Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I ended up writing historical fiction almost on a whim. I wrote a few contemporary novels (badly), when I had an idea for a story that would only work in a historical setting. I had no idea how much research the story would require, so I dived in. And then the World War II time period grabbed me. There are so many dramatic stories and settings—a novelist’s dream. This was a time when ordinary men had to do extraordinary things, and when women first explored non-traditional roles—while remaining ladies.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
How to choose? My wedding day, the birth of each of my three children, my first day of college, getting the e-mail that my first book would be published, touring England with my husband, watching my husband carry all three kids piggy-back at the beach (he can’t do that anymore!), moving into our first house, whole days spent at the library as a girl—God is so good.
Yes, He is. How has being published changed your life?
The nicest part is that people take my writing more seriously. It used to be, “Oh, isn’t it cute that Sarah’s writing a book?” Now they’re more likely to see it as a career. I’ve had to make the same mental transition—it’s no longer a hobby. Before publication, I spent long luxurious hours playing with my stories and chasing research rabbit trails. Now I have to be more efficient and focused to take care of research, writing, and publicity.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished Lost Mission by Athol Dickson (amazing!), and started Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz, which I’m really enjoying.
What is your current work in progress?
Recently I turned in the manuscript for Blue Skies Tomorrow, the third book in the Wings of Glory series. Now I’m working on a proposal for another series.
What would be your dream vacation?
England with my husband. I don’t think I could go there often enough. London is one of the few large cities in the world I actually like, much less love. And I’d really love to explore the English countryside away from the tourist spots.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
A combination of story needs, what I know, and what I want to know. For the Wings of Glory series, I decided to have my pilot hero brothers serve in the US Eighth Air Force based in England, partly because my great-uncle flew a B-17 bomber with the Eighth, and partly because I love all things English. I was blessed with the opportunity to visit England twice while writing this series.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
This is a tough question. I’d love to meet Kay Arthur. I’ve taken lots of her Precepts Bible studies, and I love her passion for God and His Word, and her transparency and sense of humor.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Hobbies? Can you hear me laughing? My kids are in middle and high school, so I live in my car. Thank goodness I find writing so relaxing and enjoyable. I used to do lots of sewing for myself, the home, and for my daughter when she was little and let me choose her clothes. Oddly, when I started writing, I lost my interest in sewing, as if the minuscule creative section of my brain could only handle one outlet at a time.
I used to have a bumper sticker that said, If woman's place is in the home, why am I always in my car? What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Be teachable and soak up all the good instruction you can. Read books on writing craft, and then read your favorite authors and analyze how they did it.
Join ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). Their e-zine, e-mail loop, and monthly courses are outstanding.
Join a local writers’ group or an online critique group.
Don’t submit to agents and editors until you’re ready. That means a complete manuscript, positive feedback from experienced writers, and enough knowledge of the publishing industry to know how to submit properly. You want your first impression to be stellar.
Lastly, when you’re ready, submit and keep submitting. Keep polishing your craft, and keep praying for the Lord’s guidance.
Very good advie. Now tell us about the featured book.
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 is 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?
Sounds interesting. I love that kind of romance. Please give us the first page of the book.
2nd Evacuation Hospital; Diddington, Huntingdonshire, England
March 3, 1943
Lt. Penelope Ruth Doherty braced open the window and drank in cool air to settle her stomach. “There, gentlemen. Isn’t it nice to have fresh air in here?”
In the bed next to the window, Lieutenant Lumley snorted. “Ma’am, I’m from Arizona. To me, this soggy English air is more lethal than Nazi bullets.”
Ruth smiled at her patient, who had broken an ankle when his P-38 Lightning crashed on landing. “Good air circulation is important for wound healing.” And for clearing the nauseating smell of breakfast sausage from the tin can of a ward.
“Say, Red, you know what would heal my wounds?” The new patient, Lieutenant Holmes, pointed to his lips and dropped Ruth a wink.
Ruth gave him a sweet smile. “You’d like another dose of castor oil?”
“And it’s Lieutenant Doherty to you.” Ruth’s medic, Technical Sergeant Giovanni, set his supply tray next to Lieutenant Holmes’s bed. “Now, time to swab your wounds.” A German shell had filled the navigator’s back with shrapnel.
“Besides, her hair is more auburn than red.” Lieutenant Lumley’s gaze had a softer cast than usual. Thank goodness, he was due to be discharged.
More compelling now. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Sarah, for dropping by.
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