Saturday, June 23, 2007

Auther Interview with Tamera Alexander!


Tamera Alexander is the author of the Fountain Creek Chronicles, Rekindled, Revealed, and Remembered. I've read the first two books in this series, and I can honestly say, they are wonderful! I can't wait to read Remembered, a new June release. Please welcome, Tamera Alexander to our F.A.I.T.H. Blog!

Q. Tamera, how did you come up with the Fountain Creek series? Did you already have all three stories in mind or did they come later?

A. Rekindled, book 1 in the series, was inspired by the remnant of a dream. When I awakened all I could remember was a man coming home on horseback. He’d been gone for a long time and was apprehensive about his return. When he passed through town he saw a burial and wondered whose it was. When everyone left, he went over and knelt by the grave, looked at the wooden cross, and saw his own name. That was the inspiration for Rekindled. Revealed is the story of two characters from Rekindled that really captured my heart.

My motivation behind Remembered was a trip to Paris that my husband and I took in May 2006. I "met" Veronique Girard (figuratively, of course) in a cemetery in northern Paris, and as Joe and I strolled the old cobbled walkway of Cemetery Montmartre, this young woman (the daughter of a French Fur Trapper from the 1840s) came alive for me. And....the first scene in Remembered is set in that very cemetery.

I see stories in most everything around me -- news headlines, snatches of conversations I may overhear, scriptures that hit me in a new and fresh way, and in music. Just the other day I heard a new song from a favorite artist of mine (Alison Krauss) and it prompted me to thinking about a subplot that I could write into the book I'm working on now. You just never know where story ideas will spring from!

Q. Could you share some of your publication journey? How long have you been writing? Did you have an agent when you first sold?

A. The first novel I wrote in 1999 is one I targeted specifically for Bethany House and their historical line. It got to the final review board but then was ultimately “passed over” in early 2002. There were problems in that novel and in my writing that I needed to work on, so they were right to let that one slip through their fingers! After that experience, I realized that if I was going to have a good shot at this publishing thing, I needed to get serious about learning the craft and addressing the weaknesses in my writing.

I joined American Christian Fiction Writers (www.americanchristianfictionwriters.com), and began dissecting novels—books that I’d loved and read multiple times—with the goal of finding out what made them ‘tick’ for me. I prayed that God would bring people into my life who would help me become a better writer by telling me what I needed to change, how I needed to grow. And He did. I’m so thankful for those writing partnerships.

In 2005, I won a writing contest sponsored through ACFW in which the prize was a trip to Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference. I attended that year and met my agent, Deidre Knight. All part of God’s design!

Q. Do you think the market for historicals in CBA will grow? What are some of the trends you’re noticing right now?

A. There’s a market for historicals in the CBA, there’s no doubt about that. Walk into any CBA bookstore or B&N religious section and a quick look at the shelves will tell you there’s a market. While I can’t predict the future, I do believe it’s bright for historicals.

We’re seeing more ‘chick lit’ type of historicals in this current market. Humorous characters and settings, more lighthearted than perhaps some of the traditional historicals have been. It’s a great time to be writing!

Q. What did you do before you became a published author? Did you pursue a different career? Enjoy a few hobbies?

A. My degree is in business marketing and I worked in that field in various capacities for years. I did lots of things before writing—owned a travel agency, worked in the administrative side of the broadcasting industry, and worked in higher education in the psychology area to name a few. God is now using those experiences in my writing. He never wastes a thing!

Q. God prepares us to arrive at places in our lives before we get there. Looking back, how did He prepare you for where you are today?

A. Amen to God’s master plan! I wanted to write stories since I was young but something happened when I was a teen that discouraged me from following that dream, and I put that dream away. God just recently unearthed that desire again. He dusted off a discarded dream and set me on this path, and I’m so thankful he did. However, I could never have written my first book, Rekindled, without many years of life and marriage ‘under my belt’. So…his timing was perfect, as always!

Q. When are you most inspired to write?

A. If I waited for inspiration, I’m not sure I’d be a writer! Life has so many demands that call me away from writing. So I’d have to say that when I have a deadline…that’s quite inspiring! To help set the mood to write, I’ll journal about my characters and their personal lives, brainstorm scenes with other writers and I always have some type of instrumental music on in the background. That helps my thoughts flow.

Q. What do you want readers to remember most about you as a writer?

A. I’d be fine if they didn’t necessarily remember ‘me’ at all, as long as what I write draws them closer to Christ in some way. I take steps closer to him when I write, and I pray that readers will do the same when they read.

Q. What do you do for fun when you’re not writing?

A. I love to hike and now that we live in Tennessee there are beautiful rolling, wooded hills all around us. So every chance I have I head out and explore my new surroundings. Just a few nights ago my husband and I happened upon a pre-Civil War family burial place not far from our house, nestled beneath a massive old Oak tree. (I love visiting graveyards!!) I’m eager to research the families that lived in this area in the early 1800s and hopefully write their stories. I also enjoy watching movies, baking, and—of course—reading!

Q. What is your favorite book?

A. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It changed the way I view God and his love for me. Never before have I ever seen his unconditional love so clearly. Its story always sends me back to reading my Bible, which is a great source of strength and comfort and direction in my life.

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F.A.I.T.H. would like to thank Tamera Alexander for joining us. If you would like to learn more about Tamera and her books, please visit her website at http://www.tameraalexander.com/der.com/.

If you visited our blog, please feel free to leave a comment. Your name will go into a drawing and the winner will receive a free autographed book from Tamera.


10 comments:

  1. Thanks to Jenn and Tamara for this interview. I read Rekindled and loved it. I gave it to my daughter whose favorite pastime is not reading, but she read it quickly. I have the other two books, and can't wait to read them.
    Thank you Tamara for sharing your journey.

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  2. Great interview, ladies! Tammy, I just loved what you said about a deadline being inspiration! LOL Great insight.

    Thanks for sharing with us!

    Missy

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  3. Great interview. I, too, read Rekindled, bought Revealed and I thought I had Remembered on standby order at Amazon, I'll have to check on it. I didn't know it was out, yet.

    Tamera, you are reaching your goal. In Remembered, I really admire that Annabelle longs to rescue Sadie. It's what life is all about rescuing another and another and another.

    Thanks for bringing us such wonderful interviews and Christian literature.

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  4. I never read Christian fiction before, but I'm looking forward to it.

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  5. I loved Rekindled, and loved Revealed even more! Can't wait to read Remembered!

    Great interview, ladies!

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  6. To H. Taylor---
    Christian fiction is awesome!!
    Especially Tamara's.

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  7. I was very moved by Rekindled but haven't read either of the others. I just learned about this blog and would love to be entered in the drawing to win either of the other books in the series!

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  8. Hey Kathleen,
    I'm so glad you visited!
    Jenn, you did a great job interviewing. Tamera, thank you for some very helpful thoughts and answers. I am so glad you graced us here.
    Angie

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  9. Great interview on Tamera! She's a new-to-me author, and I'm really looking forward to reading her books. I've been hearing such great things about them.

    Susan

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  10. Hi Kathleen and Susan. Thanks for visiting. Come back and visit. We always have fun here. And Susan I think you are a good friend of Meg M.
    Kathleen, I met you at RWA last year through FHL.
    Glad to see you guys here!
    And again, Tamara, thanks for the awesome interview.

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