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Historical Research; The Key to Making Readers Believers

Remember the days of sitting in a library going through old books, looking up facts…

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I like to imagine us five, maybe seven years in the future. We’re at some social event—maybe a wedding—or hanging with family during the holidays. Sharing life updates and talking about the news. 

Inevitably someone will mention 2020 and what a strange, pivotal, surreal, and challenging year it was. About how we coped with quarantine. Politics. The onslaught of the news.

I hope among the home cooking experiments, Netflix binges, and online meetings that conversation includes the books that helped us escape. That made life seem like a distant memory in favor of a more vibrant, sane (or bizarre) reality on the page—if only for an hour at a time. That gave us reprieve—not just from the pandemic and headlines, but the screens that came to dominate our socially-distanced lives. 

As an author, I’ve said for a long time that I take my job as an entertainer seriously. That it’s an honor to help readers escape the rigors of everyday life. I also admit that the lethargy of quarantine has worn on me. That creativity has felt like an elusive and spectral thing with the entire family at home in the chaos of a recent move and stalled house renovations. Having just released A Single Light—the sequel to my 2019 pandemic thriller, The Line Between—a mere four months before the actual pandemic hit, it’s been easy to question the merits of making stuff up (especially disaster fiction) against the backdrop of actual disasters. 

Somehow, that same duology has managed to final for and win more awards than any of my previous work, including twin International Book Awards last month—highlights in an otherwise run-on sentence of a year for which I want to say a hearty “thank you.” Not just to my readers, but to all you readers. Thank you for continuing to support authors—libraries, bookstores, publishers, editors, and everyone associated with written storytelling—by turning to our shared worlds for escape and bringing them to life again and again. Because no story is a one-way conversation; readers co-create the story in new and vivid ways by the act of consuming it. Which is why experienced writers know they’re only a part of the process that lands a book in your hands and story in your mind.

So thank you for continuing to turn to the work of authors like me during these challenging times, for encouraging us with your readership, reviews, and letters, and supporting us and the stores that sell our stories through your purchases and word of mouth to other bibliophiles. 

Thank you most of all for helping us continue to do what we love so much by accompanying us on adventure after adventure in the midst of this strange and wild year. We are here for you, hard at work creating new stories we hope will delight you, and we appreciate you.

 

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of eleven novels including A SINGLE LIGHT, THE LINE BETWEEN, THE

PROGENY, THE LEGEND OF SHEBA, ISCARIOT, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker. Her work has been translated into seventeen languages and been optioned for TV and film. A notorious night-owl, she loves movies, playing football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.