Please help me welcome today's guest, author Sarah Sundin!
A: I rarely get writer’s block. I have the book plotted out beforehand, so I know what I’m going to write when I sit down. However, sometimes the start of a chapter will hang me up for a while. My cure is to get a running start by reading the last chapter or two. If that fails, I just start writing something, anything, telling myself I’ll come back and find a better starting place later. The funny thing is those tend to be my favorite chapter openings.
Q: How long does it take you to complete a novel? How many drafts do you go through?
A: For the Wings of Glory series, each novel took about two years—one for research and plotting, and one for writing. I wrote the first two books before I had a contract, and I’ve lost count of how many drafts they went through as I learned more about writing and refined the manuscripts. Blue Skies Tomorrow “only” went through three drafts, which about gave me palpitations, but I’m writing cleaner and tighter now. For my next series I have to write a book a year, which is faster than I’m used to. However, my children are older now, and I have more time to write, so it’s working.
Q: Do you plot out your story ahead of time, or do you think it up as you go?
A: I’m definitely a plotter. I do lots of research before I start, plus character charts and outlines. However, I don’t always have all the plot points worked out in advance, and side characters have a way of springing out of nowhere. And despite my plotting, often a scene will turn out quite different from how I originally planned it.
Q: After becoming a published author, what surprised you the most?
A: I was surprised at how much juggling was required. Right now I’m doing publicity for Blue Skies Tomorrow, polishing the first book in my next series for its September 1 deadline, and plotting the second book in the series. In addition, social networking, blogging, and publicity stretch my multi-tasking skills.
Q: What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a fledgling writer?
A: Be teachable and learn as much as you can about the craft of writing and the publishing process. Join a writers’ group, attend conferences, read books on writing, and join American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Keep writing, keep submitting, and keep praying.
Q: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
A: I might be working more hours as a pharmacist now that my children are older. Or I might be doing what I did before writing struck me—pathetic attempts at whatever craft was fashionable with stay-at-home moms. I tried stamping, stenciling, scrapping—I’m horrible at that kind of thing.
Q: What does your family think about your crazy career?
A: My poor scientific, business-oriented husband has been baffled by the whole thing, but he supports me. My two sons (13 and 18) are pretty excited, especially the youngest. My daughter, 15…well, she once declared (insert dramatic teen sighs) that I sought publication for the sole purpose of ruining her life. It’s no mistake that God gave me a publishing contract and a teen girl (who is bright and beautiful and witty, by the way) at the same time. She keeps me humble.
Q: What’s the one far out sci-fi technology you’d most like to see become a household item?
A: The Star Trek food replicator. Speak your order, it hums and sparkles, and voila! A full complete meal made to order. I want one.
Oh yes, put me down for one of those, too! Thanks so much for visiting today, Sarah.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Sundin lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn’t ferrying kids to soccer and tennis, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school. She is the author of the Wings of Glory series—A Distant Melody (Revell 2010), A Memory Between Us (2010), and Blue Skies Tomorrow (August 2011).
ABOUT THE BOOK
Blue Skies Tomorrow is the third 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.
Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit, but at least his stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life. As he courts Helen Carlisle, a young war widow and mother who conceals her pain under a frenzy of volunteer work, the sparks of their romance set a fire that flings them both into peril. After Ray leaves to fly a combat mission at the peak of the air war over Europe, Helen takes a job in a dangerous munitions yard and confronts an even graver menace in her own home. Will they find the courage to face their challenges? And can their young love survive until blue skies return?
WIN THE BOOK
If you’d like to be entered to win a copy Blue Skies Tomorrow just leave a comment on this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on Sunday, August 14th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!