Tosca Lee and myself at a book signing
TOSCA LEE'S BIO: Tosca is the critically-acclaimed author of Demon: A Memoir – Christy Award finalist and ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Silver Award winner—and Havah: The Story of Eve, which received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and 4.5 stars from Romantic Times.

Forbidden, the first book in her new Books of Mortals series with NY Times Bestseller Ted Dekker, releases September 2011. Iscariot, Tosca’s highly-anticipated novel about the infamous betrayer of Christ, is slated for the upcoming future—keep watch for up-dates.

A former first runner-up to Mrs. United States, Tosca received her B.A. from Smith College in Massachusetts. She also studied at Oxford University.

What have been the benefits to you in having relationships with reading groups?

 I LOVE reading groups/book clubs. They are so important to authors. I appreciate their support, their communication, and their questions.

Where would you like to see your relationship with reading group grow? How do you think your goals can be met? If so, how? 

Tosca: It can be really hard to know what reading groups are out there, and to know how to find them. I have to rely almost solely on their contacting me (usually to let me know they're reading my books, or to request book marks, etc.). I just want to encourage book clubs to contact the authors they read, so the authors know and can, if nothing else, thank them for their interest and support!

Nora: My husband and I started The Book Club Network for authors and book clubs to get connected! It's a way for you to get to know reading groups and for them to get to know you and your books. We have a feature there for authors to post book signings and book events so that book clubs and readers can connect with you. There are many other ways for you to interact at the site. Some book clubs have had the actual book club meeting on-line. That way everyone at the site gets to know you as well.

Do you have a set size a reading group has to be before you'll talk to them on the phone or in person? What do you feel most comfortable doing? 

Tosca: Not really any set size. A personal trip is just a matter of proximity and schedule, and a phone or video chat call-in is really a matter of scheduling. My schedule is pretty tight right now, but I try to join every group I can that invites me.

Finding Hope Book Club Discussing Havah
Nora : I really appreciated you speaking to Finding Hope Book Club. We had a blast discussing Havah and we really enjoyed talking to you. We were all fascinated by the many questions you had in your research for that book. You are also honest, fun and a deep thinker. My group and I loved having you talk to us. Thanks for the wonderful memories!

What do you think about ebooks and future sales of your book? How will authors do book signings with an ebook reading crowd?

Tosca: Good question! E-books are exciting even if they still present many unknowns. I think book signings still have their place--readers want to connect with authors, to know and see them as real people, to share their experiences in reading the book and what it meant to them. It gets awkward trying to sign e-copies, so those readers who like to collect books signed by their favorite authors still have a reason to buy print books I think. I have seen authors sign Kindles before, though! 

Which type of book club meeting do you prefer? Why?

Tosca talking about her research for Havah

Tosca speaks to Finding Hope Book Club 

Tosca doing a book signing after book talk 

I like video-chatting in to book meetings, but nothing replaces visiting in person when possible.
Do you learn about your book and yourself from book club meetings? If so what?

Tosca: I learn about the people who find meaning in the things I've written. I am so happy to put faces and voices to readers. To know that I am not sending these stories into a void, but to a receptive heart.

Did you learn more about your characters than you original wrote about? Have you been surprised by readers reactions to one of your books? Characters? If so, which ones?

Tosca: I've really been amazed at readers' insight into characters, the way they pick up on things that I thought were possibly too subtle to notice, or even patterns or ideas that I wasn't consciously aware of while I was writing it. In that way, readers function as a mirror to me and my work. I love my readers. 

Has your book club experience - getting feed back from reading groups - helped you in writing future books? If so, how has it helped you? 

It has helped me to know more about what resonates with my core audience--their experiences, their stories, their dreams and hopes. I love learning about readers.

Catching up with Tosca Lee and Ted Dekker at ICRS Conference 2011

Tosca it was great fun to catch up with you and Ted Dekker and talk about your new book, Forbidden, written with Ted Dekker. I found the writing process very fascinating. You had mentioned that Ted and you wrote the entire book and then you blended it together. It's the first book of a three book series. I'm excited about reading a book the both of you wrote. You also told me that you are still working on your own projects. I'm excited about your new book adventure and talking with you again about your book club experiences!

All the best to you on your new book! Thanks for speaking to me about book clubs! Looking forward to you stopping by again.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network


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