Sunday, December 09, 2007

Author Tosca Lee - Free Book

I first heard about Tosca Lee and her book, Demon, when one of the women in the critique group that meets in my home told me I had to get her on my blog. So I contacted the literary PR company that is featuring her book. She was at the American Christian Fiction Writers national conference, but I didn't get to meet her. Being a wheelchair at that event limited my access to some places. I do, however, have a picture of her in my slide show of the conference on my other blog. Dawn Morton Nelson had my camera during the public book signing, and she got a picture with Tosca. I hope to meet her face to face at the next national conference. Until then, I have this interview with her.

Tosca, tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

My friends always say they can see a lot of me in my characters, which sort of freaks me out because, you know, one of my characters is a demon.

There are little bits and pieces of my characters that come from me or people in my life—observations, mannerisms, things they eat. A couple of Lucian’s guises are based on people in my life. My sister and I have a cameo in the story—did you see us?

I'll have to look for the two of you. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I entered a beauty pageant. I walked on a stage in a swimsuit and five-inch heels. And then I did it again.

I was in a beauty pageant when I was in college, so I understand. However, no five-inch heels. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

When I wrote an article on the death of my bulldog, Oliver, and it was published in a pet lover’s newsletter. I was in fourth grade.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I love reading about interesting women characters. From Margaret George’s Cleopatra character to Anita Diamant’s Dinah. I love Anne Rice. I love quirky Anne Lamott. I blog a lot of my travels as a consultant and because I love the format, Anthony Bourdain’s books (A Cook’s Tour, Kitchen Confidential) are a lot of fun. Steven Pressfield. He’s brilliant. I saw the movie “300” twice in the first two days it was out because of having read his Gates of Fire.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

My first novel was about the Stonehenge people of Salisbury Plain, England. It’s buried in a closet somewhere. It’s so embarrassing. And then I wrote a couple computer books in the early 90s when I was still writing on the staff of PC Novice (now Smart Computing) magazine.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?


How do you choose your characters’ names?

I go a lot by the way things sound—sentence rhythm, syntax, and name choice. A lot of times a character just sounds like that name to me. Whatever name comes to the tip of my tongue when I picture that person, that’s the name they get.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

I worked very hard at my marriage. I can honestly say I gave it everything. And though I got divorced last year, I’m proud to say I don’t look at those 14 years as lost or wasted. And I’m proud now of all the work I’m doing to become a stronger and more independent woman.

Good for you! If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

You know, they asked me this when I ran for Mrs. Nebraska in 1996. I said, “a lizard.” I think the only reason I said that is that I had a pet lizard at the time.

The real answer is that if I believed in reincarnation, I’m pretty sure I was a monkey in a former life. A very Curious George kind of monkey.

What is your favorite food?

Buttered movie popcorn with extra buttery topping.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Because of my work schedule and procrastination skills, my writing days are long and hard—often 12-14 hours. When I was writing Demon, my back hurt so bad sometimes I cried. I was always hungry but didn’t have time to cook.

I took 10 weeks off this summer to work on Havah: The Story of Eve. And invested in a new office chair. Right now I’m looking into the services of one of those chefs that makes meals that you can heat up later.

When I'm on deadline, my husband knows we'll be eating a lot of the gourmet frozen meals available. What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Make yourself finish. Done is better than perfect.

Excellent advice.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

About Demon: that you won’t see the world the same afterward.
About Havah: you’ll see Eve in a whole new light. Check out a sample on my website.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Drop me a note! Let me know what you think about my books. (Unless you don’t like them.)

Tosca, I've only heard raves about Demon. It's near the top of my to-be-read pile. I wil be reviewing it when I'm finished. Thank you for spending this time with us.

Readers, you won't want to miss a chance to win a free copy of Demon. Leave a comment on this interview.

And so you won't miss a single interview, sign up for FeedBlitz in the right hand column under my profile.

There's still time to leave comments on these interviews:

Lisa Harris - A Matter of Trust
Kristen Collier - Joy the Jellyfish


Stormi said...

This sounds lke a very interesting book and I would love to be entered into the contest.


Grace Bridges said...

I've been seeing comments about this book all over the place. Looks fascinating. Put me on the list!

Anonymous said...

I have seen this book on the shelf at work but I haven't had the time to check it out. Great Interview. Could you please put me in the drawing to win this book.

Anonymous said...

very interesting, pelase enter me, thanks!

Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

Interesting interview. Tosca, I met you at ACFW Conference. I had already read the book and I have to say it was one of the books that really stood out from my 2007 reading list. Powerful words to get readers to realize the love of God--and they come from a Demon's perspective. I gave the book away just last Friday to a dear friend. Can't wait to see what she thinks :)
Patricia PacJac Carroll

Janna said...

I have seen all kinds of comments about this book, but haven't gotten it yet - please enter me!


cathikin said...

I have also seen lots of really positive reviews about the book, and it's high on my wish list. Good interview; informative. I would love to win the book. Please put me in the drawing also.

Unknown said...

OMG I really really really want to read this one!!

Im blogging you now!

Tosca said...

Thank you, Lena, for the interview! We'll do a picture at next year's ACFW for sure. :)

Thank you, all who are posting, for your interest in the book. Please be sure to let me know what you think (even if you don't like it. ;).


Anonymous said...

I think it's enlightening to know that she wrote often 12-14 hours, even through horrible pain. How many of us are willing to follow God's calling even when it hurts? I'd like to see what her hours of hard work produced - please put me in the drawing for her free book. Thank you!

Be a Barnabas said...

This book came highly recommended to me. Tosca is a gem. It is the next book on my list to read and I can't wait to get to it!

Truckin' along with the Lord...

Dawn :o)

Anonymous said...

"Make yourself finish. Done is better than perfect."

Great advice. Perfectionism can stunt creativity. Someone said, "The best writing happens in the re-write." I couldn't agree more.

Amanda said...

Thanks for another great interview!
This book really sound good.

windycindy said...

"Happy Holidays! This lady and her books sound fascinating. Thanks for introducing me to her! Please enter me in the contest for one of her books. Thanks,Cindi

Candace Dempsey said...

What a fascinating interview. I hope Tosca has something nice to eat tonight, after all her hard work.

Please put me on the list.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I am reading Tosca's book right now. It is totally awesome. You'll want to plan on buying it if you don't win it. It's definitely a must read.

Anonymous said...

Wow! What an exotic looking woman - beautiful. Her book must be outstanding. I'd love to win it.


Dona Watson said...

Great interview! I've heard a lot about this book and am very interested to see it. Please enter my name i the drawing. Thanks.

dlwatson [at]verizon dot net

Bebemiqui said...

I would love to read this book.

bebemiqui82 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Christi S said...

Sounds very interesting!

Melissa Markham said...

Sounds like a very interesting book! Thanks for the offer!

Linda said...

Sounds like a great book. I've been having a difficult time finding a book to read lately so I'd love to give this one a whirl. Thanks for the op and please enter me in the drawing!

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book.


melodyrose said...

I love a book that changes how I see the world. Blessings! Melody

Bowen Family- Ashley said...

This was an interesting book.

blogged ya:

Anonymous said...

Oops! That was me. I didn't realize my daughter was still logged in on this computer.

Candes said...

I think it is cute that your personailty is showing up in your books. Never thought about that happening. But as they say, write what you know about. :)

kitty said...

I'd like to read this.

Unknown said...

would love to win this one for myself and my daughter
sounds wodnerful!

Rockin' Mama said...

interesting read...

kimmyl said...

Sounds like a great book. Please enter me in your contest.

CherryBlossomMJ said...

This sounds different from anything I've read so far. I'd love to read it. Please enter me. Thank you.

ChristyJan said...

Great interview. DEMON sounds like a fascinating read.

Stacey said...

please toss in my name.


Daniel said...

I've read Demon: A Memoir. Don't enter me in the contest, because I want someone who hasn't read it to win it, although I'll be buying and giving mulitple copies away, probably for the rest of my life.

Demon isn't just a great read. It is great literature. I'm not kidding. You'll be meditating on its ideas, characters, plot AND theology long after you put the book down.

It truly is tremendous. I wrote more about it at my blog if you need more reasons to hunt a copy down.

Pamela J said...

Please enter me in the drawing. I will look forward to reading it. A book that changes me in the way God desires is worth reading. Thank you.

purensimplenatural at gmail dot com

Rose McCauley said...

I've heard nothing but good things about this amazing book, so hope I win! rose

Carolynn said...

I've heard a lot about this book, would love to read it :)

Anonymous said...

sounds great!
Enter me!

Unknown said...

Love to win this book.

I'm also a movie popcorn lover, with lot's of butter. Thanks.

Thom Allen