The month of October is a special time for me:
my debut novel, my baby,
will be released IN PRINT on Halloween!
I’d like to give a big welcome to Sarah Sundin to my blog. Sarah, thank you for joining me today. I’m excited to have you here.
Sarah Sundin is the author of the Wings of the Nightingale series (With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, and In Perfect Time), the Wings of Glory series (A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow), and the upcoming Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep releases August 2015), all from Revell. In addition she has a novella in Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook, September 2014).
In 2014, On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the Golden Scroll Awards, and in 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.
Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies.
She belongs to American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Authors Network, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.
Robin E. Mason: Sarah, your grandfather and your great-uncle were your inspiration for your passion for World War II. Tell us a little about them.
Sarah Sundin: My grandfather served as a pharmacist’s mate (medic) in the US Navy during the war, and my great-uncle was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot, who served both in the Pacific (his B-17 was one of twelve that were flying in to Pearl Harbor during the attack!) and in England. These two brothers were story-tellers, for which I’m eternally grateful.
rem: What an honorable heritage you have! No wonder you write the stories you do – you didn’t have a choice! wink wink Where do you find your amazing daily posts?
Sarah: When I started writing A Distant Melody back in 2001, I found I needed a way to organize all the research. To keep track of chronology, I started a simple timeline document in Word. This document is constantly growing, now to an embarrassing length (750 pages! Gasp!). When I was brainstorming publicity ideas before A Distant Melody was published, I ran an idea past a publicist—what if I posted a Today in WWII History tidbit every day? She suggested putting it on my blog, then linking to Facebook and Twitter. I honestly didn’t think anyone would be interested, but I already had the information, so why not? It only takes me a few hours each month, copying from my timeline document onto my blog and adding a picture. I’ve been doing it for five years now, and I’ve been surprised by the positive response!
rem: Perhaps you should publish that someday. I know I’d buy it! I love history, and I love your posts! I watched your video about flying on a B-17! I loved it and am totally jealous! Tell us a little about that experience.
Sarah: That was phenomenal. One of my readers volunteers with the Experimental Aircraft Association, which owns the restored B-17 Aluminum Overcast. He arranged for me to have a media flight—for free! It was a rollicking good ride. It’s a cramped and lively plane, and you have to watch your head. I was able to crawl (yes, hands and knees) into the nose compartment, and to stand right behind the pilots in the cockpit, and to gaze out the waist window over the top of a .50 caliber machine gun (unarmed).
rem: What an amazing experience for you! Here’s a fun one for readers: Tell us about Funny Dancing Fruits and Vegetables. What was it about? How old were you when you and your sister wrote it?
Sarah: It started when I was about six or eight. I hated beans, particularly green beans and lima beans. Still loathe lima beans. Nasty little things. I was trying to psyche myself into liking them, so I drew a picture of a pair of green beans dancing, with the caption, “We are green beans. We are good for you.” I repeated it with other vegetables I hated, then set it aside. My sister and I discovered it when I was in junior high and thought they were funny and cute. So we added to it, probably a hundred different fruits and vegetables, all with different dance poses. It was a lot of fun.
rem: What a fun story! I love the imagination and creativity of child’s mind! Tell us a little about your writing journey.
Sarah: Other than dancing beans and a short story about a little girl who catches a burglar with her jump-rope, I didn’t plan to be a writer. I loved science, so I majored in chemistry and then went to pharmacy school, where I met my husband. I was perfectly happy as a stay-at-home mom/on-call pharmacist. Then in 2000, I got hit hard by a story idea, and I felt compelled to write it. That book should never be published (really, really bad), but it got me started. I started attending writers’ conferences, joined a writers’ group, and learned the craft. In 2010, my first novel was published.
rem: You have six and 1/3 books out. What was your favorite to write? The most difficult?
Sarah: Each one is my favorite and my most difficult. Just like each of my three children. At some point with every book, I’m insanely in love with the story and the characters and think the whole thing is a masterpiece. And at some point with every book, I’m convinced the whole thing is nothing but stinking, inane swill unfit for consumption.
rem: LOL! I’m sure every writer everywhere can identify with that sentiment! Your record, though, looks like that of a champion! What do you think is significant about Christian fiction? How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?
Sarah: Our world is a dark and depressing place. Just read the news. But Christian fiction shines light, showing God’s hope instead of the world’s despair. It also shows ordinary characters coping with extraordinary circumstances, giving us examples of courage and strength in God. Writing novels has deepened my walk with God, partly because I need His strength in this crazy business, but also when I dig into the Bible to find help for my characters.
rem: Sarah, I could not agree more, shining a light in a dark world through our writing. What do you enjoy most about being a writer? What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?
Sarah: I like almost every part. I love the research, the plotting (and I do a lot of pre-writing), the actual rough draft, and the editing. I enjoy the social media and interacting with readers and speaking. The hardest part for me is the constant switching between activities. You just into the swing of the story, and an edit arrives or an interview, and you have to drop everything and do that urgent task. Then you try to get back into the story again. And up comes another assignment. It’s odd, but it’s how the business works.
rem: Never the proverbial dull moment! You’re also a pharmacist. How does that affect your writing time? What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?
Sarah: I work as a hospital pharmacist on Friday evenings, when I wouldn’t do much writing anyway. Pharmacy pays far better than writing, and we have college-age kids, so I keep the job. My writing routine is pretty set. Our youngest son is in high school, so as soon as I drop him off at school, I get to work. Since I’m not a morning person, I take care of emails and social media in the morning when I’m not creative. Then I have my quiet time, and then I write until it’s time to make dinner. In the evening I watch TV with my family, working on my laptop—busywork like interviews or blog posts.
rem: If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be and why?
Sarah: Oh dear. I’m pretty mean to my characters. I wouldn’t want to be one! I put them through horrible things.
rem: LOL Sarah, thank you for joining me today. I’ve enjoyed having you on my blog, and getting to know a little more about Sarah Sundin the person. Good luck with your latest release, In Perfect Time! I look forward to the Waves of Freedom series!
In Perfect Time
Book 3 in the Wings of the Nightingale Series (August 2014)
Book 1: With Every Letter, Book 2: On Distant Shores
Bold, sophisticated, and flirtatious, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.
Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer to where they don’t want to go.
Can they confront the fears and misunderstandings in their pasts?
#sarahsundin, #inperfecttime, #wingsofthenightingaleseries, #worldwarII, #B17flyingfortress