Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Interview with Sarah Varland

Congratulations on your first book, Treasure Point Secrets! I know it's exciting. Before we get into the book, though, tell everyone a little about yourself.

Let’s see…I live in Georgia so I’m definitely southern, but I lived in Alaska for nine years, so I consider myself an Alaskan too. I’m married to my favorite person to spend time with, have two adorable boys (who are 4 and 1 ½), and love being with my family. When I’m not writing I’m either reading, kayaking, baking, hiking, or possibly finally remembering to clean my house…

What has it been like for you as a newly published author, seeing your story come to life?

Oh, I don’t even know if I can explain it! First, though, the editing process was amazing and so hard and so wonderful. I had no idea how much an editor polished a story to really make it smooth and the best it could possibly be, but that was one of my favorite parts of the process, was seeing what the story turned into once someone with my editor’s skills worked on it. I also discovered how fun it was to help give ideas for the cover and how cool it was to see those ideas translated into the cover itself. The entire process has seriously been way more amazing than I’d realized it would be—truly above and beyond my dreams.

What was your inspiration for Treasure Point Secrets?

It was kind of a combination of a story I’d heard that got me thinking about bodies in a graveyard and why they were there and the character of Shiloh herself. Somehow she got in my head and I saw her in a square in Savannah and I knew she was running and I wanted to know why. Between wanting to find out why she was running and wanting to find out why several people were dead, I wrote the story to find out for myself.

Being a pastor's wife myself, I love the fact that Adam is a pastor. You did a great job showing the stress and expectations a pastor and his family deal with every day. How did your own experiences in the ministry inspire this?

Thankfully our congregation has been much sweeter than Adam’s. Haha. So the really negative issues he dealt with are based on things that I’ve known other people have had to deal with. But as far as my own experiences…I think what came through the most from me personal was this idea of what an ideal pastor’s wife should look like. In my head (before I was one) she was this perfect, soft-spoken woman who played the piano and did the children’s ministry and that was not me. At all. So I think I wrote Shiloh’s character to try to reconcile that in my head—that a pastor’s wife is someone who loves Jesus and marries a pastor. Not someone who necessarily fits any other role in a way people expect.

How much of yourself do you put into your characters and settings?

There’s a little of me in everyone heroine I’ve written so far, for sure. They’re not “me” exactly—in fact, some things they think or deal with are opposite of me—but there’s always an element of me in them that helps me identify with them and know them. The way Shiloh thinks, her temper, the way she hates storms, those are all things that were very, very easy for me to write. We’ll put it that way.

What's next for you?

I have another Love Inspired Suspense coming out in October. It’s called Tundra Threat and it’s set in Alaska, which is one of my favorite places in the world. I’m working on some other stories after that, but nothing is official there yet, so I’m just waiting to hear and having fun coming up with new ideas and seeing where those stories go.

Where can we find Treasure Point Secrets?

If you want to buy Treasure Point Secrets online, you can buy it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or you may be able to find it in your local Walmart (I even saw it at a grocery store the other day!!). I had so much fun writing it and I hope y’all have fun reading it.


  1. Great interview! As a fellow Georgian, lover of inspirational suspense and aspiring author, I am definitely going to have to get this book. I enjoy finding new authors and seeing how they pull a story together as well as supporting my local authors.

  2. Great interview! I enjoy reading Love Inspired Suspense!

  3. First, Amanda, welcome to Sleuths and Suspects, and a very good first interview.

    Sara, I'll be checking to see if I can get Treasure Point Secrets. I enjoyed the interview.