Sarah has graciously offered a signed copy, so as usual, leave your comments below with a way I can reach you!
Sarah Sundin’s first novel, A Distant Melody, was released in March 2010 by Revell. She lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn’t ferrying kids to soccer and karate, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies.
About A Distant Melody
Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval—even marry a man she doesn't love. Lt. Walter Novak—fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women—takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas. Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?
What's your latest book?
A Distant Melody, Revell, March 2010.
Which was soooooooo good. Check out my review. What was the hardest part to write?
For me, the hardest part to write is always the first chapter—you have to do so much in so few pages. One scene that was emotionally difficult to write was late in the book when Walt receives bad news similar to bad news I once received. My first draft of that chapter was short and flat. I realized I didn’t want to delve into his emotions, but I had to—for Walt’s sake and for the story—and for myself.
Well, there was no flatness in those late bad-news scenes, so you obviously dug your toes in, gritted your teeth, and poured those emotions out! Is there any one thing or reference you keep handy when writing? Anything you kept around for this particular book?
I keep my whole bookcase handy when I write. I have three five-inch binders filled with research notes (yes, sick), plus another binder with story notes, character charts, and plot outlines. For this particular book I kept going back to my reference books on Army Air Force uniforms, Eighth Air Force history and procedures, and the B-17 pilot’s manual.
Well, that explains your expertise! I was struck time and again with the knowledge you effortlessly imparted. And speaking of knowledge . . . what lessons have you learned through the publication process that you wouldn't have guessed as a pre-published writer?
I knew about the editing process and how much publicity needed to be done, but I didn’t know about the random assignments, often with short deadlines: title & cover questionnaires, catalog copy, influencer lists, marketing plans, etc. Also I didn’t realize how much juggling I would do. Currently I’m doing publicity for A Distant Melody, I just finished Revell’s edits for Book 2, I’m polishing Book 3 before I turn it in, and I’m preparing a proposal for another series.
Well, if you decide to branch out as a circus clown, you'll have your juggling act down! (Hmm, a circus of writers. I think we're onto something here! I know some hilarious characters in the writing world, LOL.) Anyway. Are there any people (family, writing group, editors) who you rely on when writing?
So many! First of all, I run my early chapters through my writers group, and then I have several good writer friends who read the whole manuscript. My mother and sister always see an early draft—they’re fantastic at picking out punctuation and grammar issues. I also ran this series through a pilot friend to make sure I didn’t make any major errors in the flying scenes. The first two novels in this series were also read by about two dozen reading friends in three-ring binder format when I’d given up hope of publication. A side benefit of this was I had two dozen friends encouraging me and praying for me, and now they’re wonderful cheerleaders. Love them.
Yep, they're priceless. Aside from writing, what takes up most of your time?
Driving. My kids are 11, 14, and 17, so I spend lots of time carting them to soccer, baseball, choir, karate, and youth group. And a big, furry demand on my time is our yellow lab. Daisy wants to play. All the time. And if I don’t play with her, she snatches papers, pens, and eating utensils from the counter. With all the chasing I do, I should be a lot skinnier.
I think your dog and my son are on the same wavelength . . . LOL. Any upcoming releases we should keep our eye out for?
The second book in the Wings of Glory series, A Memory Between Us, releases in September 2010, and the third book in August 2011.
Thanks so much for visiting with us, Sarah! Everybody, you gotta check out her blog at http://www.sarahsundin.blogspot.com and her fun website at http://www.sarahsundin.com. You can find A Distant Melody at Amazon, ChristianBook, B&N, Borders, and CrossPurposes.
Void where prohibited. Contest ends 4/22/10. Winner will have two weeks to claim book before another is selected.