1. When did you start writing?
Waaaayyyy back in school. I was writing poetry and articles in grade school and short stories in high school. I started my first novel in college.
2. What did you do before writing?
I’ve been writing so long! But before I published novels, I was working as a Senior Consultant for the Gallup Organization, and traveling all over the world in that capacity.
3. You were Mrs. Nebraska in 1996; what made you want to be in a beauty pageant?
A friend of my mother’s suggested it one day. It was one of those, “Hey, you should try this.” I had never considered doing a pageant before, and it was such an off-the-wall thought and I never would have entertained it had someone not said that. But then suddenly it seemed to exist in the realm of the possible. So I tried it.
4. Was Demon: A Memoir the first book you have written?
Actually no–I wrote one based on the Stonehenge people of neolithic Salisbury Plain, England, while in college. And then I wrote 300+ pages of a fantasy about a woman warrior set in a Dark Age Europe-type setting.
5. How do you go about starting a new story? I usually get a thought or a scene that won’t leave me alone and I just write that down while I still have it. And then I might write some more or wonder what happens next. Or before. And if I actually have something.
6. Which book that you have written is your favorite? Dude. That’s like asking a parent which child of theirs is their favorite!
7. You are writing a trilogy called “The Books of Mortals” with bestselling author, Ted Dekker. How did Ted and you meet each other? I wrote to him in 2009 to ask him to endorse the re-release of Demon. We were already kind of friends-of-friends but just had never had a conversation before.
8. How did Ted approach you when he had the idea of a collaboration in mind? What did you say?
We had been talking about his current project and my upcoming work on Iscariot. And one day we just said, “Hey. Let’s write something cool together.”
9. How was writing Forbidden any different than writing Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, or Iscariot besides the fact that you wrote it with someone?
It’s very different writing with someone–it takes about twice as long, because we both literally wrote the book. At this point, it’s hard for us to point to any single sentence and definitively say, “I wrote that” or “Ted wrote that.” So you end up with something that is enhanced, that is more than what one of us could have done alone–but that blending takes work.
10. What is your perfect writing day?
Wow. Maybe nothing on the calendar. I wake up miraculously at 6:30am. And work out. And then eat something quick and healthy and hit the desk. And go all day until night. The phone doesn’t exist. Fatigue doesn’t exist. Interruptions don’t exist. None of this ever happens.
11. What hobbies do you enjoy?
Travel and adventure travel are my big ones. Movies and eating out with friends, and occasionally cooking. I’m either a home body in hermit mode, or I’m on a plane somewhere. There isn’t much in-between for me.
12. Are you working on any projects right now?
If so, what can you tell us about them? I’m working on Iscariot, and gearing up to write the second book in the Books of Mortals trilogy with Ted this summer.
Thanks for your time, Tosca! It is much appreciated!