Monday, July 5, 2010

Interview with Sarah Sundin

  
Sarah Sundin is the author of A Distant Melody, an exciting and heartwarming tale set during World War Two. This wonderful historical romance introduces us to Allie Miller and Lt. Walter Novak, two very different people whose paths happen to cross at a wedding. I won't give any more away other than to say that Sarah is a gifted writer who has a knack for bringing characters to life. I highly recommend her book! 

A Giveaway Too :)

Sarah has graciously offered a copy of A Distant Melody for a giveaway.  Check out the details at the end of the post.

The Interview: Part One 
                                                                                                                           
Karen: Thank you for joining us here at Write NowWhen did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
Sarah: January 6, 2000. How’s that for exact? Although I always read voraciously, I didn’t consider a writing career. Instead I chose a practical career in pharmacy which allowed me to work on-call and stay home with our three children. Then in 2000, I had a dream with such intriguing characters that I felt compelled to write their story. That first novel will never be published, nor should it, but it got me started.
Karen: Did you do anything in particular before or as you began writing for publication (like take writing classes)?
Sarah: I wrote that first novel without any training whatsoever. It showed. After I finished my 750-page simple contemporary romance (no kidding), I went to my first writers’ conference and learned I’d done almost everything wrong. So I decided to learn. I read books on writing craft, joined a critique group, attended more writers’ conferences, and joined ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). I kept writing and kept learning. I’m still learning.



Karen: Congratulations on A Distant Melody, and your upcoming book, A Memory Between Us. What inspired you to write this series?
Sarah: The idea for A Distant Melody came out of a “what if” question—what if a man and woman met at an event, truly clicked, and parted before exchanging contact info? Wouldn’t it be romantic if he went through great effort to track her down? It wouldn’t work in a contemporary setting—he’d “Google” her—but it made a sweet premise for a historical. My husband and I watched a History Channel special on the US Eighth Air Force based in England which flew over Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, and I was hooked. My great-uncle was a B-17 pilot with the Eighth, so I had access to his stories and letters. A Distant Melody was meant to be a standalone, but while doing research, I became enamored with the Eighth Air Force and wanted to tell the full story to V-E Day. Since my hero had two pilot brothers, I decided to write a series, with each book focusing on one brother.

Karen: How long did it take from the time you began A Distant Melody to when it was published?
Sarah: Almost nine years. I had the idea late in 2001 and began the research. I started the manuscript in 2002 and finished it in 2004. I first submitted it to editors and agents in 2003, and began receiving a stack of “good” rejection letters. I continued writing the series. In 2008, Revell offered me a three-book contract, and A Distant Melody came out in March 2010.
Karen: What are your writing habits like? Are you a plotter or a SOTP writer?
Sarah: I’m definitely a plotter. That’s the science nerd in me. First of all, I do lots of research beforehand—not only does this let me know if my story idea will even work historically, but it gives me ideas for scenes, problems, and characters. Then I fill out character charts (I love character charts!) and a plot chart which helps me track subplots and story arcs. Then come scene lists with everything from the date, the weather, what characters are wearing, goals and conflict, what’s happening historically, and an outline of the scene. Finally I get to my rough draft.

Karen: How did you go about developing your characters for these books? Were any inspired by people you know?
Sarah: I got the idea for Allie Miller, the heroine of A Distant Melody, when I visited a particularly gorgeous friend after her daughter was born. The first words I heard the mom say were, “Thank goodness she’s pretty.” My thought? What if she wasn’t pretty? That thought expanded—what would happen to a plain-looking daughter of a woman who thought beauty was a virtue? Would she think she could never find true love? So, Walt came about primarily as Allie’s counterpart. I gave him two brothers and no sisters so he’d be clueless about women.

Don't forget to come back for Part Two of Sarah's interview on Thursday, July 8. Sarah gives us a sneak peek at Book Two in The Wings of Glory series. 

For more info about Sarah, stop by her website or blog.  She has lots of goodies to share!

 
Giveaway Details

To Enter:
  • Leave a comment to this post, include your email address like so: karenelange(at)gmail(dot)com. Entries without email address in comment box are not eligible.
  • Receive an extra entry by becoming a follower, or by reminding me that you already follow.
  • Receive a bonus entry by posting about this giveaway on your Facebook page. Please leave a comment telling me so.
  • Receive a bonus entry by posting about this giveaway on your blog. Please leave a comment with the link.
  • This is only open to US residents. For those of you who follow outside the US, I apologize!
  • Deadline to enter is noon eastern standard time, Friday July 9, 2010. Winner will be announced here, and notified via email, and have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Happy reading and writing!
Blessings,

Karen


50 comments :

  1. I already have her book (so don't enter me)and really loved it! Can't wait to see the next in the series. Good luck and blessings!!!!

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  2. This book sounds wonderful! So I already follow and will post this on my facebook and twitter:)

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  3. Diane,
    It is a good book, and like you, I can't wait to read the next ones. :)

    Terri,
    Thanks so much! Sarah was so gracious and it was a blessing to hear her story and thoughts.

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  4. I'd love to win this book! Thanks Karen and Sarah for the contest.

    Blessings,
    Jen

    jeanettelevellie(at)gmail(dot)com

    I am a follower.

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  5. Hi Karen -

    Thanks for the great interview. I already have A Distant Melody and loved it.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  6. Hi everyone! Thanks for all the kind comments.

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  7. Karen:
    This book sounds inviting. I am a follower.
    cll4him(at)sbcglobal(dot)net.

    I learned a few things from this interview with Sarah.

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  8. Jen,
    You are welcome! Got you on the list:)

    Susan,
    I know, it is a good one isn't it?

    Sarah,
    Good to see you. I think everyone is enjoying the interview!

    Cecelia,
    It was a great read. I added you to the list!

    Thanks and blessings to all of you:)
    Karen

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  9. I enjoyed the interview--and the book sounds terrific! I'm a follower.

    bturn(at)fuse(dot)net

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  10. i loved reading this book! i got the copy from the library and would love to own it. martha(at)lclink(dot)com

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  11. Oh, sounds wonderful! My e-mail is: Writergal53(at)aol(dot)com.
    I'm already a follower!
    I will post this on my blog, too!! :D

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  12. Kenda,
    Thank you! It is a wonderful book:) Got you on the list.
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  13. This book sounds wonderful, Karen. The interview was awesome. Thanks for doing this. =) Hugs Karen!

    I'm a follower.

    Here's the link for the fb post:

    Facebook

    And over at my house:

    Putting Pen To Paper

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  14. Okay, I must have copied the wrong link. Here it is again:

    Putting Pen To Paper

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  15. Thanks for letting us "meet" Sarah.
    I look forward to more!

    Patti

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  16. Oh, I loved hearing about the origins of the story. What a great premise!

    (PS: please don't enter me in the contest; I want to give others a chance to win!)

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  17. Kenda,
    Glad you enjoyed the interview! I added your name to the list:)

    Martha,
    Nice to meet you! Thanks for coming by and commenting. Your name is on the list as well.

    Patti,
    It has been nice to learn more about what makes Sarah such a good writer.

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  18. Becky,
    I really enjoyed it and you just might too. Got you on the list! :)

    Robyn,
    You are a sweetheart! Got all your entries noted. Thanks so much. Hugs to you too:)

    Beth,
    I know, it was interesting, wasn't it? Hope you are getting back to normal after your vacation:)

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  19. Def, enter me. My favorite movie is Shining Through set in WWII.

    laurapauling@yahoo.com

    I'm a follower! Great contest!

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  20. Thanks, everyone! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

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  21. It's so wonderful to hear how Sarah learned to write on her own. So many people (including myself) are doing it this way and it's nice to know publication can happen after taking such a road. Thanks for the interview Karen and Sarah!

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  22. I enjoyed reading the interview - I like getting a peak into another writer's process :-). Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  23. Laura,
    Got your name on the list:) Glad you came by!

    Sarah,
    You are a great person to interview:)

    Lydia,
    You are welcome! We'll get there, won't we?

    Becky,
    You are welcome. I've learned a lot and hope everyone else has too.

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  24. Great interview, Karen! Sarah's book sounds very good! I'd love to be entered in your drawing: morgan(dot)maria(dot)i(at)gmail(dot)com

    Looking forward to part 2! God bless. :)

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  25. I love interviews and this one was great! What an awesome sounding book!! I love getting new books so I'd love to be entered in the contest!!!

    Good luck to everyone!

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  26. Maria,
    Thank you! It is a good book and she is talented writer. Got your name on the list.

    Jen,
    I like interviews too. It is interesting and fun to see where writers are coming from and what's helped them get to where they are.

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen :)

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  27. Excellent interview. I enjoyed hearing about the process of becoming a writer to getting published.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  28. Good interview, and interesting background information.

    I'm already a follower.

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  29. Okay, I can't enter since I'm in Australia. But I just wanted to say I loved this post:) Can't wait for the next installment!

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  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. Hi Karen...thanks for this wonderful interview with Sarah. Its always nice to read about writers
    who have learned to write on their own.I followed the same path and though it was difficult, it was not impossible to reach the goal of publication.
    Rachna

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  32. Hi Karen, great interview. Very inspiring actually. Hope you are well.

    Have a blessed week. xxx

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  33. Hi Karen - Thanks for "sharing" Sarah with us. I'd love to win the book!

    writinginthebuff(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  34. Would LOVE to read Sarah's book!
    Patti

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  35. Hello. I've never read one of her books but she sounds delightful! Nice to meet you, Sarah.

    I'd love a crack at the drawing. brittany.mitchell@knoxcounty.org. I'm alreadya follower.

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  36. Lee,
    Thank you! I agree; I found it very interesting and encouraging. Appreciate your thoughts.

    Warren,
    It is inspiring to hear from other writers and hear about their journey. Glad you enjoyed the interview.

    Rebekah,
    I am so sorry about that! I need to check into the fine print on this and see what can be done for my overseas friends:) Glad you came by.

    Rachna,
    You are welcome. Nice to meet you! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate you becoming a follower too.

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen :)

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  37. Very interesting how the story came about! Thanks for sharing!

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  38. Raymonde,
    I am well, and you? :) Glad you liked the interview. I thought it was inspiring too!

    Lisa,
    Nice to meet you! Thanks for coming over and commenting. I've added your name to the list:)

    Patti,
    I think you might enjoy it! I certainly did. She is a talented writer:)

    Brittany,
    Good to see you! I've got your name on the list too. It is a good book:)

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  39. This is interesting. It's encouraging to this writer who really just writes without the foggiest notion of the protocols and ins and outs of doing it - well, right. :)

    Rhonda, who also follows

    rschrockmt@yahoo.com

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  40. I've always thought there is no such thing as an ugly baby. And beauty is subjective anyway. Wow! Walt's in a tight spot. I have two sisters and a brother so growing up I learned a thing or two about women. Still learning though.

    Stephen Tremp

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  41. Jennifer,
    I thought it was interesting too! It amazes me how ideas come around to us writers:)

    Rhonda,
    I know! But we all get there when it's what we're supposed to do. For this I am thankful.

    Stephen,
    LOL! Good point. Are you going to write a book about it when you get it all figured out?

    Thanks and blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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  42. Great interview, Karen! Sounds like an interesting book set during an intriguing era. Count me in: barbara_frank at sbcglobal dot net

    Barb
    www.barbarafrankonline.com

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  43. Barb,
    Thank you! It is, and I've got you on the list:)
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  44. My goodness! Spend one day off the computer and look what happens! Karen, you have lots of friends :)
    Just to clarify - I fefinitely didn't teach myself to write. My first novel was horrid - although I still love the characters. I sought out instruction at conferences, through my critique group, and through books on writing craft. Writing is such a solitary pursuit, it's so necessary to link up with fellow writers, learn all you can, and be willing to learn and grow.

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  45. This sounds like a very interesting book, and of course I would love to read it. Enter me in the give-away.

    iowagramma.ann@gmail.com

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  46. Sorry... I forgot to add, I am a new follower.

    iowagramma.ann@gmail.com

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  47. Ann,
    Nice to meet you! Thanks for coming over and becoming a follower. I've added your name to the list:)
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  48. This sounds like such a wonderful book! Great interview!

    sanctifiedtogether(at)gmail(dot)com

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  49. This book sounds amazing! Sign me up! I am a follower now!

    Crissy (Alisa's twin)

    crissyren(at)gmail(dot)com

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  50. Alisa,
    Thank you! It is a good book:) Got your name on the list!

    Crissy,
    Thanks for following:) It was well written and I enjoyed it. Your name is on the list!

    Blessings to each of you,
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!