Friday, July 2, 2010

LETS CHAT FRIDAY with Sarah Sundin

Welcome to "Lets Chat Friday". Today I am so happy to have author Sarah Sundin come by to chat. I first met Sarah through her book, "Wings of Glory". Her writing style showed me much about Sarah, and one of those was her passion for writing detail and placing the reader right there in that moment where they escape into another time and place. That is a gift and one that Sarah beholds. She is not only a sweetheart, but she is funny as well. Thank you for stopping in to visit with Sarah. It is my hope that you my friends will be as blessed as I as Sarah reveals her passions and moments in life that have made her who she is.

(Robin) Sarah, tell me a little about yourself.
(Sarah) My first novel, A Distant Melody, was released in March 2010 by Revell. I live in northern California with my husband and three children. When I’m not ferrying kids to soccer and karate, I work on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teach Sunday school and women’s Bible studies.

(Robin) Since you have walked with the Lord has there been a time you struggled in your faith? If so, would you please share?
(Sarah) I’ve been a Christian since I was ten years old, so I’ve had plenty of struggles. The worst was during college, when I took what I called a “vacation from God.” I made some stupid mistakes and was miserable. I learned God’s rules are there for a reason, life is so much more peaceful and joyful with Him than without Him, and that He is faithful even when I’m not.

(Robin) Has there been an "aha" moment in your life that has changed your perspective?
(Sarah) In 2005, I had been writing for five years, but all doors to publication seemed closed and padlocked. No one wanted to buy historical fiction, I was accumulating “good” rejection letters, and I wondered whether I had heard God correctly. Was I meant to write? Was I wasting my time when I could be doing something more productive?
That year at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, I went for a morning walk under the redwoods and stopped to admire a little white flower. I praised God for the flower and felt touched—had He made that flower just so I would praise Him? Then I looked around me. Hundreds of redwoods covered the hills, and thousands more out of my vision, all surrounded by white blossoms. How many of those flowers would ever cause someone to stop and praise God? Were they created in vain? Did the Lord waste His time creating them? Of course not. God is a creative Being, and He made us in His creative image. In His mercy, the Lord showed me that even if my writing was never seen by another human being and never caused anyone to praise Him, I did the right thing obeying His call to write. I was not wasting my time.

(Robin) Do you have a favorite bible story, verse, song or hymn that gives encouragement when struggles come?
(Sarah) I leave that up to God. I’m always amazed how He sends just the right story, verse, or song at just the right moment to deal with whatever struggle I’m facing. To get my attention, He usually has to repeat the message. I’ve learned when the same theme pops up in multiple places, God might be saying something to me, and I should listen.

(Robin) What is one thing you look for in a close friend and what is one quality you hope others see in you?
(Sarah) I don’t know if I look for this quality, but most of my closest friends throughout my life seem to have it. I’m a people-pleaser, always afraid to say the wrong thing and hurt someone’s feelings—and my close friends tend to be blunt, speak-it-like-it-is people.
I hope my friends see kindness, compassion, and helpfulness in me.

(Robin) What are a few of your favorite books you have in your collection you would share with a friend?
(Sarah) Anything by Jane Austen and Maeve Binchy, and practically every Christian novel I’ve read recently. I’m so impressed by the quality of writing in the Christian market, the wide variety of genres and styles for every taste, and the heart for Christ in all these writers.

(Robin) When life seems to go crazy, what is one thing you do to bring comfort and peace?
(Sarah) Prayer, reading, and spending time with my friends. Sorry—that was three.

(Robin) What is one thing about yourself you admire?
(Sarah) Probably my perseverance. Of course the flip side of perseverance is stubbornness, so I have to be careful. When it’s applied to a godly goal, it’s perseverance, when it’s applied to something stupid, it’s stubbornness.

(Robin) What are a few of the things you love surrounding you?
(Sarah) Books—and I’m such a nerd, my favorites right now are my World War II research books. Artwork my family picked up on our travels—thanks to my husband’s frequent-flyer miles, we’ve been blessed with some wonderful trips. Family mementoes, like the porcelain bride and groom from the top of my grandparents’ 1940 wedding cake that look like the Campbell Soup Kids.

(Robin) What are your deepest passions?
(Sarah) Writing and teaching. Writing energizes me, and it’s so exciting when a story I’ve written touches someone. My primary spiritual gift is teaching, and I love helping others grow in their personal walks with Christ. Currently I teach Sunday school for fourth- and fifth-graders as well as women’s Bible studies. I think it’s important for a writer to stay grounded in their home church and give of themselves there.

(Robin) What is the best advice ever given to you?
(Sarah) To rise above my fears, step out in faith, and do what God had called me to do.

(Robin) In the legacy you leave, what is one thing you hope out shines before all others?
(Sarah) I hope people will be able to say they’re closer to the Lord because of something I’ve done, said, or written.

(Robin) What are you currently working on?
(Sarah) For my Wings of Glory series, I’m working on publicity for A Distant Melody, which came out in March, and for A Memory Between Us, which comes out in September. I’m finishing the final edit on Book Three before turning it in to Revell, and preparing a proposal for another series, also set during World War II.
(Robin) How do you define success?
(Sarah) Obedience to God’s will, whatever the results. Mother Teresa once said, “God doesn’t require us to succeed; He only requires that you try.” God has a different measure of success than the world does—He looks only at our faithfulness.

Sarah, what a pleasure getting to know you a bit more and allowing us to take a deeper look into your heart. It was an honor having you stop by my Nest. As a history lover, and a book geek, I think we would get along just fine. Your "aha" moment is beautiful. I love how you share in the fact you praised Him for the little flower, asking yourself, "Did He place it there for just you?" We have an awesome God who knows just what we need when we need it! I can't wait for "A Memory Between Us" to come out. I loved turning each page of "Wings of Glory". If you would like, leave a comment for Sarah, letting her know just how she blessed you today. If you would like to see more of Sarah and learn about all she is doing you can follow these links:


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