Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lisa T. Bergren Author Interview

Photo Content from Lisa T. Bergren

LISA TAWN BERGREN is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 30 books, with more than 1.5 million copies sold. She just finished writing a Colorado historical trilogy (the first book, Breathe, Sing and Claim), and has begun a teen series called River of Time (Waterfall, book 1, comes out in February 2011).

Lisa’s time is split between managing home base, writing (including a fair amount of travel writing), consulting and freelance editing (with a little speaking here and there). She’s married to Tim, a liturgical sculptor, graphic designer and musician. They have three kids–Olivia (15), Emma (12) and Jack (7).

All five of the Bergrens make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


How would you describe yourself in three words?
Creative. Evolving. Passionate.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Getting my rear-end in the chair on a daily basis. I'm easily distracted. Twitter? Facebook? I have to go to the library to get anything done (and never, ever log on to the Internet there.)

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Francine Rivers and Angela Hunt. They always write the next story God lays on their heart--and I do the same. It makes it interesting--I'm always writing something new. But it also makes it hard for my publishers to promote me, since I'm always beginning again, with a fairly unique audience. For instance, before River of Time, I'd never written for the general market YA crowd (but I had written for the Christian historical, contemporary and supernatural suspense readers). The interesting thing? I feel compelled to write MORE for the general market YA readers--I'm in love with them! So I might settle in here for a while.

What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted?
Stunned. Amazed. Deliriously happy.

For those who are unfamiliar with your The River of Time Trilogy, how would you introduce it?
It's about two modern girls who time travel back to medieval Italy, and then must try to return home...after they decide if they really want to. Lots of romance, action and intrigue!

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
Because I loved it! I was passionate about Gabi and Lia from the first sentence until the last.

What inspired you to write the series? Is there a story about the writing of this novel that begs to be told?
I have two teenage girls in the house and neither of them are very passionate readers. I brought home book after book, in all genres, trying to get my eldest hooked. But it wasn't until TWILIGHT that she understood the power of a story--how it can take you to another place, believe you're the character, experience what they're feeling...After that, she's often had a book in her hand, so I'll forever be grateful to Stephanie Meyer! I wanted to write a series for her and her sister that would engage them on the same level, so I set out to figure out a story that didn't have vampires in it, but had similar fantastic elements. Time travel was an obvious answer.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing The River of Time Trilogy?
Italy had no tomatoes in medieval times. Can you imagine Italian food without tomatoes?? 

[Jean: Really? No tomatoes? I really can't imagine]

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
There are always bits and pieces of people I know in my characters. But the characters as a whole are their own unique people.

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
I did! They each have Facebook pages! Check 'em out via "River of Time Series" on Facebook. Readers are having fun interacting with them.

If you could introduce Gabi & Lia to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I think they could use some wisdom from a priest in The Gifted Series (THE BEGOTTEN, THE BETRAYED, THE BLESSED). He's a good guide.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about Marcello?
He never wanted to be Lord Forelli. In his mind, the title was always destined to be his brother's.

What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
That the series makes them think about how they live their lives. Love that.

What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?
I have no idea!

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Getting email and letters from fans, meeting them at signings. I love their passion. Their love for my story makes us instant friends, since we have that in common!

Which author would you love to co-author a book with?
No one. That sounds like a nightmare. I just can't imagine volleying a story back and forth.

Favorite places to travel?
Italy (surprise, surprise). England.

What book are you reading now?
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

What is your favorite Quote?
"Life is short, but wide." ~Anonymous

Favorite food?
I rarely meet a food I DON'T like. *sigh* *looks at Jan resolution to lose weight*

What are 4 things you never leave home without?
Wallet, cell, keys, lipstick

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
"Tintin" was our last movie; Amazing Race, Castle, Food Network Star are favs on TV

Lisa Tawn Bergren's new YA series, River of Time, is romantic, historical fiction in which the plucky heroine doesn't have to fear a vampire's bite but must still fight for her life. In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in sixteenth-century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds... until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the sixteenth-century—and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.

Praise for WATERFALL

“Lisa Bergren has stirred up an exciting and memorable tale that teen readers should thoroughly enjoy!”  Melody Carlson, author of the Diary of a Teenage Girl and True Colors series

Waterfall by Lisa Bergren is not your average adventure about the possibility of bending time and the impacts of altering past events. I knew I would enjoy this book from the moment I discovered that the main character, Gabi, is suddenly in the midst of a war between two lands in the 1300’s. I have always enjoyed books set in medieval times and everything I love about that era was included.

The time travel elements that Bergren delicately described within these incredible pages were simply remarkable. Medieval times in Italy was the right setting for the story as Gabi and her sister, Lia, encounter battles, political conspiracy, royalty, and let’s not forget, romance! It also presented a lot of beautiful scenes that helped make the story so vivid and alive.

The fact that Gabi and Lia become these two powerful women was a big plus for me. I love a story with a strong heroine—and we get two in this story! Gabi is one of the few characters that I truly adore because she is truly believable in terms of wits and common sense. Instead of a girl who finds herself in Medieval Italy and not knowing what to do, we get a level-headed young woman who quickly adapts the lifestyle of the 1300’s so she can pass as one of them. Her romantic adventure with the knight-prince Marcello was very interesting because they have fallen for each other and the reader knows that they could never be truly together.

Lisa Bergren has done a wonderful job in researching her story. She puts in effort in putting details of the lifestyle and language of that era. The characters she has brought to life were enjoyable to just read about and their interactions between them were excellent. This is part of a trilogy so don’t expect the end to resolve anything. With all considerations, I don’t mind because I can’t wait to read more about Gabi & Lia’s adventure.

You can purchase Waterfall at these following retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you LISA BERGREN for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will win a book of choice from the River of Time Series by Lisa T. Bergren.
(Signed if in the USA, Unsigned if international)


  1. My favorite place to travel is England or Algeria ( my beautiful country) ^_^
    Thank's for the giveaway

  2. I would have to say that my fav place to travel right now is between Colorado, Texas, and Salt Lake City. And thank you so much for the giveaway!!! You are full of awesomesauce :)

  3. Well first thanks for this, and the interview rocks!! :)) TY TY

    Favorite place to travel, well Seattle, but I would love to travel outside the country if I could!!


  4. What a lovely, fantabulous interview! Thanks so much for letting your readers know more about me and my books!

  5. Great interview! Lisa is always so much fun!

  6. Amazing giveaway! I cannot wait to read this series! Definitely my kinda series. I live in a really tiny town and I haven't traveled much...BUT I would love to go to Greece someday. I find Greek history (and mythology) extremely interesting. Not to mention the great food and hot men!

  7. I don't really do much travelling due to family life, but we did go away a few years ago to a place in Northern NSW,in Australia called Evans Head. So lovely! Rained every night but was nice, bright and sunny during the day.

    Thanks for the amazing interview and giveaway! :)

  8. I have so many places I want to see, anything with a beautiful seaside and shiny sun seems amazing to me... I have the flu now, and it's freezing here.

    I would LOVE to visit Paris again.

  9. I haven't really traveled very many places, but if I did I would love more than anything to go to Greece or Venice :D

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

  10. I would love to travel to prague or budapest or greece. Anylace peaceful and green and beautiful would be fine as well.

  11. The beach!! Is my favorite place in my country! It's so beautiful too! :)

  12. My Favorite Place To Travel Is California.

  13. Just close to my home :)

  14. Interesting interview. Love this series and I'll be travelling to Italy this year! It'll be my second trip :)

  15. Great Interview!

    And I don't really travel. But I do enjoy going to Texas. If I could travel anywhere I would love to go to Ireland :)

  16. Great interview and giveaway!!
    I don't actually travel anywhere so I don't have a favorite travel spot. I would really love to go to Florida though. I went when I was a year old and would really love to take my family there :)


  17. I haven't gone to that many places but I do love Colorado! Thank you for the giveaway!!!