Q&A With Tosca Lee
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Q&A With Tosca Lee
Tonight’s Q&A is with Tosca Lee. Tosca Lee is the New York Times Bestselling author of historical novels and thrillers. Some of her books are, The Legend of Sheba, The Line Between, A Single Light, Iscariot, The Keeper, Forbidden with Tedd Dekker, and coming out on May 2nd The Long March Home: A World War II Novel of the Pacific.
Q: So Tosca, what fascinates you about writing thrillers and historical fiction? Do you prefer writing historical fiction more or thrillers more?
A: I love both! I always say that you know, I don’t want to eat hamburgers every day (though I love a good burger!) and I don’t want sushi every day (though I love sushi). Reading and writing is the same for me. Some days I want to go back into the past and hang out there (for oh, a year—or five, as was the case with my books Iscariot and The Long March Home ). Sometimes I want to plop down into the middle of a survival story (like The Line Between and A Single Light). Sometimes I want both—The Progeny and Firstborn. What’s so fun about each one? Seeing what life was like back then. Bringing historical people or figures we’ve only heard a little bit about into 3-D. If you ask me, there’s always more to the story.
Q: When in your life did you realize that your calling was to be an author? What is your advice on how to write great thrillers and historical fiction?
A: You know, I started out as a kid wanting to be a professional ballerina. It was only when an injury sidelined me as a teen that I thought maybe that dream wasn’t going to happen after all. But I’d always loved reading and stories and some time during my first year of college it just occurred to me that I really wanted to see if I could write a novel and give someone else the enjoyment I’d felt on reading books I loved.
As for advice, I think the first, best thing you can do is fall in love with the genre. If you don’t love that genre, then fall in love with another one. Only when you love a genre can you really do it justice.
Q: What is your advice to anyone dealing with writer’s block?
A: Get up and walk. Do some laundry. Quit fixating on it. And then come back and write. Even if it’s bad and stupid. Just get to the other side. Fix it later. It’s better to get through it than to get through it perfectly.
Q: Since you have collaborated with Tedd Dekker to write Forbidden, & Marcus Brotherton to write The Long March Home: A World War II Novel of the Pacific, what is your advice to anyone wanting to co-write a novel with someone else? What was it like writing a novel with Tedd Dekker and Marcus Brotherton?
A: Every writing partnership I know of (and I know of many) seems to do it differently. Writing with Ted was very different from writing with Marcus. Because they’re very different people and very different writers, so each partnership that I’ve had is different. The most important advice I can give on that is to know what strengths you’re bringing to the table before you go into it. That goes for any partnership, by the way. Know what you’re good at and how those talents complement your partner’s.
Q: What would you tell new writers when they start dealing with negative feedback whether it’s from family and friends, online trolls and negative reviews?
A: You know that’s hard. I really sympathize. It’s also a part of writing life and artistic life and just… life. Like anything, listen to the feedback that is constructive and helpful. Ditch the stuff that’s not, or that’s downright vitriolic. Not every book is for every reader and that’s okay. And when people are mean about it, they’re telling you more about them than they are about you. Remember that.
Q: If you’re writing a new novel now, is it a solo project or are you collaborating with someone else?
A: I am working on a new one and this is a solo project—a historical thriller.
Q: If you were to write in a completely different genre other than thrillers and historical fiction, which genre would it be and why?
A: I think at some point I might explore some women’s fiction or humor. Maybe something with a little romance. But honestly, I find romance quite hard to write.
Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to any of your novels?
A: They do. And it’s been fun (and torturous) to watch the process. It’s never boring, let’s say that.