Friday, January 18, 2013
Interview with Tosca Lee author of "Iscariot"
I was graciously granted the opportunity to ask Tosca Lee, the author of "Iscariot", a few questions. I would like to share with you the treasures that this interview unveiled. I hope that you enjoy this sneak peak into the life and passion of this amazing author and truly appreicate the blood, sweat, and tears that go into the amazing stories that we all know and love from these wonderful people that we welcome into our lives.
Question # 1: What prompted you to write a book about Judas Iscariot?
Tosca: I really owe the idea to Jeff Gerke, the editor who acquired and published both Demon and Havah, because he's the one who suggested it. My initial reaction: to run fast and hard in the other direction. I KNEW how much work a book about the disciples and Jesus, set in first Century Israel would be. I completely avoided the idea for almost a year before finally realizing I was obsessed with it, and a goner.
Question # 2: How did you approach and research the topic of Judas Iscariot in relation to your other books - Havah and Demon?
Tosca: Each of my books has required more research than the last. For Demon, I spent days going around Boston, and weeks reading commentaries, theology books. For Havah, I had a pile of books piled on my living room floor. But Iscariot topped them all. Books, documentaries, lecture transcripts, magazine articles, DVDs were spewed everywhere in my office, living room, and bedroom. The amount of research was tremendous--people devote entire lifetimes studying Jesus in context. It was a mad, crash course. I'm very thankful to the academics, Bible experts and theologians who were willing to answer my questions over the course of a year and a half.
Question # 3: Has the research for and the writing of this book affected you in any way? If so, how?
Tosca: Yes--it has really given context and nuance to the stories that I grew up reading in my Bible. As a free, modern American, it's really impossible to have a full understanding of the biblical account--even the parables--without putting yourself in the sandals of a first Century Jew living under Roman rule. It's also given me a new appreciation of this maverick, even dangerous paradox of a man called Jesus.
Question # 4: What all went into the writing of Iscariot?
Tosca: A lot of time--about three years. A lot of words--217,000 on the first draft. A lot of kicking and flailing and hair-pulling. A lot of prayer and wonder.
Question # 5: What do you hope that readers will walk away with after reading Iscariot?
Tosca: A new sense of who Jesus was and is.