Waterfall, River of Time Series #1Waterfall, River of Time Series #1
Lisa Bergren
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Maybe most American teens would love a Mediterranean vacation, but the Bentarrini sisters are stuck in Italy every summer with their archaeologist parents! Young Gabi is bored out of her mind . . . until she's swept into the 16th century and a whole new world filled with knights, horses, armor, swords, and great-looking Italian guys!
     

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 Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of twenty-two titles, totalling more than a million copies in print. After a four year hiatus, she is at work on her next historical series, a trilogy called The Gifted, to begin releasing in August (The Begotten). The Gifted is about a group of people in the 14th century who are spiritually gifted and hunted by forces of evil, as well as the Inquisition. She's happy to be writing again!

Favorite Verse: Philippians 4:13 - "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." or The Message's version: "Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am."

 


 

 Our Interview with Lisa Tawn Bergren


 

How did you get started as a CBA writer?

About twenty years ago, post-college, I got a job with a Christian music company—Frontline, in Southern California—and tinkering on a contemporary Christian romance novel on the side. They were trying to get a book division going and handed me a project as an English major grad/Writer-Wannabe to help Mom and Pop Winans write their biography. I did my best, but it’s not anything I’d be anxious for others to read now! A year later, I’d finished my novel, and the same day Questar/Multnomah’s publisher offered me a job in marketing, he also offered me a contract. Refuge came out nine months later, hit the bestseller list, and from then on, God kept giving me ideas, doors kept opening, and I kept walking through them. It’s been pretty amazing, really. I know that lots and lots of people struggle to get published and can only thank God that he gave me a chance.

How did you come up with the concept for Waterfall?

My teen was a reluctant reader and her little sis was following in her footsteps. There’s so much competing for their attention these days. I wanted to write a fantastic novel that would capture their interest, and keep them reading, but wasn’t sure where to start.

A few years ago, I gave Olivia, my teen, a copy of Twilight and she read it in three days. The fastest she’d ever read a book was in three weeks! I read it, we discussed some things I appreciated about the novel—and some things that concerned me too—and we went on to read the rest of the series together. When we went to the first movie opening, and I saw all those girls so excited to see that novel “come to life” on screen, I knew I wanted to write for them—to give them a love story that moms would like as much as the girls did.

I decided that there were some big factors in Twilight that helped make it succeed, and that I liked too: (1) High romance; (2) a Romeo & Juliet set-up that made it look like hero and heroine would have to remain apart; (3) an intriguing, alternate, parallel world; (4) good suspense that kept the pages turning. So I tried to figure out something that incorporated those classic story elements, but wasn’t just another Twilight-knock-off. I wanted a fresh tale to tell. Something my own, and since I’ve always thought the knight-and-lady set-up was immediately romantic, suspenseful, it seemed natural to return to the 14th Century in my books. Bring two kids from modern America back to that world and mix? Boom, you have some interesting writing fodder. ƒº

 

What is the symbolism for the title Waterfall?

The series is called River of Time, because of the obvious factor that the girls are falling through the ages (thus the name Waterfall), back to medieval Italy, but it’s really about life. About embracing life, and everything good—and bad—in it, as a gift from God. Feeling it, rather than just making it through. And part of that is recognizing his hand in it all.

How much research did Waterfall take?

Fortunately, I went back to a time period I’d researched heavily for the Gifted series (The Begotten, The Betrayed, The Blessed)—the fourteenth century—so I just had to dig all my resource books out again to remember things like the pope was gone from Rome in those years (he was in Avignon, France) and details like there were no tomatoes yet in Italy (they came later).

The new aspect I had to delve into was the characterization of teens. Happily, I have girls who have friends who were willing to help—they weeded out all my Mom language and helped me make Gabi and Lia sound real, believable.

What was the most interesting fact that you learned while researching and writing Waterfall?

¾ of all women were married by the time they were 19. It was very common for a girl of 15—the target age of my reader—to be married. A very few made it to the age of 24, which is what I think most of us consider a typical marriage-age these days. But then the average life span was only about 44 years, so they had to get to it, didn’t they?

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
 
Concentration time—I’ve taken to doing my social networking and marketing and home life stuff in the morning and then heading to the library for the afternoon to write.

 

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

Putting on my headphones (I listen to soundtracks as I write) and seeing a scene unfold in my head like a movie. The whole book really becomes like a screenplay to me, unfolding bit by bit.

What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?

Early on, I inhaled Writer’s Digest. I’m just rejoining some groups now, like ACFW and RWA, but mostly for networking purposes and to get fresh inspiration (always room for improvement!)

What books did you read as a child?

Anything and everything I could. I was a voracious reader and loved the Nancy Drew mysteries, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables…I was a library rat.

Are there any other new projects on the horizon?

Always! I’m just wrapping up Torrent, the third book in this series (all three in the series will be out this year), and I find I’m really, really sad about leaving these characters and this audience. So there’s a new teen proposal out there that I hope will find a publishing home. In the meantime, I’m writing a series about a group of young people on the Grand Tour of Europe, which will begin to release in 2012, from David C. Cook.

Who/what has been the most significant influence on your writing career?

The Thoenes, Frank Peretti, Francine Rivers.

What message would you like your readers to take from reading Waterfall?

Falling in love with a hero, a knight inside, is worth the wait.

What is your greatest achievement?

A growing faith in God, a thriving marriage, and three amazing, imperfect children.

What do you do to get away from it all?

Travel! We love to explore and have a family travel web site: www.theworldiscalling.com

Is there anything else you would like to add?

If you’re a mom of a teen who’d rather do anything else than read, don’t give up! Keep trying to find the kind of books he/she would like to read. Is it romance? Suspense? Mystery? Graphic novels? Something more cerebral? If you can find the hook that speaks to them, it just might make your reluctant reader an enthused reader.

 

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Gifted Series, Vols 1-2
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