Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Author Interview - Sarah Sundin - Part II

Welcome back to our interview with Sarah Sundin.

4. I'm always interested in how other writers research their settings and timeframes. We'd enjoy hearing about your methods.

I have to confess, I have over two hundred books and websites in my bibliography. Yes, that's sick. I started with basic texts on World War II, then got more detailed. Bibliographies are a great resource--when a book is mentioned in multiple bibliographies, it warrants attention. My local library can obtain any book in the county system free of charge, and can locate books nationwide for a nominal fee. They've found some obscure books for me.

The most challenging research was on how to fly a B-17. Since the heroes in this series are B-17 bomber pilots--but I'm not a pilot--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 rationing updates, to the weather, to fun little trivia, like how the PTA met at Mrs. So-and-So's house on D Street where they knit socks for soldiers.

5. Finally, when will your next book be launched? How long does it take you to write a book?

"A Memory Between Us" comes out in September 2010, and the third book in the series comes out in August 2011. Each book in the series took about two years to research, write, and edit.

Thank you, Sarah, for an excellent and informative interview.

Here's a question for our readers: What are some of your favorite research methods?

26 comments:

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Great interview! By far my most enjoyable research method is the personal interview, but I don't get to do that much. I also like attending classical music concerts. :-)

patti said...

oh, MYYY! And I thought MY research was demanding, Sarah!!!

Thanks for setting the standard, um...in the clouds??!!

Blessings, Susan and Sarah.

Jaime said...

to readers: DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET SARAH SUNDIN'S BOOKS - THEY ARE AWESOME

Research? I love persuing the Internet or finding old antique books and learning from the "era" in which I write.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rosslyn -

I also enjoy personal interviews. Rather than formal Q&A sessions, I like to keep it conversational. Listening to my mother and uncle reminisce about the old days made me smile. An eyewitness account of a time period provides a unique perspective.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Patti -

Not many people travel to China for their research. All of us can glean many research lessons from both you and Sarah. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jaime -

Thanks for giving readers a good word about Sarah's books. I can't wait to read her second book.

I also do a lot of Internet research. One of my settings is within driving distance. I make it a point to visit often and soak up the atmosphere. The other setting is much further away, so the Internet is a valuable resource.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sandra Heska King said...

Since a couple of my WIPs are based on family members, I've been hanging out on ancestry.com. But I think it'd be a great place to hang out for ideas in general.

I also spent time at a logging museum and took tons of photos. So glad my hubby is a patient man!

Loved this interview.

BTW - My 83-year-old dad got a surprise ride in a 1945 B-17 bomber in June. Cost my mom $425. He was giddy with joy!

Sharon Ball said...

Oh, Ladies, I have really enjoyed these interviews. It sounds like Sarah's research of flying bombers was quite involved. Research is actually a fun part of the writing process for me because I get to learn about new things.

Nancy said...

Thanks for the good interview. She certainly goes the extra mile in her research. I'm sure her book shows that love and attention. I enjoy this time period very much.

Diane said...

Love the cover. Very romantic and drawing the reader in. :O)

Karen Lange said...

Great interview! Sarah is such a treasure and so talented. Can't wait till the second book comes out:)
Blessings,
Karen

quietspirit said...

Susan:
The idea of having such a large research library to pull from amazes me.
Most of my research has been done via the internet.

Sarah Sundin said...

Rosslyn - I love talking to people from that generation - their stories are phenomenal and their character shines through.
Patti - sorry. But if Susan's right and you went to CHINA, you're setting your own high standards :)
Jaime - you always crack me up! And I also love vintage books, movies, newspapers - they give you the feel for the language and mores that a textbook lacks.
Sandra - I'm laughing at the image of a woman gaga at a logging museum! I'm the same way at aviation museums. I was ecstatic when I saw a German Me 262 at the Air & Space Museum in DC. My teen daughter? Appalled. I do dream of taking one of those B-17 flights myself, but balk at the price.
Sharon - I agree! I have to be careful because research can be a bit too fun.
Diane - Revell has a fantastic art department. I can't wait to see what they do for Book 3 (Blue Skies Tomorrow)! Should be coming soon....
Nancy & Karen - thanks!
Quietspirit - sigh. I just found out my library did away with the inter-library loan program. I'm going into withdrawals.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sandra -

What a neat gift for your Dad!

I never thought of ancestry.com for book research. Thanks for the tip.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sharon -

I'm glad you liked the interviews. I can't speak for Sarah, but I know I enjoyed getting to know her.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy -

Yes, Sarah made sure her book rang true. With so many from that era still with us, any inaccuracies would have raised a red flag.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

I also plan to read her second book. The blurb hooked me immediately.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

It's hard to imagine reading all those books. Perhaps Sarah can tell us how she managed that feat. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah -

Thanks for stopping by and joining in the fun. I appreciate all your hard work in making the interviews a rousing success.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Diane -

I loved the cover also. It reflects the time period so well.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

200? Wow. Sarah, you are amazing. I'm impressed with your thoroughness. I look forward to reading your next work.

My favorite reasearch method? It's a toss up between books and internet sites. But you must be careful on the net, to verify "facts."

Thanks, you two lovely ladies, for this interview.

Sarah Sundin said...

Susan - I started the research for this series late in 2001 - so those 200 books/websites were spread out over a long time period. However, many of them were dry 900-page tomes. "Medical Support of the Army Air Forces in World War II" anyone? Anyone? No? Dry, but chock full o' details that really helped me write about Ruth's experiences as a flight nurse. It's amazing what you can slog through when it's for a good reason :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

Yes, I think most of us were stunned at that number. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah -

Yup - eight or nine years. That's still a lot of reading. I average 55 books per year. The 900-page book would count as three books for me. Whew! You're amazing.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Stephen Tremp said...

Since I use actual restaurants and local bars in my books, I go there and eat off the menu and order a brew that the characters order in the book. Its a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

Stephen Tremp

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Stephen -

In my first book, "The Moses Conspiracy," I have my characters go to a bakery. It's one of my favorite places to visit when I'm in that area.

Blessings,
Susan :)