Thursday, March 28, 2013

On Tuesday, we introduced you to Lisa Bergren, her armchair and actual travels, and her latest release, Grave Consequences. Today, we interview her about her writing life instead of her world tours.

Q: Hi, Lisa. It's great to have you with us today! With all those books to your credit, do you write full time, or do you work it in alongside a full-time job?
A: The day I got my first real job in publishing was also the same day I got an offer for my very first novel. It was a banner day. For a long time, I worked mostly full-time in publishing, and managed the juggle between writing and editing. But as I had babies, that got more complicated and difficult. In 2001, I went home and did quite a bit of freelance editing, but cut back on it as my writing schedule increased. The editing gigs are hard to schedule—it seems to come in batches, and often when I have my own deadlines.

More and more I’ve been craving consistency, a healthy rhythm of life, and less stress. I was living on the edge of burnout. Happily, last fall, we purchased a new business from an older friend, who had been making decorative ducks out of century-old fence posts ( My hubby has always been a wood sculptor, so it was an easy fit for us. Tim crafts the ducks and I spend the mornings finishing/shipping them, and listening to books on my iPod. In the afternoons, I head to the library to write. As of May, I’ll be completely done with freelance editing, leaving me free to concentrate on only my own books. The idea of it, fairly makes me giddy with excitement.

Q:  What do your kids think about your being a writer?
 A: I think they have moments where they think it’s cool. But mostly it just feels like a job to them—something that pays the bills but ties my attentions elsewhere.

That said, my children continually inspire me and my writing. I wrote God Gave Us You because I was longing for an I-Love-You bedtime book that incorporated God. I wrote my first YA series because my teen girls were reluctant readers and I wanted to give them an adventurous, romantic story.

Q:  How do you get your best ideas?
 A: Ideas constantly present themselves, if you’re attuned to your surroundings. People say interesting things or post evocative statements or insightful quotes on Facebook. You might overhear the seed of a fabulous story in the grocery store, or on the radio, or in conversation. Authors are constantly asking the “What if…” question, spinning out an idea, two, three levels and seeing if a story takes root.

Some examples of ideas that germinated into full-blown stories… I got the idea for Mercy Come Morning when my sister-in-law said she’d read about Alzheimer’s units that decorate for Christmas year-round, because patients who could no longer speak, could still sing entire Christmas carols. I got the idea for The Gifted series after reading The DaVinci Code and asking my pastor-cousin about bonafide biblical mysteries, and he told me about the lost letters of St. Paul. I got the idea for my Colorado Series when I learned that one-third of our residents here in Colorado Springs, at the turn of the century, had tuberculosis. The River of Time Series was born after I decided I wanted to write “paranormal” for my teens, but not about werewolves or vampires or witches. I wanted a fantastic element, so I thought of time travel (a long-held fantasy), and combined it with a favorite time period and locale—medieval Italy. It turned out to be a really fun combination. The Grand Tour series was born out of my longing to take a year’s sabbatical and go to travel Europe. When I learned that the wealthy used to send their children off to do so as part of their education…well, that just screamed that it had the makings of a great tale.

Q: Do you like to listen to music when you write?
 A: Definitely. Soundtracks without words are the best. And I just had my teenage daughter, who loves soundtrack music, help me separate my tracks into moods. So now I have tracks for adventure, danger, romance, intrigue, happiness, sorrow, and battle. Nothing puts me in the scene more than the right music. If you’re a writer, check out Liquid Cinema and Audiomachine as a place to start on iTunes. Favorite soundtracks of all time: Gladiator, Chronicles of Narnia, DaVinci Code, The Mission, Mists of Avalon, Braveheart, and The Passion of the Christ. I like the big, epic soundtracks. It makes me think I can write the big, epic novel. J

And who's to say you can't! Thanks, Lisa, for visiting us here at The Borrowed Book.

Lisa T. Bergren is the author of over forty books in many genres, from children’s picture books to adult nonfiction. Her most recent release is Grave Consequences, the second in her Grand Tour Series, following Glamorous Illusions. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three children. You can find out more about her at,, and @LisaTBergren.

Stop back tomorrow, when we'll be giving away a free copy of Grave Consequences! 


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