Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tosca Lee Interview Part I and book drawing

When I read these few simple facts about Tosca Lee:

the critically-acclaimed author of Demon: A Memoir--Christy Award finalist and ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Silver Award winner--and Havah: The Story of Eve, which received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and 4.5 stars from Romantic Times. Both novels have been newly acquired by B&H Publishing Group for re-release Summer 2010. A former first runner-up to Mrs. United States, Tosca received her B.A. from Smith College in Massachusetts. She also studied at Oxford University. Tosca's highly-anticipated third novel, Iscariot, releases Fall of 2011,”

I thought, Yes, but this doesn’t tell us what rattles Tosca’s soul, what keeps her up at night writing stories about how demons operate and how God grieves over His lost creation, about Eve having a tiff with Adam that lasted three years, and her anguish over losing Cain. I don’t want to glimpse an image of this lady—I want to soak up the substance of her heart.

So I asked her for an interview. And she agreed. Which tells you something about her right there.

Jen: Tosca, I read where you stated you can’t not write, which is true for many of us. But I’d like to know what keeps you writing when your own personal demons whisper insidious lies in your ear. It must happen to you. How do you overcome those voices of despair?

Tosca: I don’t know. I really don’t. I can avoid writing, procrastinate, run from it… but I always go back in some form. I used to be a dancer. Writing feels like dancing to me, like a breath from the soul. Just as I can’t not worry, or can’t not muse or cry, I can’t not move. I can’t not breathe. I can’t not write.

Jen: I love that one of your hobbies is studying theology, but it’s apparent to me that you live out of Jesus’ heart. How did you become a Believer, and how do you keep your love for Him alive, when distractions press in?

Tosca: I became a Believer at the age of 11 when I realized that just believing in God isn’t enough (after all, demons believe in God). There was this Jesus, and he made everything right for me. But I’m still learning about what that means. I’m still discovering grace. It’s an immense concept for me for grasp, grace.

Loving God, for me, is filled with intermittent periods of doubt and amazement. Doubt that He could love me, or a kind of bland acceptance (yes, yes, Jesus loves me—I grew up in church, I sang the song)… to an amazement that God knows me. That God loves me… and may even like me. We all know God loves us. It’s what God does, right? But that He might really like us… What a concept.

For a chance to win a newly-released copy of Demon: A Memoir, which includes characters named after me and my husband—really!—please leave a comment for Tosca* and your email address at the end of this post. If you’d rather buy a copy of Demon or Havah, go to or

*I want comments on this post that I can forward to Tosca, to put in her “encouragement file” for days when she needs a soul battery charge.

You have until Saturday, August 7 at midnight to enter. I will draw a name on Sunday afternoon and post the winner then. Please return with us on Friday for the second part of this interview and another chance to win. See you then!

This just came in from Tosca:

Here's a quick update for your blog readers: Havah is free for a couple weeks as a B&N download and readable on most e-readers here:


  1. I will gladly encourage Tosca!! I've written her a personal email before to let her know how very much Havah touched my life and heart and deepened my faith. I'll say it again here. Every person reading this needs to hightail it to Borders or Amazon and get that book. Seriously. It's that good.

    As far as Demon - I keep meaning to get it, but haven't yet! I'm super stoked to read this book.

    Even if Tosca wasn't this amazing author, I'd still love her, because she gave me LOADS of help when I asked her for researching help for the novel I'm working on now, which is about a model. So thanks again Tosca, and I can't wait to read your other work!

  2. Tosca has encouraged me since the minute we met--four years ago, I believe.

    Um, what do I love about her?

    Writes like a hurricane's nipping at her heels, saying hurry, hurry, hurry!

    Sigh. It's been a hard couple of weeks for Christian fiction.
    Authors dropping out, mixed messages.

    May God bolster Tosca's faith in HIS stories. You know, that's what she's striving to do, folks, tell His stories!!!

    If you're not waving pom-poms and squeezing into that shrunken (surely) old uniform for Tosca, for thought-provoking yet transforming literature, do it NOW!!!

    Rah, Rah, Tosca!
    Sorry, but I couldn't find the white vinyl go-go boots.

  3. What cool interview questions & answers. I've seen Tosca around the Internet and each time I think, Now that sounds like an author who writes what I'd enjoy. You've just convinced me it is time to officially check out her work.

    Would be cool to meet both of you at ACFW (you ARE going! ;)

    ~ Wendy

  4. I should have mentioned it was Patti Lacy who first introduced me to Tosca and her work. In a Barnes and Noble, she lovingly took Demon off a shelf, saying, "This is my friend, Tosca, and Demon is an incredible book."

    She was right. I've not been the same since reading Demon. Tosca's gift for story-weaving and soul- shifting is like no other author I've read in my lifetime.

  5. Well, this was my first introduction to Tosca (I know - insert shocked gasp of offense here). But I'm anxious to check into her books. My first thought was she should go into modelling and skip writing altogether, but then, I think she picked the more rewarding of the two! :)


    Jeanette - your blog is so cool, btw! :)

  6. Love that she mentions that even the demons believe in Him. It is a relationship that needs cultivating. Love her open and honest heart and her search and desire to go deeper with Him! :O)

  7. I love her perspective on writing! It pours gasoline on my own fire. Definitely the kind of person I like to hang with.

  8. Jen & Tosca~ thank you! What a bold and beautiful introduction to Tosca's work. I have heard of Havah, and wanted to read it instantly. Now it's time to quit procastinating and get to it!

    Tosca I pray that you know what a pleasure it is to know that God's messages is still finding it's way to the masses. I have a heart to share His great love, and I can plainly see you do as well. God bless you always:)

  9. Jen & Tosca~ thank you! What a bold and beautiful introduction to Tosca's work. I have heard of Havah, and wanted to read it instantly. Now it's time to quit procastinating and get to it!

    Tosca I pray that you know what a pleasure it is to know that God's messages is still finding it's way to the masses. I have a heart to share His great love, and I can plainly see you do as well. God bless you always:)

  10. Tosca,
    I would like to say thank you for being the kind of writer and person who cares enough to respond back when someone asks you about your work. Thank you for loving the Lord the way you do and taking his mesages and writing about them. Blessings!

  11. Jen, I love this interview and announced it on Twitter. :)

  12. Jen:
    I am always looking for new authors to read. Thank you for sharing Tosca with us. It sounds like God is using her in a mighty way.

    Tosca: Please know God loves you.

    Please enter me in your drawing.

  13. You are all wonderful. Thank you for these kind words--I will rely on them often in months ahead as I work on Iscariot.

  14. Jeanette, that looks wonderful. I'm just now reading what she wrote about her next book. Whew, tough subjects, count me in.

  15. Jen, thank you for this interview. Tosca, you said, "Writing feels like dancing to me, like a breath from the soul." Beautifully said. Count me in for the drawing:

    Sweet blessings to you!
    Nan Jones

  16. Hi Jen -

    Wow! Terrific interview.

    Tosca's book, "Havah," dominated two full days of my life. She did an amazing job getting to the core of Eve.

    Please enter me in the drawing. susanjreinhardt (at) gmail (dot) com.

    Susan :)

  17. I count Tosca as one of my favorite authors. Havah blew me away. Not only was it breathtakingly well-written, but the way that she pulled together the narrative of the parts of Eve's life left off the pages of Scripture amazed me. It made me look at the story in Genesis in a whole new way.

    I could keep gushing here. Instead I'll go back to gushing to all my friends about this incredible author whose books they have to read. Go, Tosca, go! I can't wait to read Iscariot and Demon is at the top of my list of books to buy.

  18. I'll admit I hadn't heard of Tosca until Ted Dekker's announcement about his upcoming series that she is working on with him. I've followed Ted's work from almost the beginning, so his diving into an entire series with Tosca is, to me, a strong affirmation of her heart, her passion, and her work.

    I have been following Tosca on Facebook for awhile, and see a kindred spirit that isn't afraid of the tougher issues of faith. I love the periodic authorcam pics and the glimpses she shares with us of her life as a writer. I recently won a copy of Havah, and Tosca took the time to message me on FB. I really appreciated that small gesture.

    So now I'm trying to win a copy of Demon, too. My email is:

    Best regards,
    Laurie Piel

  19. Thanks for the interview. I'd love to read Tosca's book!

    See you in a month.

  20. Wonderful interview, thanks to both of your for sharing it! I haven't read any of Tosca's work, but look forward to it soon.
    Thanks and blessings,

  21. Wow! What a title. I want to read this book!

    And the interview was very inspiring. I'm glad you can't not write!


  22. I met Tosca earlier this year at Ted Dekker's Chicago Gathering. She is an insightful and gifted writer who creates riveting stories that will not let you go, and a genuinely warm and wonderful person. I can hardly wait to see what she will produce next!

  23. Am I the only guy who's reading this and wants to comment? I first heard of Tosca when Ted Dekker announced their collaboration, and while I don't necessarily subscribe to the "Any freind of Ted's is a freind of mine" theory, I did start looking into her and have been very intrigued by what I have seen. I haven't yet read one of her books, but I'm looking forward to it (when I finish another Ted/co-authored book).
    Also, as the father of two girls, with one on the way, who also can't stop myself from writing, I love finding strong models for my daughters. Both my girls are talented singers, but have been working on their own stories. My youngest (age 11) told me that one day she hopes to be like me and write about stories that talk of God. I encourage them to write, but seeing someone else who does it sometimes makes a bigger impact.

  24. I wish to get exposed to the work of such great writers. I am lucky already:)



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