Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Espionage by A.L. Sowards

Welcome to Author A.L. Sowards

I was born in Atlanta, Georgia and grew up in Moses Lake, Washington. Then I came to Utah to attend school and ended up staying. Books have always been an important part of my life. I remember writing self-illustrated storybooks at my grandparent’s house when I was in elementary school (none of those made it to publication for many good reasons) and attending my first writer’s conference when I was in third grade.
Another big part of my early life was swimming. I swam for the Big Bend Manta Rays, the Moses Lake Manta Rays, Moses Lake High School, and Brigham Young University. In addition to swimming, I studied Political Science and English at BYU.
Now I’m a busy mom of twin toddlers. I still love to read and I also love to write. I’m usually reading a couple books at once and working on multiple writing projects too. Other than that, my life is pretty ordinary. I’m grateful for that. I’ll let the characters in my books have all the adventures.

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
For the first three: Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-badawi, Husayn Muhammad Al-umari, and Mohammed Ali Hamadei (currently the FBI’s top three most wanted terrorists). For the last two: two members of Navy Seal team six, so they could arrest them. Just doing my part for world peace. And trying to get out of cooking.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I’d like the ability to stop time for everyone but me. Then I could give myself a 30 hour day—complete with more writing time, more reading time, and a nap too!
Pet Peeves?
Historical fiction that gives credit for real actions to fictional people. I was reading a WWII novel once and I could tell the writer had read Band of Brothers, by Stephen Ambrose, and used it as background for one of the subplots. I could even tell which characters in the book were taking the place of which historical figures. It drove me crazy, and ruined the whole subplot in an otherwise well-written series.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I just submitted book two to the publisher. It involves several of the same characters as Espionage, but I’ve tried to write it as a stand-alone novel. Now I’m working on book three—about half-way through the first draft, but I don’t write chronologically, so more of the end is done than the beginning and middle.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
My cousin sent her husband to their local LDS bookstore to buy a copy of Espionage. When he got home, he told her that the clerk hadn’t been very helpful at all—because she was distracted, reading my book. Hearing that story made my day.
What is your dream cast for your book?
Peter Eddy: Charlie Cox (because I liked how he depicted being afraid and still doing what he needed to do in “Stardust”)
Jacques Olivier: Christian Bale (because I think he does a good job playing characters with conflicting emotions)
Genevieve Olivier: Emmy Rossum (because after seeing her in “Phantom of the Opera” I know she can sing really well)
Colonel McDougall: Sean Connery (since we’re dreaming, I’ll say a 1990-era Sean Connery)
Jean-Philippe Laurier: Jean Reno
Obersturmführer Prinz: Tom Felton (he plays Draco in the Harry Potter movies)
Music: John Williams, Howard Shore, or Hans Zimmerman
Director: Ryan Little (“Saints and Soldiers”) or Steven Spielberg
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes. It’s a coming-of-age story about an silversmith apprentice growing up in Boston just before and at the beginning of the American Revolution.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Keep working at it. If something doesn’t work out, revise your work and make it better. Try to increase your knowledge by reading books about writing, attending conferences, or joining a critique group.
What is your favorite Quote?
“If you fall, fall forward”. It’s by William Donovan, aka “Wild Bill” Donovan, the head of the US Office of Strategic Services (precursor for the CIA).
When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I wanted to be a mom and write books. Sometimes dreams come true!
Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is….
Saving Private Ryan. I know, it’s a movie not a book. But there should be a book, and I would like to have written it.
Print or Ebook?
I’m actually more into ebooks recently. That’s mostly because I’ve got twin toddlers, and they interrupt my reading  all the time. Having a smaller amount of text displayed makes it easier for me to find my spot again. I also like that I can hold it with one hand, and if I’m reading a book for research it’s easy to highlight or make notes.
Harry Potter or Twilight?
Harry Potter.
Favorite quote from a movie?
“Any problem on earth can be solved with the careful application of high explosives.” It’s from the movie “Valkyrie”. I don’t completely agree with the statement, but they were trying to assassinate Hitler, so I think they had a good point.

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. 

Giveaway Details
1 copy of Espionage
Open to US only
Ends 5/10/12

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