Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Explore Nashville Reconstruction: An interview with Tamera Alexander

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to my friend Tamera Alexander and her wonderful novel To Win Her Favor. Tamera is a USA Today bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, including the Christy Award, the RITA Award, the Carol Award, and Library Journal's top distinction among others. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband have returned to their native South and live in Nashville, where they enjoy spending time with their two grown children, and a twelve pound Silky Terrier named Jack.

I just finished this book (that releases today!) and it is wonderful. Read to the end for my review and to enter the giveaway. But first here's the first part of the interview with Tamera.

Welcome to PASTimes! Thanks for joining us and sharing a bit about your writing world. Congratulations on the release of your new book To Win Her Favor. Tell us a bit about it. 

Thanks for the invitation to be here. To Win Her Favor is a marriage of convenience story set at the lovely historic Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, Tennessee. The backdrop of the novel—Nashville’s history, the Belle Meade mansion, outbuildings of the estate, the family members, and most of the servants at Belle Meade—is taken directly from history. The basis for Cullen McGrath’s character is founded in the history of Irishmen who came to Nashville in the 1850-70s, and who faced very real prejudice from Nashville residents. Likewise, Maggie Linden’s character was inspired by accounts of women who were formerly landed gentry (from wealthy families who were major land owners) but who lost everything following the war and the changes that conflict brought. The rest of the details are filled in by asking myself the question writers constantly ask themselves, “What if…” 

How did you get the idea for To Win Her Favor and your Belle Meade novels? 

I knew the first time I stepped foot onto Belle Meade Plantation in 2007 that I wanted to write stories about the people who lived and died at this historic estate. The thoroughbred history drew me in big time, too. Ever heard of Secretariat? Or Enquirer? So many Kentucky Derby winners trace their lineage to thoroughbred champions that stood stud at Belle Meade in the 19th century. Grab a glass of sweet iced tea and join me on my Belle Meade Plantation novels page where I’ll take you on a tour of some of my favorite spots at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, Tennessee.

What drew you to write To Win Her Favor

As I read and researched for To Win Her Favor, I often found my own emotions stirred by real events that occurred in Nashville during Reconstruction. At times, the accounts were repugnant and heartbreaking. Yet at others, they were remarkably soul stirring with whispers of fresh hope. To Win Her Favor is definitely one of the more passionate stories I’ve written, and I don’t mean that solely in a romantic sense. From the start, this story was simply more evocative because it delves into the intimacies of a marriage of convenience, and also explores prejudice within a marriage—in addition to examining the prejudices between former slave owners and former slaves. Everyone was learning how to be with each other in that time period, learning where the new boundaries were, where everyone fit.

Folks, To Win Her Favor is a wonderful book. Tamera has volunteered to giveaway a copy of this book to one of our readers. Just enter the giveaway below. And be sure to return tomorrow for the rest of the interview!  a Rafflecopter giveaway

13 comments:

Patty said...

I would love to read Tamera's newest release! I love to visit historic homes, but it's been several years since I have done so.
I have been to Biltmore Estates in NC several times, it is very grand! I have been to several of our former president's homes in VA too.

pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

Pam K. said...

I'm not sure which historic home was the last I've visited. It may have been one of the castles in Germany. Castles seem so romantic but I found them to be cold and rather austere. Some rooms were grand and opulent, others were not. They certainly weren't cozy!
I really enjoyed the first book in the Belle Meade series (plus the Belmont Mansion books) so am looking forward to reading To Win Her Favor. Someday I'd love to visit both of these historic homes.

traveler said...

What a lovely post. I enjoy visiting historic homes. Fascinating and the history comes alive. We went to visit Monticello. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Deanne said...

The last historic place I visited was Gettysburg, PA . It is such a sacred places with all the lives given. I love Tamera's books because they are so rich in historical detail and that's o important to me. It shows the making of an author that cares to do research to make it " just right "

Deanne
Cnnamongirl(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to reading your books you are a new author for me.

Anonymous said...

kamundsen44@yahoo.com from comment above

Deanna Stevens said...

One of the last historic places I visited was a stage coach/ferry crossing in Nebr. I think the museum/station was so interesting. dkstevensneAToutlookDotcOM

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