Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ask a Published Author: Sarah Sundin

It's Monday, and as promised, I am interviewing Sarah Sundin! I've combined your questions with mine to pick an authors brain and hopefully learn a thing or two about writing a great novel, getting an agent, singing a publishing contract, and everything in between. Well, probably not everything. :)

I'll be posting every other day this week and I'll try to keep each day of answers on a similar type of topic.

Sarah Sundin is the author of the Wings of Glory Series, a three book series following the three Novak brothers in their service to their country during WWII. Recently, she signed another three book deal with Revell for a series about flight nurses during WWII.

 Welcome Sarah! Now, lets get started.

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
January 6, 2000. How’s that for exact? Although I always read voraciously, I didn’t consider a writing career. Instead I chose a practical career in pharmacy which allowed me to work on-call and stay home with our three children. Then in 2000, I had a dream with such intriguing characters that I felt compelled to write their story. That first novel will never be published, nor should it, but it got me started.

I know your journey to becoming an author was a relatively winding one. Can you give us a brief description of what that road looked like for you?
Brief description? Try. Fail. Repeat. A slightly less brief description? My first two bad novels got me started. I began attending a critique group and writers’ conferences and reading books on writing craft. In 2003 I first submitted A Distant Melody at Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference. I received good feedback from authors, editors, and agents—and began accumulating a stack of “good” rejection letters. They liked my writing, my story, and my characters—however, historicals weren’t selling. I often felt discouraged, but the Lord made it obvious that He wanted me to finish the trilogy, so I kept plugging away. Then at Mount Hermon in 2008, everyone wanted historicals. And there I was with my trilogy close to complete. I submitted to Vicki Crumpton at Revell and was offered a three-book contract later that year.

 Wow, your story can remind us that perseverance is key. Speaking of perseverance, how many query letters did you send out before the first call or offer?
About twenty. Most were submissions at writers’ conferences rather than mail or email query letters. In addition, I probably made three times as many pitches at writers’ conferences to editors or agents who weren’t interested.

Thank you so  much for stopping by and giving us a peak into your road to publication! I look forward to our Wednesday discussion: editing! 

What do you think blog-world friends? Did any of her answers inspire you? Surprise you?   


  1. Great interview! And yes, perseverance is key to success!

  2. Thanks! Ah, I'm trying to muster up my own bag of perseverance right now. :)

  3. Alison - I think you're so right. I've seen many writers more talented than I am just give up. I've heard the publishing industry described as an endurance race :)

    Rachel - I think you've got it!