Q&A: Dana Mentink (Spyglass Lane Mysteries)
The romantic suspense author talks about her Finny's Nose cozy mystery series, newly available in the eBook format from Spyglass Lane Mysteries:
The Spyglass Lane Mysteries all have elements of romance, faith, and
suspense—which of those facets was hardest for you to write? Which was the
The suspense element is always the easiest because I am a voracious mystery/suspense fan. It's in my blood. The faith/romance threads require much more deep thought time for me. I feel a great responsibility to portray the spiritual struggles the best that I possibly can.
As a whodunit writer who is a Christian, in what ways did your faith
impact how you write a murder mystery?
All my characters are working through faith issues as they meander through their mystery. While the novel will provide them all with a fitting resolution (bad guys will be punished, heroes will be rewarded) there is a more important spiritual journey awaiting them.
Tell us about your amateur sleuth.
Ah Ruth! I love her because she struggles with some weighty issues—the loss of a spouse, an estranged child—yet she hangs onto a sense of humor that carries her through. She's a middle-aged woman, not a twentysomething, so she's had some living under her proverbial belt. I think an older heroine brings a richness and depth to the story. Over the course of the series her life will be completely turned upside down. Doesn't that sound just about right for a heroine?
Do you base your characters on people you know or are they totally made
They're made up, compilations of character traits that I draw from different people I meet, though my kids have read the Finny's and think one particular character reminds them quite a bit of their dad!
Who are the authors that inspire you as an author?
Well Harlan Coban writes the best suspense novels ever. I love Jan Karon, who paints the glorious town of Mitford so beautifully. You can beat a good Liz Curtis Higg's historical. I could go on a while, but I'll hold myself to three!