Monday, September 14, 2015

The Latest from Sarah Sundin

Congratulations to Sarah Sundin on her latest book, Through Waters Deep! She is a wonderful storyteller; her books are rich and engaging historical tales. If you are a fan of such, I highly recommend her stories.

Hi Sarah - Welcome back to Write Now!  Can you give us a peek at the story?

Hi Karen and friends! It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them.

It sounds jam packed with adventure and intrigue. :) I love the cover. How involved are you in the cover selection process? 

I love it too! Revell sends me a titling and cover questionnaire well in advance. I share a bit about the story, characters, and setting, and I include pictures of clothing, uniforms, ships, setting, hairstyles—anything that could help them. Before the photo shoot, they often send me pictures of the uniforms or outfits to make sure they’re correct, especially the military insignia. Then they do the photo shoot and send me the cover. I give feedback, and they can make certain adjustments. For example, the first cover for Through Waters Deep had the wrong ship—it looked like a modern destroyer—and they changed it to a WWII-era Gleaves-class destroyer as in the novel.

Wow, there is much more to the process than one might think. The finished product looks great. Since your books are set in or around WW2, am I correct in assuming this period interests you? What originally drew you to write about this era? 

I heard my grandparents’ stories about their war years, and I was always drawn to the era. There’s a certain nostalgia—the great clothing and music and upbeat attitude. But there’s so much more. World War II showed us the very worst and the very best in human nature, and forces us to think what we’d do in similar situations. It was a time when ordinary men and women were placed in extraordinary circumstances, and learned they could do extraordinary things. This inspires us ordinary people today. 

It is indeed an inspiration. The details in your books are so authentic and lend realism to your stories. What steps do you take to maintain accuracy? 

I do a lot of research, finding the best books and websites on each subject and reading thoroughly. For Through Waters Deep, I was even able to conduct research at the National Archives in Boston, a fantastic experience. I also seek out personal stories to lend color and human touches. Whenever possible, I visit the location. I was able to spend a week in Boston last summer, exploring the sites for this series. I took tons of pictures and notes! 

I love the idea of adding color and personal touches. Your research and enthusiasm are evident in your stories. What’s on the horizon for you? Will we see another book in this series in the coming months?

Anchor in the Storm, Book 2 in the Waves of Freedom series, comes out in the summer of 2016. For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. She loves the wartime challenges of her new job but spurns the attention of society boy Ens. Archer Vandenberg, even if Arch is her brother’s best friend. As Arch’s destroyer battles U-boats along the East Coast in the darkest days of the war, Lillian uncovers a black market drug ring. Arch’s efforts to aid Lillian’s investigation and to win her trust fling them both into danger—from torpedoes, drug lords, and opened hearts.

Sounds exciting! Thanks again for coming by to see us, Sarah. Wishing you much success with your books! 

Thank you, Karen!  

About Sarah

Sarah Sundin is the author of seven historical novels, including Through Waters Deep (Revell, August 2015). Her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in Where Treetops Glisten is a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award, and her novel On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the 2014 Golden Scroll Awards. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school.

Connect with Sarah 


Is there a certain era in history to which you are drawn? Why?

Happy reading and writing,



  1. World War II was a really interesting time in our history and it'd be fun to research and write about it in a story. Congrats on your book, Sarah!

  2. Loved this interview! I wish I could write in that time period but I can't so I'm glad others like Sarah do. It is my favorite historical era.

  3. Hi Karen - how interesting to read Sarah's research process and to see that she took her grandparent's stories, remembered them and then turned them into books - they look fascinating ... cheers Hilary

  4. Best wishes to Karen and Through Waters Deep! WWII makes a great setting and its great she can use family members memories in her book. I was able to do something similar and this makes writing the novel so special.

  5. I love stories about WWII. My father served then in the navy and it's always fascinated me, too.

  6. Fantastic interview. I have a story that I'm planning to write for middle graders. It's based on a true story. I can't wait to read your book, Sarah. Back then, our country pulled together. *sigh* I think the research for my story will take time. It's lovely to meet you. *waves to amigo* :-)

  7. Natalie,
    I agree, it sounds like fun and holds so much potential! :) Glad you got to meet Sarah.

    Thanks so much! It's always a pleasure to have Sarah visit. I am glad she writes about this era too. :)

    I agree, they do sound fascinating. She's so thorough and it really shines through in her stories. Thanks for coming by to see us! :)

    It really does give it something extra special to add details and stories that coordinate with memories and such. Glad you had a chance to meet Sarah! :)

    Such a rich history there, isn't there? Just love it, and Sarah does it so well! :)

    Hey amigo! :) I'm looking forward to reading this story, and I think you'll enjoy it too. Sarah doesn't disappoint; she's a wonderful writer. Glad you could stop by!

    Happy writing,

  8. Really impressive cover. It's cool when your publisher can work with you and produce something stunning.

  9. Enjoyed this interview, Sarah. I,too, am enamored of the WWII era - in all its manifestations. Tough times for Americans, but our resilience showed through. Your book sounds awesome. Thank you, Karen for introducing us!

  10. Alex,
    I agree, the cover looks great! The whole process is interesting, isn't it? :) Thanks for stopping over!

    You are welcome! Glad you could stop by. :) Yes, we are made of tougher stuff than we sometimes think, and this era is a good reminder of that.

    Happy writing,

  11. Beautiful cover. I mostly read historical stuff that's 100+ years old, but it's never a bad idea to try a new niche, eh?

  12. Thank you for this interview! I'd like to bring Sarah's books to my book club. Many of the readers like historical fiction. I tend to like WW2, however my favourite still tends to be in realistic fiction in our current time period.

  13. Thanks for featuring Sarah. I especially loved her description of the cover choosing process. Fascinating!

  14. Crystal,
    I agree - love the cover! :) I too, am a fan of older historical fiction mostly, but have to say that I do really enjoy all of Sarah's books. She converted me. lol

    You are welcome! I think your book club will enjoy it! :) Let us know how that goes, okay?

    You are welcome. It's always fun to have her visit! :) I know, it's fun hearing about how it all came together!

    Happy writing,

  15. This is such an interesting era and the cover is stunning.


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!