Why Mentors are Important
by: R.P. McCabe
Most writers I know began their writing careers after college, if they even attended college. Even writers who’ve had the good fortune to be nurtured in environments that encouraged them early on can tell you, with little effort, of one or two pivotal figures, without whose encouragement, they would not have gone on writing.
Most mentors see in us things we cannot see in ourselves. As an artistic pursuit, writing is one of the more difficult in my opinion. Acquiring the audacity to write down for the world to see how your mind works is incredibly frightening I think, unless you don’t have anything to say, in which case it begs the question, why are you bothering?
Regardless of when one’s writing career begins, having a champion encouraging you forward, in some cases helping you learn, can be the difference between staying the course, and giving in to the demons of doubt.
I did not begin writing until the 1980s. I was then forty. A wonderful historian by the name of Stan Jones took me under his wing and forged in my mind the notion that I was a wonderful storyteller. Not only did Stan encourage my work, he created opportunities for me that years later gave me a chance to be a writer for a small regional magazine. I graduated from feature articles to short stories.
But in the back of my mind was the novel. One day I shared that fantasy with another writer, Robert Clark who fell upon me with an insistence that I begin writing my first novel instantly, which I did. That went into the trash a year later and I began another.
Robert Clark helped me believe I could write a novel…more than that; he convinced me I had something to say readers might care to read. The final push came at the end of a two year creative writer’s workshop as part of an MFA program. I received a letter from the staff leader assigned to mentor me. Lou Fisher wrote a letter to me comparing my talent to names I am not going to use here, for I feel I have no right to place my name next to theirs. Whether Lou’s assessment of my talent is correct or not, his confidence in me and my work has catapulted me into a serious writing career that may never have taken place had he and some other fine mentors not seen in me more than I could see.
Writers need nurturing. I would stick my neck out and say every writer could use some nurturing. An encouraging mentor could easily be the difference between a promising career as a writer and the end of the road.
Miranda DeCosta has been murdered. Death, as Charlie Caldwell has so cruelly learned, cheats one out of any opportunity to set life on the correct path.
Charlie has come to Divina, the tiny central California town where he grew up, bent on confronting Miranda over the event that defined and destroyed every romantic relationship he has ever entertained.
Questions about Miranda’s unraveling life and violent murder gradually invade Charlie’s consciousness. Bits and pieces of seemingly insignificant information begin to nag at him causing him to question whether the man locked behind bars and charged with her murder is, in fact, the real killer.
Become enthralled while Charlie takes his first baby-steps toward reinventing himself, solves the question of who really murdered Miranda DeCosta and discovers another unforgettable woman who will reshape his life.
Following up from his exciting debut novel, Betrayed, author R.P. McCabe delivers again in this edge-of-the-seat “whodunit”. Thick Fog In Pacheco Pass will keep you guessing to the last page.
Genre – Mystery-Thriller Crime Series
Rating – R
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