Wednesday, March 10, 2010

with Sarah Sundin

Patterings



Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
Mine was a true epiphany moment. 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. Since I felt God had called me to write and since our children were still young, I decided if I was going to dedicate time to writing, I needed to be serious and pursue publication. The novel that came from that dream will never be published, nor should it, but it got me started. I set out to learn the craft of writing from books, a critique group, and writers’ conferences.

Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?
Why not ask which child is my favorite? Seriously, I had great fun writing all three books in the series, and I love them all equally but for different reasons. Kind of like how I love all three of my children. Of course, I love my kids more. Except my books never give me ‘tude.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Currently my most difficult writing obstacle is a yellow Labrador retriever named Daisy, Satan’s emissary to derail my writing career. When the kids are at school and my husband’s at work, I assume it’s writing time. Daisy tells me it’s play time! Always play time! And if I don’t play, she eats the house.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
I adore Walt and Allie, my hero and heroine, but my biggest surprise had to be Cressie Watts. I didn’t plan for her—she just showed up. Allie, a wealthy, well-mannered young woman, goes for a walk after a horrendous day and enters a rundown church. She needs to get away from her parents’ superficial congregation, so I thought she would talk to the pastor. Instead, Allie and I both find—to my surprise—this feisty older woman who ropes Allie into helping her air out the pew cushions. Cressie is Allie’s opposite in every way—exactly the mentor Allie needs. I love her brusque ways, her deep faith, and her humor. And there’s a funny story regarding her name too.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
No strange habits that I can think of, and I’m not very quirky…how about a funny story instead? Our lab had a rash on her belly, so we picked up some anti-fungal cream at the pharmacy after a family dinner out. My husband joked that he should make our fourteen-year-old daughter take it to the cashier. We all cracked up at the idea. The girl’s life revolves around avoiding embarrassment. Then I said she should tell the cashier, “I have a rash, but I can’t tell you where.” She claimed she could do it; her brothers and parents disagreed. I told her, “I’ll give you twenty bucks if you do it.” Well, she did! Her brothers and I had to watch from outside through the window because we were laughing too hard. I told her she should get extra credit in her acting class. And yes, I paid up.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Mucking out the closets and anything involving cleaning.

What would a perfect day for you look like?
Sleep in, quiet time, at least four to five hours to write—not publicity—just pure writing, some fun outing with my husband and kids, Chinese food for dinner, and a good book in the evening. And no carpools. That’s more than twenty-four hours, isn’t it?

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I gravitate toward the classics, women’s fiction, and contemporary or historical fiction—and I love a romantic thread. I also enjoy a good suspense novel and anything with humor. I’m really easy to please. That’s why I don’t write book reviews.

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
Coffee, tea, diet cola, chocolate—anything in the caffeine family.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I don’t usually pick themes, but find they arise from my characters. The first novel deals with obedience and sacrifice and honesty, the second with pride and shame and trust, and the third with courage and misguided efforts to earn grace. Pride does seem to run as an undercurrent through all three books, but I feel pride lies at the base of most, if not all, sin—the crazy idea that we could ever know better than God.

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
He’s teaching me the importance of abiding in Him. This is a lifelong lesson for all of us, but He’s impressed it on me lately. John 15:5 is my theme verse right now: “’I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing’” (NASB). Everywhere I look, this concept and this verse keep popping up, a firm indication that the Lord wants to get my attention.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
The second book in the series, A Memory Between Us, releases Fall 2010: Maj. Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge—until he meets Lt. Ruth Doherty, a striking nurse with a shameful secret. While Jack leads his squadron in the most savage air battles of the war, Ruth trains to become a flight nurse to better support her orphaned siblings. Can they confront their deepest sins, face their greatest fears, and learn to trust and to love?

Sarah is giving away a copy of A Distant Melody. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Tuesday, March 16th, to see if you've won. You can enter twice--once on each post in this spotlight. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.
**Annoying little disclaimer: This giveaway is open only to U.S. addresses. By clicking on the Amazon link above or in the sidebar, and purchasing, I will receive a very small percentage of the sale.

15 comments:

  1. An extraordinary interview! Love the answer about learning to abide in Him.
    A lesson I am still trying to master.

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  2. I enjoyed getting to know more about Sarah. The second book in this series, A Memory Between Us, sounds great also.

    worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

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  3. Sylvia M.11:25 AM

    These books sound great! I am greatly looking forward to reading them.

    Samitude[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  4. I would love to be entered for the giveaway! I've been wanting to read this one since I first heard about it. :o)

    Christy
    orca0024 at yahoo dot com

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  5. Sarah, I wanted to stop by and say hi. I loved the interview! Also loving "A Distant Melody," and I can't wait for "A Memory Between Us."

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post.
    csdsksds{at}gmail{dot}com

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  7. Enjoyed the interview! Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!

    cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  8. Mary M.3:54 PM

    This book is awesome! I can't put it down! I'm about 80 pages away from finishing it and already can't wait until the next one is released. Sarah is a wonderfully gifted writer! Thanks for sharing with us!
    mbags@comcast.net

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  9. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks for the chance!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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  10. Thanks, everyone for all your kind comments! Lorna & Mary, I'm so glad you're enjoying it already :)
    Patty, thank you so much for this opportunity!

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  11. "Anything involving cleaning" - LOL! I feel the exact same way!

    My Dad served as a radar technician during the war and I have a picture of him wearing a similar shirt and cap. Sarah's whole series is on my must-read list and I appreciate the chance to win a copy as always, Patty.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

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  12. I always enjoy the interviews with an author. I admire how they fit in writing along with caring for the family. JoAnn
    joann4us(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  13. This looks like a good book. I'd love to win. Thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  14. Anonymous8:24 PM

    i love the cover of this book...thanks for the opportunity to read it :)

    karenk
    kmkuka(at)yahoo(Dot)Com

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  15. Please enter me in the drawing. It sounds really good!! :)

    ~Abby

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