I’m so happy to share with you my Q&A session with Sarah Sundin, author of Anchor in the Storm (See that book review here) I sat down and emailed her four qustion that I thought readers may be interested in learning about the book.
- What inspired you to write a Historical Christian Fiction set during the Pearl Harbor events of 1945 in 1942 after the events at Pearl Harbor?
It’s such a fascinating time period. Through Waters Deep, the first book in the Wave of Freedom series, was set in 1941 before Pearl Harbor—when America was deeply divided on whether we should enter the war or not. Pearl Harbor changed everything, and the United States truly become united. But the nation wasn’t completely ready for war and scrambled to catch up.
In the first six months of 1942, German U-boats came to the US East Coast and sank a hundred ships, sometimes in sight of land. It was a terrifying time as the Allies were losing on every front, but it was also an inspiring time as everyone pulled together and sowed the seeds of victory. That’s why I set Anchor in the Storm in Boston in 1942. Ensign Arch Vandenberg serves on a US destroyer fighting U-boats, while Lillian Avery works in a pharmacy, dealing with shortages and rationing.
- Who was your inspiration for Arch? Lillian?
No specific people. Arch was Jim Avery’s best friend in Through Waters Deep—a wealthy New England society boy to contrast with Jim’s down-to-earth, middle-class Midwest upbringing. I knew Arch didn’t want to be rich, but I didn’t know why, so I couldn’t wait to write his story and find out.
As a pharmacist myself, I always wanted to write about a female pharmacist in WWII. But in the 1940s, few women were pharmacists. I wondered what kind of woman would be drawn to a male-dominated profession. She’d have to be strong, determined, and independent. And maybe she was convinced no one would ever take care of her, so she’d have to take care of herself. And Lillian came to be.
- What made you consider giving the characters handicaps, such as Lillian’s prosthetic leg?
Our oldest son was born missing his left arm below the elbow, and he wears a prosthesis. An engineer and a black belt in karate, he’s never let anything get in his way. So I was eager to have a main character with a physical disability. Of course, since society was quite different in the 1940s, Lillian faced prejudices and difficulties my son hasn’t had to deal with—thank goodness! Her disability also gives her a reason to believe she’ll always be alone…and then she meets Arch…
- Did you have to do any research about the naval ships, battles, or locations mentioned in the book in order to give it more authenticity?
Oh yes. Lots of books and websites and primary documents to learn about the ships and the naval battles. I was able to take a research trip to Boston and to tour two WWII-era destroyers to get the feel for the settings.
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 Ensign Archer Vandenberg, even if Arch is her brother’s best friend. During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the US East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves—and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the prescriptions Lillian has received for unusually large quantities of sedatives? As Lillian and Arch work together to uncover a black market drug ring, Arch tries to earn Lillian’s trust and her affection. But can they overcome the dangers that face them from torpedoes, drug lords—and opened hearts?
Sarah Sundin is the author of eight historical novels, including Anchor in the Storm. Her novel Through Waters Deep was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. She also enjoys speaking for church, community, and writers’ groups. Please visit her at http://www.sarahsundin.com.
Thanks for stopping by today and stay tuned for my up coming review on A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell. DON’T FORGET to Follow my blog. My goal is to have 30 followers by the end of the year 2016. So far I have 10, so come on now, I know you enjoy reading my reviews. What are you waiting for?