Meet Best-selling author Sarah Sundin!
I'm pleased to sit down with fellow WWII author, Sarah Sundin whose books combine romance, drama, and daring. Grab your favorite beverage and read on!
Linda: The third book in your Waves of Freedom Series has recently been released. You have three series under your belt. Do you prefer to write series rather than stand-alone books or does that just happen?
|Author Sarah Sundin|
Sarah: I do enjoy writing in series. First, a series allows me to get to know a cast of characters in more depth. Although each book stands alone, readers can follow the hero and heroine from book 1 as side characters in books 2 & 3, and get a preview of the hero and heroine from book 3 as side characters in books 1 & 2. I especially enjoy seeing how characters perceive each other and how they can perceive the same event in a different way.
Another benefit of a series is being able to explore history on a larger scale. For example, the Waves of Freedom series follows the US naval role in the Battle of the Atlantic, from escorting convoys in pre-Pearl Harbor 1941 (Through Waters Deep) to the U-boat battles off the US East Coast in 1942 (Anchor in the Storm) to the climax and turning point of the Battle of the Atlantic in 1943 (When Tides Turn). Bonus: a series makes research a bit easier too!
LM: Where did you find your inspiration for this story?
Sarah: While researching the first two books in the Waves of Freedom series, I kept reading about the climactic sea battles of 1943—and I wanted to put one of my heroes smack-dab in the middle! I also had two side characters who needed to have their stories told. Lt. Dan Avery is the single-minded, no-nonsense oldest brother in the series, a man determined to not let anything stand in the way of making admiral—especially feminine distractions. And Quintessa Beaumont is the fun-loving glamour girl who caused a bit of drama in the first two books—and she needed to step outside of herself and find purpose. It was SO much fun putting those two together!
LM: You obviously have a love for the WWII era. Your website says that drama, daring, and romance are what draw us to that time period. Which of those three is the strongest draw for you and why?
Sarah: That’s hard to say because I want all three in my stories. The romance is what fuels my stories, the growing relationship between two people who need each other but might not necessarily know it. I adore writing those scenes. But the drama and daring of history gives the characters a field to play on, to challenge them and cause them to grow.
LM: Lots of research goes into each story to ensure historical accuracy. What is your method for researching a story, and how much time goes into that before you begin to write?
Sarah: I start general and work my way down to specifics, often following bibliographies to lead me to great resources. By now I have a pretty good idea where to start for each novel, and I’m getting more creative and bold in seeking information.
As for time, I do some preliminary research when I’m writing a proposal to make sure the story will even work. The bulk of the research is done during the outlining phase (I’m a heavy-duty “planner” type of writer), which lasts about three months for me—and during the rough draft, which lasts about six months for me. But I do mop-up research all through the editing phase as well. I’m always in the middle of a research book.
LM: Have you ever experienced writer’s block, and if so, what did you do to push through it?
Sarah: Because I’m an outliner/planner, by the time I write my rough draft I know exactly what will happen in each chapter, so I don’t have the classic “what will I write next?” writer’s block. Sometimes I’m not sure how to start a chapter, and I’ll stare at the screen for a while. To break through, I do three things—read my notes for the chapter, reread the previous chapter or two to get a “running start,” and then give myself permission to write garbage. Once I get past the opening lines, I know the scene will flow—and then I can go back and edit those opening lines.
LM: What is your next project?
Sarah: I just finished my publisher’s edits for The Sea Before Us (Spring 2018) the first book in the Sunrise at Normandy series, which follows three estranged brothers who fight on D-day from the sea, in the air, and on the ground. And I’m just starting to outline the second book, The Sky Above Us—yay! Character charts! My favorite part.
LM: Where can folks find you on the Web?
Here's Sarah's bio: Sarah Sundin is the author of nine historical novels, including When Tides Turn. Her novel Through Waters Deep was a finalist for the 2016 Carol Award, won the INSPY Award, and was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. She also enjoys speaking for church, community, and writers’ groups.
More about When Tides Turn: When Quintessa Beaumont learns the US Navy has established the WAVES program for women, she enlists, eager to throw off her frivolous ways and contribute to the war effort. Lt. Dan Avery employs his skills in antisubmarine warfare to fight U-boats at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, but the last thing he wants to see on his radar is fun-loving Tess. As Dan and Tess work together in Boston, the changes in Tess challenge his notions—and his heart.