People who read my books get the idea that I’m a pretty serious person. I mean, I write about murder, mayhem, spiritual battles and such and sundry. We’re talking deadly serious, here. Yet my inner circle will tell you that I’m a bit of a bumbler, a cornball and wildly entertained by the wackiest jokes or anecdotes. I guess that makes me more of a Tigger than an Eeyore. Witness the video below wherein, you’ll see Dana Mentink at her most deadly serious (wink, wink.)
You see what I mean? A cornball, through and through. Tigger in human form. So now it’s your turn! Take this quick Pooh Bear Personality Quiz and tell us about your results! Giving away a triple prize next week!
Cast your mind back to 2008. Do you remember it? Yep, it’s foggy for me, too. It was my second book for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense and I was a rookie, for sure. I tackled a book with a theme familiar in the Mentink world…firefighting. Here’s the blurb below.
Why is a kind-hearted savant setting fire to an ordinary book? Recuperating firefighter Ivy Beria is determined to find out. But then the young man, Moe, goes missing–and his only friend turns up dead. Ivy is sure the double mystery is linked to the string of numbers Moe chanted before he vanished. She asks her best friend, computer expert Tim Carnelli, to uncover a pattern. They make two shocking discoveries: they have unexpected romantic feelings for one another and Moe is in serious danger. They’d better find him fast. Or the truth–and their dreams–will go up in smoke.
Since Papa Bear worked for the fire service for more than 30 years, I figured writing those blazing inferno scenes would be easy peasy. Wrong! Papa Bear has the annoying tendency to want to edit my glorious fire scenes for scientific correctness. No, there really wouldn’t be an explosion. Actually, the smoke would be so thick they wouldn’t be able to see that villain lurking under the stairs. No, you can’t really start an arson fire that way. Maddening! In spite of (and largely thanks to) Papa Bear’s comments, I managed to finish the book. If any technical errors slipped through, they are mine, not his.
Do you have an expert in your life to offers advice? What are they an expert on? Do share! :)
I just perused an amazing series of photos showing some workspaces of famous writers. From Dylan Thomas to Roald Dahl, Virginia Woolf to Phillip Pullman, they have one thing in common, they create their magic in run down little sheds. No fancy computer desks or large screen televisions to be seen. We’re talking boathouses, bike sheds and everything in between.
It sounds rustic, doesn’t it? But to a gal who generally writes in the living room or at a desk squashed in the corner between a treadmill and a rocking chair, it’s an attractive notion. I have the urge to start construction on my own personal writing shed. I head for the hammer until I consider an important fact. I am also a mother, wife and the caretaker of an elderly dog and box turtle who will not appreciate my disappearance into my shed cave. Hmmm. I suppose my rustic writing oasis will have to wait.
So what about you? Do you have a little spot that you call your own where you tend to your hobbies or work? Do share. And here’s a link to photos of some famous writer’s sheds. Would any of them appeal to you? Giving away a book, an amazon gift card and a fall surprise this month.
It’s Throwback Thursday! Indulge me while I travel down memory lane for a moment. I wrote Turbulence in 2011. I know…ancient history! Here is the blurb and the most unique problem I ran into while writing it.
Someone wants to ensure that the flight bringing Maddie Lambert and a transplant organ to her father never reaches its destination. Someone who’s desperate enough to sabotage the plane. In the aftermath of the crash, Maddie finds herself stranded on an isolated mountain with the last man she’d ever trust again—her ex-fiancé, Dr. Paul Ford. He’s the man she blames for her family’s tragic loss, but now he’s the only one who can get her to her father in time. Yet what neither of them knows is that the danger has just begun.
The writer’s problem: The pilot I interviewed was very reluctant to tell me how to crash a plane. He was eager to share all about the safety mechanisms built into modern aircraft, and how they are extremely reliable in the hands of an experienced pilot. But Jim, I’d plead. I want to know how to CRASH the plane, not keep it in the air! Poor Jim. Went against his grain, don’t you know! In addition, my frequent flyer readers told me they the subject matter kind of creeped them out.
Do you have a fear of flying? Or are there other modes of transportation that make you nervous? Giving away a triple prize this month. :)
“My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Did you know the line? How about this one?
“Mawige is what bwings us together today.”
If you got both of them, you’re a true fan of the 27 year old movie, The Princess Bride. The most amazing thing about this movie isn’t the actors (Manny Patinkin, Cary Elwes, Billy Crystal, etc.) or legendary director Rob Reiner. What’s most incredible is that the story broke the “Stick to your genre!” rule. It’s such an amalgam of comedy, adventure, love story, kids story, adult story, that the marketing department had no idea how to pitch it to audiences and pulled the movie trailers because they were so stumped. In my business, if you can’t tell the publisher where on the shelf your book fits, it’s probably not going to be contracted. That’s why it’s such a delight when a story breaks out of the box and appeals to many people in many ways. The Princess Bride did that, and that’s why it’s still beloved today.
Here’s a link to Cary Elwes’s new book about The Princess Bride, entitled As You Wish.
Are you a fan of The Princess Bride? What did you enjoy about it? Giving away a triple prize this month.
We’ve all got them, those reading beliefs and behaviors that shape what kind of books we choose and how we tackle them. Are you the kind that reads everything from magazines to the back of the cereal box? Do you plod through a book with a slow start or chuck it aside? Do you go for the splashy romance or the literary masterpiece?
Take this quickie quiz and post about your results! Giving away a triple prize this month!
This throwback Thursday I’m casting my memory back so far I might hit a dinosaur! WAAAAAAAY back in 2008, I wrote my very first book for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense. Here’s the blurb for this ancient tome.
Blurb for Killer Cargo: Transporting pet supplies–and the occasional bunny–is routine for pilot Maria de Silva. Discovering drugs amidst her shipments of kitty litter is not. Out of fuel in the Oregon wilderness, Maria barely escapes with her life when dealers meet her on the runway. She finds refuge at Cy Sheridan’s idyllic animal sanctuary–a whole new world for this girl. But Maria fears that her drug-smuggling client will take revenge against the man–and animals–she’s come to love. Is there a wolf in sheep’s clothing lurking in the woods?
The writer’s problem: This was the first time I switched from writing mystery to suspense. Sure they both involve following clues and yes, there is a mystery to be solved in each one, but the genres are different. In mystery, the focus is on solving a puzzle. In suspense, the protag is running for his/her life while solving the mystery. It’s tricky to get the hang of the pacing for a suspense vs. a mystery. No time to be cogitating on those clues and sipping tea, people! Suspense is a breakneck speed business, and it was a challenge for me in the first book to get into the swing of it.
Do you prefer mystery or suspense? Why? Giving away a signed book, an Amazon card and a fall surprise this month.