Friday, March 25, 2011
A Visit With My Mentor
It was more than fifteen years ago that I was a shy and quiet high school girl. A lot of things have changed over the years, but one thing has always stayed the same. I have always wanted to be a writer. I actually finished my first full length novel when I was only a junior in high school. At that time, I was a student at Wildwood Catholic High School, and one of my teachers was Mr. William Waters. He has been teaching English and Literature at Wildwood Catholic for more than thirty years and has touched the lives of many of his students. For me, he was the first person to really boost my confidence and give me the encouragement I needed to never give up on my dreams of being a published author. When I finished my first book, he read the whole thing for me. He made corrections and critiqued it. He did this on his own time and the book was over 300 pages long. This effort meant a great deal to me and I never forget all what Mr. Waters did to help me. I always swore that when I finally got published, the very first book would be dedicated to him, and that is a promise I have kept. If you look at the dedication page of "Destiny", you will see that it is dedicated to Mr. Waters.
This past week, I went back to visit my old Alma Mater and dropped of a signed copy of my book to Mr. Waters as well as an additional copy for the students of Wildwood Catholic. It was an amazing feeling to be able to share this accomplishment with the man who helped make it possible. Because I truly believe that it was his honest encouragement in those early years that helped build my confidence and kept me focused on my goal no matter how many rejection letters I received.
While I was there, I also got to visit with a few of the other teachers, one of which actually graduated with me back in 1994. It was a nice trip down memory lane to see all the spots that I have used as the settings in my books and some of the people who were the inspiration for many of my characters. It was like stepping back in time for just a few minutes. Its nice to be able to revisit the people and places who helped shape our lives and the people we have become. I know that I will never forget my days at Wildwood Catholic or Mr. Waters, the teacher who provided a lifetime of inspiration.