Intersection Column | Forever Changed
by Tamera Alexander
The stories that have lived inside me the longest are often the most difficult to write, and A Million Little Choices was certainly that. Not only because of the subject matter—marriage and infidelity—but because these characters are all so real to me and the settings so tangible that “first words on the page” often felt frustratingly inadequate and thin compared to the living, breathing movie inside me.
A Million Little Choices is about two women from different centuries who live in the same house and who share strikingly similar journeys. The setting is Atlanta, where I was born and raised. Even the antebellum house depicted in the dual timeline story is personal.
When I was a preteen, we had youth group outings on Sunday nights. Following church, a few of us would often drive into Atlanta, and we’d sneak into an abandoned, boarded-up antebellum home. We’d wander around with flashlights, brushing aside cobwebs and trying to avoid plumes of dust. For me, it felt like walking through time, and I can still recall thinking about the people who’d lived in that house and wondering what their lives had been like. Experiences like that are where my love of history took deeper root. Yet the seed of that love was first planted when I was nine and on a trip to Germany.
Before you think it was a glamorous trip, know that there were eight of us packed into a VW Bug. My mom, brother, and grandmother sat in the back. My aunt and uncle were up front, and their two babies just floated from lap to lap. I sat in the cubby hole in the back as we chugged around Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
When we toured a 12th century castle on the Rhine River, something happened inside me. Feeling that cold stone wall beneath my hand as we descended into the belly of that castle changed me forever. Yet it wasn’t until nearly 35 years later that God revealed what He would do with the seed He planted that day. His timing is always perfect.
Since writing my first novel in 2004 and seeing it published in 2006, I’ve learned repeatedly that it’s truly not about me. God has taught me to write for an Audience of One. Don’t get me wrong, I truly hope my readers are swept away to a different time and place, that they feel all the emotions, that they take the journey with the characters. But ultimately? My deepest desire is for a reader to take a step closer to Christ, however the Holy Spirit leads them. Because it’s all about Him, not me.
Writing is a form of worship for me, a way to give back to Christ a portion of all He’s given me. Jesus used the power of story to convey unshakable eternal truths to His listeners, and I strive to follow in His steps as I write. While some people might not pick up a history book or a book about how to better their marriage, they’ll happily pick up a novel. And through taking that journey, their lives can be forever changed. Not by a sermon but by a story.
I hope that proves true with A Million Little Choices.
About the Author
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!
About the Book
This Southern historical novel tells the story of two women from different centuries living in the same house who share strikingly similar journeys. 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.
Did You Know?
In the mountains, in the late 1800s, a promise was your word, your honor, your integrity.
Integrity meant a lot on the mountain. When folks had no control over the hardships or the things that happened, their integrity was something they could control. It was a choice they alone could maintain.
Honesty and integrity were the driving force for those who lived on the mountain. When you gave your word, you vowed your honesty, guaranteeing not to break the promise entrusted to you.
Faithfulness, honesty, and integrity went hand in hand in the lives of the mountain folks. They were faithful in their friendships—loyal to a fault. Still, these three qualities, these attributes, made them the men and women they were. Strong. Willing. They were determined and faithful. Their word was their bond.
In my latest novel, Minerva Jane Jenkins holds her dying husband in her arms and listens as he bids her to make a promise—one she didn’t want to make but does. Now at 94, bound by her promise, it leads her down a path of hard decisions. Decisions like, how long do you keep a promise, even if it’s detrimental to you—even if the one you promised is dead. To Minerva, the answer is the hardest simple thing in the world. You keep a promise to the grave...regardless.
-Cindy K. Sproles, This Is Where It Ends
Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore
“Bookstores, like libraries, have a unique smell. It's like the first day of school when all the textbooks are brand new. The smell of new books takes me back to my childhood.”
-Jane Daly, The Girl in the Cardboard Box