I am thrilled to have Sarah Sundin with us today. She is a fellow WWII fiction author (and a fellow labbie lover!) and I admire her work. She agreed to give us a glimpse into the WWII home front and into her life.
It certainly wasn’t easy. Not only were they worried about their men in the military, but they had to deal with shortages and rationing—metal and rubber products, coffee, sugar, canned goods, meat and cheese, and gasoline. My grandmother was unable to buy a washing machine, so she washed diapers by hand. Overall, the women got by with remarkable strength and little complaining.
2. How often might they expect to hear from a sweetheart serving overseas?
That depends on how often their sweetheart wrote, but most of the men wrote several letters a week. However, the delays in mail delivery made communication difficult. Letters could take 2-4 weeks to get overseas, and could take even longer if the man was on the front lines or if he served at sea.
3. What kinds of interesting things did women on the home front do to contribute to the cause?
The women all did their share. They served in the military themselves as nurses or in the WAAC (Army), WAVES (Navy), Lady Marines, or the SPARs (Coast Guard) in non-combat roles. They filled the jobs of drafted men in the factories, in businesses, and on the farms. And they were very active volunteers with civic and church groups. They bought war bonds and organized blood drives and knit socks for the soldiers and conducted scrap drives. Women on the Home Front definitely helped win the war.
4. Why did you pick WWII as the time period you wanted to write about?
It’s such a dramatic time period, filled with millions of intriguing stories. It was a time when ordinary men learned they could do extraordinary things, and when women explored new roles—while remaining ladies. I was always drawn to the era because of the stories my grandparents—and my parents—told. My parents were too young to really remember the war, but it greatly impacted their lives.
5. What profession were you part of before become a writer?
I was—and still am—a pharmacist. When growing up, it never really occurred to me to aim for a writing career. It seemed as probable as being a professional ballerina. Pharmacy drew me because of the ability to help people through science (which I loved), while keeping my hands clean. I’m a wimp.
6. What made you want to change careers?
I didn’t really change. I added. Once a week I work a shift in our local hospital pharmacy. However, I originally planned to work more hours when our children were older (they’re now in high school and college), but those extra work hours are now filled with writing.
Saying I was called to write sounds a bit presumptuous, but I can’t think of another way to say it. In 2000 I had a dream with such fascinating characters that I felt compelled to write their story. That book will never be published, nor should it be, but God used it to push me in a new direction. I’m thankful it’s a fun and exciting new direction.
Thank you, Sarah. Be sure to check out her newest book, With Every Letter. You won't be disappointed.