Posted on February 7, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we're interviewing Sarah Sundin, a bestselling author of World War II novels, including The Sound of Light.
Her novel Until Leaves Fall in Paris received the 2022 Christy Award, When Twilight Breaks and The Land Beneath Us were Christy Award finalists, and The Sky Above Us received the Carol Award.
Sarah lives in Southern California, where she and her husband love taking their two rescue dogs for long walks.
SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?
SARAH: I have an unusual path for an author.
Like all children who love reading, I briefly considered a career in writing — but I wrote it off as unlikely as a career as a ballerina.
I majored in chemistry and became a pharmacist. Then one morning I woke up from a dream so vivid, I knew it was a novel. I was compelled to write it.
Since then, the ideas have flowed, and I exchanged my pharmacy career for writing.
SADYE: What have been the most surprising, rewarding, and challenging parts of your writing career?
SARAH: Coming from health care, where it’s really hard to lose your job, writing has challenged my lifelong desire for security.
Writers exist contract to contract, and the most beautifully written novel may not sell.
Novels are subjective and tastes change, so most authors never feel they’ve “arrived,” no matter the awards, the great reviews, or the bestseller lists.
I’ve found the whole process to be refreshingly humbling.
SADYE: What period of history would you most like to travel back to and why?
SARAH: As an author of novels set during World War II, I have to say that’s the period I’d like to visit — although the thought is slightly terrifying!
I adore research, and I’m always seeking those real-life details of how people lived to make my stories come to life, and there’s nothing like actually visiting to find those sensory details.
SADYE: What has been the most touching or memorable piece of reader feedback you’ve received?
SARAH: The most heart-wrenching reader email I’ve ever received was from a young mother who had just lost her husband in Afghanistan. She said reading my novels helped her through her grief and helped her remember her husband.
Since then, I’ve also heard from readers who said my novels helped them through divorces, long hospital stays, and the deaths of loved ones.
Some are friends in real life, some are friends I’ve never met — but I felt like I was able to be there and sit beside them through those dark days.
SADYE: What experience in your past or general aspect of your life has most affected your writing?
SARAH: When I was a little girl, the three negative things I heard most often were, “Don’t be so sensitive,” “Don’t be so dramatic,” and “Stop daydreaming.” Ironically, those are skills I use in my job.
The sensitivity that made me a crybaby bully-magnet now allows me to imagine the emotions of my characters and make my readers feel them.
The flair for the dramatic that made my mother worry she was raising a compulsive liar allows me to craft plots that challenge my characters and make my readers turn pages.
And daydreaming — well, now I get paid to do it!
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Categories: Author Interview