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Monday, July 14, 2008

Interview with Lisa T. Bergren

Today we welcome Lisa T. Bergren!

Beth: Tell us about your writing journey.

Lisa: I’ve always loved to write—and read. I was one of those kids who said goodnight to the folks and then stayed up late reading under the covers with a flashlight. So the power of story is something I’ve always been drawn toward.

Beth: When do you feel like it all began to come together for you as a writer—was there a particular moment?

Lisa: Whoa. That’s a big statement—“all came together for you.” I don’t think that’s possible. No matter how many books you publish, every one begins with a blank page—and the doubt that assails every author. I wish I could say that it was different; but it’s not! However, I will say that it took about five books with my name on the cover before I’d ever label myself as an “author” or a “writer.” I think I needed a stack in my hands before I could claim anything that audacious!

Beth: Who has influenced you most as a writer and why?

Lisa: My husband, Tim. He’s always open to discussing difficult things and thinking through things that move in our world—politically, spiritually, physically, culturally. And he always sees that I can do more with the craft, so he encourages me to keep pushing forward.

Beth: Tell us about the writing process for you? Does it begin with a character, setting, or plot?

Lisa: Usually plot or setting get me rolling. They seem to give birth to interesting characters.

Beth: Tell us about this book series.

Lisa: The Gifted is about a group of spiritually gifted people in an age that would not welcome such a group. They’ve been brought together to help usher in change in the Church, during pre-Reformation, pre-Renaissance times.

Beth: What inspired you to write this particulate story? Why this setting and time period?

Lisa: Two things: the Lord of the Rings stories on film—loved the epic nature of it—and The Da Vinci Code, the first novel I’ve read in 24 hours in many years. I set out to develop a group of characters that would resonate with fans of LOTR and yet maintain a pacing and suspense factor that would come somewhat close to TDVC (and yet not be heretical!) I started asking my biblical scholar pals about a biblical mystery I could hang my hat on—and found out about the missing letters from St. Paul to the Corinthians. From there, I dug into Corinthians, centering on messages of love and the spiritual gifts present throughout the Body, and then it was just a matter of placing people representing those things in the most antagonistic time possible—which was the medieval era.

Beth: What do you think is the hardest part of writing a series?

Lisa: Ending books 1 and 2 with a satisfying enough ending, but keeping enough storylines hanging that readers want to find out what happens next.

Beth: What were your struggles in writing with a large cast of characters and who was your favorite?

Lisa: I really “felt” Daria the most, and was moved by her, but I fell a little in love with the glamorous Gianni—the studly, knight/hero with the gift of faith—the stately, mute Hasani, who has the gift of visions, and the humorous sidekick Vito, who just comes along for the ride and provides a little comic relief in the midst of all the drama and terror.

Beth: What is the message you hope to get across in this story?

Lisa: That the battle wages today, and God counts on us all to do our part to fight against evil.

Beth: What are your future writing plans?

Lisa: Book 3 in The Gifted Series, The Blessed, comes out this September. Next up is a historical suspense trilogy set in Colorado, a nonfiction book on mothering for MOPS, and a few more children’s books.

Beth: What is the best advice you ever received?

Lisa: Hmm…in regard to writing or life? On writing—don’t wait for inspiration, just get your rear-end in the chair and stay there until the page is filled with words (you can always rewrite them). On life—keep learning and loving more. Although life is short, constantly learning and loving makes it wide indeed.

Thanks for the wonderful interview!

You can read more about Lisa at her website: http://www.lisatawnbergren.com/home.html

If you'd like be eligible to win a copy of one of Lisa's book, please post a comment.


Blogger Carolynn W. said...

I've heard a lot of good things about this book and I'm eager to read it myself. Thanks for the chance to win!

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa is a great writer.
She has an uncanny knack for spinning solid stories into books that are emotionally felt.

I hope she writes for many years to come.

Brandt Dodson

7:45 PM  
Blogger windycindy said...

Hello, I really enjoyed your interview with Lisa. I like reading more about the author behind the books they write! Her suspense series sounds wonderful. Please enter my name in your drawing. Thanks for the review and contest. Cindi

1:59 AM  
Blogger tetewa said...

Please include me for the draw, I enjoyed the interview!

9:01 AM  
Blogger RaiderLegend said...

Enjoyed reading Lisa's interview. From reading "The Begotten" I felt the author must be well acquainted with the gifts she gives to her characters (Faith, Healing, Vision, etc...). Drawing from the interview I see that Lisa is a true believer of good and truth. Its the classic case of an author being one with his/her creation. I'm still reading "The Begotten" and hope to discover more about Lisa through her book. I'm enjoying it tremendously. Thanks!

11:47 PM  

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