You can learn more about Randi and her work at RandiAlexander.com
then come on back and get to know Randi :)
Thank you, Jennifer, for hosting me on your blog today. I'd like to talk a little bit about mentoring. It can be a scary term that brings to mind a vision of holding a ball of modeling clay in our big, strong hand and being solely responsible for whatever shape it ultimately takes.
On the other hand, (pun intended) it can be very rewarding. I was recruited to mentor fourth-grade students at a local inner-city school. "An easy job" I thought, when I signed up. The only task was to sit with a student as they worked through assignments and help them as necessary. I could handle that.
Ha!!! No one told me there was a whole new way to do math! Talk about scary. At first, I was lost, panicky, as if I'd made a huge mistake. What could I possibly teach these math-savvy children?
But just spending time with the kids, the teacher reassured me, was the important part of mentoring. They were so appreciative to have an adult focus their entire attention on them for a whole hour. I welled up every time I walked into the classroom and saw my student's face light up. It didn't matter that I was math-challenged. We learned together, and after a year, we were very good friends.
As a published author, I have opportunities to mentor new writers. When they approach me at conferences or public appearances, I can tell they're hesitant to ask for help. I listen to the detailed description of their book, remembering when I was at the same point in my writing career.
Then I do what always seems to shock them. I ask them to send me their first three chapters. I love to see that smile dawning on their face: appreciation, excitement. Wow, someone is interested in reading their work!
I'll give them a gentle-but-honest critique, and suggest books to help with basic craft techniques. I'll read their synopses and query letters, help set up websites, blogs, show them how to use social networking. It's time consuming, definitely, but I think I've been successful. One friend just received a contract from a publisher, and another is ready to submit to an agent.
I wish I'd had a mentor when I first started writing. Someone to keep me from stumbling - at least into the really deep ruts that held me back. And I wish I'd had a mentor in fourth grade, as well. A smiling face and a listening ear for when things got shaky and I was unsure.
I encourage you to consider mentoring, no matter what your skill level. There are so many opportunities out there - not to mold and shape that ball of modeling clay, but just to hold it in your hand and warm it.
My first book, Chase and Seduction was released May 27 from The Wild Rose Press' Cowboy Kink line, and I'm excited to share the blurb and a short excerpt with you.
Country music superstar/actor Chase Tanner has yet to be denied anything–and he’s never wanted anything or anyone more than gorgeous screenplay writer Reno Linden. So when the film they are working on is finally finished, Chase decides to turn up the volume on seducing Reno.
Reno Linden lived a quiet, rural life until she was thrust into the Hollywood scene when her book was adapted to film. Chase Tanner is larger than life, sinfully sexy and hell-bent on getting her into bed. Skittish after a failed wedding engagement, Reno risks the plunge into Chase’s arms, and is surprised that her good girl self can keep up with bad boy Chase.
Though Chase returns to his cowboy roots often, and Reno cherishes the time spent with him on his ranch, the two find their careers pulling them in different directions. Will their attraction survive the glitz and stress of fame?
EXCERPT: Over 18 only, please.
Chase brushed his lips against her hair, and settled in. As exhaustion took him, he smiled. He couldn’t remember being this happy. Ever. But he had to know what she was feeling.
“Are you excited to go home, Reno?”
She hauled in a long breath and let it out slowly. “I wouldn’t say excited. Maybe anxious. I have so much to do once I get there.”
“Your book edits?”
“Yes, and I’m teaching a class in a few weeks. I haven’t prepared for that yet.”
The floral scent of her hair snuck into his nostrils. Another thing about her he’d never forget. “Is that what you want to be when you grow up? A teacher?”
She laughed and ran her hand over his ribs. “I do. I love to write, but I have a longing to share what I’ve learned with others. I get so excited reading young writers’ work, and it gives me great pleasure to be able to guide them. I’ve had some amazing mentors…and some not so great.”
She was talking about her ex-boyfriend. The one who tried to change her writing style. Make her into something she wasn’t so she’d fit into his life better. Asshole.
Her shoulder shrugged once, and she asked, “What about you, Chase. What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Staring into the dark, he couldn’t find the answer. He’d always wanted to go back to school. Not high school, but college. Take some classes and learn about things that people talked about. Politics and religion. Evolution, the planets, stuff under microscopes.
But he couldn’t tell Reno that. Hell, two years ago, he’d asked Jorjia to help him find a college, and she’d freaked out. She didn’t want the media to get a hold of the story. It would embarrass her if people knew she was dating someone so low class. That’s what she called him. Low class. She’d slapped him down hard, and the ache still lingered, flaring up every time he thought about going back to school.
He kissed Reno’s forehead. She’d never say something like that to him. But he sure as hell wasn’t going to remind her how uneducated he was.
“When I grow up, baby, I wanna be twice as sexy as I am now.”
She giggled a couple small laughs, then her breathing grew heavy and slow.
His last thought before he followed her into sleep, was that he’d never do anything to embarrass her the way he’d almost done to Jorjia.
To celebrate the release of Chase and Seduction, I'm giving away, to one lucky *commenter, an e-copy of my novella Her Cowboy Stud. Just leave a comment today and we'll choose a winner tomorrow.
*Commenter must be 18 years of age or older to win.
I'm also giving away a cowgirl hat to one subscriber to my newsletter. For more details, and to sign up for this contest, please go to my website, RandiAlexander.com And while you're there, you can read the first chapter of Chase and Seduction.
Good luck, and thank you!
Chase and Seduction available at The Wild Rose Press Wilder Roses
THANKS SO MUCH, RANDI, FOR BEING MY GUEST!