I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post by author Nan Dixon and I'm delighted to find out her answer to my question...
What do you do to mentor others?
ND: Thank you for having me on your blog!
I love this question! In all the companies and industries in my former careers, writing has been the one where the generosity of published authors has impressed me the most. Authors truly believe in paying it forward. As an unpublished writer, I was so lucky to have an experienced critique group helped me learn the craft of writing. And published authors in my RWA chapter gave generously of their time and offered to critique my work. And I can’t forget all the wonderful judges in RWA contests who took the time to review contest submissions and leave helpful feedback I feel honored to be able to pay it forward now, since so many people helped me become a published author.
The first way I gave back was starting to judge RWA contests. It takes a lot of time, but I have had some lovely notes thanking me for my comments. And I’ve met wonderful writers through my critiques.
I have also created a workshop to help people craft elevator pitches for conferences and have posted these on my RWA chapter website and for the Golden Network Chapter. I have an open offer to listen to any of my chapter mates pitches before they go to conferences and have helped craft successful pitches in my room and at the swimming pool. Plus I challenge my chapter mates to get more requests than the normal pitch sessions. I loved it when one of my chapter mates came up crowing that she’d pitched her book in the coffee line in San Diego!
I really believe in the value of the Golden Heart so last year I volunteered to review any Golden Heart submissions for my RWA chapter. Three chapter mates took me up on this offer. (I was in 4 different Golden Heart classes and they are my tribes!) After reviewing their submissions, I developed a Deep POV workshop for my chapter to help improve writing craft.
This year, I am mentoring one of the new Golden Heart finalist via a program that the Golden Network Chapter has set up. It is so exciting to be able to help her leverage her final and help her get her manuscript in front of agents and editors.
I truly believe that the better we make our industry the more books we all will sell!
by Nan Dixon
When Carolina Castillo’s once vivacious mother becomes ill, she gives up her singing dreams and comes home to Savannah. She’d do anything for her Mamá, even work at Fitzgerald House for the family she should have been part of. She’d even steal.
Carolina’s decisions make perfect sense until she comes up against the immovable rock that is gorgeous FBI agent Sage Cornell. The honorable cop sees the world in black-and-white. He would never understand the difficult choices she’s had to make, the secrets she’s been forced to keep close. And he could never love a woman like her. Or could he?
A woman with gorgeous black hair had her head down on her arms. Beyond her was a small bench. Sage passed behind her, not wanting to disturb her nap.
Shoving her chair back, she slammed it into him. He went down like a roped calf.
“Oh, my God!” the woman cried.
His head rang. Pain stabbed behind his eyes.
“Are you okay?” She snatched his hand, trying to pull him to his feet.
“Wait.” He would fall over or faint if he moved too soon. “Wait.”
She crouched next to him. “I didn’t mean to knock you down.”
“S’okay.” He took deep breaths. “I just need…”
“What? How can I help?”
He tried to get his feet under him but stumbled.
“Let me.” She supported his elbow.
He clawed his way to his feet and finally looked at the woman who’d knocked him down like he was a bowling pin.
She was beautiful. Her dark blue eyes looked almost black and her skin was a luscious golden-olive color. And her hair? Black, curly and long enough to play peekaboo with her breasts. He swiped at his chin to make sure he wasn’t drooling.
“I’m so sorry.” She led him to the chair she’d abandoned. “I wasn’t paying any attention.”
“I thought you were sleeping.” A shard of pain slammed into him. He grasped his head and couldn’t contain the groan.
“You hurt your head.” Her fingers explored his skull.
The bump she was going to find was old, but her touch was cool and soothing.
“Is this the spot?” she asked.
“Yeah, but you didn’t cause it.” He swallowed back the nausea that always accompanied his headaches. “I was hurt a—” he couldn’t remember how long ago he’d been hurt “—while ago. I get headaches.”
“So does my mother.” She kneaded his shoulders, working her fingers up the tendons of his neck. “Does this help?”
“Yes.” He groaned. “That’s…good.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Award winning author Nan Dixon spent her formative years as an actress, singer, dancer and competitive golfer. But the need to eat had her studying accounting in college. Unfortunately, being a successful financial executive didn’t feed her passion to perform. When the pharmaceutical company she worked for was purchased, Nan got the chance of a lifetime—the opportunity to pursue a writing career. She’s a five-time Golden Heart® finalist, lives in the Midwest and is active in her local RWA chapter and on the board of a dance company. She has five children, three sons-in-law, two granddaughters, one grandson and one neurotic cat.
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