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Wynter Roth went into the bunker thinking she had stopped the apocalypse, believing that the antidote to the disease ravaging the United States would be distributed. But the world she finds when the bunker opens is not the one she hoped for.
Recently, Josh Olds had the chance to sit down with NYT bestselling author Tosca Lee to talk about that story, A Single Light, as well as some other projects she’s working on. Listen in:
Josh Olds: What’s the underlying theme behind A Single Light?
Tosca Lee: It’s natural to want to stay within our comfort zones, stay within our communities, stay within the safe confines where we feel comfortable, because let’s face it—nobody likes to feel uncomfortable. So we gravitate towards those areas, whether they are communities, or geographical locations, or groups of friends, or groups of people, whatever it is. Because they inform our identity, and we also feel safe. But the thing I really wanted to explore, especially the ex-cult member storyline was to say that, yes, even when the world is falling apart around you, and all you can see is terrible things or evil things: there are still beautiful moments of beauty and grace. And that what you put out there is what you will see reflected back. So if you’re expecting terrible, horrible, fearful things, yes, you’ll see that. But if you’re looking for beauty out in the world, you will find it.
Josh Olds: But the book doesn’t shy away from the dark moments, either.
Tosca: Yes, there are some very dark moments, but there’s always hope, there’s always the thought that if we can do this thing, and it’s the mission that winters on in the first book, if we can do this thing and achieve this thing, it will get better. So we’re not, we’re not stuck here hopelessly forever. We, we can solve this. And so I think it’s that thread of hope running through it. And that’s really a big part of why the second installment is called A Single Light, because it’s based on this idea, like, you know, if you have a hundred good people, or if you have ten good people, or just one good person, you know, while everything is falling apart and going dark around you—it’s a world worth saving.
The Book | A Single Light
Read the full Life is Story review.
Six months after vanishing into an underground silo with sixty others, Wynter and Chase emerge to find the area abandoned. There is no sign of Noah and the rest of the group that was supposed to greet them when they emerged—the same people Wynter was counting on to help her locate the IV antibiotics her gravely ill friend, Julie, needs in order to live.
As the clock ticks down on Julie’s life, Wynter and Chase embark on a desperate search for medicine and answers. But what they find is not a nation on the cusp of recovery thanks to the promising new vaccine Wynter herself had a hand in creating, but one decimated by disease. What happened while they were underground?
With food and water in limited supply and their own survival in question, Chase and Wynter must venture further and further from the silo. Aided by an enigmatic mute named Otto, they come face-to-face with a society radically changed by global pandemic, where communities scrabble to survive under rogue leaders and cities are war zones. As hope fades by the hour and Wynter learns the terrible truth of the last six months, she is called upon once again to help save the nation she no longer recognizes—a place so dark she’s no longer sure it can even survive.
The Author | Tosca Lee
Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Line Between, The House of Bathory Duology (The Progeny, Firstborn), Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker.
A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband. You can find Tosca hanging around the snack table or wherever bacon is served.
Listen to more interviews with Tosca Lee.