Throughout the years that I have been an agent, I have represented writers who work in many different categories. And, early on, it became obvious to me that some authors are not at all supportive of those coming up in their category.
This past week, though, I experienced a situation which was quite the opposite. Brad Meltzer, a bestselling novelist, read the work of someone who approached him at a writer’s conference. He was so taken with this material that he spent time researching who might be the best agent for this new writer and he sought me out. When we connected over the phone, we had a good talk about this new writer, his work, and Meltzer’s reaction to it, and I now have two of his novels and am excited to read them. I might add here that I had never spoken with Brad Meltzer before and so was really blown away by the fact that he went out of his way to help a newbie.
This episode also reminded me of years ago when my client Gus Lee’s first book, CHINA BOY was about to be published. His editor introduced Gus to bestselling author Amy Tan over the phone. Amy read the book, loved it, and provided a wonderful quote for it. Subsequently, Gus and Amy became very good friends.
These two experiences underline how valuable mentoring others can be. Not only does the mentee receive help and support, but the mentor, I think, also gets a great deal of satisfaction out of it.
I wish there was more of this support among established authors and new writers. Our industry, I think could really benefit from this kind of thing.
Do you have stories of established authors who have mentored you or others you know that you want to share?