Allison Kelley is the Executive Director of Romance Writers of America, a nonprofit association and a growing community of romance writers. If you want to advance your interests or career on romance writing, listen to what she has to say in her interview below.
For those not familiar with RWA, please tell us about the organization.
Romance Writers of America® (RWA) is a nonprofit writers association whose mission is to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy. RWA works to support the efforts of its members to earn a living, to make a full-time career out of writing romance—or a part-time one that generously supplements his/her main income. RWA was founded in 1980, is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and has more than 140 local and online chapters.
How long have you been with the RWA?
I will celebrate my 20th anniversary with RWA on October 4, 2014, and I feel truly fortunate to have served this wonderful organization for so long.
Many of the RWA fans are M/M fans as well, have you seen an increase in interest in this genre?
I think of RWA as having members rather than fans. RWA does not survey its members with regard to what they or their fans read, so I can’t answer the question. I can confirm that there is an increased awareness among RWA members of same-sex romance novels, and many RWA members write romances featuring same-sex relationships.
Why do you think so many women are interested in M/M?
Romance readers are drawn to books in which the main characters overcome obstacles and find true love.
Are you doing anything interesting to help support the genre or the authors who write M/M?
- RWA sponsored the first iOS and Android compatible app that will be a comprehensive database and interactive information hub for readers and authors of romance novels. The app, Novel Engagement™ is available in the App Store and in Google Play and allows readers to search on keywords and tropes. There are several options for readers who are searching for novels featuring same-sex couples. For more information: http://www.novelengagement.com.
- One of RWA’s online chapters, Rainbow Romance Writers, provides networking and education to authors of LGBT romance. http://www.rainbowromancewriters.com/.
- RWA’s annual conference features workshops for authors of LGBT romances, and provides opportunities for writers of LGBT romances to meet with publishers who focus on this market.
- RWA will soon issue an anthology that is intended to showcase a variety of romance fiction. The anthology is titled “Wrong Number,” and one of the stories features a M/M couple.
What are some of your favorite M/M books?
Considering my position, I try never to describe an author or book as a “favorite.” I read a lot, and I am continually seeking new authors, new voices, and new stories. I can confirm there are many talented authors who write M/M romance.
If our readers would like to find out more about RWA, where can they go?