Tamera Alexander is the Christy Award–winning bestselling author of numerous books, including Colors of Truth, With This Pledge, A Lasting Impression, A Note Yet Unsung, To Whisper Her Name, and more. Her richly drawn characters and thought-provoking plots have earned her devoted readers worldwide. Tamera and her husband make their home in Nashville, where they enjoy life with their adult children and precious grandchild, who live nearby. Add two rambunctious but lovable Australian Terriers to the mix, and life is pretty full and rich!
In this interview, Tamera talks with us about there latest book, A Million Little Choices.
FF: What inspired this story?
Forty years of marriage and Matthew 5:28. Forty years of living with my husband has taught me a few things. Namely, that a healthy marriage takes work. If you’re not actively enriching your marriage, then you’re heedlessly cultivating its demise. A good marriage takes intentionality. It also builds hedges. Jesus says, “Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” In other words, adultery is first a heart issue. As Francine Rivers says in her endorsement of A Million Little Choices, “What we do with our minds and hearts matters—not just what we do with our bodies.”
FF: How does faith play a role in this story?
My faith in Christ informs everything I write, everything I do. So in this current culture, where hope is fragile and in short supply, I write through the lens of the only true source of eternal hope—not only for this life but also for the one to come.
FF: Describe the audience you envisioned while writing this book. Who do you think will enjoy it?
Foremost, I write for an Audience of One. I write to glorify the Lord Jesus. Beyond that, I simply tell the story. I don’t envision writing for women or men but for readers. Because my readership happily consists of both, which thrills me.
I often hear from readers about how they’ve read one of my novels with their spouse, which, reading a book with someone you love is a special kind of shared journey. I believe historical and contemporary readers (as well as lovers of romance and dual timelines) will greatly enjoy the characters and settings in A Million Little Choices.
FF: What messages or themes do you focus on in this story?
Themes grow as I tell a story. I never approach a novel with the goal of communicating a message. Because as I often say, if I want to hear a sermon, I’ll go to church! When I read, I want to be swept away into the story world, journey with the characters, and glean nuggets of insight and wisdom with them as they encounter trials and experience joys along the way.
FF: How does your book address the present needs of your audience and the challenges in our culture?
People need hope. Especially hurting people. In a culture where marital fidelity is viewed as outdated or simply optional, scores of hearts have been trampled and cast aside. But the pain of adultery isn’t reserved just for the “innocent” party. Partners who’ve strayed from their marriage vows carry deep wounds too. Thankfully, Jesus pursues us all.
FF: What do you hope readers will take from Claire and Charlotte’s stories?
I want readers to leave with hope, plain and simple. When they turn that final page, my wish is that they’ve taken a step closer to Christ in some way. Ever how he desires it.
FF: What did you hope to communicate about the issue of infidelity and its impact on a woman’s mental health and self-worth?
A person’s worth is not determined by the way they’ve been treated. It’s determined by the immutable truth that all human beings—from every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—are created in the image of the living God. So while the pain of adultery rips open hearts, lives, and families, there is healing and worth beyond that gut-wrenching pain, regardless of whether the marriage itself can be healed.
Jesus himself says that if infidelity tears at the fabric of a marriage, that union can be dissolved. And while I believe his ultimate desire is to heal and restore—to create all things new—he knows only too well what it means to have someone make a covenant with him and then not just break it but annihilate it. He understands the pain of infidelity and therefore offers healing, both for the one who chooses to recommit to the marriage and for the one who simply cannot.
FF: What do you find to be the most challenging part of the writing process? What advice would you offer young writers?
My interior editor is brutal. I try hard to shut her down and simply write, but it’s difficult. The advice I give young writers is to allow yourself to write badly so that, in rewriting, you can learn to write well. That’s far easier said than done.
FF: Which books and authors have shaped you most as a writer?
God’s Word has had more impact on my life and writing than any other book. At the outset of my writing career, he impressed 2 Samuel 24:24 on me big time. When Araunah offers to give King David the threshing floor and oxen free of charge (after David has sinned, and the people of Israel have paid the penalty), David refuses, saying, “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the LORD my God that have cost me nothing.” From the get-go, that’s been my prayer for my writing. That I would never offer a book to God that hasn’t cost me dearly. So far, we’re 19 for 19.
FF: Do you have any new writing projects coming down the pipeline?
Ever heard of Lynchburg, TN? What about Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House? Or perhaps Jack Daniel? Chances are pretty good you’ve at least heard about that last fellow (and his famous whiskey). I’m currently writing a turn-of-the-century novel filled with larger than life characters, most of them straight from the hallways of Lynchburg and Tennessee history.
A Million Little Choices
Focus on the Family
Release Date: November 7, 2023
Sometimes secrets just won’t stay hidden…
Now from USA Today bestselling author Tamera Alexander comes the story of two women from different centuries living in the same house who share strikingly similar journeys.
Claire Powell’s life is turned upside down when her beloved husband admits to a “near affair.” But when Stephen accepts a partnership with an Atlanta law firm without consulting her and buys a historic Southern home sight-unseen—it pushes their already-fractured marriage to the breaking point. Claire’s world spirals, and she soon finds herself in a marriage she no longer wants, in a house she never asked for.
In 1863, Charlotte Thursmann, pregnant and trapped in a marriage to an abusive husband, struggles to protect her unborn child and the enslaved members of her household. Desperate, she’s determined to right the evils her husband and others like him commit. But how can one woman put an end to such injustice? Especially if her husband makes good on his threat to kill her?
Both Claire and Charlotte discover truths about themselves they never realized, along with secrets long hidden that hold the power to bring God’s restoration—if only they choose to let it.
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