Thursday 26 April 2018

Interview with Author Tosca Lee - Descendants of the House of Bathory Book Series

The Progeny: A Novel
Descendants of the House of Bathory, Book 1
Author: Tosca Lee
Publication Date: May 24th, 2016
Genre: YA Thriller

Book Description:
New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brings a modern twist to an ancient mystery surrounding Elizabeth Bathory, the most notorious female serial killer of all time.

Audra Ellison has no idea why she’s had her memory wiped clean, only that she chose to erase her past to protect someone else. But soon, a handsome stranger tells her she’s special. Unique. That she has the power to influence the minds of others. And that her life is in danger.

She soon discovers that she is the descendant of a serial killer, the infamous “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, and that she, like all her relatives for generations, is being hunted for the sins of her ancestor. She also discovers that she erased her memory to forget something important—important not only to her, but to those who want to see the line of Bathory ended for good.

Reunited with others like her—young, powerful Progeny living defiantly on the edge of extinction in Europe’s underground—she is hounded by danger at every turn and driven deeper into the inner circles of two ancient orders intent on destroying one another with a weapon only Audra can find. And as those around her start disappearing, Audra realizes the only thing that can save them all is piecing together a past she no longer remembers.

As she works to unravel the web of secrets and lies, Audra is thrust into a world of faith and doubt, of truth and deceit, of life and immortality, and she must decide who to trust—and what to believe. What she ultimately uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about who she is and what her lineage means.

A kaleidoscopic thriller that brings the underground world of the ancient cities of Eastern Europe to life like never before, The Progeny is a taut, breathless story of centuries-old intrigue and modern love and forgiveness.

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Firstborn: A Novel
Descendants of the House of Bathory Book 2

Book Description:
From New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee comes the much-anticipated, high-speed sequel to The Progeny.

Face-to-face with her past, Audra Ellison now knows the secret she gave up everything—including her memory—to protect. A secret made vulnerable by her rediscovery, and so powerful neither the Historian nor the traitor Prince Nikola will ever let her live to keep it.

With Luka in the Historian’s custody and the clock ticking down on his life, Audra only has one impossible chance: find and kill the Historian and end the centuries old war between the Progeny and Scions at last—all while running from the law and struggling to control her growing powers.

With the help of a heretic monk and her Progeny friends Claudia, Piotrek, and Jester, Audra will risk all she holds dear in a final bid to save them all and put her powers to the ultimate test. Love, action, and stunning revelation reign in this thrilling conclusion to The Progeny.

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Author Interview

1. What inspired you to write your first book?
My very first book is still in my basement, but it was important in that I learned so much by writing it (and basically failing at everything LOL). That book was written simply because I love reading, and love how authors craft emotional, sometimes perilous journeys for us as readers to travel, and wanted to do the same for others. Today, that is my greatest pleasure: taking people away from their cares and real life, if only for hours at a time. We all need this at some point, and every time I sit down to write, I am essentially saying, “Come with me, let me take you away."

2. Do you have a specific writing style?
It actually varies by genre. The style in my historical fiction leans more lyrical than my thrillers, which are more succinct because they have to pack punch.

3. How did you come up with the title for your book?
Each book’s title (I have nine out at the moment and another on the way in January) just kind of happens in my mind, and then some of them are a collaboration between my editorial team at Simon & Schuster and I. I personally tend to prefer one-word titles like Havah, Iscariot, Forbidden, Firstborn, etc.

4. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I find that what resonates with readers depends largely on what’s going on in their lives, so I don’t try to dictate take-aways. I do tend to write a lot about questions of identity, and about how valuable they, as an individual are. So I hope my readers see how beautiful, brilliant, and important they are, no matter what challenges they may be facing in life.

5. How much of the book is realistic?
I am known for my research, so it’s a top priority for me to make my settings so real you can smell them. That said, I do also write some speculative (fantasy/paranormal) books like The Progeny, Firstborn, and The Books of Mortals series (with Ted Dekker), but even there, I want it to feel *real*.

6. What book are you reading now?
Little Broken Things by my brilliant friend Nicole Baart. She has such a powerful and gorgeous voice.

7. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Constantly. Some of them are only new to me, but I am always excited to see younger (I say this meaning a couple decades or more younger than me ;) authors like Nadine Brandes and Kara Swanson charging into the arena with not only massive talent but genuine care for their readers.

8. What are your current projects?
I’ve just finished edits on The Line Between, my new pandemic thriller coming out next January, which is actually available already for pre-order (with cover reveal coming soon!):

9. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learn throughout every single book I write—about the historical periods and characters in my book, about writing, and, always, about myself (whether I want to or not!). One of the craziest things happened while writing The Progeny, which is based on Elizabeth Bathory—the most prolific female serial killer of all time, AKA the “Blood Countess”—was when I learned I’m actually distantly related to her! Eek!

10. What were the challenges (research, psychological etc) in bringing your story to life?

Haha, how much space do I have to answer this? There are challenges across the board. There’s always research—and knowing when to stop, and how much to include. There’s always trying to balance the actual writing of a book—and the one after that—with the demands of a growing career. The ironic thing is that as a full-time writer, you can spend all day on calls, in meetings, working on marketing, speaking/teaching, doing signings/traveling, answering e-mails… basically doing anything BUT writing. But at the end of the day, it’s the writing that matters if you’re going to be a writer. That said, for as important as writing and the books are to me, people are far more important. At the end of my life, I don’t want to be remembered as a literary great, but someone who made others feel loved.

About the Author
Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the House of Bathory duology (THE PROGENY and FIRSTBORN), ISCARIOT, THE LEGEND OF SHEBA, DEMON: A MEMOIR, HAVAH: THE STORY OF EVE, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (FORBIDDEN, MORTAL, SOVEREIGN). A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games and football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.

You can find Tosca at, on social media, or hanging around the snack table. And be sure to check out ISMENI, the free e-short prequel to THE LEGEND OF SHEBA!

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