Board Members

2017 Board Members


Carmen Cook

Carmen Cook

Carmen Cook, President

Carmen Cook writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She makes a habit of knowing the location of every shoe store in a walkable radius of wherever she is, and will never turn down the offer to stop for wine, coffee or conversation. Her family jokes that she’ll talk to a tree if it stands still long enough. They no longer get embarrassed by her constant need to ‘research’ by asking questions of complete strangers.
Carmen joined GSRWA in 2011 and jumped right into the fray by volunteering for Emerald City Writers’ Conference and chaired the event in 2013.  This year she is eager to network with even more GSRWA members.  As vice president of programs in 2015,  she was dedicated to finding dynamic speakers to help us all reach the next level in our writing careers.
She loves connecting with romance writers and readers. For more information, please visit or find her on Facebook and Twitter @CarmenCook_.


Linda Hornung

Linda Hornung

Linda Hornung, Vice-President of Programs

By day she is a business relationship manager, and by night Linda crafts relationships for characters in her romantic suspense stories. Relationships are her business and passion, and she wants everyone to have a HEA.

Linda joined RWA and GSRWA in 2013; she has worked on ECWC committees every year since. She loves wearing a tiara, cheering on her fellow writers, and celebrating their successes.

Her degree is in Classics (dead languages), she has been a massage therapist for a decade, and has done many styles of dance from ballet to belly.

As Vice-President of Programs she wants to find speakers who inspire members to reach their goals. She’s a collaborator, supporter, and co-conspirator as the situation requires. For more information, please visit or find her on Facebook at and Twitter @lexa_fisher.


JC Hay

JC Hay, Vice-President of Communications

 JC Hay writes science ction romance with clever heroines, supportive heroes, and high-tech gadgetry because, as he says, “the coolest gadgets in the world are useless without someone to share them.” An eager transplant to the Northwest, he jumped at the chance to live somewhere he didn’thave to choose between mountains and ocean. A member of Romance Writers of America since 2010,
he is also a member of the SFR Brigade (for Sci-Fi Romance). When not writing, he can typically be found with his knitting nearby, and has been known to bring back yarn from every conference trip “as a souvenir.”As Vice-President of Communications, JC manages the chapter’s website, mailing list, and social media presence, in addition to being the general tech person when needed. This is his first leadership role in RWA.
To learn more about JC, go to, like him on Facebook at, or on Twitter


Jennifer Henderson, Secretary

Jennifer’s addiction to romance novels began at a young age when she would sneak peeks at her mom’s Harlequins while the rest of the family was at swim lessons.  Her love of all things old led to a history degree, a dozen years teaching U.S. and world history at a prep school, and eventually writing Regency romance novels.  She lives in the Pacific Northwest, loves travel, scuba diving, and going to the movies, and has yet to find a piece of chocolate she did not enjoy.

She is excited to be on the GSRWA board.

Please visit her website at and follow her on twitter at @_JennyHenderson.





Shirley Penick

Shirley Penick, Treasurer

Shirley Penick is a techy turned writer. As a lifelong reader it seemed only natural that one day she decided to write. Of course, translating her mathematical and computer science engineering degrees and experience into story telling wasn’t exactly a smooth transition. But with her parents’ encouragement ringing in her memory of “You can do whatever you choose to do” she did just that. Learning the craft and finding her niche, which currently happens to be small town contemporary romance, is all it took. Shirley volunteered at her very first conference with GSRWA in 2015 and continues to do so both in the chapter and the conference. She also belongs to the Eastside RWA chapter and the PNWA, where she loves to encourage new writers to follow their heart and not let anything or anyone stop them.

For more information, please visit or find her on Facebook at and Twitter @shirley_penick


Clare McKay

Clare McKay, Emerald City Conference Chair

Clare McKay writes contemporary and paranormal romance. She loves to tuck in her supernatural elements alongside the everyday world of unsuspecting cowboys, ranchers, small town sheriffs, and big city detectives.

Clare migrated from Austin, Texas to the Pacific Northwest with her husband some twenty years ago. She has a master’s degree in Humanities and teaches at an art college but lives for the day she’ll be able to write full time.

Clare is a member of GSRWA and Evergreen RWA and has served on the boards of each chapter. She’s a inveterate volunteer and has worked on a variety of committees for the Emerald City Writers’ Conference since 2011. She served as Co-Chair for the remainder of 2016 and is thrilled to be Conference Chair in 2017.

Please visit Clare at or find her on Facebook at and on Twitter @Clare_McKay.