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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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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