Saturday, October 6, 2012

An Interview with Christian Author, Sarah Sundin

Good morning, Sarah. Thank you for interviewing with me today at The Barn Door Book Loft. It's a thrill to meet you. I just finished reading WITH EVERY LETTER and I loved it. Each night when I went to bed I opened the book anxious to reimmerse myself into Mellie and Tom's story. I love the World War II era and you brought it to life for me.

Is there a story behind WITH EVERY LETTER?

I had the inspiration for WITH EVERY LETTER while watching the classic Jimmy Stewart movie THE SHOP AROUD THE CORNER (the basis for modern classic YOU'VE GOT MAIL). I wondered what kind of person would be drawn to an anonymous correspondence. What about a shy nurse who grew up straddling two cultures, never fitting in? What about the son of a notorious murderer who feels he can never be himself?

The characters you chose were developed so beautifully, showing their wounded spirits and their compassion or others. Would you mind sharing what started you on your writing journey?

A dream. Literally. In January 2000 I woke from a dream with such a compelling pair of characters that I had to write their story. That novel should never, ever be published, but it did get me started. I joined a writers group, went to writers conferences, and read about the craft of writing. In 2003, my writer friends urged me to start submitting my World War II novel to editors and agents. After five years of rejection letters and a shift in the market, I received my first book contract for A DISTANT MELODY (Revell 2010).

What distracts you from writing the easiest?

We own a yellow lab named Daisy. She wants to play. All day long. When I don't play with her, she eats random household objects. That's slightly distracting.

(Laugh) My cousin has a dog that has eaten remote controls and phones, so I can relate! That would be majorly distracting! Getting back to WITH EVERY LETTER, which character interested you while you wrote?

Probably the heroine, Mellie Blake. Her mother died when she was two, and her botanist father took her along on his excursions throughout the Philippines and Southeast Asia. When back in California, Mellie didn't fit in. Since she's also naturally shy, Mellie didn't learn how to make friends. Now in her new position as a flight nurse, she needs to fit in.

I loved Mellie. She reminded me of how shy I was as a child, and her internal struggle pulled at my heartstrings. Oh, look out the window. The leaves on the trees are just beginning to turn color. I love the cooler weather. What's your favorite season of the year?

Autumn. I love the cool crisp weather. I love the changing leaves. I love wearing sweaters. And I love the start of the school year--the sense of anticipation and a new start, and most of all, the excuse to buy new school supplies.

Crayons! I love a brand new box of crayons. I know you like shopping for new school supplies, but are there things you put off doing because you dread them?

Going through closets, mucking out the refrigerator, sorting my kids' outgrown toys and books to decide what to keep and what to give away.

Yes. Those are not my favorite things either. I hear you like to travel. Has some place you traveled inspired something in your writing?

Oh yes. I've been blessed to visit many of the places I write about, thanks to my husband's frequent flier miles. Last summer we visited Italy and Southern France as combination family vacation and research trip for the Wings of the Nightingale series. Visiting Paestum (where the Americans landed on Salerno Bay), Pompei, Anzio, Rome, and various places in Provence inspired all sorts of scene ideas for the second and third books in the series.

No wonder WITH EVERY LETTER was so rich in details. What about fod. What's your favorite meal with family and friends?

Our family's favorite meal is ridiculously easy and tasty--grilled chicken burritos. Season boneless skinless chicken breasts with salt and sprinkle them generously with ground cumin and chili powder. grill them on the barbecue and cut into bite-sized pieces. Roll into tortillas with refried beans, grated jack cheese, and veggies like tomatoes, avocado, green onions, cilantro, and olives--whatever your family likes.

Yum! Now I'm hungry, so much so that I need to conclude this interview. But before you leave, please share when your next book is due out and if you can share a little about it.

ON DISTANT SHORES, the second book in the Wings of the Nightingale series, comes out in June 2013. Lt. Georgie Taylor fears she's in over her head as a flight nurse, while pharmacist Sgt. John "Hutch" Hutchinson finds his goals frustrated. As Hutch and Georgie care for patients in Sicily and Italy, tragedy draws them together, but their differences threaten to keep them apart.

~~~~ Sarah Sundin is the author of the Wings of Glory series: A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow (Revell).

With Every Letter is the first book in her new Wings of the Nightingale series (Revell).

Please stop by tomorrow to learn more about Sarah and to read an excerpt from With Every Letter.

Sarah Sundin is giving away a copy of WITH EVERY LETTER. The giveaway is available to U.S. mail addresses only. To be entered in the book giveaway, just leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice, once on each spotlight post.


Anonymous said...

I would lov to win sarah's book. My brother and brother in law served in WW11
Maxie ( )

Judy said...

The interview with Sarah was great. I use to have a golden lab and all he wanted to do was play! I too hate sorting through closets but it is getting to be that time of the year again.

I'd love to win a copy of this book. My Dad (who will be 92 on October 27th) served in WWII.


Jo said...

Great interview! We also have a yellow lab who loves to lick us to pieces. I would love to win a copy of this book.


Joanne Sher said...

Sarah is such a SWEET lady - I would love to win this one! Please enter me. Thanks!

misskallie2000 said...

I love books about WWI and WWII and Sarah's books are wonderful. I have With Every Letter on my wish list and look forward to reading.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Carol Ann said...

A big thanks to Sarah for agreeing to be interviewed today. Wishing good luck to everyone who enters. This book is WONDERFUL.

A. Kay Daniel said...

I can't wait to read this book! With such intriguing character descriptions and the WW2 setting, it has been on my wish list for several weeks now.


Sarah Sundin said...

Thanks, everyone!

I love seeing the WWII connections, the yellow lab connections, and the reader connections :)

Pam K. said...

Thanks for posting the interview with Sarah and for the giveaway of her new book, With Every Letter. I've read a couple of her previous books and enjoyed them very much.


PriviesAndPrims said...

Can't wait to read this!

Good luck with the lab chewing up your stuff. Gotta love em!

priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

Charity U said...

Please enter me! I loved books 1 and 3 in Sarah's Wings of Glory series...SO good. :)


Liz R said...

I'd love to read this story! Thanks for the chance!


Joy Hannabass said...

Enjoyed the interview ladies! And the book sounds awesome. I love historical fiction....

Amy R.S. said...

Great interview. I have a German Shepherd that trys to eat (and has succeeded some) in eating my house like my wall. Sounds like a great book please enter me.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Love to win this.

sonflower277 at gmail dot com

Teela said...

Thanks for this giveaway. My dad served in WWII as well, but now he's in glory w/our Lord. Please enter me in the drawing for With every Letter. Thank

Anonymous said...

I love books. I have not read this one yet; please help and choose me!
~Elizabeth N

lgm52 said...

Interesting interview. Would love to win a copy of this sounds like a great read!

tickmenot said...

My Dad and both uncles served in WWII. I would really enjoy a book from that time period.
Please enter me.


Merry said...

To have a dream inspire your story must be awesome. I'd love to be entered for Sarah's newest book. Thanks!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Jes said...

That is so great and fun that you got to visit places such as Paestum and Pompei while doing your research for the Wings of the Nightingale series. :)

jswaks at gmail dot com

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