Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Will You Be My Mentor?

by Lynette Eason @LynetteEason

Okay, so maybe the title’s a bit cheesy. But I was looking for a children’s story that some of my students could watch being signed in ASL (American Sign Language) and came across “Are you my mother?” Hence the title.

Ahem…Moving right along…

So, this past week at ACFW, I was a finalist for Mentor of the Year. I was blown away when I got the email telling me someone had nominated me. Why? Because I don’t formally mentor anyone. 

Yes, I meet people at conferences and yes, sometimes I answer questions on writers’ loops, but as for having that one person that I mentor? Not really. At least I didn’t think so. But the person who wrote the letter (and I just found out who a couple of days ago!) obviously looked at me as a mentor. That made me stop and think, “Wow, that’s cool.” LOL. 

It also made me think about my early days as a writer. I didn’t start writing with the intention of publication. I started writing because…I wanted to. My husband travelled a lot and writing kept me from being too lonely. Once I finished the story, I thought, “Maybe I’ll see if I can sell it.” But I paused and thought, “What if I’m the only one who thinks it’s any good?” 

Ack! So…I decided I’d ask a published author in the same genre if she would be willing to read it. She did. And tore it to shreds! I was devastated. And thrilled. Because I realized what she was doing for me, she was teaching me. We never called our relationship a mentor/mentee one, but that’s what it turned into being. Sometimes we find our mentors in the strangest ways. And really, we have to give God credit for that one, don’t we? I just love how he puts the people we need right where we need them.

Oh, and before you go, I thought I’d share my acceptance speech with you. No, I didn’t win, but that’s okay. It really is an honor just to be nominated. LOL. Here’s the speech that wasn’t read, but I like it and want to share it anyway:

“It’s truly an honor to be nominated and I’m so sorry I couldn’t be at ACFW this year. I’ve missed you all!

I think mentoring is one of the most important things a more experienced author can do to give back to those working to learn the craft. There were many people who encouraged me along my journey including my family and friends and I’m so grateful for them. But if it hadn’t been for one particular author being willing to unselfishly share her expertise and invest many hours of her hard-to-come-by time, I wouldn’t be where I am today. So thank you Dee Henderson for investing yourself in me. You truly changed the course of my life.

The only way I know to repay her is to do the same for others. Being able to teach at conferences and meet excited pre-published authors is one of the highlights of my year. Being able to befriend and encourage and watch those authors grow and receive publishing contracts is such a blessing and brings a special joy to my heart.

I also want to say thank you to my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray, my editor at Revell, Andrea Doering and my editor with Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line, Emily Rodmell. You all have also been my mentors over the past seven years and I’m grateful for each of you for believing in me, encouraging me, teaching me—and putting up with my unique author personality—i.e. craziness. 

But most of all, I want to say thank you to Jesus, the most amazing mentor ever who showed by perfect example how we are to love and invest in the lives of others. Thank you for allowing me to be where I am today—in a position to help and encourage others.

Thank you, ACFW, for recognizing the value of mentoring. Again, thank you so much for this honor. I look forward to seeing many more books being published because amazing people in this organization are willing to invest their time and gifts in others.

God bless.”

What about you? Do you have a mentor? How did you find your mentor? Any suggestions how to find a mentor for those looking?

Until next time…


Thoughts on the meaning of being a mentor from best-selling author @LynetteEason on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Lynette Eason is the best selling, award winning author of the Women of Justice Series and the Deadly Reunions series. Since 2007, she has written/contracted thirty-six books. Currently, she writes for Revell and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Her books have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists. She has won several awards including the 2013 Carol Award for WHEN A HEART STOPS. Lynette teaches at writing conferences all over the country. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). Lynette can be found online at and and @lynetteeason on Twitter.


  1. Congratulations on the nomination, Lynette!

    I do have a mentor, and she writes this blog. ;) I am continually grateful for her willingness to answer all of my questions, encourage me, and hold me accountable - as well as bring on the constructive critique when I need it. I love you Edie!

    My suggestion for finding a mentor is to let God set you up with one, like He did for Lynette and me. But, if that door doesn't seem to be opening, I recommend keeping an eye out at conferences. If you come across an author who writes in your genre and you hit it off, check out their website to see if they list that they mentor others. Most will post the information if they do. If you don't find that information, approach them about it, but be prepared not to get upset and into a tizzy if they say no. Not everyone is a mentor.

    1. Thanks for the congrats, Alycia! And for your observations. Excellent points. :)

  2. Mentoring is a joy and a pleasure. So glad I chose to help serious writers reach for their goals.

  3. Love this! I don't suppose we've ever been formal about it, but I definitely consider you to be my fiction mentor! And you're awesome! There's no way I'd be where I am without your help and encouragement :-). I'm not exactly sure how we became friends - although I do recall stalking you at Blue Ridge, so maybe that's where it all started :-)

    1. Haha. I actually do consider you one of my "informal" mentees. (Is that a word??) You've been a joy to work with! And so exciting to see all of OUR hard work pay off. HA!

  4. I hit enter too soon! I'm truly thankful for Lynette! And we can't talk about mentors without me being thankful for Edie, who has encouraged me from the beginning of my writing journey! I'm thankful for writers who are willing to take time from their hectic schedules to invest in the writers coming up behind them.

  5. Congratulations Lynette. We have met once and I can see how you would be nominated for this award. Also I am loving reading your book series on hidden identity.