Sarah Varland – Romantic Real Life & Character Interview – Part 1 of 1

Shannon here: Romantic Suspense author, Sarah Varland shares insight into her real life and her characters’ romance. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy of her latest release, Cold Case Witness. Deadline: May 14th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Sarah:

Sarah VarlandCold Case Witness by Sarah Varland

  • Where is the most romantic place you and your spouse have ever been?

Before we got married we sat on the edge of a mountain in north Georgia, with a ledge above us, and talked about any and everything while we looked out over the town where we were attending college as the day was ending. It may not be technically “romantic” since we weren’t even dating and nothing specifically romantic happened, but it was such a weird, cool moment when I felt like our hearts started to be drawn to each other, so it’s one of my top romantic moments of all time.

  • Do you and your spouse have a favorite romantic restaurant?

This one is just plain funny. Olive Garden is our favorite restaurant, and probably what we’d consider the most romantic. I know, I know. We’ve tried to be “real grownups” and go to fancier places, and while we do enjoy that occasionally, there’s just something about going back to our favorite place from college (which was when we were dating) that’s romantic and really fun for us.

  • How soon after meeting your spouse did you know he/she was the one?

Growing up I’d always loved “best friends falling in love” stories, and that’s really what we did. We were very close our freshman year of college, but he’d made a commitment to God, for various reasons, not to date anyone that year. We started out as people who just happened to have all our classes together (we think we must be romantically slow and maybe needed a very unsubtle hint to pay attention to each other?), then turned to friends, and then as we spent more time together, became best friends, started dating, and eventually fell in love and decided we wanted to get married. From when we met to the moment I was sure about him was probably two and a half years—somewhere in there.

Where did you and your spouse go for your honeymoon?

We rented a cabin in North Carolina, near Asheville. It was so fun to be in such a beautiful setting and be able to enjoy fun things together like hiking at Chimney Rock, exploring the Biltmore Estate, and eating some really good food both in Asheville, and in a little town called Hot Springs, which is on the Appalachian Trail.

  • Do your hero and heroine have a favorite song?

The song “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice describes Matt so well. I don’t know that they would think of it as “their song” but it does sum up so much of their relationship very well. I listened to it on repeat while I was writing their story.

  • Who is most romantic, your hero or your heroine?

I think Matt is probably the more romantic of the two. He’s had a crush on Gemma since they were in school, and he’s just pretty much adorably in love with her. I loved how invested in their relationship he was.

  • If you hero and heroine end up married, where will they go on their honeymoon?

Matt and Gemma are low key people. I’m thinking that it’s likely that they honeymooned the first several nights in Treasure Point, the town where they met and will live after they got married, and then spent a few nights in nearby Savannah at one of the gorgeous hotels there.

About Sarah: Sarah Varland lives in Alaska with her husband John, their two boys, and their dogs. Her passion for books comes from her mom, her love for suspense comes from her dad who has spent a career in law enforcement. Her love for romance comes from the relationship she has with her husband and from watching too many chick flicks. When she’s not writing, she’s often found, reading, baking, kayaking or hiking.

About the book – Cold Case Witness:

When her big-city dreams come crashing down, Gemma Phillips returns to her small hometown—and finds herself the target of a violent stalker. And her attacker may be linked to the robbery she witnessed years ago…a case reopened after the police discovered a body, supporting her claims of overhearing a murder.

Now there’s only one man who can save her: lawman Matt O’Dell. For Matt, solving this decades-old mystery will finally allow him to distance himself from his father’s criminal past. But Matt’s drive to close the case soon turns personal. He needs to guard his reputation…but first, he must protect the woman he’s just discovered he loves.

Question for Readers: In the story, Matt and Gemma don’t fully realize their feelings for each other until they’re adults. However, they were attracted to each other in high school. If they’d explored their feelings for each other then, do you think their relationship could have worked out? Or, in more general terms, is it possible to be truly in love in high school?

Come back May 5th for Stacy Monson!

10 Responses to “Sarah Varland – Romantic Real Life & Character Interview – Part 1 of 1”

  • Shelia Hall says:

    it is possible. my parents met in high school and were married for 56 years before their deaths

  • Jerusha Agen says:

    Great interview! Thanks for offering a giveaway! Cold Case witness sounds exciting, and I’d love to win a copy. To answer the question asked, I’ve known too many high school sweethearts who end up married to discount that possibility. I think the test of time into adulthood is needed to prove whether or not it’s just a passing high school crush or the real deal.

  • Anne Payne says:

    Wow. I haven’t heard of too many people who have been to Hot Springs! I grew up near there. High school romances…I know a few couples who dated then, married and are still married.

    Cold Case sounds good. Would love to read this book.

  • Connie Saunders says:

    I was a senior in high school and my husband was two years older when we started dating
    We married in December, 1968 and if God has it in His plan, we will celebrate our 48th anniversary on December 14. So, yes, I believe it is possible but I sometimes wonder if this generation has the mindset that says that marriage takes commitment, a lot of patience and forgiveness and having God in your lives and marriage!

  • I loved reading all the comments!! Y’all made some good points for high school sweethearts!!

  • High school sweetheart checking in. I met my husband when he came to my school. I was fourteen and he was sixteen. The first time I saw the new guy, I thought, I’m going to marry him. Based on total physical things – his Welcome Back Kotter John Travolta hair.

    He was instantly Mr. Popular and all the girls were nuts over him. It took half the school year for him to notice me–I was shy. But I won and once I got to know him, I realized we’d been raise with the same values and I loved his sense of humor. We were an item through the rest of high school. He’s the only one I ever dated and we got married a year after we graduated.

    People told me I’d regret not dating anyone else, but I never have. We’re going on 32 years. We still like and love each other. And he still makes me laugh.

  • Maryann says:

    Yes I do believe it is possible to be truly in love in high school. I married my high school sweetheart as did several of my friends. But in the culture today, I think people are more all about being friends.

  • Susieq says:

    For our generation, yes ..marrying your high school sweetheart is possible….but for today’s generation I think that would be very rare……it seems to me that today’s children are more immature than before…don’t know if it’s because of pop culture or are we doing too much for them and not allowing them to make their own mistakes? Thanks for the great interview and the giveaway.

  • Jerusha Agen says:

    What a sweet, true story of your own, Shannon! Thanks for sharing that. I’m glad you got the cute guy in the end. That must have taken some doing! 🙂

  • stvannatter says:

    I have a winner! Maryann won the drawing. I appreciate Sarah for being my guest and everyone else for stopping by 🙂

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