Please visit her at:
http://www.sarahsundin.com or http://www.sarahsundin.blogspot.com.
A Memory Between Us is the second book in the Wings of Glory series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II. Each book stands alone.
In A Memory Between Us, Major Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge—until he meets army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty. When Jack lands in the army hospital after a plane crash, he makes winning Ruth's heart a top priority mission. But he has his work cut out for him. Not only is Ruth focused on her work in order to support her orphaned siblings back home, she carries a shameful secret that keeps her from giving her heart to any man. Can Jack break down her defenses? Or are they destined to go their separate ways?
A Memory Between Us can be purchased at:
Barnes & Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/A-Memory-Between-Us/Sarah-Sundin/e/9780800734220/?itm=1
Why did you become a writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
Strangely enough, I became a writer because of a dream. Although I grew up surrounded by books and read everything I could, I didn’t consider a writing career. Instead, I became a pharmacist and chose to work one day a week so I could stay home with our three children. On January 6, 2000, I had a dream with such intriguing characters that I felt compelled to write their story. Before that date, I’d never had an idea for a book, and after that, ideas flowed. It was as if God turned on a writing switch in my brain. The novel that came from that dream will never be published, nor should it, but it got me started.
What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction?
My first published novel, A Distant Melody, was originally 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 trilogy, with each book focusing on one brother.
About this time, the character of Lt. Ruth Doherty came to me—what if a poor girl made a bad decision in order to feed her family? What kind of girl would make such a decision? What would she be like when she grew up? I mentally put Ruth in the same room with Jack—and sparks flew!
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
I don’t base them directly on real people. I’m not fond of lawsuits. Because this is historical fiction, real-life characters do pop up, but I “animate” as few as possible, such as commanding officers, and I try to keep the scenes short and stay true to what I know of their personalities. The fictional characters are truly fictional. Of course they arise from a lifetime of studying people, so in a way, they’re all conglomerations of my mental database of people I know.
What was the most interesting research you had to do for any of your books?
It’s all so interesting. I never thought I’d enjoy researching B-17 bombers, but I did. I wasn’t looking forward to poring over local newspapers on the microfiche machine, but it was fascinating. In A Memory Between Us, the heroine is a nurse. Since I’m a pharmacist, I enjoyed learning about medical care. The most interesting tidbit I found was a picture of nurses washing, drying, and patching latex gloves! In today’s “Universal Precautions,” disposable society, that intrigued me. So I included a scene where Ruth and her friend May are washing gloves.
How do you go from an idea for a book to the birth of the story? Is the process the same for every book you write?
I’m pretty regimented—that’s the science nerd in me. Since I write historicals, I do lots of research beforehand. I also do lots of pre-writing, including detailed character charts, a plot chart to track subplots and story arcs, and scene lists with everything from the date, the weather, outfits, goals and conflict, and scene ideas. Then comes the rough draft. I’m odd—I still write the first draft longhand, but when I cuddle on my couch with pencil and paper, the writing flows. I enter each chapter in the computer a few weeks afterward, which serves as my first edit. These chapters then go to my critique groups. Once my rough draft is complete, I do a content edit, analyzing the story and characters, and incorporating input from critiques. Even though I outline beforehand, my characters still surprise me, and changes have to be made. Finally, I do a thorough copy edit before turning it in to my publisher.
Are you currently working on any new book projects?
The third book in the Wings of Glory series, Blue Skies Tomorrow, is at my publisher—my editor and I just finished the first edit. That book comes out August 2011. I’m currently working on a proposal for another series.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers on how to write a book? Do you have any advice for them regarding promoting that book once published?
How to write a book? That’s hard—some people are outline-oriented and would benefit from a process like mine, and others are “seat-of-the-pants” writers who are completely stifled by outlines. I would recommend some great books on writing craft, such as James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure (good for both outline lovers and haters), Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey (the best analysis I’ve ever read on what makes a story work), and Brandilyn Collins Getting into Character (using acting techniques to understand our characters). I also strongly recommend joining American Christian Fiction Writers (http://www.acfw.org).
As for promotion,I’m still new at this—my first book came out in March. I’m very thankful that my publisher, Revell, has really supported me with great publicity and marketing. In addition, I hired a publicist for a contest and blog tour with each launch, and I jump at the chance to do every blog interview I can—like this one. I spread the word about my books—gently—on Facebook and Twitter. I also do some speaking, which has been helpful. In the long run, it comes down to word of mouth, and word of mouth depends on whether people like the books. I’ve been blessed with wonderful reviews so far, and the response from readers blows me away. When you pick up a book by a debut author, you’re taking a chance, and I appreciate it.