At the 2007 ACFW conference, I met Tosca Lee, a beautiful woman with a creepy-sounding debut novel. As I spoke with her, and later, read some interviews about her, I discovered we have much in common. Both of our fathers love music. My Suzuki and her Shar Pei share the same name: Attila. And we both have worked on novels dealing with the darker side of the spiritual realm. She finished hers, however, and Demon: A Memoir was published by NavPress last year. She's giving away one of her books, so be sure to leave a comment to be entered into the drawing! We'll choose a winner on February 1.
And without further delay, let me introduce Tosca Lee, a talented novelist, runner-up for Mrs. United States, and Leadership Consultant.
JW: Tosca, I have never met anyone with that name. How did your parents choose it?
TL: Well, my Dad is a Korean man who came from Seoul to do his master’s and PhD in business management here. But his first love was opera. He wanted to be an opera tenor once, and Tosca is his favorite opera.
JW: I love that. It’s so special that he named you after something he loves so much…but I’m glad my own father did not. I’d probably end up as “Cashew”. Speaking of which…what’s your favorite food? And other favorites: verse, color, whatever.
TL: Favorite food: splendidly cooked vegetables. And comfort food. And donuts. And pot pies. Sushi. Enchiladas in corn tortillas with some green sauce on them and not too much cheese. I’m suddenly starving. Color: dark red. Zech. 4:6 (“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord) is my favorite verse, because it is the theme that comes to me again and again in my life—that all the striving in the world cannot do what God’s spirit can. I have amnesia when it comes to remembering this. Hobby: catalog shopping. Guilty pleasure: watching the Contender series and picking my cuticles.
JW: Hm…well, in between the eating and picking your cuticles, what’s your writing routine?
TL: Routine? Uhm. Yeah. So, you see…. Did I tell you I have a really cool desk? It’s got claw feet and black stone top. Most of the time I’m writing in airports and on the sofa, sometimes in bookstores.
JW: I admit, the desk sounds awesome. If you ever want to sell it…But really, the sofa’s the way to go, in my opinion. Although I’ll probably be a hunchback by age 30. Word of advice to myself: get an ergonomic chair. Tosca, what are some your words of wisdom—one writing-related and one not?
TL: Writing advice: be honest. That means showing the ugly and embarrassing parts, too. Non-writing advice: hemorrhoid crème works great on under-eye puffiness. You laugh, but I tell you truth. Just make sure that you have, you know, a designated tube and others in your household aren’t using it as directed.
JW: Wow. Okay. Guess I’ll have to keep that in mind…:-) One last question for you. Since you’re working on a story about Eve, what do you really think was hanging on the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden? I’m not seeing Eve being attempted to disobey God to bite into an apple. I think it must have been some sort of chocolate. You?
TL: It was definitely chocolate. Something of the Ghirardelli, dark variety, maybe with that creamy mint middle. That’s definitely condemnation-category confection.
JW: Ha! Thanks so much, Tosca. I’m looking forward to reading Havah: The Story of Eve when it hits the shelves. If you want to learn more about Tosca and her books, check out http://www.toscalee.com/.
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