Talk about a gut punch.
Again, I’d heard of cancel culture, had read about it, had seen plenty of examples in the news. But admittedly, this blindsided me. Because Colors of Truth is about real history. It’s a continuation of the two previous books in the Carnton series (Christmas at Carnton and With This Pledge), which contain the same setting, same characters, same storyworld. And those books had been very well received by readers.
After considering my publisher’s requested changes, I found I simply could not make them in good conscience. First, because many of the suggestions were historically inaccurate, and historical accuracy is something I work very hard to maintain (especially since I work closely with the curators and historians at the Nashville plantations that serve as the backdrop for these Southern novels).
Secondly, to me, the concerns over offending readers stemmed from a misguided desire to "right" history by rewriting it, by altering the parts of America’s past that are especially painful or shameful. But to do such a thing would not only be untruthful, it would, in my opinion, greatly dishonor the real freedmen and freedwomen who struggled under and eventually triumphed over the scourge of slavery, one of the darkest sins of American history. I simply could not make the revisions to the novel and remain true to my personal convictions. So where did that leave us?
Colors of Truth—approved by the publisher in January, printed and ready to ship in June—was delayed, then ultimately cancelled in September, along with the third book in the Carnton series (that I’m currently writing). That certainly wasn’t the path to publication I’d envisioned for this story. But as we’ve seen over the course of this past year, life rarely turns out as planned, right?
Yet I still believed in this story, in the power of real history—both the honorable and the horrific—to transform lives. To change hearts and minds. So, thanks to options available to authors today, I formed my own press—Fountain Creek Press—and after a major four-week crash course in indie publishing, I published Colors of Truth myself.
Talk about a journey.
The theme of truth runs throughout this story. As does that of lies. Lies told to us. Lies we tell ourselves. Lies we tell others. Lies we even try to tell God (good luck with that last one!). We live in a time when integrity and truth are hard to come by. Major understatement, I realize. Telling the truth often comes at great cost. But through this experience I’ve learned, yet again, how very important it is to tell the truth. To live the truth. To stand firm on the truth. To not bend to cancel culture. And to trust, as I do, that Jesus has all of this firmly under his control. That he knows, he sees, and that he’s working through every trough and peak of this life for his glory and for my eternal good. Always.
Talk about empowering.
God met me on the pages of Colors of Truth and drew me closer to him through the characters’ struggles, and through my own struggles as this book found its way to publication. My deepest hope is that readers, too, are drawn closer to him as they read.
On November 12, Tamera Alexander was inducted into The Christy Award® Hall of Fame. Authors honored with four or more Christy Award® wins are inducted into the Hall of Fame, which recognizes their legacy and contributions to Christian fiction.
Tamera Alexander is the USA Today bestselling author of numerous books, including With This Pledge, A Lasting Impression, A Note Yet Unsung, To Whisper Her Name, and To Wager Her Heart.
Her richly drawn characters and thought-provoking plots have earned her devoted readers worldwide, as well as multiple industry awards.
These awards include the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Bookseller’s Best Award, and being listed among Publishers Weekly and Library Journal’s Top Inspirational Fiction, among others.
Tamera's books have been translated into numerous languages. She's toured Germany and The Netherlands meeting readers and cherishes those connections.
Visit Tamera at: https://tameraalexander.com/To learn more about Tamera Alexander read her article in this magazine. Click and scroll down to this cover.