Author Interview with Sarah Hamaker


Introducing Sarah!

Sarah Hamaker loves writing books “where the hero and heroine fall in love while running for their lives.” She’s written romantic suspense novels and nonfiction books, as well as stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes. As a writers coach, her heart is encouraging writers. She’s a member of ACFW; ACFW Virginia Chapter; and Faith, Hope and Love, as well as the president of Capital Christian Writers Fellowship. Her podcast, “The Romantic Side of Suspense,” can be found wherever you listen to podcasts. Sarah lives in Virginia with her husband, four teenagers, a preschool foster child and three cats. Visit her online at

Social Media Links:
Twitter: @sarah_hamaker
Amazon Author Page:

Interview with Sarah

Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.
My first job was delivering the local afternoon newspaper in my neighborhood, a job I held from seventh grade through twelfth grade. I rode my bike and slung the rolled newspapers onto porches—hardly ever hit a screen door! One of my customers thought it was so great that her paper “boy” was a girl!

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes! I’ve been writing since I was a child (and have the scribblings in a notebook to prove it!). As a teen, I finaled in a short-story contest, and continued writing throughout college and as a working single. But I didn’t buckle down and get serious about finishing a novel until after I was married with a couple of kids. Working from home as a freelance writer meant I could organize my day to get more fiction writing done. A couple of years ago, I rearranged my schedule to spend the first part of my day writing—before I checked email or did anything else, I wrote. That has meant I’ve been able to write faster and therefore complete more books.

What has been your favorite part of the publishing journey?
Last fall, I was asked at a craft fair where I was hawking my books what my favorite part of being an author was—it’s seeing my name on the cover of a book (still gives me goosebumps!) and signing my books for a reader. Both of those things give me a thrill. I know, kind of silly, but there you have it.

What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
The plot, and by that I mean the kernel of the idea. From there, I think about my two main characters and flesh them out a little bit before starting the book. I don’t do a lot of plotting before I start because the story unfolds as I write, but I have the basic idea of where the story is going before I start.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
Balancing the romance and the suspense! I usually focus on the suspense part in the first draft, then on my second pass, make sure I’ve layered in the romance as well. Getting the right mix of the two can be challenging but rewarding for the reader.

What was the highlight of writing this book?
I loved returning to Twin Oaks, Virginia, a fictious town I first introduced to readers in my Christmas novella, Mistletoe & Murder. It’s fun to create a small town, and I hope to use the setting in future romantic suspense books as well.

What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
Vanished Without a Trace is about a brother searching for his missing sister. The key theme is hope, and how difficult it can be to hang on to hope when circumstances dictate otherwise.

Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
I’m online at, where readers can find my latest books as well as latest podcast episodes of “The Romantic Side of Suspense.”

Any current or upcoming projects you’d like to tell us about?
I’m indie publishing my first romantic suspense trilogy this year called The Cold War Legacy. Each book in the trilogy has a tie to 1980s East Germany. These books explore how long the tenacles of the past can reach into the present. The Dark Guest, the first book, is out now, with The Dark Atonement coming out in the fall of 2022 and The Dark Reckoning in early 2023.

About The Book

Title: Vanished Without a Trace

Author: Sarah Hamaker

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publication date: June 28, 2022

Back Cover Blurb:

A missing person case. A new clue. And a fight for survival.

After nine years searching for his missing sister, attorney Henderson Parker uncovers a clue that leads him to Twin Oaks, Virginia—and podcaster Elle Updike investigating the case. Partnering with the journalist is the last thing Henderson wants, until mysterious thugs make multiple attacks on both their lives. Now they’ll have to trust each other…before the suspected kidnappers make them disappear for good.


Sarah has graciously agreed to giveaway two (2) print copies (US only) of Vanished Without a Trace. Comment below to enter. Giveaway ends July 4, 2022

5 thoughts on “Author Interview with Sarah Hamaker

  1. Roxanne C. says:

    I enjoyed the interview with Sarah, especially her process of focusing on the suspense first and then adding the romance. Vanished Without a Trace sounds like a book read to look forward to reading.


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