MOSES LAKE - Moses Lake High School graduate Amanda Sowards' World War II novel, "Espionage," was just released.
The former Moses Lake resident's first book details the wartime adventures of Peter Eddy - who is assigned the task of finding a double agent among three Allied contacts - and French Resistance leader Jacques Olivier.
Sowards, 31, now of Wasatch Front, Utah,. credits her former history teacher at Moses Lake High School, Brooke Frederick, for introducing her to the D-Day deception book "Fortitude South."
"He mentioned D-Day espionage schemes I thought were interesting and fascinating," Sowards said.
As a high school senior, she conducted research for a school project and went back and did an independent research project about D-Day espionage schemes.
She was later able to use some content she wrote as a high school student for the first chapter of her book. Sowards then worked on revisions, editing and more research.
She began searching for an agent or publisher in 2007 and received word from Covenant Communications it would publish her book in 2010.
"It was kind of a long journey," Sowards recalled. "It took a long time to get the first one out, but hopefully, the third and fourth ones will be quicker."
She explains the process of educating herself on writing stories helped greatly.
She wrote a second book, a sequel to "Espionage," and submitted it to her publisher. She expects it is available to readers soon, but doesn't have a release date yet.
She is now working on her third book, which is part of the "Espionage" series.
Sowards loves history and research and liked reading spy thrillers. In grade school, she wrote stories on the back of scrap paper and added artwork.
She later earned a political science major and an English minor at Brigham Young University.
"I've been writing stories for a long time, but most of the early ones weren't very good," Sowards said. "I've had a lot of support from my family, certainly teachers have helped encourage me to write and I continue to learn more."
She couldn't name a specific mentor, but acknowledges the support of her teachers and family members.
It was fun to have a lot of friends and family members attend her book signings and hear their encouraging words, she said.
Sowards still has connections in Moses Lake through her parents, Finley and Hilda Grant.
Sowards said she's been grateful for the support she received from Moses Lake friends.
"Even people I haven't seen for a while are supportive of me," Sowards said. "It is fun to have that support in Moses Lake."
Friends add messages on her blog and contact her on Facebook.
"They are always positive when they talk to me about it," she said. "It is nice to have that support and excitement. There is a lot of excitement with my family and friends for me and I appreciate that."
For more information, visit alsowards.com
The cover of "Espionage" by Amanda Sowards.