The new president of the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) is ready to kiss and tell about the organisation which has tenderly held her hand.
Dubbo’s Joanne Boog is eager for more aspiring, emerging and established writers to know about RWA and how it can help them.
Two weeks into her new role and Mrs Boog is focused on sharing the love with about 800 RWA members across Australia.
“I’ve got an incredibly good committee and we are going back to the beginning and looking at what is working and what could be done better,” she said.
“We’re trying to increase the benefit to our members. We are about helping our members write and get published.”
Mrs Boog points potential new members to the RWA’s website, which reveals just how much it has to offer.
Members form writing groups, find critique partners, enter contests to improve their writing and pitch their work at annual conferences.
The organisation offers a variety of online courses from “craft basics through to advanced business techniques” along with a monthly magazine called Hearts Talk.
Mrs Boog joined RWA after an accidental and online chat with a “one of the biggest romance writers in Australia”.
“She got me into RWA where I found members helpful, encouraging and willing to share their experiences,” Mrs Boog said.
“We’re really a family in a lot of ways.”
She is certain there are plenty of others in need of RWA, with female and male members who mix romance with a range of other writing genres including paranormal, historical, contemporary and suspense.
According to the new RWA president, the reading public can’t get enough of it.
“Romance outsells everything else,” she said.
Mrs Boog said the industry was changing with many writers choosing to self-publish or establish their own publishing companies.
What remained steadfast and true in romance writing was a “happy ending”, she said.
“It might not be a happily ever after but it has got to give the reader a lift at the end of the story or it’s not worth reading,” Mrs Boog said.
The former practice manager and now part-time quality control manager at Austen Brown Boog Solicitors, takes every opportunity she gets to write.
By her side is RWA and her beloved cat and “muse”, Arthur.
“When I read out loud he lifts his head,” she said with a wide grin.
“If he puts his head down I know I need to work on my writing.”
Mrs Boog believes she would not be chasing her writing dreams without the support of RWA.
“I feel privileged to be leading RWA,” she said.
“I felt I needed to stand up and help RWA at this time because it has helped me.”