A Q&A with Author Len Mattano of Celtic Crossing
1. What is the message of your story?
On the back cover of Celtic Crossing are the words: "A poignant tale of life redeemed through death." All humanity experiences death. Our task is not to be resigned to this fate, but to shape our earthly lives through belief in the eternity that lies beyond.
2. What inspired you to write Celtic Crossing?
This book was inspired the patients and families I've cared for over many years. Their resilience in dealing with life-threatening illness, often girded by faith and always embedded in love, helped prepare me for inevitable personal losses. Family cancer syndromes are particularly vivid examples of human mortality, yet every life is equally precious in the eyes of God.
3. Is this book just for Christians?
No. While many characters in Celtic Crossing are Catholic, the book's themes are universal—exploring life's meaning is relevant to all. Those of faith will find much to consider, and the seed of faith may be planted in some, yet every good story must stand for itself in the hearts and minds of its readers.
4. As a physician, do you believe in miracles?
Biblical history reveals a loving God who acts in and through human beings. As a transcendent being, God is not bound by physical laws. These are powerful truths. Yes, I believe in miracles. They happen every day.
5. How true are the historical elements in your novel?
Many of the historical characters and events portrayed in Celtic Crossing are real. The fictional journey of the relic from Golgatha to Gaul and then medieval Ireland is placed in the hands of saints. Historical inflection points, such as the fall of Rome, act as pivots in the storyline—springboards that breathe life into the fictional events portrayed.
6. Why did you choose to feature a family so affected by cancer?
I sought to create a gripping suspense novel exploring universal themes that would engage a diverse audience. Writing as an oncologist, the dramatic premise of a family plagued by cancer raises awareness of this life-threatening disease, its toll on patients and families, and the spiritual journeys prompted in many. And as a person of faith, I hope the story opens hearts to the possibility of eternal life—especially when faced with the reality of death.