Tosca Lee | On The Blood Countess Elizabeth Bathory, Traveling, and Suspense
June 2, 2016
Tosca Lee, author of THE PROGENY, sits down with Fresh Fiction
reviewer Debbie Wiley to
talk about her new thriller.
Hi, Tosca! Thank you for joining us today at Fresh Fiction! I
absolutely love the concept of THE
PROGENY as it combines the modern day with the historical in one
phenomenal conspiracy-laden thriller. What sparked your interest in
Elisabeth Bathory and inspired the writing of THE PROGENY?
Tosca Lee: Hi, Debbie! Thank youâ€”and thank you for having
me on Fresh Fiction! Iâ€™ve been wanting to write a thriller like this for a
while. It was actually a fan who wrote to me and said, â€śWhat about a book
on Elizabeth Bathory?â€ť Though this book isnâ€™t about Elizabeth Bathory
herself per se, the legend of the â€śBlood Countess" does provide the
mythological underpinning of the story about her modern-day descendants.
DW: THE PROGENY is obviously very well researched, from the
historical aspects to the very settings themselves. What was one of your
favorite moments in researching THE PROGENY?
My favorite part was going to Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia and Italyâ€”and
taking my mom with me. I get a lot of my wanderlust from her (I swear, five
minutes after I asked her to go she was already packing her bag). So we
tromped all over from the ruins of the castle where Bathory spent her final
years (literally walled up in a room), to the church her family built on
their ancestral lands an hour from the Ukranian border, to ruin pubs in
Budapest and the beautiful coast of Opatija, Croatia. We love traveling
together, and it was another adventure to add to our book of memories. But
the other thing is that my mother is a lifelong genealogist and while I was
researching and writing this book, I learned that Iâ€™m distantly related to
Bathoryâ€”something I had not known before. Crazy!
was the most fascinating or unusual thing you learned while researching
TL: Sheâ€™s been portrayed
throughout history and by Hollywood as this female Dracula who bathed in
the blood of virgins and killed 600-some victimsâ€¦ but what many donâ€™t know
is that she was quite singular for her time. She wasnâ€™t only literate but
spoke several languages, went to church, supported the arts and local
ministries, was known to be a caring mother, and was also extremely
wealthy. So wealthy, in fact, that the crown owed her an exorbitant amount
of money. When her husband, who was a national war hero, died, she began to
call in many of those debts. Add all that to the fact that she was a
Protestant living under a Catholic, Habsburg kingâ€¦ and I think thereâ€™s a
good conspiracy theory there.
DW: Youâ€™ve written books both as the
sole author and as a collaborating author (such as with Ted Dekker). Does
the writing process differ, and if so then how?
TL: It does for sure. Co-writing can take a great deal of
timeâ€”at least at the beginning while youâ€™re learning your process as a
teamâ€”to talk through premise, theme, plot. To write and rewrite in order to
combine your voices. Itâ€™s a great process, especially when you can get two
authors together who bring complementary strengths to the table. Solo
writing can be faster, and while it doesnâ€™t require compromise with a
partner, you are out there on your own, having to do it all. So they both
have their perks and challenges.
DW: I love the references
to FIREFLY and ROSWELL in
THE PROGENY! What are some of your favorite tv shows?
TL: LOL. I love and miss both of those shows! These days I
watch THE WALKING
WALKING DEAD, GAME
OF THRONES, OUTLANDER, THE BLACKLIST, THE PATH,
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES,
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS,
REIGN, THE VOICE,
THE 100â€¦ honestly, I
watch too much TV.
DW: And to follow up with the prior question, I
caught the reference to a Steven
James novel (heâ€™s on my TBR pile). Who are some of your favorite
authors, particularly those who have inspired your own writing?
TL: So the Steven James reference is an inside joke
because he has a character reading a Tosca Lee book in one of his novels.
:D Weâ€™re friends and he is literally a master storyteller (he has a
masterâ€™s degree in storytelling!). Iâ€™m privileged to call a lot of
brilliant authors friendsâ€”Iâ€™m always afraid to name names without fear of
getting killed for forgetting someone (especially because you know every
thriller or mystery author has a perfect murder inside him or her). Steven
Baart, Ariel Lawhon, J.T.
Ellison are some off the top of my mind who inspire me by just doing
what they do. They write a book, take a breath, and by dayâ€™s end theyâ€™ve
plunged into a new one. New friends like Mary
Weber, Maria V.
Siglerâ€”Iâ€™m just inspired by their examples.
These are authors with
longevity, putting out great story after great story, or newer authors
pushing the boundaries of the changing industry.
DW: The ending
cliffhanger scene has me anxious for the next book! Can you give us any
hints about that scene or tease us a bit with what you have on your plate
for the future?
TL: The next book is done
and in edits right nowâ€”and comes out in February! I can tell you that
Emily/Audra is back, badder than ever. Questions will be answered, lives
will be lost, and Audra goes up against impossible oddsâ€”with a few more
twists along the way. :)
New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brings a
modern twist to an ancient mystery surrounding the most
notorious female serial killer of all time. A fast-paced
thriller for fans of Leeâ€™s Books of Mortals series with Ted
Dekker, Dan Brownâ€™s The Da Vinci Code, and BBC
Americaâ€™s hit series Orphan Black.
Emily Porter is the descendant
of a serial killer. Now,
sheâ€™s become the hunted.
Sheâ€™s on a quest that will take her to the secret
underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient
ordersâ€”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 â€śBlood Countessâ€ť
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 Europeâ€™s underground
sceneâ€¦and one womanâ€™s mission to survive.
1 comment posted.
Re: Tosca Lee | On The Blood Countess Elizabeth Bathory, Traveling, and Suspense
Sounds like an interesting topic.
(Miranda Owen 3:43pm June 2, 2016)
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