As Indra Lyn Owens and her best friend shared their mentoring experiences in nightly chats, one line always seemed to come up.
“If only she’d listened,” Owens recalled, which is the quote that inspired her book.
“If Only She’d Listened… the Afterthoughts of a Mentor” will have its official debut Friday at the Noyes Arts Garage in Atlantic City as part of its regular Second Friday monthly celebration.
Owens was actually working on another book at the time.
She and best friend Automne Bennett were working on a curriculum book for Princess, Inc., the girl-empowerment group they began in Atlantic City.
They wanted to have a blueprint for not only themselves but other groups as well. During the process, Owens’ own book was born.
“It was just work I’ve been doing counseling and social work,” she said. “We all have the same story. We all kind of look back at that one mentor that kind of gave us the good advice that we didn’t take.”
Single mom to 7-year-old Journey, she wants her daughter and others to learn from her mistakes and those she’s seen others make.
“The cliché is ‘live and learn,’” she said. ‘But I don’t want her to make my same mistakes. If Mommy’s made them, listen to me because, in most cases, it’s going to turn out the same way.”
Owens came to counseling through education.
She was a Language Arts and Literacy teacher at Pleasantville Middle School before becoming a guidance counselor at the city’s High School.
In between, she worked at Penn State.
She has a masters and is now the guidance counselor at Richmond Avenue School in Atlantic City.
“So I have run the gamut,” Owens said.
Now, she’s ready to add author to her list of accomplishments.
The book is short. Under 90 pages, which was done with intent, Owens said.
“I’m an avid reader but sometimes I don’t want to spend a week on a book,” she said. “I just want the content… the meat.”
She decided any book she authored would be less than 100 pages.
It’s a courtesy to her audience, she says.
While Princess, Inc. and her counseling job is about the youth, Friday’s event will be for the grown-ups, she said.
Wine tasting will be included.
“This is a personal project,” she said. “I didn’t want it to compete with Princess, Inc. in any way. Some parents will be there, but the girls won’t.”
The book can be purchased on Amazon.
The price is $30. That has a meaning as well.
“Something happened for me at 30,” Owens said.
Things weren’t going well. She was in an unhappy marriage and needed to change.
“God gave me a whole second chance,” she said. “I hit a reset button.”
Now 36, her life is change.
“I’m not saying there aren’t any struggles,” she said. “But life is good.”