Tosca Lee & Ted Dekker on the release of “Sovereign” plus a giveaway

jacket_lgThis week marks the release of “Sovereign’, the conclusion to the “The Books of Mortals” series by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee.

I’ve been a fan of Ted’s work since being blown away by “Blink” (before it’s title was changed) and “Three”  which I read 10 years ago in 2003. (a little aside and piece of Acheson trivia, Three was the very first book I reviewed on Amazon on 9/9/03). I haven’t read all of his novels simply because he has been so prolific, it’s been hard keeping up. The first of Tosca’s standalone novels I read was her most recent “Iscariot”, which was extraordinary. I have to catch up with her earlier work.

It’s a special treat for me they were kind enough to answer some questions I posed them, especially in light of their very busy schedules. Before I share our virtual chat I thought I’d provide a brief background to the series.

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The Books of Mortals. Three novels. Two authors. One last chance for humanity.

Many years have passed since civilization’s brush with apocalypse. The world’s greatest threats have all been silenced. There is no anger, no hatred, no war. There is only perfect peace… and fear.

But a terrible secret has been closely guarded for centuries: every single soul walking the earth, though in appearance totally normal, is actually dead, long ago genetically stripped of true humanity.

Fleeing pursuit, with only moments to live, a young man named Rom stumbles into possession of a vial of blood and a cryptic vellum. When consumed, the blood will bring him back to life; when decoded, the message will lead him on a perilous journey that will require him to abandon everything he has ever known and awaken humanity to the transforming power of true life and love.

But the blood will also resurrect hatred, ambition and greed at terrible risk.

Set in a terrifying, medieval future, where grim pageantry masks death, this tale of passionate love and dark desires from master storytellers Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee peels back the layers of the heart for all who dare take the journey.

It all started with Forbidden, followed quickly by Mortal and now the series reaches its epic conclusion in Sovereign.

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For those of us who’ve read the first two installments, we’ve been agitating for this week to arrive. I received advice this week from Amazon my pre-order had shipped but it’s still likely to be two weeks before it docks down under.

Enough of that, let’s chat with Tosca and Ted.

Describe the evolution of the “The Books of Mortals”. Where was the seed planted and who approached whom?

toscaleeTosca: We were talking about some of our current projects—Ted and I tend to be interested in the same thematic material. I threw out an idea about a world where no one has a soul.

Ted: And I said, “Why don’t we make everyone dead and bring the entire spiritual realm into the physical one.” Some time during that two-hour conversation, we knew we had something cool we had to write.

I’m sure readers would love to understand the collaborative process for drafting each novel? Did one of you write most of it, each wrote an alternate chapter, or you’d prefer this remained secret?

Ted: We took slightly different approaches to each book, but no matter who took the lead on a chapter, the other re-wrote it. It took twice as much time as any solo project—at this point, there’s no way to know for sure who wrote what.

Tosca: Hey. That was supposed to be a secret!

Ted: Amazingly, we never came to any real impasses in the process.

Tosca: Yes we did.

Ted: No we didn’t. I just let you win and secretly changed it in the last draft.

Tosca: I thought I was the only one doing that.

Ha! A question for Ted. You’ve collaborated a number of times with other authors: Bill Bright, Frank Peretti, Kaci Hill, Erin Healy and Tosca. What are the reasons for this strategy? Do you anticipate future collaborations?

dekkerTed: In the past the reason was I had more stories than I could write on my own. As to the future, beyond working with the authors I’ve already worked with, I sincerely doubt it. Ironically, a true collaboration takes more time—not less time. It took Tosca and I the better part of two years to get to the point where we instinctively trusted each other as artists and streamlined our process. The Books of Mortals is perhaps my only true, full-on collaboration.

What key message do you hope readers of the trilogy will take away?

Ted: The Books of Mortals are like mirrors—a person will take away what they see depending on who they are. We don’t see the world as it is, but as we are.

Tosca: This was our journey through a minefield of questions about life, meaning, and spiritual fulfilment. How that plays out for each reader will be completely different.

Both of you have become must-read authors for thousands of readers, that is, we read everything you produce. Who are your must-read authors?

Ted: Tosca Lee.

Tosca: Ted Dekker. 🙂

Ted: My favorite fiction author is Dean Koontz.

Tosca: What?!??

Ted: Oops.

Tosca: Can I change my answer?

Love that! Your readers can’t wait to get their hands on your next creations. I know Tosca has been locked away doing all-nighters on her latest. What’s up next for you both?

Tosca: The Queen of Sheba, baby! After Iscariot, it’s time for me to be a girl again.

Ted: A crazy story called Outlaw, about a wild character who comes from the jungle where I was born.

A Queen and an Outlaw! Huh, fabulous.

Giveaway Time!

We Aussies love sharing books with readers. This is a special one. One lucky reader is going to receive the entire trilogy.

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In your comment below indicate your interest and what particularly appeals to you about this series. I’ll advise the lucky winner next Friday 28 June by email.

Thanks so much Tosca and Ted. Wishing you all the very best with your book tour and next projects.

35 replies
  1. Taylor Bomar
    Taylor Bomar says:

    This series is such a fresh idea. It doesn’t follow the normals of a “dystopian society.” It has new things that are solely the series’. I do particularly enjoy Ted and Tosca’s collaborative style. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Amber
    Amber says:

    This series has really touched my heart in a very special way in its immensely powerful and utterly pure message of love and also of hope. We live in a world where there is little of either, and to have it presented to us in such a unique fashion is sure to leave behind a lasting impression as well as a few questions. More then ever we need to bring the awesome, incomprehensible, and overwhelming message of God’s love to everyone around us, and who better to capture their attention then the masterful creativity of Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee. They both have a tremendous impact on our hearts but in very different but important ways. The quiet simplicity and immense power of authors is astounding to me and always will be. The power of the written word goes without saying at this point in our society, and as a result, we need to be careful about which words we capture, nurture, and give out.

    I would truly love to have this entire series and be able to read this compelling and life changing story in its entirety.

    amccalli(at)gmail(dot)(com)

    Reply
  3. Bianca G
    Bianca G says:

    I would love to read this series! I love Ted Dekker books and I loved Blink as well! That book amazed me! 🙂 I haven’t had the chance to read this series yet, but would love to read them! I loved Ted’s Circle series and his other books, such as Sinner and the others related with that one. Those are fantastic books! I haven’t read Tosca’s books yet, but would love to. I can’t go out and buy books, but would love to receive these! Enjoyed the post! I enjoy how much Ted goes outside the box to help us get outside the box in thinking about Jesus! Blink has always been one of my favorites… I still can’t explain that book well, but God certainly blessed Ted in describing predestination and for it to make sense.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ian
      Ian says:

      It’s wonderful to read, Bianca, the excitement in your voice as you describe the effect Ted’s work has on you. Tosca’s writing does the same for me.

      Reply
  4. amyc
    amyc says:

    I have not read anything by these two authors. But have heard so much about the two that Im interested to see what they are about. The blurb sounds great and the interview was fun to read.

    Reply
    • Ian
      Ian says:

      Thanks Amy for dropping by. Tosca & Ted are wonderful authors taking the reader to different places & stretching our hearts with raw intense emotion.

      Reply
  5. Lucy Morgan-Jones
    Lucy Morgan-Jones says:

    Hi Ian!
    What a fabulous interview. 🙂 Made me laugh out loud a few times. Was great to see magician’s behind the curtain of these cool stories.

    I particularly look forward to learning something new about myself, and finding lies which I’ve believed that I can get rid of through reading these books. Sounds weird, I know. Through reading the “Eyes Wide Open” series it particularly challenged me in the way that I view myself. Loved it.

    All the best as we each write for His glory,
    Lucy

    Reply
    • Ian
      Ian says:

      Tosca & Ted were hilarious. “Eyes Wide Open” was super on many fronts. This series is also an epic adventure which adds to its intensity.

      Always great having you pop over, Lucy.

      Reply
    • Ian
      Ian says:

      Ezekiel, I think you’ll love these and Ted’s new one “Eyes Wide Shut”. Tosca is great how she shares in the Midnight Garden.

      Reply
  6. Nicole Ford
    Nicole Ford says:

    I have read all of Tosca Lee’s books. I was so excited about Iscariot, that I waited for a year for a chance to buy it. The research that goes into her books amazed me. The concepts opened my eyes to Spiritual truths. I also enjoy her style of writing, it feels like poetry. Havah changed my life and my view of myself as a Christian women. The impact was immense! I believe this series would be a great addition to my collection and also books that my husband and me could share. The Holy Spirit spoke to me through Tosca Lee’s fiction…..I hoping to see where He leads me in this series.

    Reply
    • Ian
      Ian says:

      Nicole, Tosca does have a special ‘voice’ when she writes. Iscariot was extraordinary. I’m eager to read her earlier works. Especially wonderful that the Spirit spoke through her writing.

      Reply
  7. Nathanael Tartick
    Nathanael Tartick says:

    I am not a fiction reader by nature, until I read “Forbidden” by the urging of some friends. My usual genre is non-fiction theology. When I read the first book I was engaged from beginning to end. I also loved the notes of theology (minor & major) that dripped all through the pages. The fact that we are all dead until we are covered by the blood of Christ and dwells within us. As well as the christian theology of there is no life unless we have the blood of Christ (John 6). Amazing authors and thank you for converting me to reading more christian fiction. Loved every page and line written.

    Reply
    • Ian
      Ian says:

      Nathanael, you sum up a number of Ted’s key themes that you’ll also find in The Circle series. I’d encourage you to get your hands on those, if you haven’t already. Yes, both Tosca & Ted are gifted in bringing Biblical concepts alive in compelling fictional stories.

      Reply
  8. Amy Machita
    Amy Machita says:

    Ian, You are so lucky! I have wanted to meet them for a long time! Ted has been my absolute favorite for quite a few years. I own everything he has written and pre-order every new book. Tosca became another favorite as soon as I read their first book together. I can tell you a quick story about Ted’s books. My cousin was accused of something and was sent to prison (He was innocent but that is another story!)He has a heart for sharing Jesus with others. Anyway when he was in jail I sent him many books to read. Many were Ted’s books. He read the Circle Trilogy and started to share it with his fellow prisoners. This got them asking questions and he was able to share the gospel with them. I don’t know if any of them became saved but a seed was planted!

    Reply
    • Ian
      Ian says:

      Thanks Amy for popping by once again. It is incredible how the Lord uses disappointments in our life to further the gospel. I trust your cousin is doing okay.

      I’m hoping to meet Tosca & Ted one day, too. Take care, Amy.

      Reply
  9. Kathleen Smith
    Kathleen Smith says:

    I’ve been huge fans of both of this talented authors for quite some time and love where they both go when their writing skills are combined. Gotta love it when Christian authors are taking the world by storm and this sounds like such an incredible collection. Great interview Ian! You asked them questions I’ve always wanted to know.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

    Reply
    • Ian
      Ian says:

      Hi Kat, this is a great collection. I think you’d love them.

      Hope all that pain with your teeth has now been sorted & you can get on with enjoying summer pain-free.

      Blessings,

      Reply
  10. Blake Kauffman
    Blake Kauffman says:

    For me these books showed that you don’t believe everything you see. What appears to be normal can actually be wrong. It showed me to take time to see the world as God has made it and not to see it as what man has changed it into.

    Reply
  11. Melissa Klise
    Melissa Klise says:

    I have to admit, I never read the synopsis of a book before reading it. I want to be completely surprised. However, I do read a lot of reviews and talk to people who have read the books before reading them unless it is by an author I love. This series is by two authors I love, so I’m dying to read it. I’ve heard that a lot of the magic we found in the writing of the Circle series is contained within the artistry of this series, and that, I have to say, is what I look forward to the most. I loved how the story was woven together in the Circle series and have yet to read anything that has captivated me for as long after closing the book as those books did. From all I’ve heard, these books will do this for me.

    Reply
  12. Wanda
    Wanda says:

    I just love Ted and Tosca’s style of writing. It is something different from the norm. It’s refreshing to read things that make you think and wakes you up to certain things. Ted is my most favorite author. Love both Ted and Tosca.

    Reply
  13. Doug
    Doug says:

    Hi Ian,

    My story is much like yours. I’ve followed Ted from the very early stages and it was House that he worked on with Perettif (read that in one day!) that got me thinking I could do something like this. Anyway, I should take a picture of all the books of Ted I have as proof, but hey,you’ll just have to trust me. The “Circle” series was awesome and my review on Amazon actually predicted the titles of the books, first letter only, spelled the series name. Anyway, this is the only set right now I don’t own. ..so hey, you got to interview them…how cool is that????!!!

    Reply
    • Ian
      Ian says:

      G’day Doug

      Great to have you pop by. House was great. Tosca & Ted do a great job writing together. It was fun finding out a little about how they collaborated on this series.

      It’s great seeing Revelation still selling with such excellent reviews. Can’t wait for the follow-up. Get a move-a-long, Doug, your tribe’s hanging out for it. LOL!

      Reply
  14. Jeff Fogel
    Jeff Fogel says:

    The two of you have capture a epic story that we all can relate to as far as lessons leared. Love your work.

    Reply
  15. Emmanuel
    Emmanuel says:

    Wow! I’ve been a Dekker fan for years now, but I haven’t read any of Tosca’s books though I follow her notes and posts and stuff. I loved the interview above, especially the mischievous humor slipped in by the duo. I look forward to reading the Books of Mortals…soon.

    Reply
  16. osezuah
    osezuah says:

    hi Ian, i am a Nigerian who just stumbled across one of ted dekker’s books “ELYON” i was hoping to read it but when i discovered that it was the part 6 of its collection, i decided to set out to get the other parts, i have not read the book but i have a friend who finished it in less than 4 hrs and gave it a good recommendation, just want to commend him on his work and though i have not seen any work by tosca lee, i am sure her work will also be great and i am looking forward to getting this new series of their collaboration

    Reply

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