Today we're thrilled to host Tasha Alexander on the site. Tasha is the author of the Lady Emily historical mystery series. Despite the focus of the series being around the cases Lady Emily finds herself involved with, there is also a strong romantic tie for Emily. Tasha is here to talk about that relationship and finding the precarious balance between “Will they” or “won't they?” Thanks, Tasha!
One of my earliest memories is of the moment I realized I knew how to read. My mother was reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods aloud to me and all of a sudden, as I was following along, I saw that I was further ahead of her on the page. You didn’t need a grown-up for books! From that instant, I greedily tore through everything I could: books, magazines, newspapers, cereal boxes, whatever was at hand. And like all of us possessed with the Insatiable Reader Gene, I soon started to discover what I liked best in books. I have always gravitated to historicals, and I like stories that include a strong relationship, particularly when that relationship develops over the course of a series. I tend to read quickly, and that means I finish books I love far too fast, so there’s little I love more than a long-running series. I want to keep revisiting characters I love.
When I started writing And Only to Deceive, the first book in the Emily series, I knew I wanted to give my heroine a love interest, someone who could match her intellect and wit, and who would appreciate the struggles of a woman who finds the bonds of Victorian society increasingly constricting. At the same time, I had to be true to the mores of the time—even an enlightened Victorian gentleman is still a Victorian gentleman. I also needed to have just the right balance when it came to Will They/Won’t They. We all like a little tug of war, so to speak, but it drives me crazy if it goes on for too long.
Over the course of the series, I have tried to depict a strong marriage, where the tension in the novels is not dependent on manufactured problems between the main characters. Good relationships don’t have to be boring—they can be unpredictable, challenging, and full of fire. For me, reading the latest book in a favorite series is like sitting down with old friends and catching up over a bottle of great wine. There’s comfort and familiarity, but always something new happening as well, that propels the narrative—and the relationship—along. If you love a series like I do, I hope you’ll give Emily a try. She’s rather fond of a bottle of great wine. Or, as you’ll find out if you read, port…
[Let's get reading then!]