Welcome, Sarah! Tell us a little about yourself.
How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
I’ve been writing for ten years. My debut novel, A Distant Melody, released this month. A Memory Between Us, the second book in the Wings of Glory series, comes out September 2010, and the third book comes out Fall 2011.
If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in you books?
Ooh, the question I hated most when writing my query letters! I usually compare it to novels by Tricia Goyer, Lynn Austin, and Robin Lee Hatcher, because they also wrote stories set during World War II, with both action and romance as well as attention to historical detail. I think my writing is PG—plenty of kissing for romance fans, but not overly sensual. As a mother of a fourteen-year-old girl, I have no problem recommending it even for young teens.
In your own words tell us a little about A Distant Melody.
A Distant Melody is the first 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.
What made you want to write this story?
This story came out of a “what if” question in a contemporary novel I wrote (very badly). What if a man and woman met at an event, truly clicked, and parted before exchanging contact info? Wouldn’t it be romantic if he went through great effort to track her down? Obviously it wouldn’t work in a contemporary setting—he’d “Google” her—but it made a sweet premise for a historical. My husband and I watched a History Channel special on the US Eighth Air Force based in England which flew over Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, and I had my link. My great-uncle was a B-17 bomber pilot with the Eighth, so I had access to family stories plus his personal letters. My research fascinated me so much, the story expanded to become a trilogy, with each book focusing on one of three brothers.
What research did you have to do for this book?
As a reader, historical inaccuracies throw me out of the story, so I wanted my own novels to be as accurate as possible. I have to confess, I now have over two hundred books and websites in my bibliography. Yes, that’s sick. Since the heroes in this series are B-17 bomber pilots—but I’ve never flown a plane—I read a “How to Fly a Plane” book to get the basics, purchased copies of the actual B-17 pilot’s manual and the training film (pure gold!), and ran the flying scenes past a pilot friend. For home front information, I use everything from Top Ten lists, to fashion style guides, to the Time Capsule series with extracts from Time Magazine. Lately I’ve been poring over microfilm of my local newspaper for everything from the price of a dress, to rationing updates, to the weather. Plus fun little trivia, like how the PTA met at Mrs. So-and-So’s house on D Street where they knit socks for soldiers.
Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
That would be hard! Neither Allie nor Walt is considered good-looking—except in each other’s eyes—and almost all Hollywood types are gorgeous. I haven’t seen anyone who matches the characters in my mind—including the very cute cover models.
What are you working on now or going to write next?
Right now I’m doing publicity for A Distant Melody, going through Revell’s edits for A Memory Between Us, polishing Book 3 before I turn it in, and preparing a proposal for another series, which will follow three flight nurses during World War II. I’m doing the published author juggling act!
How can readers get in contact with you?
I love to hear from readers!
What are you currently reading?
I’m reading Abigail by Jill Eileen Smith in the Wives of King David series. I’m really enjoying it, but I’m so busy right now with my book release that I don’t have time to read. Grr.
Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
During summer breaks in college, I worked as a ride operator at Knott’s Berry Farm. I knew how to jump on and off a moving merry-go-round. Don’t ask to see it now.
What is your favorite birthday memory?
When I turned twenty-two, my husband and I had been dating just a few weeks. He took me out to dinner at the Charthouse in Sausalito, where we watched the sun set over the San Francisco Bay, and then he took me to the symphony. I think we beamed at each other the entire evening. I was tumbling in love with him.
Homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting—no nuts!
Most treasured birthday gift?
Another tough question! A meaningful gift I received a few years ago was my mother’s sapphire ring, which has been in the family for several generations. I love the heritage—plus blue’s my favorite color.
Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Hands down. Not only is she bright, strong, loyal, and a head-in-the-clouds reader—but she falls in love with Beast because of who he is, not what he looks like. Sigh. Now that’s romance.
What is/was this book’s release date?
March 1, 2010!
Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter of this book?
**USA residents only, please**
Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of A Distant Melody!
*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win).
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*If you want an extra entry, become one of my followers.
*The comment is mandatory. (Please, say in the comment if you are a follower!! It makes my job easier when you do.) You will not be entered unless you leave a comment. If you are already a follower, and then you leave a comment, you will still get two entries in the contest.
*The contest will run from today (March 23) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (March 25). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 26th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.
Good luck! Thanks for visiting.