A little bit bout Sarah...
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.
Connect with Sarah...
Purchase: When Tides Turn
Get to know Sarah...
You and Writing
Unlike most novelists, I didn’t intend to become a writer. I studied chemistry in college and became a pharmacist, working one day a week when our children were little. Then in 2000, I had a story idea that wouldn’t leave me alone, and I began writing during naptime. I was hooked. We’ve been empty-nesters since our youngest son joined the Navy this summer, but I still only work one day a week in the hospital pharmacy. Writing has filled in all the chinks.
Tell us a little bit about your book...
Why did you write it?
Story-wise, I wanted to finish the story of the US involvement in the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II, showing the dramatic climax of the struggle between Allied warships and German U-boats—and I wanted to explore the establishment of the WAVES, the US Navy’s program for women during the war. Character-wise, Lt. Dan Avery, the oldest brother of the Avery clan featured in the Waves of Freedom series, is a no-nonsense man, and I knew he needed some color in his life. And colorful Tess Beaumont needed to find some purpose in her life. It was great fun putting those two together!
The importance of balance in our lives. It first came out in the story with Dan’s workaholic tendencies and Tess’s playful spirit balancing each other, but I found new dimensions. Dan is a black-and-white sort of guy, and Tess shows him the importance of perspective, of looking at other viewpoints and trying to understand other people. With all the angry divisiveness in our world right now, we could all use a bit of perspective.
Did you get to do any fun research for the book?
I was able to visit Boston and see the sights in this story. Our youngest son accompanied me, and we had a great time. He got slightly annoyed at all the photos I took, but I placated him with ice cream and Boston cream pie. Little did I know that touring so many Navy ships and sites on that trip would lead him to join the Navy!
What’s your favorite snack while writing?
Sunkist Fruit Gems. I love chewy, fruity snacks, and those are the best! I also chew a lot of gum so I don’t nibble on those gems too much.
Let’s talk about your writing life...
How long did you write before you got published?
Ten years—almost to the day!—from when I had my first serious novel idea to when my first novel was published.
Are you a Panster or Plotter?
Plotter bordering on the deranged side. I make character charts and plot charts and outlines, plus I write a short outline of each chapter beforehand. I have the main story problems worked out in advance and the bulk of my research under my belt, although research continues all the way through the editing process. Having a good road map in advance helps me relax and enjoy the journey. And my characters still surprise me!
How do you grow in your writing craft?
Writers’ conferences are huge for me. I got my start through conferences, received my first contract through a submission at Mount Hermon, and made some of my absolute best friends in the world at conferences. Now I attend to teach and to network—but also to learn. I look for workshops and tracks that focus on my weaknesses, and I absorb.
What is your favorite genre to read? Why do you enjoy it?
I enjoy reading many genres—historical romance, contemporary romance, women’s fiction, suspense, the classics. I love intriguing characters, plots, and settings!
What’s your favorite green food? (In honor of St. Patrick’s Day of course!)
On the healthy side, green bell peppers. I’d add them to almost every recipe if I could. On the unhealthy side, lime-flavored Sunkist Fruit Gems. Most fruit candies switched green from lime to green apple, but lime is my all-time favorite!
If you could travel to any location and stay there for one month (probably spending most of the time writing) where would you go?
For a pure writing retreat, the English countryside. Wouldn’t that be lovely? But honestly, I’m more drawn to a jam-packed research trip to England and Normandy. I have one planned in September—yay!—but a whole month? That would be heaven. There are SO many things I want to see and experience and explore.
What are you currently reading?
For fiction, I’m reading Karen Barnett’s The Road to Paradise for endorsement, the first book in her Vintage National Parks series (such a fun idea)! For nonfiction, I’m reading Cornelius Ryan’s classic D-day book, The Longest Day, researching my upcoming Sunrise at Normandy series.
Emilie here: Thank you so much for being on my blog Sarah! Fun little fact readers - my best friend Steffani actually came up with the title "When Tides Turn" for a naming contest! How neat is that? Make sure you enter below and spread the word about this wonderful novel!
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