Here is a blog from another author that I have yet to meet.  We’ve been at the same conferences, but our paths just haven’t crossed.  I do believe I’ll need to remedy that this year. 

Lynette and I are friends on Facebook, however.  True, we don’t interact a lot…but I pay attention to what she posts.  Whether it’s humorous or inspirational, Lynette’s words are always noteworthy.  

Speaking of noteworthy, you can read HERE about Lynette’s latest project.  She is donating $1 from each sale of her re-released novel “Faithful Service, Silent Hearts” to the American Military Partner Association.  A worthy cause!  Even if you have the original release edition of this book, consider purchasing the re-release – for yourself or for a friend – to support this worthy organization.

Lynette’s novel “Tactical Pursuit” is a finalist this year for a Lammy AND a Goldie.  Way to go, Lynette!

I heard about GCLS a few years ago from an online writing community, and as luck would have it, the conference was being held in Orlando. Yay! I still had major doubts as to whether my writing was any good, but I definitely knew if I wanted to get serious about the craft, I must to take any opportunity to better myself. I checked out the GCLS website and have to say that I was a bit intimidated. Registration for the conference required choosing from two status options:  Reader or Author. What to do? I knew I had written a good little story that I believed in, but was I a writer? I saw the names of authors I knew and respected. Legends like Lee Lynch, Lori Lake, Andi Marquette, and Radclyffe were members. Did little me belong in that company? I didn’t think so. For a few days I pondered and checked the website and pondered some more. I knew I needed to push my comfort zone, but…

Then I saw GCLS offered a mentor program. Eureka! I signed up for the con that day, feeling audacious when I checked “author”. Next, I submitted a request for the mentor program. This required me to send the first fifty pages of my manuscript, which would be reviewed by two published authors who would become my mentors. I submitted my excerpt and a few weeks before the start of the con I was notified that my mentors had been assigned. They were none other than Lee Lynch and Renee Bess! I nearly passed out.

June came and soon I was on my way east on I-4 toward Orlando, filled with nervous jitters and excitement. I think my mentor meeting was Friday at 11am. When Lee and Renee arrived, I remember thinking I’d never be able to formulate a sentence, much less ask a question. What if they hated my story? What if it sucked?

Well, as most of you know, Lee and Renee are two of the nicest human beings on the planet. They gently took me through my draft, offering wonderful advice, solid critique, and above all, sincere encouragement. The lessons I learned that morning still influence my writing. I cannot thank them enough for the generosity of their time.

Here’s the best part: It so happened that Lee and I discovered we were neighbors. We began to meet for periodic breakfasts at a local diner for the next few years, until Lee and Lainey moved back to Oregon last month. I will always cherish those chats with Lee over eggs and toast (Lee always got fries). Lee is always gracious, and spending time with her, whether we talked about writing, politics, or just the weather, always left me feeling enriched when we parted.

So, that’s the story of my first GCLS conference. I’ve been to three since. I love the con because every year I come away feeling inspired in new and different ways. This year I’m looking forward to Dallas to rekindle old friendships and meet new women who share my love of lesbian fiction. With any luck, one morning I’ll get to have eggs with Lee.

Lynette Mae served in the army before diving into a law enforcement career. Although completely challenging and satisfying, being a cop only fueled LM’s true passion: Writing. Her life’s rich experiences provide endless inspiration for stories filled with real-life action and plenty of romance. LM’s characters, like the author, never settle for the ordinary. What’s next from the mind of Lynette Mae? Stand by…

Lynette Mae’s published works include Faithful Service, Silent Hearts and Tactical Pursuit, coming Spring 2013 from Sapphire Books Publishing.

Contact LM:

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