In some ways, Tosca Lee needs no introduction. She burst onto the writing scene in 2007 with Demon: A Memoir, a C.S. Lewis-ish tale about a writer named Clay who encounters a demon who has chosen him to write his life story.
Since then she’s written such Biblical fiction titles as Havah, Iscariot, and The Legend Of Sheba. She also teamed up with novelist Ted Dekker to write the Books Of Mortals series, consisting of Forbidden, Mortal, and Sovereign. In fact, in 2013 readers chose Mortal as one of the finalist entries in the Clive Staples Award.
Ms. Lee also served as the keynote speaker at Realm Makers in 2014 and returned last year as part of the faculty. So she is well know among Realm Makers conferees. Then why an introduction? In part because her next novel is about to release.
The Progeny is like nothing else Ms. Lee has written. In part, here’s the description of the book on Amazon:
Emily Porter is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.
She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.
Filled with adrenaline, romance, and reversals, The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. A story about the search for self amidst centuries-old intrigues and Europe’s underground scene…and one woman’s mission to survive.
Second, there are some things that the average reader or Realm Makers conferee might not know. For example, Tosca’s then-boyfriend asked her to marry him at her last book signing. Their wedding was this past January. Of equal importance to writing, apparently, Tosca is a foodie. She says she Tweets about food as much, no, more, than she does writing. She recently wrote a blog post about her favorite foods which include such things as
Movie buttered popcorn with evil fake buttery topping
Red Lobster cheese biscuits
Any biscuit, actually
Caviar with accouterments
Hot dogs with mustard
I admit, I was shocked that pizza didn’t make the list. Poor, Tosca. She doesn’t realize what she’s missing, I don’t think.
Another factoid that many might miss is that Ms. Lee was once upon a time an Overlord in an online gaming community. Though she no longer participates, the group holds a tournament named in honor of her character. (Those interested can look for the Talon of Redwing Tournament.)
Before she became a writer, Tosca gained a measure of fame as the winner of the Mrs. Nebraska beauty pageant. She went on to compete in the Mrs. America pageant and finished as first runner up. Her year serving as Mrs. Nebraska gave her numerous opportunities to advocate for such charities as girl scouts and breast cancer research as well as to launch a career in motivational speaking. Several years later she added model to her growing resume.
Other lesser know facts:
- As a child, Tosca was a serious pianist, practicing for an hour and a half every day
- She was also a classically trained ballerina and pursued a career in dance until injury brought an end to those aspirations.
- She loved reading from an early age
- Her favorite book of all time is The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
- Tosca received her BA in English and International Relations from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts
- She also studied in Oxford
- For some time she served as a management consultant for The Gallup Organization
Most pertinent to writers who are considering attendance at Realm Makers, Tosca Lee continues to garner praise for her writing. The endorsers for The Progeny said such things as “Tosca Lee is a masterful storyteller”; “Lee is a phenomenal talent known for bringing history to the present, making it exciting and relevant while never forgetting that love is the ultimate motivator”; “Gifted storyteller Tosca Lee artfully weaves an intriguing centuries-old legend into an absorbing, fast-paced supernatural thriller”; “Tosca puts the thrill into thriller,” and much more.
In addition, in reference to her novel, Iscariot, Publishers Weekly called Tosca’s research and writing “impeccable and masterful.”
Clearly, those wishing to learn more about writing, specifically about the kind of speculative fiction Tosca Lee is known for, will have a great experience at Realm Makers 2016.