Grand Country Houses, Victorian England, Murder! Delicious! an Inteview with Tasha Alexander (part 2)

Tasha Alexander, best sellers, fiction, interviews
Burton Agnes Hall

Part 2…my Interview with Tasha Alexander

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing and for how long?

A. Writing a first draft is the most intense part of the process for me. When I’m doing research, kicking around or fleshing out plot ideas, or revising, I can interact with other people, run my household, etc. etc. But drafting is another story altogether. I have a daily word count goal when I’m drafting and will not stop until I have reached it. I get very focused on what I’m doing and am barely functional in other capacities. When I was in this mode last year, my son asked me to make him pancakes for lunch. I did. Unfortunately, however, instead of using the recipe I have made thousands of times, I randomly followed one on the opposite page of the cookbook, not realizing what I had done until I noticed the batter seemed weird. My head was completely in the book. We ordered pizza. Which just goes to prove that sometimes it’s better to let pizza boxes pile up than to try to cook.

Funnily enough, cooking is a huge part of my writing process—just earlier and later in the life of the book. It’s my favorite thing to do when I’ve got ideas percolating in the back of my brain. You think you’re browning meat for Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon, but all of a sudden you realize you’ve figured out some incredible detail that will bring your characters to life or solved a plot puzzle. Sometimes actively thinking about these things isn’t as effective as giving your mind space to work it out on its own, if that makes sense.

Tasha Alexander, best sellers, interviews
Author, Tasha Alexander at Haddon Hall

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

A. Just about ten years ago. I had spent years working a variety of soul-crushing jobs, all the while saying that I wanted to be a writer, until my son was born. At that point, it was easy to say I still wanted to be a writer but that I couldn’t right now because I had a baby (it’s very, very simple to come up with excuses not to write, isn’t it?). When he was three and a half, I had a moment in which I realized I was either going to have to stop saying I wanted to be a writer or I was going to have to write something. The next day I started work on what became my first book, And Only to Deceive.

Q. How long after that were you published?

A. I got an agent for the manuscript on St. Patrick’s Day in 2003 and spent a few months working on revisions. The book was ready to go in late October, but Anne (whose decisions are always, always sound) thought it would be best to wait to submit until after the holidays. So we went out in mid-January of 2004. The book sold

The ruins at Burton Agnes Hall,  Tasha and her handsome husband, author Andrew Grant
The ruins at Burton Agnes Hall, Tasha and her handsome husband, author Andrew Grant

in about two weeks, and was published in 2005.
DON’T MISS PART 3 of this fascinating interview with author, Tasha Alexander    See my Review of her latest release!

Tasha Alexander is the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Emily series and the novel ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE. She attended the University of Notre Dame, where she studied English and Medieval History. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She and her husband, novelist Andrew Grant, divide their time between Chicago and the UK.

DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   “The Writer’s Corner”

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and will feature an interview with one once a month . These authors have already responded and you can read their interviews by clicking on their name: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal,  Karen Robards, Mark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Tasha Alexander, Patrick Taylor, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Cathy Lamb, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Raymond Benson, Andrew Grant, Heidi Jon Schmidt, Robert McCammon, Sue Grafton, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  September will feature Tasha Alexander. Jeffrey Deaver is October’s author and Patrick Taylor will join us in November.  Slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter. Loretta Chase will be featured later this year. Raymond Benson is my January author.

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