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Tosca Lee

Tosca Lee

A sought-after speaker and former Mrs. Nebraska, Tosca Lee left her position working with Fortune 500 Companies as a Senior Consultant for the Gallup Organization to pursue her first love: writing. She is the critically-acclaimed author of Demon and Havah and is best known for her humanizing portraits of maligned characters. She also co-wrote the Books of Mortals trilogy with Ted Dekker. She makes her home in the Midwest.
Tosca Lee: Devil's Advocate

Tosca Lee: Devil's Advocate

(March 2013)
Rel Mollet
For her latest biblical novel, best-selling author Tosca Lee took on the task of writing about one of the most reviled men in history.

Judas Iscariot’s story never might have been written, at least not by Tosca Lee. When the idea of writing the story of the most vilified men in history was suggested, the best-selling writer rejected the idea outright. “I knew how much research the story would require. You can’t do a story such as this halfway,” Tosca explains. “The other great challenge was getting rid of this idea of Judas as a human anomaly, a person I wanted to perceive as so different from me because of the heinousness of his actions. I had to put myself in his shoes. I had to, in a sense, write my own story.”

Iscariot (Howard Books) is not the first novel Tosca has penned about a pivotal biblical character. Havah: The Story of Eve (B&H Fiction) was released to wide acclaim for its literary prose and evocative storytelling. Yet writing about biblical characters is not just a simple passion for Tosca, as she explains: “For me it’s really about examining the things we believe and why we believe them. That includes judgments of characters such as Eve or Judas, and a core belief on my part that we’re not that different than them—that their actions could have been our own. In the end, it boils down to learning about ourselves.”

Tosca approached Judas’ tale believing, as always, that there is more to the story. “A few lines of an account doesn’t tell us about the personality, history and hopes of a person that inform his—in this case, infamous—decisions. When we read his story in a vacuum, we two-dimensionalize him; but in the pressure cooker of first-century Israel, his story—as well as that of the disciples, the Jewish people at the time and Jesus—comes vibrantly alive.”

Significant theological research helps inform the story for Tosca: “I also like to build more obscure references into the story similar to little Easter eggs for those who find them. I’ve done that in all my books. I guess that’s the geek in me.” Readers will be delighted Iscariot is not her final biblical novel: “I’m returning to the Old Testament and the feminine voice in the Queen of Sheba— time to put my jewelry back on.”

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2013 issue of FamilyFiction digital magazine. Subscribe for free today!



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