Several years ago, when I made up my mind that I needed to take writing more seriously, and really do something about it, I was blessed enough to find a wonderful group of mentors. Through an online forum for writers, I learned that a group called LDStorymakers (yes, only one S), was going to be holding a writer's conference in Springville, Utah. I knew I needed to go. It was a one-day event at that time, in a small theater, and it happened to be on my wedding anniversary. My husband, bless him, agreed that I really ought to go. In fact, he came with me, and hung out in the Springville Library studying (he was getting his degree at the time) while I was at the conference. Kind of a weird way to spend an anniversary, but it was one of the best anniversary gifts he has ever given me.
That conference was where I began to see that some of my favorite authors were real people. They were just like me, but further along in their writing careers. There were only about 35 attendees that first year (now it's in the hundreds), but I realized that this was a group of people who actually thought the way I did. Where else but a group of writers can you talk about the conversations the imaginary people in your head are having, and not be considered crazy? I've gone to the Storymakers conference every year since then, and every year I learn something about my craft that I didn't even know I didn't know.
I'm almost over being star-struck every time I see one of my favorite authors there. (But I still have to have them sign a book. I'll always be a little bit of a fan girl.) In general, authors are really nice people. So many of them go all out to train other writers who may end up as their competition. I suppose that's one definition of a mentor.