A Conversation with Sarah Sundin

INSPYs 2016-Sarah Sundin

Today, in the first of our 2016 shortlist author interviews, favorite historical fiction author, Sarah Sundin joins us. Author of multiple WWII series’, Sarah has established herself as a respected novelist. Her novel, Through Waters Deep (Revell) is on the 2016 shortlist in the Historical Romance category.

We chat with Sarah about what inspired Through Waters Deep, her favorite TV show (Editor’s Note: I totally understand this addiction), plus she gives us a sneak peek into what’s next!

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Book - Through Waters DeepBack on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them.Goodreads | Amazon

INSPYs: What inspired you to write Through Waters Deep?

I was fascinated by what was happening in the United States in 1941, while war was raging in Europe but America remained neutral. I was surprised to learn that US warships escorted Allied convoys in 1941, and that five American cargo ships and a US destroyer were sunk by U-boats—before Pearl Harbor! Meanwhile, Americans were bitterly divided between isolationism and interventionism, with many rumors of sabotage and espionage.

Sarah's 2015 research trip: a USS Cassin Young destroyer at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.

Sarah’s 2014 research trip: a USS Cassin Young destroyer at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.

In Through Waters Deep, Ensign Jim Avery serves on a US destroyer escorting convoys and fighting U-boats while the nation clings to neutrality. Meanwhile, Mary Stirling works as a secretary at the Boston Navy Yard. When evidence of sabotage surfaces, Jim and Mary work together to find the culprit…and their long-time friendship promises to blossom into something more.

INSPYs: Can you give us a sneak peak into what’s coming next?

The second book in the Waves of Freedom series, Anchor in the Storm, just released. For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. She loves the wartime challenges of her new job but spurns the attention of society boy Ens. Archer Vandenberg. As Arch’s destroyer battles U-boats along the East Coast, Lillian uncovers a black market drug ring. Arch and Lillian work together on the investigation, but can he ever earn her trust and affection?

I’m working on the edits for the third book, When Tides Turn, which will release in March 2017. It features the oldest Avery boy, Dan, and Mary and Lillian’s friend Quintessa Beaumont. It was a lot of fun to write!


  • What are you listening to?

Right now? Silence. I can’t listen to music when I work. I start humming or singing, and I want to get up and dance. Rather distracting. But in my car, I have big band music playing—Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Harry James—I love it all.

  • What are you watching?

I don’t control the remote in our house, so I catch up on my shows on Thursday nights when my husband’s at choir practice and our son’s at youth group. I’ve been super-busy this year and I’m so far behind. I’m only on Episode 6 of the final Downton Abbey season! Do NOT tell me how it ends.

Sarah Sundin TBR pile 2

  • What are you reading or what’s on your nightstand?

I just finished three wonderful novels. Karen Barnett’s Through the Shadows is set in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco, and it’s rich with history and character depth. Kara Isaac’s debut novel, Close to You, is a fun romance featuring a woman who leads Tolkien tours in New Zealand. And I read another debut, Jennifer Lamont Leo’s You’re the Cream in My Coffee for endorsement. It doesn’t come out until September, but keep your eyes open—a delightful story set in Chicago in the Roaring Twenties.

I also have a ton of research books on my pile, since I’m digging in to my new World War II series which follows three estranged brothers who fight on D-Day on the sea, in the air, and on the ground.

Thank you so much for joining us today, Sarah. It was a pleasure to talk with you, and learn more about the behind-the-scenes happenings of your writing.

MEET THE AUTHORSarah-Sundin-green-1-187x300

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of the Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, 2015, Anchor in the Storm, coming May 2016, When Tides Turn, coming March 2017), the Wings of the Nightingale series (With Every Letter, 2012, On Distant Shores, 2013, and In Perfect Time, 2014), and the Wings of Glory series (A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow). She also has a novella in the WWII Christmas collection Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook, 2014).

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California. She works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups.

Author Website | Facebook | Twitter


  • Staci

    It was not terribly shocking to see that Sarah likes big band music. 🙂 I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah last year. I’ve read all of her novels and Through Waters Deep is my favorite. I love the mystery piece that was added. Her upcoming D-Day series sounds AMAZING!

    • What a fun experience, Staci. Meeting Sarah in person would be lovely; she’s always a fun person to chat with. 🙂

  • Thank you, Staci! It was so nice meeting you and your daughter. I’m glad you’re enjoying the books!

  • Lynne M Feuerstein

    Thanks Sarah for this fun interview! Always enjoy learning more about you and your books! ( By the way, I love Big Bands,too! ) Thanks for your wonderful stories Sarah,I’m so glad I discovered them!!

    • Thank you, Lynne! I’m glad you enjoy the stories!