Olivia: Can you tell me what first attracted you to the World War II ear?
Sarah: Besides the cute fashions and the men in uniform? The World War II era is full of stories, dramatic and touching and harrowing stories. This was a time when ordinary men learned they could do extraordinary things, and when women explored new roles—while remaining ladies.
Olivia: You mention the movie, The shop around the corner, with James Stewart. Was this the inspiration behind your newest book, With Every Letter?
Sarah: Oh yes. I’d seen and loved You’ve Got Mail for years, so of course I loved The Shop Around the Corner, which inspired the modern movie. And Jimmy Stewart is my all-time favorite actor. The concept of two people falling in love through anonymous letters seemed so romantic—connecting at the heart and soul level, unpolluted by looks and charm. And when they meet in person? Then what happens?
Olivia: I write historicals, so I have to ask, what are your preferred methods of research?
Sarah: I start off general, with books about the main topic, then get more detailed, driven by the story. Of course the internet is immensely valuable. So many primary source documents are available now on the web! I’ve also found some great sources for hard-to-find specialty books. Experts and other WWII buffs are extremely helpful. I even found a great contact on Twitter, of all places!
Olivia: Just one last question. What is your favorite era song?
Sarah: That’s hard to narrow down. I love Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, and so many more. For me, the song that’s most evocative of the era is Glenn Miller’s “A String of Pearls.”
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