>20 Questions #4

>Do you have a mentor? I think it was much more common a generation ago for writers to latch onto more senior authors and to learn from them. Not as an apprentice exactly, but as student outside the classroom. But I don’t hear about it so much these days.

So, who is your mentor? Who would you choose for your mento if you could? (Since we’re fantasizing here, no need to limit yourself to living people, but let’s try to avoid the fictional.) Why? And how do you feel about being a mentor yourself?

While we’re on the subject, do you know of any interesting historical mentor-mentee relationships?

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  1. >I’ve not been fortunate enough to have a mentor. I always hoped for one as I believe that knowledge passes best one-on-one from master to apprentice.

    I’m not in a position to be a mentor just yet, but I would like to be one someday.

    If I could pick anyone to mentor me, it would be Margaret Atwood. She has done it all–poetry, fiction, non-fiction, critical essay, political cartooning, you name it…she has even self-published and invented new technology for signing books from afar. Plus, I don’t need a hand-holder or a cheerleader and she seems like she could dole out the perfect combination of no-nonsense advice and hard-won wisdom.

  2. >I’ve had no official mentors, unless you count Professor L.J. Morrissey, who was my most consistent reader/critic early on in my writing life, but who hadn’t begun writing himself at that time. If influences count, they’d be Peter Barnes and R.A. Lafferty (among those living during my lifetime), Swift, Jonson, Blake, Dostoyevsky (among those who’d joined the choir invisible).

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