Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing each new board member.
First up, come meet our new president, Casey Clipper.
Q. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. What drew you to writing?
A. I can’t say for sure what drew me to writing. I’ve always been a reader. My mother helped encourage that love for reading and as a teen, even though I came from a family with 4 girls, without much money, my mom would make sure I had a book to read. I vividly remember the Sweet Valley High book series littered over my bedroom. But when I actually started writing was a few years ago, when I read a popular novel and thought that I would have written it much differently. So essentially, I wrote my version of fan fiction. Of course, that first penned manuscript is so badly written it will never see the light of day.
Q. Why is contemporary romance important to you?
A. Contemporary is what I connect with best. It’s what I read. Whether it’s suspense, erotica, or new adult, it’s the genre that I enjoy the most and I can easily get into when writing. I could never be a good researched when it comes to a genre like historical or even be that inventive when it comes to making up worlds like fantasy or paranormal. Contemporary just plain works for me.
Q. How has the chapter helped you with your writing career?
A. The Contemporary Romance Writers and the RWA in general has taught me not only about the romance genre itself and vastly improved my writing through workshops, but also about the professionalism and industry connections. I truly believe that RWA and its chapters are invaluable in that manner. I’m a self-published author and I read a lot. There is a significant difference in RWA authors/writers than non-members. You can tell from Facebook posts and from reading novels of authors who haven’t been given professional advice and training.
But more than anything, the connections I’ve made through RWA and the CRW and other chapters are invaluable. I’ve made such good writing friends, who understand this world I have created for myself. They “get” me and I get them. So many kindred spirits that I now know are out there, when previously, I thought I had been all alone.
Q. What does your position involve? What are some of your main roles?
A. Lol! I have no idea. Kidding. As president of the chapter, essentially I oversee everything. So the president has her hands dipped into all the roles, as oversight of the chapter and to make sure everything is running smoothly and as should be. She calls all board meetings and schedules the general membership meeting. The president can also hold the vote that might break a tie on the board regarding policies and procedures. The president has to make sure that any new policies and procedures voted by the national board is put into place by the chapter, documented, and voted on by chapter members. The president of a chapter also represents the chapter at nationals. There is actually a lot of little, but big things, the president is responsible for that aren’t nearly as visible as some of the other board positions when it comes to the running of a chapter.
Q. What are your goals for the chapter? What would you like to see happen over the next year?
A. One of my main goals is to open up the board meetings to all members. I’d like the board meetings to be open to all CRW members so each member can see what’s happening behind the scenes. Currently, this is not in place and I’m not a fan of that. I truly feel that this is important. That all members should be given access to what the board, that they voted in, is doing for the chapter that they have paid to be a part of. So, I’m in communications with RWA to utilize one of their meeting forums to be able to open up our board meetings for members to watch in on, since we meet online.
Another item is to bring back the Stiletto contest. Right now, I’ve been spearheading the Stiletto committee and they’ve been doing a fantastic job with suggestions and their vast knowledge of contests. The Stiletto used to be one of those contests that authors would love to win and I want to bring that back to the chapter. We’ve been discussing new categories and I think this committee will definitely bring something different and valuable to the Stiletto, once again, making the contest thrive.
Also, the party at nationals I’d like to see become the party that it was well known for in years past. So, this is one of the first items on the agenda I’ll be bringing up to the new board, since it takes months to plan.
But the main agenda I have is getting the chapter back on track where members benefit from having a Contemporary Romance Writers membership. I don’t want any member to feel that they got nothing from their membership dues. I understand that every dime in today’s world counts and there are so many chapters to choose to join. I want all members to feel that they’ve chosen correctly with joining CRW.
Q. Other than the fact that you’re a writer, what else would you like us to know about you?
A. I do work full time as a secretary for an outpatient physical therapy office in Pittsburgh, PA. I changed jobs for the first time in 13 years this past May and man, did it rock my world, especially my writing. I went from a mom-and-pop business that was dying to one of the busiest corporate companies in Western PA. Talk about a shock to the system and the writing mojo. It took months to get back into the writing groove.
I’m married with two boys, one 24 and one 16, and a cat named Bob, who is the king of our castle. So, I’m surrounded by men. I am the oldest of four sisters, all crazy Irish women, who give their poor father headaches daily, still. Lol. And I have a slight obsession with penguins. Well, maybe not so slight. 😉
Thank you, Casey, for all of your hard work and dedication to the chapter!