Monday, July 1, 2013

Interview: A.L. Sowards, author of Espionage and Sworn Enemy

Today we have author A.L. Sowards on the blog chatting about writing, World War II, and her new novel, Sworn Enemy!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Moses Lake, Washington, then came to Utah to attend Brigham Young University and somehow I’m still in Utah—more than a decade later. I have an amazing husband and twin daughters. I like to swim, I like to sleep, and I might have a chocolate problem.
I think I “suffer” from the same chocolate problem…*cough* What initially made you interested in writing historical fiction? Why WW2?
Some of my favorite books are historical fiction, and my parents had lots of Jack Higgins and Alistair MacLean novels in their library—they’ve both written WWII thrillers along with more contemporary stories. Those were what I liked to read, so that’s what I decided to write.
School also helped increase my interest in WWII. In sixth grade we did a special unit on WWII, and then in high school one of my history teachers taught us about Allied deceptions schemes leading up to D-day. Those schemes were the spark for my first novel, Espionage, and the more I study WWII, the more ideas I have and the more books I want to write.
I also feel WWII is an important time period for us to remember, so we can recognize warning signs of hate and totalitarianism and not let them take over half the world again.
I find it interesting how a lot of our adult interests were spawned in one of the places we hated most as children: school. What’s the most intriguing fact you’ve encountered while researching for your novels?
That’s a hard one. There were so many crazy things that happened, and some accounts honestly strain credibility—yet they really occurred.
Here’s one that comes to mind. A Spanish citizen, code named Garbo, didn’t like the Nazis, so he presented himself to the Germans as a spy, then passed off information about England that he gleaned from newspapers and books in the Lisbon library. He had offered to work for the British, and eventually they accepted him, moved him to England, and helped him come up with entire rings of fictitious spies, slipping the Germans facts that were too old or too minor to be of use, or deliberately false information. By war’s end, Garbo (whose real name was Juan Pujol Garcia) had been awarded a Member of the British Empire and the Iron Cross—probably the only person during the war to receive decorations from both the British and the Germans.
That’s so neat! As a mother, what’s some advice you can give to other mom writers/authors?
Being a mom and a writer is a tough balance. I think it’s important to set aside time every day (or at least every week) for writing, and try not to let other things encroach on it. For me, it’s “nap” time, which is turning into “quiet” time, even though some days it’s not so quiet. I try to make writing a priority, and I’ve given up or cut back on things like TV, movies, and other creative hobbies. I don’t even read as much as I’d like to, and most of the books I read are part of my research. I try to make my writing time more efficient by brainstorming the scenes I’ll work on before I sit down to type. I also try to remind myself that being a good mom is more important than writing during this phase of my life. My children need me now, and they’re growing up quickly. The characters in my books will still be waiting for me if I have to set them aside for a little while.
That’s great encouragement for other writer moms. What are you currently working on?
I’m writing another WWII thriller with new characters. It’s about two American spies in 1944 Rome, collecting information for the Allied armies, trying to avoid capture by the Gestapo, and trying not to fall in love with each other.
After this manuscript is completed, I think I’ll branch out to a different time period.
Can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with next! Thanks for chatting!
Sworn Enemy Book Blurb:
            As World War II rages, the people of Eastern Europe are hopelessly trapped between two formidable forces: Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union. In their midst, a band of heroes prepares for the changes the coming battles will bring.
            After narrowly escaping her Nazi captors, French Resistance worker Genevieve Olivier has fled to Allied territory with the help of American Lieutenant Peter Eddy. Their connection is undeniable, forged in the crucible of danger. But despite their blossoming feelings for each other, they must both finish the work they began . . .
            In the safety of England, Genevieve hopes to find purpose as a nurse—all the while unaware that the Gestapo still seeks the woman who slipped through their grasp. When she is called upon to resume a life of danger as a French spy, will her desire to prove herself be her downfall?
            Recruited by an elite special-ops team intent on thwarting the Nazis, Peter finds himself engaged in a personal battle as well—there is a traitor among his comrades. Deep in the Carpathian Mountains, Peter combats an unknown foe. The stakes are high as he fights to save the lives of his teammates.
            They are miles apart, yet as Genevieve and Peter fight for their own survival, they find a common well of strength in their faith—and their determination to be reunited.
Purchase links:
Amazon (Paperback or Kindle)
Deseret Book (Paperback, eBook, book on CD, or MP3 audio book)
About the author…
A.L. Sowards grew up in Moses Lake, Washington, then came to Utah to attend BYU and ended up staying. She wrote most of her latest release while her twin toddlers were sleeping and did most of the revisions while they were supposed to be sleeping, but were really using their crib mattresses as trampolines.
Social networking links:
Twitter: @ALSowards

1 comment :

  1. Thank you so much for including me on your blog, Shelby!


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