September Hearts Talk

The latest edition of Hearts Talk is here. This is available only to members, but here is a little peek….

Bronwyn Jameson chats to Susan Mallery

This month, Hearts Talk is delighted to welcome Susan Mallery as our featured author interview. Susan is the author of over one hundred romances and women’s fiction novels, which consistently appear on the USA Today bestseller list and have landed as high as #5 on the New York Times list. Her books have been named in the Top 10 Romance Novels lists of 2007, 2008, and 2009 by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association, and she was the only author on the list all three years.

Susan, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Can I start by offering our congratulations on two accounts: Firstly, you received a Borders Award for the Bestselling Contemporary Romance of 2009. Secondly, for the publication of your 100th book, Sweet Talk. Did you do anything special to celebrate?

Thank you so much! Winning the Borders Award was a real thrill for me. Sue Grimshaw of Borders presents the award, which is really gorgeous. Sue is delightful and warm and so supportive of the romance genre. Does working count as a celebration? When my 100th book was released, I was working on Sunset Bay, my first women’s fiction novel. I think that’s how I reached 100 and counting. Through the years, I just kept moving forward because the next book is always the most exciting.

For full article, go to our website. For members only.

RWA news!

Three things are big news in RWA this month, and you can read more about them in this issue of Hearts Talk.

Firstly, there’s a new Judge Training Program. Have you ever thought about volunteering as a judge for one of RWA’s great contests but been put off because you weren’t sure about the judging process? Are you already a judge but would like a bit of a refresher? See p15 of this month’s Hearts Talk for more info.

Also, we’re having a great big Volunteer Drive. If you caught the fabulous vibe of the RWA volunteers at the Coogee conference or Clayton’s Conference and want to join in, have a look at p11 of Hearts Talk for more details.

Finally, we’re now taking applications for the position of RWA Webmistress. This role will now come with a small stipend because we believe it’s pivotal to our organisation. See p15 of Hearts Talk for the information.


The  Heart of the Matter:  Elements of a Lasting Love by Bronwyn Parry

Romance writers’ magazines and blogs have many excellent and useful articles about aspects of writing; character arcs, structure and plotting, deep POV, writing sensual scenes. But if you’ve ever finished a romance novel wondering whether the happily-in-lust couple will last beyond the first few months together, you’ll know that there’s one issue that we don’t explore enough, one that should be at the heart of every romance novel: love itself.

My favourite photo is of my aunt and uncle; after forty years of marriage, still gazing at each other with such joy, love and delight that they are both beautiful. And they really were like that, everyday – so much in love, and joyous with it.

How can we write our characters so that our readers are able to imagine them gazing at each other with that same joy and love, forty, fifty, sixty years after the last page of the book?

For full article, go to our website. For members only.


Our RWA – Sydney Conference Awards Dinner

Our Awards Night was a sizzling affair! Here’s the run down of the awards that were announced on the night. Look out for more conference highlights in October’s Hearts Talk. (Note: certificates for contests whose winners previously announced in Hearts Talk were also handed out.)

For full article go to our website. For members only.

A Touch of the Fairytale by Anna Campbell

I often tell people who ask me about my writing that I write adult fairytales. Sometimes VERY adult (snickering!).

There’s something inherently satisfying about the shape of a fairytale story. We generally have a heroine and/or a hero who face adversity with courage and intelligence and then after numerous trials and tribulations, they get their happy ending.

This is the story arc of so many world myths and legends that I can’t help thinking this pattern appeals to our basic human selves. The happy ending is sometimes derided as a particular failing of romance fiction, but I think most readers love the idea that once the characters have proved themselves worthy, they get their reward, which in a romance novel happens to be everlasting love.

For full article go to our website. For members only.

A Writer’s Life as she Harnesses the Inner Teen (Ebony McKenna)

As some of you know, I’ve written in many genres— science fiction & contemporary romance—but it wasn’t until I wrote a teen novel that it all came together for me. Although my teen years are well behind me, they remain always close to the surface.

Writing for young adults means channelling my inner teen at regular intervals, no matter how embarrassing or traumatic. If I flick through a photo album, I’ll laugh at my clothes and think about the people in the picture and ‘bang’ I’m an angst-ridden fifteen-year-old again. All hormones and homework and horrible hair.

Of course don’t forget our regular columns:


  • From the Prez with Alison Ahearn
  • Market Watch with Pam Collings
  • Contest Page with Deb Bennetto
  • The Last Word with Christina Phillips
  • Member News & Releases with Rachel Blair
  • Member Spotlights with Suzanne Brandyn

> This month featuring our fabulous Senior Vice President Louise Reynolds

  • Events Calendar with Doreen Sullivan
  • The Writer’s Life with Marion Lennox

>This month featuring Ebony McKenna (as above)

  • Practicalities, Technicalities with Michelle Wood

>This month featuring  Tips of the Traveling Writer by Emily Gee

I’m a travel junkie. Fortunately for me, writing is a portable job. For those of you who share my love of travel—and who’d like to combine writing and travelling—here are some of the things that worked for me during the year I spent travelling and writing in North America. Note, this isn’t an article about travel writing, but about writing while travelling.

  • Ask Auntie Fi with Fiona Lowe

Dear Auntie Fi, Are there restrictions to using pseudonyms, i.e. what would stop a writer from using another’s pen name, & cashing in on his/her success with the readership? Is there a register of pseudonyms, or are there controls in the publishing industry that handle these types of issues? ~ ‘Anxious in Atherton’

Dear Auntie Fi, I’ve just realised with my current WIP, that my heroine and hero don’t meet as soon as possible on the page. It’s a suspense, with romantic elements, and the so-called hero is there with the heroine in chapter two, but the real hero doesn’t come along until later. Do you think this is going to be a problem?? Have I broken the golden rule? It is targeted to the Australian Market. ~ ‘Wit’s End’

For full columns, go to our website. For members only.

Enjoy!!

Not a member? Please view our sample issue from February 2010.

To receive our wonderful monthly newsletter, we invite you to Join RWA for all the details.

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