Monday, June 6, 2016

A Visit From Sarah Sundin

Since Sarah Sundin's newest book, Anchor in the Storm released last month, I thought it would be fun to hear about her latest story. Hope you enjoy visiting with Sarah as much as I do; it's always a treat to have her visit. In addition to great stories, her books offer inspiration and wonderful historical detail. She's graciously offered a paperback copy of Anchor in the Storm, so check out the giveaway details below.

Welcome back, Sarah. :) Congratulations on your newest book, Anchor in the Storm! Your stories are set in the WW2 era, both in the US and abroad. Where is this story located? How and why did you choose this setting? 

Thank you, Karen! Anchor in the Storm is set in Boston. The Waves of Freedom series required an East Coast city with a large naval presence and a Navy Yard. Since I have family in New England, I’ve visited Boston several times, and it’s one of our favorite cities. It’s so rich in history and color. When I found out US Navy destroyers were based in Boston, that sealed the deal!

Wow, sounds like wonderful way to vacation and research the story. What did your research entail? 

We tacked it on at the end of a family vacation. My husband had to return to California to work, but our teen son stayed with me an extra week. We visited most of the sites in the series, including the Charlestown Navy Yard and the Freedom Trail. I took pictures of trees and houses, much to teen son’s chagrin. We visited the National Archives in Boston (what a treat!). And we made the supreme sacrifice of sampling the Boston Cream Pie. 

It was good of you to make such a sacrifice for the the pie. Someone had to do it, right? Was there any particular scene or chapter that helped choose the title for this book?

I wanted to use the word anchor, not only for the nautical flair but for the meaning. The novel’s theme verse is Heb. 6:18-19: “We might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.” When Revell came up with Anchor in the Storm, I hesitated—there were no storms in the story! However, I was still in the process of editing, so I added a squall to the climactic scene—and loved the result. 

Love that verse. It sounds perfect - I'll keep an eye out for that storm when I read the book. :) What are your favorite qualities about your main characters Lillian and Arch? 

Arch Vandenberg has been born into great wealth, but he’s determined to make his own way and to live a simple life. Meanwhile, Lillian Avery is always cheerful and driven, and she never lets anything slow her down. I really admire those qualities in them. 

Those are great attributes. You now have numerous published books to your credit. Is there anything that you know now that you wish you’d have known when you wrote your first book? 

As far as writing, not really. I made tons of mistakes with my first novel—so many that it will never be published. Nor should it be. However, if I’d known the “rules” beforehand, it would have paralyzed me and I never would have started. By writing one truly ugly rough draft, I learned I could finish a novel—which was vital for me. Then I learned the rules, and I applied them in the rewriting process. By the time I wrote my third novel, the rules became natural to me. 

I see your point. So I guess it's better to start out a little clueless, right? Lol Thanks so much for joining us. Wishing you many blessings your journey! 

Thank you Karen! 

More About Sarah

Sarah Sundin is the author of eight historical novels, including Anchor in the Storm. Her novel Through Waters Deep was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California and works on-call as a hospital pharmacist.

A Peek at Anchor in the Storm 

For plucky Lillian Avery, America's entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg’s attentions only annoy—even if he is her brother's best friend. 

During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves—and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions for sedatives Lillian has filled? The two work together to answer that question, but can Arch ever earn Lillian's trust and affection? 

Visit Sarah

Giveaway Details

Sarah is giving away one paperback copy of Anchor in the Storm.

1) Open to U.S. residents only.  
2) Please comment, leaving your email address so I can contact you. 
3) I'd appreciate you following Write Now by Google Friend Connect or Facebook (see sidebar). 
4) Ends Thursday, June 9 at midnight Eastern Time. Winner will be notified by email and have 36 hours to respond or another name will be chosen.
What period in history interests you? Do you have any questions for Sarah? What projects are you working on this week?

Happy writing,


  1. Great interview, Karen. And I agree with you, Sarah, that new writers are better of not knowing all the rules. Learning them through time and experience helps them steep in!

  2. Nice to meet you Sarah! Congratulations on your book :)

  3. Ha! Ha! Such a sacrifice to try the pie. I think we all make tons of mistakes in our first manuscripts. Congrats on your book, Sarah! I'll pass on the giveaway, though.

  4. Lisa,
    Thank you! It's always fun to have Sarah visit. :) We're always learning something, aren't we?

    Good to see you. Thanks for coming by to see Sarah and me. :)

    I agree, mistakes are bound to happen. Appreciate you swinging by this morning!:)

    Happy writing,

  5. That's cool she got to spend so much time researching the area. Like her reasoning for putting anchor in the title. Congratulations to Sarah!

  6. My email is shutterbugsister(at)gmail(dot)com My favorite period in History is the 50's and 60's. Thank you so much for doing a giveaway!!

  7. I love the idea of doing "real live" research. It gives such immediacy to a story. Congratulations on your book.

  8. I like historical fiction! My favorite time period is the 1800's, wagon trains, homesteads and ranches.

  9. I absolutely love her writing, amigo. And I enjoyed hearing the storm story. It goes to prove that we need an open mind when we hear advice on our stories. Or in this case, titles. Ha. Congratulations, Sarah.

    I'm working on poetry, a picture book and the novel. My favorite period in history is the 1920s. The ROARING Twenties and the flappers. So cool.

  10. Wonderful to learn about Sarah's latest book. I love Boston and the research sounds fun. I enjoy books that are set during the WWII era. Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win. :) I always thought it would be fun to be a flapper!

  11. Alex,
    Yes, I liked the anchor idea as well. :) What a great theme!

    Thanks for coming by! I too, love historicals. :)

    I know, right? Something about seeing, and being "there" lends so much, sensory and otherwise. :)

    Thanks for stopping to see us! :) Sarah writes great historicals, that's for sure.

    I know, she's a wonderful writer, isn't she? :) An open mind, I believe you are right! Wow, I had no idea you had so many irons in the fire. You go, amigo!

    Glad you enjoyed the interview! :) I agree, that would be a fun place to do research. I lived in Boston when I was a baby, so don't remember anything about

    Happy writing,

  12. Thanks for having Sarah, Karen, and thank you, Sarah for giving away your newest "baby." I like the sound of this story, and always admire anyone who does research for a book. This way we readers learn as we're entertained! I'd LOVE to win this! My email is jeanettelevellie(at)gmail(dot)com, and I follow you--don't I? I will check! If not, I'll fix it NOW.

  13. If we started off knowing the rules - or anything about how publishing works - none of us would've ever started writing.

  14. Interesting interview. I like that she doesn't regret 'not knowing the rules' when she started out. Boston sounds like an amazing place, especially with That Pie in the house. :)

  15. Jen,
    You are welcome, dear friend! :) Glad you could stop by. I agree, this is one reason I love historicals, you get to learn a lot. Thanks, I'm sure you already follow!

    Well now this is true! For real. Counting the cost for some things can be good. Writing, maybe not as much. lol :)

    Yes, the pie, how could you not go there? We should plan a trip there soon. In the name of research of course. :D

    Happy writing,

  16. I've read many of Sarah's books and love them! Please enter me in the giveaway. susanjreinhardt AT gmail DOT com

    I love the Colonial/Revolutionary War period, but my books are set in the near future. My newest project is a contemporary. I guess our writing doesn't always follow our historical leanings. Currently, I'm editing my fifth book.

  17. Emilee,
    I'm looking forward to reading this one too! It'll be a good read. :)

    I agree, Sarah's books are wonderful! Best wished with the editing! :)

    Happy writing,

  18. A great interview, Karen. Thanks for hosting this. Nice to meet you, Sarah. I'll connect online with you, too. I enjoy the early 1900's with all the discoveries being made. I agree with Sarah. Writers need to write a complete [sloppy] novel to learn how to complete the length. We need to learn the ropes. Then we practice--and revise. Thanks again for sharing this with your followers, Karen.

  19. I found it encouraging to read how Sara's confidence came from just completing that first novel that will never be published. And I would love to visit Boston sometime. It's history does sound so rich. Thanks for the interview Karen!

  20. Victoria,
    Thank you! It's always fun to interview Sarah. We learn much from our first attempts at writing, I agree. Glad you got to meet Sarah! :)

    I found it encouraging too! It's nice to know we aren't alone in this writing thing, isn't it? :) Thanks for coming by to see us!

    Happy writing,

  21. I love the cover and traveling for research is wonderful. I've done the same.

  22. Visiting the settings of your novel makes such a difference. Congratulations, Sara. The cover is lovely.

  23. Medeia,
    I agree, the cover is beautiful! And traveling for writing is a great perk for sure. :)

    I think you are right about visiting the site. It lends a wonderful authenticity. :)

    Happy writing,


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