The Progeny Author Interview + Giveaway!
My blurb: Be warned, once you start this book, it's impossible to put down!
Also Tosca is giving away one copy of THE PROGENY - see the Rafflecopter below to enter to win! This is open to residents in the USA and Canada only.
Cover copy: Emily Porter is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted. She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—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 “Blood Countess” 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 Europe’s underground scene…and one woman’s mission to survive.
Take 10 with Tosca Lee:
1.) THE PROGENY has a very unique premise. How did you spark on the idea to use the descents of Elizabeth Bathory?
A fan suggested it! I was signing books in Orlando and a fan wanted a picture but didn’t have a phone/camera, so I got his info., and we took a photo and I sent it to him. When he wrote me back to thank me, he said, “How about a book about Elizabeth Bathory?” While this book is more about her descendants than Bathory herself, the idea came from him. (Thanks, Keith!)
2.) What do you find most interesting/exciting about Emily?
I like her moxey and her smarts. She may not know what’s going on, and she’s a little weird (aren’t we all?), but she relies on her intelligence.
3.) Did you have to do any special research for this book?
I did a lot of reading about Elizabeth Bathory, about epigenetics, and about all the locations that the scenes are set in. Since the story starts in Maine, my then-fiancé (now husband) and I took off for one of my favorite U.S. escapes: Greenville, Maine, where we fished and took a small plane over Moosehead Lake.
4.) Parts of the story are set in Europe. Did you do travel to these locations?
I did—I went to Hungary, Croatia, Vienna, Slovakia and Italy. Best of all, I got to take my mom with me. My mom and I have a history of globetrotting together, so it was a fun adventure to go tromping around through castle ruins and churches and ruin pubs with her!
5.) Do you plot out your novels or are you like me and fly by the seat of your pants?
I try to plot a little… and then end up pantsing the rest of the way. Because try as I might to outline the entire thing, it’s totally different looking down at a map from 30,000 feet and being in it, boots on the ground. I find I just have to get in there and see what the terrain looks like before I know which way to go.
6.) How did you become a writer? Is this what you saw yourself growing up to be? Or did it take you by surprise?
It was a surprise—despite winning writing contests all through school, most of my early life I meant to become a ballerina. And then I tore a groin muscle and that really set me back. By the time I was in college, I thought maybe I should become a news anchor or go into advertising. During spring break my freshman year, I was talking enthusiastically with my dad about how my favorite novels felt like roller-coasters, and how I thought it might be fun to make one for someone else to ride around on. And I just blurted it out: “I really want to write a book.” He made me a deal: he’d pay me what I would have made that summer working as a bank teller (I was a terrible bank teller the summer before) if I worked full-time writing a novel. I wrote my first novel that summer—about the Neolithic Stonehenge people. It’s currently in my basement with the rest of my skeletons.
7.) Do you have a writing routine? Talk process for a moment, how do the words get on the page?
I’m very bad at routine. And now that I’m a new mom—I married a single father of four last January—I’m still trying to figure out how to juggle five lives at home… and dropping a lot of balls (moms, how do you do it all???). Generally though, I work during the day, and write a lot at night the closer I get to deadline. I aim for 2000 words a day, but am usually doing closer to 5000-8000 or more closer to deadline. My husband and kids are used to me staggering to bed some time after they’re sleep, or even after they’ve gotten up in the morning.
8.) Office? Closet? Corner of the living room? Do you have a set place to write? A favorite?
My husband is a farmer, so I write most of the time in the attic of the farm. Every now and then I sneak off to our townhome an hour away, where I have an office, when I really need to buckle down. But I prefer to be around my family. And my husband is a great cook, so…
9.) What else do you enjoy doing besides writing? Interests? Hobbies?
As a new mom (and farmer’s wife!), I cook—though truth be told, my husband is better than me and he bakes from scratch. I’m also a TV junkie. I love The Walking Dead, The Blacklist, Outlander, Orphan Black, The Path, Game of Silence… too many TV shows. I still dance, just because it’s the one discipline I understand, and enjoy Pilates. I love organizing drawers and closets. It’s a sickness. I’m learning to trap shoot and play video games with the kids. I’m not very good at either… but I’m enthusiastic!
10.) What are you writing now? What's coming out next?
Right now I’m working on edits for Firstborn, which is the sequel to The Progeny and comes out in February. It’s full of action and was so fun to write!
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