Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Rock Star Mentors


Mentorship: “People ahead of you in their career who inspire you.”

Who doesn’t need writing support? I know my writing life depends on it, and as I've studied other authors, I've found even those on the NYT Bestsellers List depend on feedback and encouragement  from other writers.

I recently read an article by Jessica Conoley about writing support for authors. It was so good, I plan to pick it apart and use many of her points in my Hoosier Ink posts for most of this year.

Conoley says, “If you are lacking in motivation and inspiration, invest some time in finding your mentors.”

I’m not one who lacks motivation, but like a super sponge, I try to soak in gallons of inspiration from those who go before me! I follow blogs, attend conferences, and look for any opportunity to connect with published writers.

Here's one form of mentoring I hadn’t given much thought to: Rock Star Mentors. Big names. Like James Patterson or Dean Koontz or Ted Dekker or Frank Peretti or J.K. Rowling. 

Mentors from afar.

Unless you happen to be a friend of theirs, you won’t get one-on-one instruction, but you can:

1. Read their books and study how they put together their sentences, their scenes, their plot lines, etc. Figure out what they’re doing, and apply it to your own writing.

I used Marie Killilea for my rock star to study. Her book, Karen, about raising a daughter with  cerebral palsy, was the inspiration for my own story of growing up with a deaf sister. Killilea isn't a household name, but her book sold millions of copies.

2.  Look for videos on available platforms. Take notes on the shared wisdom of bestselling authors.

Since Marie Killilea passed on into eternity years ago, I've chosen Lisa Wingate as one of my favorite authors to study. It took me less than five minutes to find a video of her teaching a writing workshop that interested me.

3.  Check out their social media. Study how they interact with their followers.

I’ll admit it’s my weakest area. I’m not a chatty-Kathy type of person, so I can learn from those who appear at ease on these platforms.

I had already followed Lisa Wingate’s website, but for this article, I checked for her name in      all  the social media I use. I found out:

A.   She posts daily on Facebook (and she’s funny).

B.   She posts almost as often on Twitter. It seems to be less personal and more related to her author platform.

C.    She does a lot on Pinterest (I liked her quotes board the best)

D.    And on Instagram. I’m kind of new to both and don’t understand why there are so many different pages to follow (is pages the correct word?).

E.    I couldn’t find her on MeWe or Rumble.


Having written this post, I am now giving myself a specific assignment.

Lisa Wingate, who will probably never know it, is now my “Rock Star Mentor.” I plan to tune in everyday to her social media and study any patterns I can find (and shamelessly copy) so I can practice the same skills on my own platforms for my own work.

I challenge you to find your own Rock Star Mentor.

I will also make you a promise: if you write a comment about this post and make sure to advertise your own online presence and your hoped-for Rock Star Mentor, I promise to follow your blog and social media platform(s). Who knows? Maybe a lot of our readers will follow you, too.

And maybe you could return the favor?

Linda Sammaritan writes realistic fiction, mostly for kids ages ten to fourteen. She is currently working on a middle grade trilogy, World Without Sound, based on her own experiences growing up with a deaf sister.

Linda had always figured she’d teach middle-graders until school authorities presented her with a retirement wheelchair at the overripe age of eighty-five. However, God changed those plans when He gave her a growing passion for writing fiction. In May of 2016, she blew goodbye kisses to her students and dedicated her work hours to learning the craft.

A wife, mother of three, grandmother to seven, Linda regales the grandchildren with “Nona Stories,” tales of her childhood. Maybe one day those stories will be in picture books!

Where Linda can be found on the web:




Thank you to Jessica  Conoley, author and writing coach, who inspired this post! https://jessicaconoley.com/

Side note: If you also read and loved the book, Karen, I found out Karen Killilea passed away last year at the age of eighty. A rock star mentor in her own right as a quiet champion of the disabled simply by living her own life.


  1. Awesome post, Linda! And such practical advice that all of us can easily jump on board with. I too loved, loved the book Karen.

  2. Linda, your posts are helpful, meaningful and uplifting. Indiana is blessed to have you at the helm of ACFW Indiana. Thank you for the time, thoughtfulness and passion you devote to what you do for us. I cannot wait for your books to be published! The world needs more of stories like the ones you have to share.

  3. Thank you for so many encouraging words!