Tammy and I met as workers at the book table at the very first ACFW conference in Kansas City in 2002. We both sold our first novels in 2006 and though I have a few more titles under my belt, Tammy has a few more industry awards. :) She and I refer to each other as “book table buddies.” Ah, the fond memories. It's an honor to present this interview with Tammy in an article format for you to learn more behind this beautiful woman I call a friend and colleague.
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USA Today bestselling author Tamera Alexander is an award-winning novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose have earned her devoted readers--and multiple industry awards. Among them, the Christy Award, the RITA Award, the Carol Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader's Choice Award, the Bookseller's Best Award, and the acclaimed Library Journal's Top Pick for Christian Fiction. Tamera also enjoys a devoted international following with her books being translated into German, Dutch, Turkish, and Polish.
After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband have returned to their native South and live in Nashville, Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time with their two grown children who live nearby, as well as a ten-pound silky terrier named Jack. When she writes, Tamera takes steps closer to Christ, and it's her earnest desire that her readers will do the same, as they read.
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Known for her poise and grace, TAMERA ALEXANDER will be the first to tell you she’s anything but when spending time with writing friends and cutting loose. After all, where does poise come into play when you’re banned on Facebook for too much chatter?
Yes, it’s true, Tammy posted too many comments one day last Fall when she hosted the first Book Banter on Bethany House’s Facebook page. As a result, she was banned for “over-commenting.”
“Can you imagine? Banning me from talking?”
It all worked out, though. With a little duct tape and some time off, Tammy was back to her usual graceful self, ready to return to her full-time job of writing.
She wrote her first book, Rekindled, in 2004, and it was published in 2006. Since then, she’s written nine novels: seven Colorado historicals and two Southern historicals crafted around the history of antebellum mansions that still stand today. But even with nine novels under her belt, one thing that surprises her most about the publishing industry is getting that next novel done.
“Writing each book only gets harder. Not easier. The first draft is killer for me. I love rewrites and edits, but that blinking cursor on the empty screen is not my friend. I have a very harsh internal editor that I struggle to squelch as I write. (Peanut M&Ms are particularly useful in that regard.) Brainstorming is a passion! I love to plot a story and think of all the 'what ifs.' That’s one of the most enjoyable parts about writing. That, and ‘having written’."
Once Tammy gets going, though, she presses forward toward that goal of reaching “the end.” Armed with one of her favorite Bible verses (Hebrews 11:1), she takes inspiration from knowing her quest is not one of her own making.
“It’s all about Him. Not about me. I’m to run the race He’s set before me. His race, not mine. For His glory, not mine. That’s so freeing!”
Success in this race requires a lot more than skill, personal connections, and readers who love your books. It also takes a willingness to put God’s agenda above your own, and to walk in both humility and contentment, wherever you are on the journey. That is something Tammy prays for daily.
Come back tomorrow to read what matters most to Tamera.