Ever just go a little fan happy? I (Jaime) am finishing up my second novel for Bethany House Publishers this month, so some author friends are stopping by and helping me give you something fun to read on this Tuesday! But TOSCA LEE??? Wowsas! Hope you enjoy our little chat and make sure you hang tight 'til the end. Tosca is also gifting one of our readers with a copy of her novel! :)
Can you tell us about your latest release and what inspired you to write the story?
Thank you for having me! My latest release is Firstborn, the sequel to The Progeny, which ended on a cliffhanger for which I’m sorry! (Okay, not really. I actually laughed the evil laugh when I wrote it.) But I also intended for Firstborn to release sooner than it has. So for everyone who read Book I, thank you for waiting so patiently!! It was a fan who asked me to write about the infamous Countess Elizabeth Bathory, and so her life forms the underpinning in this story about her fictional descendants.
Of all your characters in this story, which one did you enjoy writing the most and why?
I had so much fun with the entire cast, though in Firstborn I loved writing the scene with Tibor, the Zagreb “prince.” He’s a little bit crazy and only appears in one scene, but I really enjoyed writing him.
If you could cast your characters in a Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play them?
Oh gosh. This is always a difficult question for me to answer, because I never picture anyone specific as I write the characters. Just their personalities. So I honestly don’t know!
How did you decide on the setting/location for this novel?
Since Elizabeth Bathory lived in the Austro-Hungarian empire, that much was already set for me. I took my mom with me on my 2015 research trip and we had a ball basically eating our way through Hungary, Croatia, Austria. For the U.S. scenes, I opted to start in Maine—the land flowing with blueberries and lobster. The Greenville/Moosehead Lake area has been a favorite getaway place for me, so the story starts there.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it and why?
Well, I’ve already written about the life of Judas from his perspective, and a fallen angel, too, so I kind of feel like I’ve plumbed the depths. The crazy thing is, as I wrote about Judas, for example, and his agenda for God in Iscariot… I realized I was largely writing my own story, which was a very sobering thought.
Moving on from your novel, tell us a little about yourself. We’ll help! What literary character is most like you and why?
As a novelist, I kind of feel like someone from Alice in Wonderland—stepping into new realms, and then, on deadline, saying all the time, “I’m late, I’m late!”
What strange writing habits do you have? Like standing on your head while you write with a pen between your teeth?
Yeah. No. Wait, is that a thing?
I always have to have coffee/caffeine. I’m pretty sure this is standard. I pray by the side of my desk before I begin. It sounds a lot like begging, but God's used to that from me. Other than that, snacks. I’m pretty sure I have enough crumbs in my keyboard to feed a small child.
Do you have a writing mentor, or another author who has inspired/encouraged you in some way?
I’m lucky to have a lot of author friends. We all encourage (and, when need be, torture) one another. Most of all, I’m fortunate to have an amazing husband who loves to brainstorm and prays for me daily. I can’t imagine doing this without him. I have—I wrote eight books before we met and married—but this is way better. Also my sister Amy, AKA the original guinea pig. These stories are so much for her.
We talk a lot about faith and how it weaves throughout our fiction, here at the blog. How has your faith affected/or not affected your writing?
My stories are about questions of faith. Of identity. Of why God does or doesn’t do certain things and how God may or may not perform the way we believe God should. What grace looks like. What love looks like. I write to explore these questions for myself… and always come away with more questions.
At the end of the day, this journey has made me more at peace with the idea of mystery. Of letting God be God in a way that I cannot fully comprehend. For me—someone who needs answers—that has been huge.
Because Jaime has some darker elements to her split-time historical and contemporary romantic suspense coming out this year, she likes to ask weird questions. So, if you were responsible to write your own epitaph for your tombstone, what would it say?
Jaime is my kind of girl.
And just this: “She loved.”
Anne is an insatiable romantic with a serious vintage aura in all she writes. Do you have fabulous love story in your family history that you could share with us in a few words? If not, what about your own?
Ahhh! I could fill up pages about the gentleman farmer and single father of four I married just last year. But as for family history, there’s more crazy stuff than romance—including the fact that I recently learned I’m distantly related to Elizabeth Bathory, the “Blood Countess” herself.
Erica and Gabrielle both write sweet historical romances. How does romance influence your own writing?
Though I’m not known for writing romance per se, I like to include it in most of my books. Romance is hard to write! I’ll anguish more over a kissing scene than a battle.
We’d love you have you share a snippet from your novel to entice us and hook us! J Please share something below:
Since Firstborn takes up right where The Progeny left off, I leave you with this from The Progeny’s opening:
No one speaks when you enter the Center for the final time. There is no need; you’ve gone through the counseling, tests and a checklist of preparations to get the plastic bracelet you show up in the day of treatment. The one that saves a life. They don’t need to know why you’re doing it any more. Or that you lied about it all.
I’m 21 years old and my name doesn’t matter because it’s about to be erased forever.
Check out more from Tosca at her Web Site!
FIRSTBORN releases TODAY! :)
Enter to win a copy!
FIRSTBORN releases TODAY! :)
HOW FAR WILL AUDRA ELLISON GO TO PROTECT WHAT SHE LOVES?
Enter to win a copy!