By Allen Payton
Antioch author Sarah Sundin was inspired to write due to a dream she had in 2000. Although educated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and doctorate in Pharmacy, and has worked as a pharmacist – and still does, one day a week – like her husband David, she went ahead and pursued the dream.
“It was weird. I started scribbling on a piece of paper,” Sarah said. “It took me about a week to build up the nerve to tell him.”
However, hat book was never published.
“Nor should it be” she stated. “But, it motivated me to attend conferences.”
One of those, for Christian writers like Sarah, is held at Mt. Hermon Conference Center, near Santa Cruz. That’s where she got to know editors and literary agents, one-on-one. She also participated in writers groups. Sarah now has about seven authors who run things by each other.
“I didn’t think I needed editing. I got A’s in English,” Sarah laughed.
Then she wrote a second novel. But, that wasn’t published, either.
She shared that the average author writes three novels before being published.
Sarah started submitting her novels to publishers in 2003 and after five years of rejection letters, she received her first contract in 2008 from Revell, a Christian book publisher.
Her first two books, part of a trilogy known as the Wings of Glory series, were published in 2010. The third book followed a year later.
That trilogy follows three brothers from Antioch, who were all B-17 bomber pilots during World War II, which is the setting of all of her published books, so far. On the cover of the third book, entitled “Blue Skies Tomorrow” is a drawing of the El Campanil Theatre. On the theater’s marquee is the movie Cover Girl, for which Antioch native Carmen Dragon wrote the musical score and won an Oscar. The book also covers the Port Chicago explosion of 1944.
Sundin’s books are filled with romance, action and faith, with the focus on both the men and women in the plot lines, and based on serious research and historical information.
Her second series, known as the Wings of the Nightingale series, follows three flight nurses. The third book in that series, “In Perfect Time” was just released, this month.
Sarah’s next series, Waves of Freedom, follows the lives of three American Naval officers based in Boston, who fought in the Atlantic theater. She just returned from a trip to Boston with one of her sons, where she was doing research for that series, including doing things like taking photos of a five-inch gun mount on the U.S.S. Massachusetts.
“I actually hated history in school,” Sarah said. “I thought it was boring. But, with age comes appreciation. Now I watch a lot of history on television and think how fascinating it is.”
In fact, her first series was inspired by watching a documentary on The History Channel, and after remembering her Uncle Rod who flew a B-17 bomber with the 8th Air Force.
The first book of her third series is scheduled to be in bookstores, and of course, Amazon.com, next summer. It takes about a year from contract to when the final copy, following three rounds of edits, is due, then another full year from final copy to when a book hits bookstore shelves.
Both of her sons read and like her books. But, her 18-year old daughter thinks it’s kind of weird her mom’s writing romantic stories.
“It’s really hard to stop in the middle of writing to make dinner,” Sarah said. “But they’re troopers and have been amazing putting up with this.”
Although the characters in her book aren’t based any of her family members, or anyone else she knows, the hero in “On Distant Shores,” is a pharmacist.
“My spiritual gift is teaching,” Sarah said. “So, when I write, 11 of my 12 heroes and heroines were Christians, who needed to grow in their spiritual walk. They’re usually lessons I’ve learned in life.”
The Lord has used the writing process to teach her, and has had an impact on her readers, as well.
She receives emails and letters from readers.
One widow who lost her husband in Iraq wrote Sarah and said that “Blue Skies Tomorrow” helped her deal with her grief.
“I’m humbled to see that God will take [something she wrote] and use it in someone else’s life,” she stated. “I’m thrilled and blessed and humbled.”
Her books are available at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com. Learn more about Sarah and her books at www.sarahsundin.com and follow her on Facebook at SarahSundinAuthor and on Twitter at sarahsundin.