Local Author Tamera Alexander Uses the Rich History of Middle Tennessee as the Backdrop for her Christian Novels
When Franklin resident Tamera Alexander was only 9 years old, she took a trip to Europe with her family. Even as a young girl, she couldn’t wait to take in all the sights and experiences that such a historically rich place had to offer. Now decades later, Tamera’s love of history has taken her down quite the adventurous path to becoming an author of historical fiction.
“Even then, I knew I loved history,” Tamera says of her childhood trip to Europe.
She was enthralled with the stories behind these famed places. As an avid reader, Tamera has always soaked up as much historical information and as many stories as possible. A lifelong fan of authors like Steven King and Dean Koontz, Tamera also loved to write as a young girl, but chose not to make a career out of writing—at least not in the beginning.
Tamera spent more than 20 years working in business and marketing, and her transition to becoming a career author wasn’t exactly planned.
“I was on a road trip with my family, and I had been reading a novel the entire trip,” she says.
When she finished the book, Tamera looked at her husband, Joe, and said, “I think I could write one of these books.”
“We’ve always been pretty competitive, so Joe responded with, ‘Well, why don’t you?’ and so began my days as an author,” Tamera says.
As a mom who still held a full-time job, she worked tirelessly from 9:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. most nights to create her first novel.
“If you really want to do something, you’ll get past all the excuses,” she says.
Even after her first novel was written, Tamera still fought to get past excuses—and countless other roadblocks. After submitting that first manuscript to a publishing company, the story was rejected. She didn’t stop trying, though, and she certainly didn’t stop writing new material. After multiple meetings with publishers ended with “not yet,” and a significant amount of time passed, Tamera’s first novel was finally published and released around the same time she moved to Nashville in 2007.
She had written several books about her former home state of Colorado, but when her husband’s work brought their family to middle Tennessee, she knew she would have even more history to explore and write about. She has since published 15 books in total, including two three-book series based on two of Nashville’s most beautiful historic places: the Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation.
“I’ve been so grateful for all the support from curators and historians at these places around Nashville,” Tamera says. “I write fictional stories, but I want the historical context to be as accurate as possible in my work.”
Tamera has finished her first two series on historical middle Tennessee landmarks, but she’s just launched the first book in a series that takes place at Franklin’s revered Carnton Plantation. Tamera’s book, Christmas at Carnton, was released in October—just in time for the holidays, of course! The novella tells a Civil War-era love story and serves as an introductory book to the three more books that will make up “The Carnton Novels“ series.
As for the other books in the series—which will be released in 2018 and 2019—Tamera says they will be like nothing she’s ever written before. These books will include characters who actually lived in the area—characters that still have descendants residing in the area. Tamera worked closely with David Doty, the great-great-great-great grandson of Civil War Capt. Roland Ward Jones. Jones’ real-life story of loss and love will be told in “The Carnton Novels,” and Tamera couldn’t be more excited to share these new books.
“I think it’s incredible that his family was willing to share their history with me,” Tamera says, adding that she even used letters written by Jones to make the stories told in her novels as historically accurate as possible.
Christmas at Carnton doesn’t yet focus on Jones’ life, but he is introduced as a character in her recently released holiday novella. With plenty of history of Carnton Plantation and the town of Franklin woven into a captivating story that shares the true meaning of Christmas, Tamera Alexander’s Christmas at Carnton is sure to become a favorite of readers in middle Tennessee and far beyond.
Christmas at Carnton is available for purchase at any major book retailer. To find out more about Franklin-based author Tamera Alexander and her books, visit her website, TameraAlexander.com.