Monday, August 1, 2011
Sarah Sundin's "Blue Skies Tomorrow"
Title: Blue Skies Tomorrow
Cover blurb: Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit, but at least his stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life. As he courts Helen Carlisle, a young war widow and mother who conceals her pain under a frenzy of volunteer work, the sparks of their romance set a fire that flings them both into peril. After Ray leaves to fly a combat mission at the peak of the air war over Europe, Helen takes a job in a dangerous munitions yard and confronts an even graver menace in her own home. Will they find the courage to face their challenges? And can their young love survive until blue skies return?
Blue Skies Tomorrow is the third 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 stands alone.
1) How did this story come to you?
When I was researching A Distant Melody, the first book in the series, I grew to admire the US Eighth Air Force and decided to write a trilogy with a story for each brother. The oldest brother, Ray, is a true pastor with no inclination for combat. What would happen if he did fly a combat tour? And what could possibly induce him to volunteer? Also, young Helen Carlisle had been widowed in the first book, and I really wanted a happy ending for her. I mentally introduced her to Ray and the mutual attraction was strong. What I didn’t realize was how the romance would unearth something painful in Helen’s past.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I started writing in 2000 and churned out two awful contemporary romances. However, I learned through this process. In 2003 my critique partners said A Distant Melody was ready, so I submitted it at Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference. I then began accumulating a stack of “good” rejection letters. They liked my writing, story, and characters—however, historicals weren’t selling. This continued through 2007. I often felt discouraged, but the Lord made it obvious He wanted me to finish the trilogy, so I plugged away. In 2008, the market flipped and historicals were in demand. And my trilogy was close to complete. I submitted to Vicki Crumpton from Revell at Mount Hermon and was offered a three-book contract.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. I wrote the rough drafts for all three of these books longhand, curled up on my couch. I’ve skipped that step with my next series.
2. During summer breaks in college, I worked as a ride operator at Knott’s Berry Farm. I knew how to jump on and off of a moving merry-go-round. Don’t ask to see it now.
3. My least favorite subject in school? Creative writing. Go figure.
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I signed another three-book contract with Revell for a series that follows three World War II flight nurses in the Mediterranean Theater. I’m polishing the first book for its September 1 deadline (release date Fall 2012) and plotting out the second novel.
5) Parting comments?
Family stories from World War II fascinate me—combat, stateside, or Home Front. I’d love to hear yours!
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?