Lisa T. Bergren has been writing captivating novels for almost two decades and I’m delighted to say I own every one of them! Following the wildly appealing YA River of Time series, Lisa now launches her Grand Tour series, a new adult historical series beginning with Glamorous Illusions, available from David C Cook.
Enjoy getting to know Lisa a little better here at Relz Reviewz!
What appeals to you most about writing fiction?
(1) Escape and (2) processing. When I write, I get to escape into my imagination. But not all of it is idle fantasy. Through fiction, I work out issues my friends or I have faced, think through problems, come up with solutions, and enjoy the triumph of victory! I think that processing time assists me in real life too.
Why Christian fiction?
My faith is so much a part of my life, I can’t imagine not incorporating it in my characters. It’d be like I was missing 20% of their characterization to not explore where they are in their faith—whether that means they’re agnostic, a seeker, a baby Christian or a sage believer, long on the road with Christ.
Name five things you can’t live without
Favourite book ~ Favourite movie ~ Favourite TV show
LATEST in all categories: Favorite book: THE HELP; Favorite movie: Midnight in Paris (perfect for writers): Favorite TV show: Downton Abbey
Where is the most interesting place you have been?
Israel. Thousands of years of history, and the crossroads of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, make it a fascinating place, indeed. Add to that Scripture arising in 3D, and I think it’s a place every Christian should see, ASAP.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
An archaeologist like Indiana Jones. A teacher. A nurse.
What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
I’m a delinquent writer; I write when I have to—when I’m on deadline. And I’d rather read than write.
It’s the summer of 1913 and Cora Kensington’s life on the family farm has taken a dark turn. Not only are the crops failing, but someone dear to Cora is failing as well. One fateful afternoon, a stranger comes to call, and Cora discovers a terrible secret about her past…a secret that will radically change her future.
As she travels from England to France, Cora faces the hardships as well as the privileges of assuming the family name. And though now she knows more of her true identity, she soon discovers the journey is only beginning.
What was your favourite scene to write in GLAMOROUS ILLUSIONS?
Here’s a snippet of my fav:
I handed Mama a cup, then sat down next to her. Mr. Kensington was sitting back in his chair, rocking slightly. Mama was sitting as straight as a poker, gripping the handle of her teacup so tightly that her knuckles were turning white.
“Alma, shall I tell her…or would you prefer to do so?” His tone was surprisingly gentle but was undergirded with a level of authority. Still, my mind was racing. Alma? How had this wealthy man come to be on a first-name basis with my mother?
“I will,” Mama said. She set her cup down on the floor beside her and then turned to take my hands in hers.
I noticed her fingers were terribly cold, which was odd on such a fiercely warm day. I glanced from her to our visitor and back to her, seeing the tears in her brown eyes. “Mama,” I whispered. “What is it? You’re scaring me.”
“There’s no good way to put this, Cora. Papa…he never wanted you to know…” She glanced toward the window. Could he hear us? From inside?
I squeezed her hand. “Know what, Mama?”
She turned back to face me, sniffed, and blinked several times. The tears were gone. “Cora, I’ve not been truthful with you, all these years. When your papa and I married…” She took a deep breath. “I was pregnant.” Embarrassment sent flames of red up her cheeks. She stared into my eyes, hers begging for my forgiveness, begging for me to understand. But I still didn’t. Pregnant? It was frowned upon, socially horrifying, wrong in God’s eyes, but at least they had married—
“Cora,” she said in a rush now. “You are not Papa’s child. Not by blood.”
She squeezed my hands hard then, as if fearing I’d reject her. Not Papa’s child…
As if in a dream, I turned from her to him and stared into his eyes. Blue, a light blue, like mine. My breath caught. The angle of his nose, the fullness of his lips…like mine. He nodded slowly, carefully, as if I were a skittish colt about to run back to the barn.
I wrenched my hands from Mama’s, clenching them into fists. “How?” And then coloring at the thought, I rushed on, “When?” Again I chastised myself for my stupidity. I knew exactly when they had been together. And how.
It was my turn to stare at the floor.
Mr. Kensington cleared his throat and leaned forward. “Does it matter that I loved your mother?”
“No,” I said, shaking my head, tears sliding down my face. “No,” I repeated, staring him in the eye. “Because you obviously did not care enough to marry her. To properly assume your role as my father. Thankfully, I have a father now. A decent, upstanding, loving man. Everything that you apparently are not.” In my fury, I’d unconsciously risen.
“That he is,” Mr. Kensington said, unperturbed.
I stopped short. “You know him,” I whispered. I glanced at Mama, but her eyes had glazed over, as if lost in those days some twenty years before.
Which character did you connect to the most?
Cora. I always identify most with my main character. Feel their pain, laugh with them, cry with them. And Cora’s been through much, already, by the time she receives her invitation to go on the Grand Tour of Europe.
Will—he’s the hero, but he doesn’t know it yet. So I had to make him understated…not my specialty.
What’s next in your writing pipeline?
Just finishing #2 in the Grand Tour Series, GRAVE CONSEQUENCES, then a quick e-novella for my River of Time Series, then on to my first YA for Zondervan in the Remnant Series—a dystopian with hope. I plan to do more e-publishing this year too.