Happy Birthday, Tasha Alexander, born 1 December 1969
- I spent years working a variety of soul-crushing jobs… (it’s very, very simple to come up with excuses not to write, isn’t it?). I had a moment in which I realised 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.
- Every single book I’ve read has inspired me in one way or another. Reading is a great motivator for writing, because there is a way in which writing is the ultimate form of reading. It’s the one time you can be guaranteed a novel turns out exactly the way you’d like it to.
- 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.
- I think our lives are no more or less simple than those of people in the past. The complications are just different now.
- Once you start writing, the book immediately loses all its shiny goodness. Instead of the theoretical perfection it was in your head, it becomes what every writer recognises—a first draft. From there comes revision (my favourite part), and finally, completion.
- Isn’t that one of the best things about books? We get to picture everything ourselves, instead of having it served up to us with no need for imagination. When we watch a movie based on a book and a character doesn’t look right, it bothers us.
- The publishing part can be incredibly frustrating, and much of it is completely beyond your control. You have to focus on the part you can control—the writing—or you’ll go crazy. It’s a pretty cool thing to be published, but not as cool as sitting down and writing a good story. That’s the most fun of all.
Tasha Alexander is an American author. She writes best-selling historical fiction, including the long-running Lady Emily Series and the novel Elizabeth: The Golden Age.
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