Monday, June 4, 2012

Interview with Historical Suspense Author Amanda Sowards

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 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.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for having me on your blog Linda!

Debra E. Marvin said...

Thanks Linda.
Your book sounds intriguing Amanda. I am a big fan of historical suspense. There just isn't enough of it for my tastes!

I'd like to be in the drawing. Thank you!

misskallie2000 said...

I love stories about WWII and this one has all the necessary ingredients for a great suspense. You are a new author for me Amanda and adding book to my wish list.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Charissa said...

Love how Amanda got her inspiration from a teacher's discussion in high school! We need more teachers like that to inspire kids! Fun interview.

tickmenot said...

I love things about WW II. I am already pulled into the story with the part of the book you posted. Please include me in the drawing.


Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a very interesting story. One that I would love to read.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Kat said...

I love historical fiction! Great interview. It makes me realize why I am a reader and not a writer. I have a hard time with nonfiction!

katsaddress AT gmail. DOT com

bn100 said...

I enjoyed the interview and finding out about the inspiration for the book. The book sounds fascinating.


cheralyn said...

Interesting interview! This book sounds great, I love historical suspense stories. I definitely want to read it! cheryllynne(at)rocketmail(dot)com

Mozi Esme said...

Sounds like an intriguing book about an exciting time period.

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Becky Isaac said...

I love things about WW II. I am already pulled into the story with the part of the book you posted. Please include me in the drawing.

Sandi Coughlin said...

This book sounds wonderful. I would like to win it.

Joyce Williams said...

Ooh, this sounds awesome!

JoyAnne11 at gmail dot com

G said...

g bailey
ceis8009 at yahoo dot com

G said...
ceis8009 at yahoo dot com

Amanda Stephan said...

This book sounds fantastic ~ thank you for hosting Amanda here, Linda. I enjoy finding new to me authors. WWII is one of my favorite times in history - I just can't seem to get enough. Thank you for the opportunity to win!

amanda38401 at gmail dot com

Lisa And Randy said...

I would love to have the opportunity to read this book, and would even post a review of it.
Thanks for the contest.

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Amanda Stephan! You are the winner of this awesome book. I know you'll enjoy it very much. Stay tuned for more giveaways each week.