Friday, June 11, 2010


Please welcome author Morgan Malone to the Island!

Why do we let the calendar and the roadmap of aging across our bodies tell us we are too old for adventure? At 57, with a new knee and an aching back, I set out on an 800 mile journey to Cincinnati. Off to make my fortune in the world of romance books, I headed to the Dianne Castell/Lori Foster Reader Writer Get Together on Thursday last. Raffle basket in the back of the SUV, author promotions in the box next to it, and a six-pack of Diet Coke in the cooler, I felt like I could conquer the world. I sucked down a diet Red Bull for the caffeine/guarine induced energy. I used to drink Red Bull every morning at work to start the day, I stopped when I retired and saved enough for my monthly time share payment on our new place in Orlando. But, damn, I miss the taste of Red Bull.

Exactly 12 hours after I leave Saratoga, I arrive in Cincinnati. There is Joni, a reader and reviewer from Maryland, waiting to meet me in the bar for margaritas. She brings Linda, her roomie for the night. Linda is Irish but lives in Canada with her family. She lights up when I tell her about the recent house concert with Paddy Keenan. She refers to him as “God” in the same tone I use for Clapton. Linda writes male/male romances which launches us into a discussion about heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. Pam, a reader form Michigan and a good friend from last year, joins us and we start sharing stories about some of the more outlandish genres of romance, like shape-shifters and mermen and ménage et trois. I explain the background for my newest release, “Deuces Wild” and how I came to write a ménage. After two drinks each, we are hooting and snorting.

The next day, I wrap my raffle basket. Each year, authors, publishers, reviewers and web mistresses donate raffle baskets; the proceeds benefit a local charity. This year it is a home for abandoned children and I have donated my first basket as an author. “Hello Kitty” is the name of my first published piece of fiction and that is the theme of the basket. I wonder if anyone will drop a ticket in the bag in front of my basket. I am happy to see on Saturday before the drawing that the bag is half full of tickets. I am happier that my dear friend and author, Janice Maynard, who wrote the teaser for the story, wins the basket. After the drawing, a woman who has said “Hello Kitty” to me each time I have seen her, asks me if she can see “Hello Kitty.” As the real Hello Kitty is a vibrator, I politely demur. I wonder if she is typical of my fan base? I hope not.

I wonder again and again through the weekend and the long drive home about the instant camaraderie with these women, their unflinching support, their generosity of spirit and experience. A fellow author says it is because romance writers have always banded together, we are the red-headed step-children of the publishing world though our sales make up more than half of the sales of all books each year. It is us against the world.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Welcome to the island!!

I have always wondered why romance books and authors (the red-headed stepchildren) aren't seen as other authors- when as you stated romance is a huge seller.

Also, why is it when the romance book becomes a movie suddenly is a great story in the media and with critics??

Why wasn't it a great story when it was still just a book?

I think (just a guess) that most of the world snubbing their noses at romance BOOKs haven't read them. They go see the movies (perhaps they are too lazy to read a book or just too lacking in self confidence to actually purchase a romance novel and sit down and read it) and rave (or not) about the romance.
The movie (sometimes) will become a huge box office hit and while that will sometimes influence some people to finally pick up the book, others still snub their noses at a romance novel while going to see the romance movie. Aren't they hypocrites?


Lea said...

Welcome to the island Morgan.

What a lovely post and so nice to hear of your positive experience attending the LF Event.

I think it is so wonderful that authors and reviewers band together to support such a worthy cause as well as band together for support.

Thanks for visiting DIK!

dikladies.guest said...

Thanks ladies for the warm welcome.

I think some people have the perception that romance is not well-written, that it is not literature. As in any genre, in romance, there are the stars and there are the books written quickly and with not enough editing, to meet a deadline. Apart from a very few titles I have read over the last 40 years, I find most romance novels to be written as well as any of the mainstream fiction out there, and most of it is a lot better! I spend a great deal of time on plot, character development, point of view, as well as grammar, punctuation and vocabulary and most of the authors I know do so, too.
And the stories...romance provides such fabulous stories! I laugh, I cry, I think, I fall in love (and lust) over and over again.
So the naysayers have something to learn from the rest of us, from more than half of the book-buying public, that romance is a legitimate form of literature (just ask Eloisa James!). But, I am preaching to the choir here because we know the treasure we will find in the pages of a romance novel.

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