About Mal

Mal Olson Every author's bio I read starts out saying something like this: "I've been a ravenous reader since the age of six."

Not me. Call me not a wiz-kid because as a child, I read, but I didn't start reading books by the carload until I was a young adult. And I don't devour books--as in reading two or three a day. I savor them by the half-carload and enjoy every morsel while analyzing the magic the author has produced to keep me turning pages.

I've always had the urge to write, and my first romantic short story was the result of a seventh grade creative writing assignment--which was so long ago I don't remember my English teacher's name, but I remember it was the era of poodle skirts and saddle shoes--when I crafted the story of two star-crossed lovers reunited when the hero was freed from the Bastille Prison. Guess what we were studying in History at the time?

The time span between writing my first romance story in junior high school and having my first romantic suspense novel published is a period of epoch proportions. I'm one of those overnight success stories that happened after decades of work and trying.

Over twenty years ago, my first-born daughter and I decided we could write a romance novel, and we had a lot of fun working jointly on creating two books. There's still a place in my heart for those stories and characters. Later, we branched into writing our own novels, picking each other's brains and critiquing for one another. If it weren't for her support (she's an awesome writer as well as a fabulous editor) I would never have reached my lifelong goal of becoming a published author.

Along the road to success, I have been blessed with help from many others--writers who give of their time to present workshops and seminars, especially those sponsored by Romance Writers of America and WisRWA, and classes offered at the University of Wisconsin Writer's Institute, and by the generous authors of Mad City Writers.

The most important lesson I've learned on this journey to becoming a published author is to try, try, and try again. As J.A. Konrath says, "There's name for writers who give up. Unpublished."

The moral support I've received from my husband, from both of my daughters, my son, and my writer-son-in-law, as well as encouragement from many wonderful friends and first readers of my manuscripts has kept me focused on my goal, given me confidence, and kept me from giving up. Thanks, Maria, Diane, Sandy, Angie, Nita, Mary, Alice, and Elaine.

Last but not least, thank you Laura and Lori at The Wild Rose Press. I wouldn't be published without you.

What Titillates a Writer's Imagination?

People always ask where writers get their ideas. Mine pop into my head from everywhere. Junior high history classes, songs, memories of a neighbor's three-legged feline. Trivet, a three-legged cat, has an important role in my debut novel Shadow of Deceit. And years of news stories headlining the search for and the taking down of Osama bin Laden pricked my creative juices when giving dastardly qualities to the villain in the romantic suspense adventure Shadow of Deceit.

I chose my heroine's profession in Pumping Adrenaline because I was able to pick the brain of my friend, a medical-technician, for bits of information to add validity to the heroine and to the bio-terrorism plot. The setting for that story was inspired by many trips to one of my favorite places on Earth, the Canadian Rockies, especially British Columbia and the Banff area.


Success is the silver lining of clouds turned inside out.

- Edgar A. Guest.