I'm so honored to have author Sarah Sundin featured on my blog today. If you're not familiar with Sarah and her work, she is the author of With Every Letter, the first book in the Wings of the Nightingale series from Revell, and also the Wings of Glory series (A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow). In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards and 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. She works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies.
In what genre do you write? (Historical, contemporary, romance, etc.)
I write historical romance set during World War II.
How much spirituality do you weave into your story?
I’m middle-of-the-road as far as Christian fiction goes. I don’t write with an evangelistic goal, but I also don’t write with just a whiff of Christianity. My characters always struggle with some aspect of their faith and deal with sin issues. They talk about God, pray, and grow in their walks with the Lord. The spiritual lessons they learn help them deal with the problems they face.
What is your general purpose as an author?
To tell gripping stories with engaging characters. Through those stories, to build interest and appreciation for the past. Through the characters’ growth, to encourage readers that they can face their own trials and live the lives God intends for them.
What is your greatest challenge in your writing?
Trying to find balance. I have a husband, three teens, and a yellow lab who desires constant play. I work as a pharmacist one day a week, and teach Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. Although I thrive on a certain level of busyness, I’m an introvert and crave solitude. My quiet time with the Lord is a high priority, and I’m careful not to schedule much during those lovely, silent hours when the kids are at school.
Do you believe there is evil in the world and, if you do, how do you portray it in your novels (or do you portray evil in your novels?
A single glance at the headlines shows evil in the world. Since I write stories set in wartime, evil is definitely present. I try to portray some of the complexity of good and evil—my heroes and heroines always struggle with sin, and I try to show positive traits in my villains.
Did you ever have a memorable book-signing? (Sad, humorous, or awesome?) If so, please share it.
My most memorable was this summer at a brand-new local store. A lady I didn’t know came to my table and patted a copy of A Memory Between Us with a pensive look on her face. “This was on my father’s nightstand when he died. It was the last book he read.” Oh my goodness—so touching. Then the bookstore owner, a petite brunette, told me of her other job—as a guard in a high-security prison. While reading A Distant Melody in her bullet-proof glass enclosure, an inmate tapped on the glass and said, “I read that. That’s a good book.” Another wow moment. I wasn’t able to go to that deathbed or that prison cell to minister, but God took my books there! I’m still reeling from that.
What’s next for you as an author? Any books in the hopper?
With Every Letter is the first book in the Wings of the Nightingale series, which follows three World War II flight nurses in the Mediterranean. The second book, On Distant Shores, comes out August 2013 (I just turned it in to my publisher. Yay!) and the third book in August 2014. I’m also brainstorming ideas for another series.
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