Sunday, March 8, 2015

Interview With Dana Mentink

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Deb: Tell us a little about yourself.
Dana:  Hello, all. I'm Dana Mentink and I'm a writer, teacher, wife and mother. I write Christian fiction for Harlequin's Love Inspired and Harvest House. I also write sweet romance for Harlequin Heartwarming. The Mentink den houses Papa Bear Mike (retired Fire Marshal), and Boo Boo and Yogi, my high school aged cubs. I teach third grade part time as well.
Deb:  Wow, you surely have your plate full. Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on.
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Dana:  My newest release is Secret Refuge, it's the companion book to Hazardous Homecoming. It's the story of Mick Hudson, former parole officer whose actions resulted in the death of the heroine's sister. Old secrets, new dangers, it's a story about revenge and redemption. It releases in April, but you can preorder it on Amazon now.
Deb:  I know you've been writing for a while now. You started with cozy mysteries and have branced out into other genres. What was your journey to publication like?
Dana:  Well, I started writing in earnest after I took leave from my teaching job to have my babies. Infants, as it turns out, are not great conversationalists. My husband urged me to take a writing for publication class. I joined American Christian Fiction Writers group, and I was contacted by Susan Downs at Barbour Books because they were looking to start up a line of cozy Christian mysteries. I wrote three books for them (The Finny series which is now in ebook form on Amazon and
I pitched a romantic suspense to Harlequin's Love Inspired, and was sent a revision letter (demoralizing, but instructive!) I rewrote, repitched, and Love Inspired signed me up. I've written some 20 books for them. Because I have a wacky sense of humor (as my bear cubs will tell you) I wrote a took book series for Harlequin's Heartwarming line. The first is Return to Pelican Inn and the second is Sailing in Style which comes out in August. That was fun to write because it takes place on an historic paddlewheel steamboat. Those are not Christian books, but they are squeaky clean. That led to my latest project, writing a three book, dog related series of lighthearted romances for Harvest House. The first will release in March 2016 featuring Tippy, the geriatric dog of dubious origins. The working title is Sit, Stay, Love.
Deb: Dana, no grass is going to grow under you feet. I'm sure that will be very encouraging to other writers out there. Even though you got a letter for revision, you took that recommendation and turned it into 20 books for Love Inspired! Let that be a lesson for others. Now, tell us a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading?
Dana: Actually, right now I'm judging books for the Romance Writer's of America Rita awards, so that's keeping me away from my personal TBR pile which usually includes mysteries and romantic suspense.
Deb: What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it?
Dana: Golly. Too many irons in the fire at the moment! I guess I would say I'm working on finishing up Coronado Christmas Capture (working title) which is my next book due to Love Inspired Suspense. It features four sisters who must take over their deceased father's private investigation firm to solve his murder. I visited Coronado, California to do some research. Best perk of being a writer.
Deb:  Yes, I love doing the research part, too. Dana, what advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication?
Dana:  Read, read, read, read, read in your genre and any other genre that interests you. Join a professional writer's group (like American Christian Fiction Writers) and start getting educated on your craft. If you want to write professionally, you have to start thinking about yourself as a professional. Your work must be critiqued by folks who are not related to you in order to get honest feedback.

Deb: That is some great advice, Dana. Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us?

Dana:  As mentioned, is the best one. I host a blog called Fiction For Readers and Writers and Suspense Sisters has great interviews. Seekerville has a FB page and a blog, I believe, and they are very helpful, as well as Romance Writer's of America.

Deb:  Is there anything you'd like to tell us we haven't covered?

Dana:  I appreciate the chance to share my two cents with you today. Folks are always welcome to email me via my blog, website or Facebook. God bless!

Deb: Thank you so much for being with us today, Dana. I've learned so much about you and your writing. One last thing. Please let us know where we can find you on the web. My website, dmentink.wordpress,com, Twitter is @ and you can find me on Facebook as well.


  1. Good interview, Deb! I do enjoy Dana's Love Inspired Suspense books.

  2. Sounds like you're quite a prolific writer. Best wishes on your new books coming out in the near future.