Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dana Mentink {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Dana...

Dana Mentink is a two-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner. She is the author of over thirty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and she has also been honored with a Holt Medallion Award. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, Yogi, Boo Boo, a nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet.

Connect with Dana...

Twitter: @danamentink
You Tube Channel:
Purchase: Fetching Sweetness

Get to know Dana...

You and Writing

Hey, all! Thanks for chatting with me today! Writing has always been my passion and it invades all aspects of my life, it seems. In addition to writing books, I teach third grade so I spend a good deal of time discussing the nuts and bolts of writing with my young peeps! Words have power, I tell them, so use them wisely. I love writing because it is a way to reach across miles and sometimes continents and touch other people. My aim it to inspire and encourage folks that they are deeply loved by God, no matter what their life circumstances or the wacky troubles we all seem to get into.

Your Writing

This three book dog series for Harvest House has been a complete joy for me to write. I'm naturally quirky and comic and is there any more joyful protagonist to write about than an exuberant dog of dubious ancestry? There definitely were some low points along the way, however. During the period I wrote this series, we lost our beloved elderly Nala. She was absolutely the most neurotic German Shepherd in the universe, petrified of everything from flies to brooms, and we loved her profoundly. I grieved as I wrote the first book, Sit, Stay, Love, and it took a long time for me to be ready to adopt another dog. Fetching Sweetness kind of bridged the gap for me, reminding me of the mischief, mayhem and merriment that a dog can add to our lives. That led us to adopt Junie, twelve pounds of trouble in a fur coat! Fetching Sweetness explores an issue that is on my mind often. How do I know if I'm following God, or my own desires? It's the central question the hero movie mogul Rhett Hastings asks himself as he tries to right a terrible wrong from his past. The heroine, Literary agent Stephanie Pink, embarks on her own zany mission to find an author's missing dog and in the process she will wrestle with her God-given purpose as well.


People ask me quite frequently if I have any advice for beginning writers. Since I'm all about encouragement, here are my top three tips for those looking to bust into this nutty world of fiction writing.

1. Read, read and read. You cannot write well if you do not read. Read the genres you love, and those you don't. Read for pleasure and then read to look at the author's craft. It's crucial.

2. If you want to make writing your business, treat it like one. Set a schedule and word count and keep to it. If you treat it like a hobby, it's going to remain a hobby, and that's perfectly okay, but if you want it to be your life's work, you have to start thinking of yourself as a writer and writers are working pretty much all the time on one story or another. Writing for a living is basically running your own small business.

3. Stick to it. Writing is a discouraging endeavor. The thing that keeps you going is that voice inside, that God prompting that makes you put your head down and plow on, in spite of bad reviews, rejection letters and mean Twitter comments. I've gotten plenty of all of these, believe me. Be mad for a day, rant and rave, grumble to your hubby, friends, relatives and fellow writers, drown your sorrows in a gallon of fudge ripple ice cream. Then put it behind you and keep going.


Of course, writing is a craft which requires constant improvement, so I attend writing conferences when I can. It's tricky with my teaching schedule, but the best thing about conferences is the networking. I love meeting other authors because it's such a solitary business and it gets me out of my cave. At conferences, all the writers emerge, blinking, from their dark caves and actually attempt to make conversation. It's hilarious and lots of fun.

What? What's that you say? August is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day???? Stop the presses. I am a sweets fanatic and pie is way at the top of my list. Really, I never met a dessert I didn't like, except maybe marzipan. If you want to know my naughty junk food writing snack, you'll have to go to my YouTube channel to find out. I refuse to put it in writing in case any of my third graders or their parents may stumble across it. If they are reading this blog...I love BROCCOLI FLORETS. There. That should be a safe answer for an adult role model!

Thank you so much for having me, Emilie! You are so sweet to include me! God bless!

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