Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month 2016!
If you’re a new visitor to RARM, I hope you’ll come back every day in August to read all the wonderful pro-romance posts this year. Check out the full calendar here. You can also find links to the last three years’ posts from the boxes in the sidebar, and if you’d like, you can follow RARM on Facebook. Enjoy August!
Romance is In My Blood.
Growing up, I always preferred the stories where there was a love interest. I always wrinkled my nose when handed anything without the potential for kissing. And I loved/hated watching soap operas with my mother because I rooted hard for the super couples and wanted to throw things when circumstances tore them apart, or characters make illogical decisions. And growing up in Ghana, romance books were everywhere. I’m convinced that used bookstores in Africa are where old romance books go to find new life.
Ghana is where I was handed my first Mills & Boons (Harlequin UK) Greek Tycoon Romance. Actually, more like my cousin smuggled this contraband to me at a wedding. I have never looked back.
I’ve always devoured books. Any books, but romance books held a special place in my heart. I could read a book in a three hour sitting. The summer of 2000, I had taken a detour through my favorite Barnes and Noble on 10th street in Manhattan and picked up Bridget Jones’s Diary.
I read the whole thing in two hours. I laughed and giggled, and cringed for poor Bridget. But the whole time something was borne in me as I read. I was so used to thinking of authors as this special class of person who had to have perfect creative writing grades. I saw them as some magical creatures who didn’t mingle with the regular people. But the whole time I was reading Bridget I was thinking, I could do this. I could write a book.
I immediately grabbed my laptop and started banging out a manuscript knowing nothing about characterization, plot or the writing business. Like so many newbie “have a lot to learn” writers, I said things like, “How difficult could it be?” An adorable heroine, sexy hero, a cute meet, sprinkle some acerbic wit and bam, you have a book. God, I had no idea. Who knew I needed plot, characterization, some magical writing and heaps of luck?
I didn’t finish that book in just a few months as my deluded little brain had imagined. It took me, oh…just a bit longer, but years later when I moved to London, the magic of the city prompted me to dust off the old story. Everywhere I went there was such an energy, a hum. People hip, fun, and willing to try anything once. The city breathed love. And let me tell you, brit boys will do a lot for a girl’s confidence. While there, all I could think was how magical it all was and how one day I wanted to capture how amazing the city made me feel.
Did I finish that book in London? No. Because, English boys. But, I did eventually finish that book. Though it languishes in the bottom of a drawer somewhere, because it was quite terrible. But those notes of my adventures in London, they did make it into a book. Several actually.
Romance is in the blood of every reader who loves the genre. The pain, pleasure, joy of it. The sweat, the literal tears and sometimes the laughter. It’s always been in my blood. And one day, I hope another romance lover finds the used versions of my books and they inspire her.
Nana Malone recommends:
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.
I think anyone who’s been to Paris and doesn’t say Paris is kidding themselves. There is just a passionate vibe to the city, strolling along the Seine, everyone is holding hands or snuggling. Couples kissing in Luxemburg gardens. You can’t help but feel the warm fuzzies.
Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.
My best friend. We have heated arguments over who the best book boyfriends are, swap books back and forth. We’re forever recommending books to each other.
Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?
A sound? I will say that every single time I hear Sade, I can’t help but think of romance. She is the voice of a whole generation of babies. Lol.
Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?
Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. I mean. That one is a no brainer.
Tell us about your dream date.
My first date with my husband. We were 18. I won’t tell you how long ago that was. It wasn’t that we did anything special. In fact everything that could go wrong did. He was late to pick me up because he couldn’t get access to a car. We were late to the movie we were going to see. But it’s what happened once we realized there was nothing else showing. I looked at him and said “Race ya.” I beat him to the car. He will tell you he let me win, but it’s not true. He will also try and tell you I cheated. Which is obviously not true. From there, we drove around the city, just talking and laughing and hanging out. When he took me home that night, he didn’t even kiss me good night. But the second he was back home, he called me and we spent the next three hours on the phone. I think I fell asleep to the sound of his voice. To this day the best date I’ve ever had.
Nana Malone is generously giving away signed copies of: Tempting, Teasing and Tantalizing in Stilettos—all three to one lucky winner (US only, apologies to international friends). To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below or on the Facebook post you’ll find here (or both – Share the Love!) ;o) by 11:59 pm PST August 12, 2016 . Good luck!
USA Today Best Seller, Nana Malone’s love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she “borrowed” from her cousin.
It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a precocious thirteen. She’s been in love with kick butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.
While she waits for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, in the meantime Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.
(*You don’t have to like the FB page, but we do recommend it. It’s easier to contact you if you win. Also consider joining the Read-A-Romance Book Club page, where we discuss romance of all kinds and will have drawings and events throughout the year.)
Buy Nana Malone‘s books:
*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to a Read-A-Romance Month affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help and support!