Friday, January 25, 2013

Q&A with Author of Iscariot: Tosca Lee

1~ How did your opinion of Judas change after 
writing the novel? 

Tosca Lee: Through the writing of the novel, Judas went from being an intriguing infamous character to a lens on the first Century Jewish Everyman... to an Everyman I identified with closely. I was writing my story, ultimately--a story about the tension between love and grace, and our expectations of a God that cannot be controlled. And so the central question became for me: would I have done the same? And the answer is I can't say that, in the situation, I wouldn't have.

2~ And how can you relate our experience as disciples to Judas'?

Tosca Lee:For your second question, Ian--I think it was Baarth who said that all the disciples failed, really. Judas' was just the most spectacular failure. I don't think we always understand or expect what God means for us or what God is doing at the time, and we forget that it's usually something bigger than we could imagine.
I should add, too, that Jesus talked a great deal about how to live, and how to live included a lot of mercy and love. I think we, like the 12 disciples, can get very caught up in the intricacies of faith, in seeking answers, but the biggest answers always seem to boil down to being filled with love and mercy.

 3~ What was the hardest part of the creation of Iscariot?
Tosca Lee: The hardest part of the creation of Iscariot: The first hardest part was deciding to do it, because my initial reaction to Jeff Gerke (who had acquired and published Demon and Havah) and who had suggested I write about Judas was "NO WAY." The second hardest was doing all the research. I had a lot to learn.

 4~Did you learn anything unexpected while writing it?

Tosca Lee:I learned more unexpected things than I have room for here, from the context of the stories we know so well to nuances of the parables formerly lost on me. But the over-arching thing was the context of oppression under Rome. The fact that other would-be Messiahs had risen up in the past, only to be violently put down. You could not safely make a bid at Messiah-ship without risking life and limb, and the freedoms (including religious freedom) Israel already had under Rome. In Jesus' case, it became far safer to silence him than to risk retaliation.

5~ How have people in your church (assuming you have a home church. If not, we'll say people of your faith) reacted to you penning this book?

Tosca Lee:With wide-eyed looks, questions of "why?" and "Wow. That sounds fascinating." Not everyone wants to see a humanized Judas. But for me, I found looking at Jesus through Judas' eyes--and the eyes of the first Century Jewish Everyman--a way to understand Jesus far better. And the story is ultimately about Jesus.


Where to find Tosca:




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