Tosca Lee

Tosca Lee is the author of Demon: A Memoir and Havah: The Story of Eve (re-releasing from B&H this June and August). Her third novel, the story of Judas Iscariot, and Forbidden, co-authored with Ted Dekker (Hachette) both release 2011. Visit Tosca on the web at: or Facebook .

Night-owl or Vampire-slayer?

A couple weeks ago on a gorgeous spring afternoon, I threw open the heavy velvet drapes in my bedroom and cracked the sliding glass doors. I fell down on my bed and crawled beneath the crisp sheets. The sun through the transom was warm on my face.

It was a glorious day for sleeping.

That evening, I rose at dusk to a chorus of crickets. Leaves rustled in the courtyard. Birdsong at twilight. I closed the sliding door and turned on the low lamps in my house, donned my slippers.

And sat down at my desk to work.

I know I’ve got it backward, though I’ve wondered more than once if our day or nighttime preferences are actually hardwired within us. I have engaged a few of you in this conversation before. Despite efforts to change, I’m leaning toward the hardwiring theory.

I’ve been a night owl as long as I can remember, risking ire of parents, camp counselors, sleeping college roommates. When I was married I used to try to turn in before my husband’s morning alarm went off—not that I’d want to loiter past dawn at any rate. As soon as that wan light hits the horizon, all the magic is gone.

Daytime, for me, is the realm of errands, of customer service, and bank and mall hours. Of Oprah, lunch, phone calls, and working out (’nuff said).

But evening, especially after dark, is the realm of possibility, danger, dreams. There’s something primordial about midnight, fertile as ooze.

I’ve always been a little afraid of the dark. I slept with my head assiduously covered up well into my early thirties. All the better reason to work by gorgeous lamplight and sleep in the sun by day.

Editors, friends, and colleagues have all separately wondered about these strange hours of mine. “You’re really a vampire, aren’t you?” more than one of them has written to me in response to an e-mail sent in the hours before dawn.

“Quite human,” I say. “As far as you know.”

As human as anyone who pursues light by the adventure of writing, but finds the best way to do it at night.

And so that’s why you might not hear back from me before noon, why my five a.m. reply to your e-mail happened on the going-to-bed side of things rather than the waking-up. Why on any given sunny day you’ll find me at home, drooling on my pillow...

Until night comes with her brittle stars and fluttering moths. When the day-to-day is gone and I am making tea, preparing as the rest of the world sleeps . . . to dream.


Havah (rerelease)Demon