Author Spotlight: Sarah Sundin

Suzanne Author Spotlight

Welcome back for a second helping of Author Spotlight!

Say hello to Sarah Sundin!  To win a copy of her new book, On Distant Shores (Revell, 2013) leave a comment on this post.

Tell us a little about your new book . . .

On Distant Shores is the second book in the Wings of the Nightingale series, which follows three World War II flight nurses—but each book stands alone. Lt. Georgiana Taylor has everything she could want. A boyfriend back home, a loving family, and a challenging job as a flight nurse. But in July 1943, Georgie’s cozy life gets more complicated when she meets pharmacist Sgt. John Hutchinson. Hutch resents the lack of respect he gets as a noncommissioned serviceman and hates how the war keeps him from his fiancée. While Georgie and Hutch share a love of the starry night skies over Sicily, their lives back home are falling apart. Can they weather the hurt and betrayal? Or will the pressures of war destroy the fragile connection they’ve made?

How can readers find you and your books?

You can find me online on my website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. My books are available at your local bookstore and all the online book retailers.

Anything new for you on the book horizon?

In Perfect Time, the third book in the Wings of the Nightingale series, comes out August 2014, and I recently signed a three-book contract with Revell for the Waves of Freedom series (working title), which follows three naval officers based in Boston in the early years of World War II.

Why do you write?

I can’t not write. The characters and stories won’t leave me alone.

Best author moment?

At a book signing last year, a lady came to my table, laid her hand on A Memory Between Us, and told me the book had been on her father’s bedside table when he died. Just a few minutes later, the woman who owns the bookstore—who moonlights as a prison guard!—told me she was reading A Distant Melody in her glass enclosure at the prison. A prisoner tapped on the window and said, “I read that. It’s a good book.” She didn’t believe him, but a few questions proved him right. My goodness! I couldn’t be at the one man’s deathbed or in that prison—but God put my book there!

If you weren’t able to write, what would you do?

Since I’m a pharmacist, currently working on-call, I imagine I’d work full-time as a pharmacist. But I’m glad I’m not doing that right now.

Describe your ideal circumstances to write.

Any moment I can. When I started writing, my youngest was a toddler. I learned to write during naptime, in the dentist’s waiting room, on the sidelines of my daughter’s soccer games . . . whenever and wherever I could. Now that my children are older, I’m able to keep full-time “office hours,” and I have my own office in the den—but I still do some work while waiting at the karate studio, the DMV, the orthodontist’s waiting room . . .

Right this moment, what does your office look like?

Oh dear. I’m glad this isn’t a photo essay. I’m in the middle of plotting a story, so I have notes and charts and index cards scattered all over my desk.

How would you describe your writing style to a reader?

Romance, action, drama, and historical accuracy.

If you could write any book—on any topic—and be guaranteed a publishing contract, what topic would it be?

I’m so blessed that I get to write what I love! I’d be writing exactly what I’m writing now.

Ever had a bad review? How did you handle it?

Goodness, yes. I won’t lie—they hurt, and sometimes I obsess on the nastier points. But then I pray. For the really snarky ones, I pray for the reader—anyone who feels it’s necessary to rip someone else apart to feel good about themselves needs prayer. For the polite ones, I let it go—we all have different tastes.

How do you solve a grammar dilemma?

Chicago Manual of Style. It’s right over my desk, and I love it. A bit too much perhaps.

Are you an introvert? Extrovert? In between?

I’m an introvert, but I can play extrovert.

Do you enjoy public speaking as an author? Why or why not?

I love public speaking. I’ve been teaching Sunday school to fourth and fifth-graders in a large-group setting for ten years, and it’s surprisingly good training. If you aren’t engaging and animated and interactive when you teach ten-year-olds, the boys will have each other in headlocks and the girls will braid each other’s hair and trade flip-flops.

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