Q&A: Dana Mentink
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE TURBULENCE?
Imagine knowing that your heart was failing and there was no guarantee a human transplant would be found in time. What if there was an experimental mechanical heart that might save your life? Would you try to obtain one? This is the question that popped into my mind after I read an article about the Berlin Heart, a device saving lives across Europe but which is not cleared by the FDA for use in the States. It sparked a story in which Maddie Lambert is transporting a Berlin Heart to her father when her plane goes down. The outcome of their situation means not only life or death for Maddie and the three other crash survivors, but for her father who is down to his last hours due to a failing heart.
Now comes the inspiration for another theme in the book, our reliance on technology. My husband works for the fire service and, in case of medical emergency, their aim is to have a fully equipped crew at your door in under five minutes, but what if you were someplace where there would be no help arriving and no phones, no radios and no technology to rely on to assist you? Enter the snowy Cascade Mountains where Maddie and her ex fiancé Paul Ford will have to fight for survival with only their faith and courage to sustain them after the crash of their small plane. Remember the Stolpas? The family stranded in the snowy wilderness of Nevada in 1993? They were faced with one difficult decision after another. Stay with the car or leave it? They had no tools to help except their own resourcefulness. They put on all their clothes and slid plastic garbage bags between layers of socks. They tied sweatshirts over their heads and bundled the baby inside two sleeping bags and a garment bag. With supplies running low, Jim Stolpa set out to find help, knowing that if he didn’t succeed, his wife and infant son would die in the snow cave he left behind. What kind of inner strength and divine intervention does it take to survive nine days, knowing that each day might be your last?
YOU ALSO RECENTLY RELEASED AN EBOOK, DESERT DESPERATE. TELL US
Desert Desperate is a book I self-published digitally for some of my readers who need a
good laugh. It's an inspy romantic comedy so it's not in the same genre as Turbulence
or my other traditional books which are all romantic suspense. I have a rather wacky sense
of humor and I feel a strong need to exercise my inner nut once in a while. I had the story
edited and professionally formatted for Kindle and Nook.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
I am and always have been in awe of Jan Karon. Over the years I've discovered the fabulous
Liz Curtis Higgs who is an inspiration in both her speaking and writing ministries. As a child
I was completely enchanted by the Oz series and the amazing Chronicles of Narnia books.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
I receive letters from time to time from people who were moved or comforted by reading my books. I think that's God's way of letting me know I'm doing the right thing in my fiction. I want to write only those things which lift people up and lighten their loads. Whether I'm writing Christian fiction or secular work, I pray to keep that goal foremost in my mind and heart.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
I've written stories all my life and probably always will. I was the kid who was working on creative writing when I was supposed to be memorizing math facts. Even today, I'm lost in my own fictional world more than I'd care to admit.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
I hope they close the book feeling encouraged and lifted up in some small way.