We, as contemporary romance writers, are so lucky to have such an active, vibrant chapter, designed just for us, with so many resources and so much encouragement available to help guide us through our careers.
The chapter wouldn’t be what it is today without our wonderful, hard-working, dedicated board members.
With their first-terms about to draw to a close, we thought we’d invite each board members to come and chat with us about what it’s been like serving on a large chapter board and what they’ve learned in the past year.
First up, we have our Vice President of Workshops, Melanie Greene!
A. I was an avid reader in my crib, and have always devoured books. My wonderful fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Heap, told me I was the best writer in her class and was allowed to break grammar rules. It was all the encouragement I needed to decide at ten that I would always be a writer. I went on to get undergraduate and graduate degrees in creative writing, so let’s regard those twenty years working in accounting as a fluke, shall we?
Q. What appeals to you most about the contemporary romance genre?
A. I love the heightened everyday situations that make up contemporary romance. It’s such a pleasure to create characters who feel like friends, then give them a pile of challenges to overcome on the way to Happily Ever After.
Q. What does your position as the Vice President of Workshops involve? What are some of your main roles? What challenges have you faced? What have you enjoyed most?
A. I book our members-only workshops as well as the workshops that our chapter offers to the public (with discounted rates for members!) – these workshops make up a substantial portion of our chapter’s income. I also manage the sign-ups, forums, and moderators for each workshop. I’m always hoping to find more workshops to appeal to our chapter members, which means overcoming my introvert tendencies to ask people to teach for us. I tend to get enthusiastic responses, which helps me get better at asking to start with. I’m a spreadsheet junkie, so tracking all the information is fun for me. I also create a graphic for each workshop in Canva, which is probably an unnecessary task but one I get a kick out of.
Q. What are your goals for the chapter? What would you like to see happen over the next year?
A. I love when chapter members take our paid workshops, because it shows me that the offerings I’ve picked appeal to our members’ needs. (Ditto for our free members-only workshops, of course.) I’m always looking for more workshop ideas and presenters (email me at email@example.com), both for the public and for the members-only workshops. I’d love to get more chapter members involved in teaching!
Q. Do you have any words of wisdom to share with the newer members of the chapter?
A. Our chapter is full of bright, helpful, generous writers who all remember those early days of figuring out our career paths. (I mean, some of us might still be figuring that out…) I’m consistently floored by how much collective knowledge our group has, and how graciously we share it. So jump in the conversations in our Facebook group or RWA forum and don’t forget that you have a ton to offer the group, too!
Thank you so much, Melanie, for all you do for the chapter, and for stopping by the blog!
Melanie Greene lives in a little cottage in a large city, and she shares her life with her hunk of a husband and children so amazing they defy superlatives. She’s a native Houstonian and sets her contemporary romances in Texas. Visit her at melaniegreene.com