Amanda Sowards grew up in Moses Lake, Washington, then moved to Utah to attend BYU and ended up staying. She is married and is the mother of two children. Her books contain elements of history, mystery, clean romance, and a lot of suspense.
Hello Amanda! Please tell us about your suspense novel, Espionage.
Thank you for having me on your blog, Linda! I’m excited to be here! Here’s the synopsis from the back cover: France, 1944: Nobody expects Peter Eddy to survive his first commando mission—to retrieve a code book stolen by the Nazis—so when he does come back alive, his success is rewarded with an even more daunting assignment. Partnered with French Resistance leader Jacques Olivier, Eddy must identify which of three Allied contacts in Calais is a double agent and use the traitor to help implement a strategic Allied diversion that might win the war. Eddy and Olivier secretly cross the English Channel to confront their suspects one at a time, but what appears to be a clean assignment soon turns disastrous, and a shocking betrayal leaves Eddy in the grip of the Gestapo. With the courageous aid of Olivier and his sister, Genevieve, Eddy evades his captors with a dangerous escape plan. But as the Allied invasion approaches, treachery in the least likely places leads to fresh graves in the bloodied European soil—and only the power of loyalty and love can transform tragic endings into new beginnings.
Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
It started in high school. We were studying WWII in our US history class, and my teacher told us about the D-day deception schemes the US and British used to make the Germans prepare for an invasion in the wrong place. I found it fascinating—it was just like something out of the Jack Higgins or Tom Clancy novels I loved at the time. Then the next year an English teacher assigned the class a creative project, so I wrote a short story. The short story (with lots of revisions) turned into chapter one of Espionage, and the D-day deception schemes ended up being important plot elements later in the story.
Your book sounds so intriguing to me. I absolutely love historical novels with a bit of romance. What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?
World War Two was huge, and it’s been very well documented, so I’ve read history books, memoirs, found information online, and spoken with people who lived through it. Some of the books I’ve read were wonderful, and a few were a little dry. I have a large shelf on goodreads.com devoted to WWII nonfiction, and it doesn’t even include all the obscure books I checked out from the BYU library and read just parts of.
I love to read books that have been so well researched. What does your family think about your writing?
My husband is very supportive and helpful. My twins (almost two) don’t have any idea what’s going on. I usually write when they’re asleep. My extended family has also been very supportive—some of my sisters have been test readers—and I think my grandparents have told almost as many people about my book as my publisher has.
Wow! I love it. Now that’s real support. Okay, it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.
I have twins. That’s not all that’s unusual, but it certainly changed my life! A few days before they were born, I went in for a routine doctor visit and one of the workers said something like “90% of women pregnant with twins would have given birth by now.” Not a great thing to tell someone that far along with twins, just in case you were wondering.
Haha. True. Thank you so much, Amanda, for this wonderful interview. I have learned a lot about you and have enjoyed talking with you.