Friday, January 25, 2013

Penner's Spotlight - Sarah Sundin - England

Pens on a World Map
Penner's Spotlight

Penner: Sarah Sundin of California
Location: Bury St. Edmunds, England
Ten years ago, I received the best birthday present ever—a trip to England. Although I’m a lifelong Anglophile, I’d never had the opportunity.

When I started writing the Wings of Glory series, which follows three American B-17 pilots based in England in World War II, my desire to travel increased. Then my husband surprised me with two tickets to London—and babysitting from his parents. Oh, happiness!
Since my great-uncle served in the 94th Bombardment Group based in Bury St. Edmunds, I set the second two novels in my series there, and the town in Suffolk was high on my itinerary.

 We traveled to Bury St. Edmunds from London by train through gorgeous countryside, past farms and villages, over rolling green hills divided by hedges. From the Victorian train station, we walked downhill, tripping on the flagstone sidewalks, past rows of charming homes adorned with window boxes full of colorful flowers.

I had already imagined a crucial scene for A Memory Between Us in town, and ideas whirled in my mind as we explored. My husband loved the square Norman tower at the entrance to the Abbey gardens, complete with slits for arrows, and I was enchanted by the Abbey ruins, the clumps of ancient walls, the echoes of medieval monks, the scent of history—musty and stony and mossy.

While the Big Famous Sights in London thrilled me, our quiet day in Bury St. Edmunds was just as memorable—the small-town charm, lack of tourist trappings, and rich taste of history. Stepping off the beaten path can be delightful.

Have you visited a place you've read about or like Sarah wrote about? Have you enjoyed a trip to a English town or village? We'd love to hear about it. Please join the travel discussion below in the comment section.

Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every Letter, the first book in the Wings of the Nightingale series from Revell, and also the Wings of Glory series (A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow). In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn’t ferrying kids to tennis and karate, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school. Please visit her at

 Lt. Mellie Blake is a nurse serving in the 802nd Medical Squadron, Air Evacuation, Transport. As part of a morale building program, she reluctantly enters into an anonymous correspondence with Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer in the 908th Engineer Aviation Battalion in North Africa. As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other's true identity.

When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face to face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage to their past? And can they learn to trust God and embrace the gift of love he offers them? Combining excellent research and attention to detail with a flair for romance, Sarah Sundin brings to life the perilous challenges of WWII aviation, nursing, and true love.

Would you like to be featured on "Penner's Spotlight"? Here's how.

I'd love to see a glimpse of your travels. It doesn't matter if you write a few sentences or the full 300 words. It's about sharing part of our journey with each other. For more on what to do for a "Penner's Spotlight," visit the link below:


  1. Lovely! What fun to see the town where Ruth and Jack were. :)

  2. Kiersti - it was fun! We went not long after I'd had the inspiration for the story and had quick-written about 10 chapters, so I soaked it all in!

  3. Sarah, I can't wait to read your series. I am an Anglophile! I crave historical fiction that takes place in the U.K. Don't you love the villages and the history of it all? I love America and our history but our 'old' is about a week old compared to England!

    Part of my childhood was spent in northern California--San Joaquin Valley. But, that was about a hundred years ago!

    God bless.

  4. Sarah, You make me want to go there more than I already did! I feel that by reading your books, I can finally go! I'll have a cup of tea and some teacakes reserved for a long session of settling into your stories. It's nice to "meet" you.

  5. Carole - I do love the old villages. I generally dislike cities, but I could never get tired of London. And yes, as a lifelong Californian, I used to be impressed with 100-yr old buildings :) I could barely fathom standing in 1000-yr old cathedrals on my first trip to Europe.

    Denimandroses - ah, thanks :)