written. Here’s hoping for The Next Big Thing. Some authors are willing to put their work in progress manuscripts out there for the world to take a gander at and perhaps even champion.  

Here’s hoping you’ll enjoy the brief explanation of my book that is genre specific to Harlequin Heartwarming–a new genre of warm, tender romances geared for grandmothers, mothers and daughters to share the same passionate reading experience.

What is the working title of your next book?

   My book is entitled “Online Love”

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

   I do hope to have my manuscript published by Harlequin Heartwarming

 Where did the idea come from for the book?

      I took an online English essay writing course in order to pursue more advanced writing courses at college and was drawn to another student who’s life’s circumstances paralleled my own. I grew fond of this man though our online association although I’d never met him or knew what he looked like. I wondered—since I was already married and so was he—what it would be like for two lonely people who’d lost their spouses to meet, share some common grief and bonding in cyberspace, finding a striking emotional connection that would lead to a loving connection in reality.  

 What genre does your book fall under?

    My book falls under a new category genre from Harlequin called Heartwarming.

 How long does it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?

    The first couple of chapter took about two years for the first 19, 000 words. I finished the next  64,480 words of the manuscript during the month of November, 2012 and was a winner at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Winner-180x180

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

“Her Second Change” by Shelley Galloway – Harlequin Heartwarming, “Mended Hearts” by Carol Steward – Harlequin Heartwarming, and  “What Matters Most” by Julian Hart – Harlequin Heartwarming

 Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

  I sort of like top fitness model David Kimmerle as Ross with a couple of years on himdavidkimmerle2

  For Angela, I see someone like actress Marley SheltonMarleyShelton

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I have to acknowledge my one time online English classmate who shall remain nameless and faceless at this point in time.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s a book about redemption, about find that life goes one when faced with seemingly insurmountable grief and life’s challenges that all of us can relate too.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Online Love is a story of two people meeting by chance online who learn to overcome their emotional grief and loss to permanently hookup so they can enjoy a second chance at love in the non-virtual world.

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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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