Tosca: Biography: (noun) The writing of a life
Tosca Lee is the multi award-winning, New York Times bestselling novelist of Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, and The Books of Mortals series (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign) with New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker. She is best known for her exploration of maligned characters, lyrical prose and meticulous research. Tosca received her B.A. in English and International Relations from Smith College and has also studied at Oxford University. A former first runner-up to Mrs. United States and lifelong world adventure-traveler, Tosca makes her home in the Midwest with her husband and four children.
Q: What is your writing day like?
A: When I’m working on a project, I’ll spend three to six months planning and researching and another three to six writing, depending on the topic. When I’m on deadline, I write up 20 hours a day, between 2,000 and 10,000 words a day. Between projects, I may go days without writing a thing. Weeks. Let’s just say routine is not one of my virtues.
Learn more about how Tosca writes HERE
Q: What is life like when you're not writing?
A: I sleep at night. And wash my hair. (Well, sometimes.) I travel. I obsessively catch up with all the people, cleaning, projects, e-mail, writing-related tasks and errands that went neglected while I was writing. But even then writing has a way of creeping in–particularly when I travel.
Q: Can you read my writing if I send it to you?
A: Unfortunately, probably not for reasons already backlogged on my to-do list. And I’m not sure you’d necessarily want my opinion as I’m not an editor. But I can refer you to the professional opinion of several editor friends.
On The Books
Q: How do you choose the stories you write?
A: They seem to choose me. By that I mean that they will not go away! Demon
came with such undeniable force that I set everything aside and wrote its first version in three months. Havah
came as an old woman’s voice to my inner ear. I transcribed it and set aside the page that would later become the prologue. Iscariot
was a suggestion from editor friend Jeff Gerke–one I immediately rejected. But then I couldn’t get it out of my mind! Six months later, I finally brought it up to my agent, hoping he would talk me out of it. He didn’t.
(For more on Tosca’s writing journey, be sure to sign up for her newsletter. You’ll receive a free behind-the-scenes look at the story behind each of her books to date.)
Hear more from Tosca HERE.
Q: About that pageant thing...
A: You know, that was one of those things where someone saying, “You should do that” opened a possibility to me that I would never have considered (or considered possible) before. Remember: I attended a very liberal women’s college! But it was a fascinating experience. And by doing it, I had the opportunity to represent local charities and lend the platform to numerous women’s causes, including breast cancer. I began public speaking that year, which has benefitted everything I’ve done since from consulting (I used to be a Senior Consultant with the Gallup Organization) to book publicity.
Q: Do you still model?
A: Modeling is something that came in my 30s as an off-shoot of the pageant experience. I haven’t done as much of late, though I still do the occasional job.
Q: Did you always want to be a writer?
A: I was a ballet dancer first. And that was my path until height and injuries conspired against me. Despite the fact that I won writing contests in school and published my first piece in third grade, it wasn’t until I went to college that I began to seriously consider writing as a “thing.”
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I used to sleep in, but now I have four kids! I love to go to movies, read, cook, travel. I play football or video games with the boys, spend time with friends–and occasionally sneak some alone time. And I work.
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