Friday, August 6, 2010

Tosca Lee Interview Part 2 and Two-Book Giveaway!

We continue our interview today with the incomparable Tosca Lee, author of Demon: A Memoir and Havah: the Story of Eve.

Jen: Have any of your beliefs changed or been challenged as you researched your books?

Tosca: Yes. For me that is an intensely personal question, with an intensely personal answer. I won’t go into the details, but it boils down, again, to grace. To a life apart from the religiosity that is us, and to learning to truly embrace the grace that is God. I used to be extremely legalistic. I had a lot of answers. Today I have fewer answers. I know a lot less, and I have many more questions. And God amazes me more and more. It’s almost as though He was waiting for me to let go of my neatly packaged version of Him to reveal His wild self. God is a WILD God. We do ourselves—and Him—a great disservice when we think we’ve got our minds around I Am.

Jen: Please explain why you said the worst writing advice you’ve received is, “Write what you know.” Everyone tells us to write what we know. How can that be wrong?

Tosca: For me, writing what I know would limit me to tales of errand-running and laundry-folding, airplane-sleeping, and life-fretting. That’s what I know. What I don’t know, still, is how big God is. Is how great grace is. How someone goes on after the mistake of a lifetime. Why someone would betray his mentor and friend. What happens when we leave the safe mundane of our lives. Those are the things I write to learn.

Jen: Speaking of advice, we’d like some. What can you tell us that you wish someone had told you when you first began writing?

Tosca: Writing is hard. It is not glamorous. It is as difficult and dirty as blood-letting. You have to be honest. You have to weep and fear and kick. And come back again. It might be best not to write if you can help it. But if you can’t not do it… then write. Breathe your raw breath. Don’t make it perfect—just real.

Jen: Tosca, I so appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions. May the Lord richly bless your life as you write for Him, your Audience of ONE.

For a chance to win a newly-released copy of Demon: A Memoir, which includes characters named after me and my husband--no joke!--or Havah: the Story of Eve, please leave a comment for Tosca* and your email address at the end of this post. Please say which book you prefer. 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. That is why I'm requesting this as part of your entry.

You have until Saturday, August 7 at midnight to enter. I will draw a name on Sunday afternoon and post the winners then. Thanks for joining us!

News 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:

If any of your readers would like to read my devotion that ran today on Proverbs 31, it is here:


  1. You answered my prayer from this morning, Tosca. I was literally praying to God about this certain issue that bothers me/makes me uncomfortable and asking God for wisdom, for knowledge on how to wrap my mind around this issue. Then I read your answer to Jen's first question, and I'm reminded that I AM is so beyond me and that's exactly how I want it to be.

    Thanks. You inspire me to be more real and honest with my writing. To dig deeper.

  2. Hey, girl! Good to see you're still hanging around and not chasing some new story line.

    As you read this, Jen is not sitting by her computer, carefully managing these comments but off at some ranch???

    You inspire, Tosca. You too, Jen.


  3. I love how Tosca is asking questions. I think God wants that from us. Such a cool, cool interview.

    And about the conference, Jen...I wish I had wisdom to give. I love your idea of crashing and then writing a story about it. ;)

    ~ Wendy

  4. Hi Tosca and Jeanette! This is such a great post!! I like what you said about writing what you know... we need to write what we know and go beyond. Thank you!

  5. Love the revelation that God is a WILD God, just waiting for us to come adventuring with Him. Wow. THAT will carry me through the day!
    Thanks, Tosca, for such an honest, open interview, and Jeanette, for bringing us Tosca in a wonderfully personal way!

  6. God is Wild! I love that! He never ceases to push my views of Him to new ground. Thanks Tosca for a very real and helpful interview.

    God bless Ladies:)


  7. No, I'm still here Patti, for another week! The week I'm gone I'll have Rhonda Schrock and Tammy Barley hosting, with another book giveaway!


  8. Wow - thanks for your openness, Tosca. I love your honesty and I would be happy to have either of your books.

  9. Your description of writing should be in a book of quotes: "as difficult and dirty as blood-letting." It takes me back to my college days as an English major. It was easy to see the things in lit we were supposed to recognize, but writing about them was sometimes exhausting and isolating.

    Your books sound great, and I hope to read them. Great interview!

  10. I love to read how lives are changed as they grow in the Lord. Tosca, thank you for being open and transparent.

  11. Hi Jen & Tosca -

    This interview was as deep and thought-provoking as Tosca's books. She made me think about Adam and Eve in a new way. They had perfection here on earth, lost it, and ultimately returned to their Maker.

    Susan :)

  12. I just downloaded Havah! What a cool interview Jen! How lucky you are!!!!

  13. I just downloaded Havah! What a cool interview Jen! How lucky you are!!!!

  14. Enjoyed this, thanks to both of you.
    Blessings for your weekend,

  15. This was so enlightening! Thank you so much for sharing it with us :)


  16. Tosca and Jen, I LOVE the "wild God" part. Yes. He is. This is so exciting and reassuring, all at time same time. It's exciting because it means He can exceed all that I can ask or even think to ask. It's reassuring to think about how big and wild He is because if I could figure it all out, He wouldn't be God. I need Someone much bigger than me.

    Your take on writing what you don't know piqued my interest. I think you just tore up that part of the "Writing 101" handbook and tossed it out the window.

    Thank you for sharing, you two!


    P.S. - I'm interested in "Demon."


Oh, it's YOU! I'm so happy to see you here today, and look forward to reading your comments.