A. L. Sowards is the author of multiple historical fiction novels, with settings spanning the globe from the fourteenth to twentieth centuries. Her stories have earned a Whitney Award, several Whitney Finalists positions, a Foreword Indies Finalists spot, and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal. She enjoys hiking and swimming, usually manages to keep up with the laundry, and loves it when someone else cooks dinner. She currently lives in the insanely beautiful state of Alaska with her husband, three children, and an ever-growing library.
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 for a few decades before moving to Alaska. 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. (I still hold MLHS’s school record for the 100 yard breaststroke.) In addition to swimming, I studied Political Science and English at BYU.
Now I’m a busy mom with three young children. 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.
I find great joy in being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can read more about my religious beliefs at ComeUntoChrist.org.
What you can expect from my books:
A little mystery, a little history, a little romance, and a lot of action, adventure, and suspense. Primarily, I write to entertain. I also hope my books will teach readers something new about history or about life. My novels usually take place during wartime, so there is some violence, but it’s not gory or excessive. I keep the language and romance family-friendly. I try to make my writing thrilling, clean, and uplifting.
Awards and Honors:
Before the Fortress Falls: Editors’ Choice Selection, Historical Novel Society.
Heirs of Falcon Point: Best Mystery Romance, 2021 Swoony Awards. 15th Annual Whitney Award finalist, General/Historical category. 2022 RONE finalist. 2021 Foreword INDIES finalist, War & Military category. 2022 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award finalist. 2022 Praiseworthy Awards finalist, Mystery/Suspense category.
Of Sword and Shadow: Gold medal in Christian Historical Fiction, Readers’ Favorite 2021 Book Awards. 15th Annual Whitney Award finalist, General/Historical category.
The Redgrave Murders: Recommended rating from The Historical Novel Society.
Defiance: 2017 Whitney Award finalist, Historical Fiction category.
The Rules in Rome: 2015 Whitney Award winner, Historical Fiction category.
Deadly Alliance: 2014 Whitney Award finalist, Historical Fiction category.
Espionage: 2012 Whitney Award finalist, Historical Fiction category.
If you’re still curious . . .
Still want to know more about me? Feel free to stalk my Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest pages. I’ve also done in-depth interviews with The Good Word Podcast (2013 and 2015), Tanya Parker Mills, Gobs and Gobs of Books, Joan Sowards, I Love to Read and Review Books, The Book Bug, Julie Coulter Bellon, The Bookish Owl, Writing Belle, The Write Chris, and I Am A Reader, Not a Writer (2012, 2013, and 2015).
I like your bio Amanda, very well done!
I’ve just finished Espionage and absolutely loved it. I couldn’t read fast enough and was so curious as to how it would end. I can’t wait to read Sworn Enemy and have already purchased it thru Amazon. That time in history is so fascinating – and so full of ‘ordinary’ people put in extraordinary situations.
Love your bio and especially the mention of Moses Lake and the Manta Rays (if you remember me it would be as Alicia’s Mom). So glad you are doing well, am proud of you and will continue to look forward to your books! They are great reads – keep it up!
Thank you so much for your note, Melodie! I’m so glad you enjoyed Espionage. I have fond memories of swimming–and of the poor swimmer moms we dragged all across the state for swim meets. I hope you and Alicia are doing well!
Cool! I don’t see a lot of Sowards who I’m not related to, especially within The Church.
I am curious how or if we are connected. However, I realize that a public comment thread like this is a creepy way of asking that information.
My mother is an LDS writer too. Check out her website:
Hi Von! I’ve met Joan. If I remember right, her husband and my father-in-law are second cousins.
Great bio…I like your posted goal. Great pic too!
I really enjoyed reading your bio and I love how you described your books. 🙂
Thanks Kelly! And thank you for joining my blog for an interview!
I just saw your book in the desert book and was curious where your husband’s family is from. My maiden name is Sowards and was just curious as “Sowards” is definately not a very common name. Thanks for your time and your book looks good!
Hi Jessica! My husband’s family is from the San Luis Valley in Colorado. I’ll email you more details. Thanks for stopping by the website!
My daughter just gave me your book, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet but I am looking forward to it. My mothers madien name is Sowards and came from Manassa, Colorado. Her fathers name was Harmon Sowards and they moved to Vernal, Utah.
I don’t know Harmon, but my husband’s family is from Manassa, so I bet we’re related somehow. It’s a small world, huh? I’m so glad your daughter bought you a copy of Espionage. Books make great gifts, right?
Hi, I am also looking for a couple with the last name Sowards. There names are William and Sheila Yvonne. I would imagine they are somewhere around 60. I know that they have lived in places like Ohio, Indiana, and California. It would change my husband’s life to learn anything about them. Have you ever heard the names? Thanks, Vickie
Vickie, I don’t know a William and Sheila Yvonne Sowards, but I’ll ask a few people and email you what I find out.
We enjoy our stories on CD during our commutes to work.
We have listened to Espionage several times now.
Do you know if you will be releasing Sworn Enemy on CD soon?
Hi Jody! Thank you for stopping by my website. Sworn Enemy is available on CD or as an MP3 download, and it’s read by Jason Tatom (the narrator for Espionage).
The CD version should be at most LDS bookstores. It’s a little harder to find online, but Deseret Book has it here: http://www.deseretbook.com/search/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=sworn+enemy&commit=#q=sworn%20enemy&page=1&sort=score&facets=
My 93 year old father, who is a voracious reader, just “discovered” your books and he’s loving them. He was interested that one of your characters had ties to Shelley, Idaho and was wondering if you also were familiar with that little town (near where he lives).
I’m glad your father is enjoying my books! I’ve never lived in Shelley–I’ve just driven past it a few times. I wanted my main character to be from a small farming town in potato country, because I grew up in potato country. But most people don’t realize eastern Washington grows so many potatoes, so I decided on Idaho. I met a few people from Shelley at BYU and it seemed like a good fit. Plus, it’s close to the Idaho Falls temple, which was finished just after the end of WWII.
I just picked up Deadly Alliance. I read your Author’s Notes and am very impressed with your research of Yugoslavia in WWII. I am just getting started reading the actual book and am looking forward to a very good read.
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Thank you, Rosalind! I hope you enjoy the book!
I just finished reading Espionage and loved it. Lots of great action and drama. I could totally envision the characters in my mind. It was hard for me to put down. You are very talented. Both of my grandfathers fought in WW2. My grandfather Tornow spoke fluent German and served in the US Army in Europe.
An intersesting person to study that many know little about, but was an interesting man was Frederick Babel. He was an LDS missionary before WW2 and as he served his mission in Berlin prior to WW2, he told me that he encountered Adolph Hitler riding a horse in the mornings around the town square in Berlin. The fuhrer would salute the LDS missionaries. (No, he did not teach Hitler the gospel). After the war, Brother Babel accompanied Elder Benson to Germany to give relief aid to the saints in Germany. He wrote a book titled “On Wings of Faith” about his experiences with Elder Benson. Many miracles happened during this post war mission. Just a suggestion.
I bought a couple more of your books to read and will recommend them to friends after I read them. My wife is going to read Espionage.
Keep brushing and flossing your teeth! See you at your next check up and cleaning.
Proud to be your dentist,
Dr. Mike Tornow
Thank you so much for your kind message! I’m so glad you enjoyed ESPIONAGE. Thank you for giving my stuff a try and thank you for recommending it to others–that makes such a difference for an author! I’m adding ON WINGS OF FAITH to my to-read list. It sounds like something I would love. See you soon when I bring the kids in for their check-ups!
Great books. I just finished the Spider and the Sparrow and loved it. Always love to find a good author and will now look for all your works. I now listen to all my books. It has made my daily household chores so much more enjoyable. I also decided to
Start doing crewel stitchery again to give me something to do after housework, gardening are done. I’m so addicted to listening to books. Keep yours coming.
Thank you so much, Tobi! I’m so glad you enjoyed The Spider and the Sparrow! I’ve been doing a lot more audiobooks in recent years–I like them when I’m driving or folding laundry. I’m glad I could help make your chores more enjoyable. 🙂 Way cool that you are doing crewel stitchery. Embroidery and audiobooks sound like a great combination!