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Tosca Lee Author Interview

Tosca Lee Author Interview

The Progeny follows the descendant of a prolific serial killer as she is the target of an ancient order. How did this idea begin and change as you were writing the novel?

A fan asked me to write a book about Elizabeth Bathory. I was familiar with Bathory (AKA the “Blood Countess”—the most prolific female serial killer in history, rumored to have bathed in the blood of virgins.) But I was fresh off several historical novels and eager to write something contemporary and faster-paced—a thriller. So I decided to write about her modern-day descendants, who have been systematically hunted for centuries.

Strangely enough, as I was researching the novel, I learned through my mother (a lifelong career genealogist) that I am actually distantly related to Bathory. So that was a twist I didn’t see coming!

I always enjoy the way you develop your characters. What is your writing process like to bring your characters to life?

Thank you! This story is populated by a group of charismatic young people with slightly supernatural gifts. So that was really fun to write. That said, it was really important to me to portray them as real, grounded—not super heroes—but bohemian outcasts living hard and fast on society’s fringe, just trying to make it to their 30th—or 25th, or 22nd—birthday. As far as bringing them to life, I used to spend a lot of time role-playing characters online. And I think those hours and days and years of doing that taught me a lot about stepping into another person’s skin and looking at life through their eyes.

The characters, and ancient orders, have a engaging backstory. What were some themes that drove their development?

So many of us are fascinated by ancient orders, secret societies, and clandestine histories hidden beneath the surface of the world as we know it. I am, too, and have spent far too much time gleefully studying this kind of thing. But the one overarching theme that really guides the groups in The Progeny is that of revenge for one group… and redemption for another.

What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?

I just had a duology come out in quick succession last year: The Line Between and its sequel, A Single Light—the story of a young woman leaving a doomsday cult just in time for the apocalypse as a pandemic sweeps across the nation that feels like it’s striking a little too close to home at the moment! Now that those two are out, I’m working on a couple new historical novels—a medieval thriller and a WWII novel.

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The Progeny: A Novel (Descendants of the House of Bathory Book 1) by [Lee, Tosca]

Emily Jacobs 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. It is a story about the search for self filled with centuries-old intrigues against the backdrop of atrocity and hope.

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The Progeny

The Progeny: A Novel (Descendants of the House of Bathory Book 1) by [Lee, Tosca]

Are we defined by the ones who were before us, or do our actions define us? Do the actions of one individual condemn their future descendants to a dire future?

The Progeny is a thrilling adventure story, echoing the suspense of Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series. The beginning of the story is a little slow but the story picks up and is quickly entertaining. Things keep on rolling as our lead character, Audra and her small group of people find themselves in situations that quickly turn sour. Despite the frailty shown, the characters rise up to the challenges that face them, which made me emotionally invested in the well drawn characters. I frowned when I read about the zealots who were hunting descendants of the most infamous female serial killer in history. Why? They are not the killers. Why harm them? But then people do tend to carry grouses for years, maybe some are crazy to carry ones that pass on from generation to generation. These thought provoking themes kept me hooked. I especially loved Luka character, who loves Audra without any motives or benefits. The author describes the revelation in layers which is all the more warming to my heart.

There are many more layers to the story than initially appears. It shows the depth with which Tosca Lee has crafted her narrative. Overall the story is well written and continues at a good pace.  We get a glimpse into the past of the characters, but thankfully the story does not dedicate too much time on it. The one thing that I did find odd was the persuasion power that every descendant of Elizabeth Bathory (mainly females) seems to have. Why it appears, or what is the reason for it is not explained. Even more curious is that it goes away after a certain age. Why? I need to know! Needless to say, I am invested in this enthralling and thoroughly entertaining novel.

Pages: 337 | ASIN: B010MH9YUW

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