BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

GIVE AWAY - NORA INTERVIEWS LISA BERGREN






I've noticed that you have a new fiction series coming out in June 2009 called Homeward Trilogy. The name of your first book in that series is called "BREATHE". Can you give us a little sneak peek into that this new series will cover and what we can expect from "Breathe". What was your inspiration for this book and series?

BREATHE marks my return to core CBA fiction. My last series, The Gifted, was meant for both a Christian and secular audience--"crossover," is what we call it in the trade. I felt called to write just to my Christian audience, just as God had called me to be salt and light in The Gifted. (There's nothing that goes against our faith in The Gifted--in fact, there is a lot of overtly Christian subject matter and characters in that series--it's just a bit edgier.)

In BREATHE, we're introduced to the three surviving members of the St. Clair clan, who have come to Colorado because Odessa is struggling with tuberculosis. Here in Colorado Springs (my home town), I learned that about 1/3 of our residents at one point were all here to "chase the cure." Our high, dry air was apparently therapeutic. Odessa stumbles into the midst of a murder mystery, and the suspense starts to roll...It was fun to write.

You also have a beautiful children's picture book coming out June 2009 called "GOD FOUND YOU", a story of adoption. What was your inspiration for this story? What is the story about?


God gave me a story in the middle of the night about eight years ago, GOD GAVE US YOU. That book has been a bestseller from the start, and has outsold every other book I've written--which just proves that when God wants to move, he can move in big ways! Many adoptive families have picked it up, thinking that by the title, it was an adoptive story, but it's really meant for two-parent, biological families. So, with the help of five friends who've all adopted children, I wrote GOD FOUND US YOU as an adoptive family resource. I'm VERY excited about it! I hear from parents every week, it seems, asking me if I'd consider writing one. Hurrah--it's almost here!

How hard is it for you to make the transition from writing a novel, non-fiction writing to picture book writing for children? Can you explain how you approach each project? What works best for you when starting a new project?



I'm very project-oriented, so with any book, I get the idea, and live with it for a while. It starts to build in my brain and heart, then I sit down and outline it, live with it for a while longer, then write like a banshee. I'm not a daily writer; I write for an intense period of time and then I'm off to read and dream and ponder and listen for the next idea. With children's books, I write the story, then go back and write the art direction notes. It's very fun.

Lisa you have mentioned on your website that you have made a journey to the Old City of Jerusalem - Galilee, dead sea, Mount Sinai, and Mount of Olives on Palm Sunday; When and Why did you make this trip? How has it affected your life and that of your families lives?









After college I went to Park City, Utah to be a ski bum for a year. I also became a bartender...on Sundays. And after a while, I was pretty deep into depression. It was Christian music and Christian fiction that called me to my knees--and one weekend, I had a personal reformation. I made plans to go see my cousin, who was studying the life journeys of Paul and living with his family in the Old City of Jerusalem. My three weeks in the Middle East confirmed that God was calling me to serve in the industry that had made such a huge spiritual impact on me. So I returned, went to work for a Christian music company, wrote my first book, got a job afterward with a Christian publishing company, continued to write, and the rest is history. So...in answer to your question, I would say that that trip has impacted every single aspect of my life and my family's life. I'm hungering to return now, almost twenty years later.

The Gifted Series - Book #1 "Begotten" what was your inspiration for that book and series? What research did you have to do in preparation to write this series - you are so detailed. How long did this series take you to write?











I love The Gifted series. I think it's my favorite thing I've written so far--it was just so EPIC in nature. I was inspired by The Lord of the Rings trilogy on film, and had read THE DA VINCI CODE in a day (then threw it across the room, so frustrated was I by the heresy within those pages), so I set out to write a quest trilogy, that had the page turning appeal and mystery of DA VINCI, the fellowship like that seen in LOTR, but remain true to the Gospel. It took three and a half years to write, but I loved it. I also got to go to Italy three times on research trips! If you like a romantic medieval backdrop, fascinating heroes, amazing heroines, action, intrigue, you'll like The Gifted.

In the "Gifted" series what was your favorite scene to write? What was the most difficult for you and why?

When Daria, the healer, realizes that God's love is the most healing balm of all and shares that message with a street full of people, was probably my favorite scene. I wept, visualizing our whole, contemporary world, and how many people hunger for God's love. The hardest was when a couple of key characters died. I wept again, because they had become friends to me. And they sacrifice their lives in a grand, heroic moment to save their friends. I can only hope to be as brave.

You are a busy mom with three (3) children, a husband a successful career; when do you find the time for research and writing? How do you balance family and your career? Also maintaining your spiritual walk with the Lord? Any tips you can pass to my readers?





It's definitely a balancing act. For me, it helps to have a Bible study that demands I do some homework. It forces me into the Scriptures and I always come out the richer for it. Right now, I'm doing Beth Moore's ESTHER study. Before that, a friend and I read Eldredge's WALKING WITH GOD with our husband and discussed. I suggest that everyone needs an assignment and a deadline--it will get you into reading and thinking about the faith in a new way that will enrich your life! If you're not a homework kind of person, consider reading a book with some friends and discussing it over dinner in a couple of months--anyone can manage that.







As far as figuring out how to get it all done, I'm struggling a bit more as I get older. I can't stay up late anymore, which is a bummer. I used to get a TON done between the kids' bedtime and my own. Now I'm right behind them! I do best when I have concentrated hours, away from home. Then I can focus better. And lately, I've taken my family with me on research trips--Olivia (13) spent ten days with me in Venice; the whole family was with my in No. Italy; and I leave next month for England and France, and am taking both Olivia and Emma (10) with me. It's fun incorporating the family into my research endeavors--and we get to share an adventure.

When you finally find time to read and relax what do you read? What spoils a book for you - if anything?

I'm in a book club, so I read at least one book a month for fun (Christian and secular). Since I'm an editor and I've read so much, poorly crafted fiction really makes me nuts. I also don't like when a Christian testimony is forced into the pages--I want to read it, believe it, because it's a natural next step for the character. So soap-boxy Christian reads aren't my bag. Fortunately, there are not many of those anymore--Christian fiction has come SO far over the last decade. I love reading books that encourage me to get better as a writer, get better at the craft. I know there is ALWAYS room for improvement for me, too!

Why write Christian fiction when you can write whatever you want? You are versatile.










To me, I can't imagine NOT depicting a character's faith life (or lack thereof.) It's so much a part of my life, that to leave it out, would mean writing half a character. Granted, not everyone is living out their faith, and you have to show those characters to make your story feel real, but the Greatest Story demands that it shine throughout our lives. There's a Christian worship song that goes, "How can I keep from singing your praise?" I can't.

You have mentioned on your website that you enjoy cooking. What do you enjoy cooking the most? Why? Is cooking a family affair?

We love to sit down together at the end of the day and eat a real meal. Candles, placemats, a veggie, a starch, a protein, and have some conversation. It's getting tougher as the kids get older, but I'm clinging to the three or four nights we can manage it, with everything I have in me. The picture, here, is in front of our woodburning pizza oven in Tuscany. Now THAT was some fabulous pizza...sausage, fresh basil, fresh mozarella, fresh tomatoes, red onions...YUM.

1. If you watch the cooking channel who is your favorite chef? Why? Have you made recipes from the shows? If so which ones and how did it turn out?

I watch Food Network all the time. But I've never made anything they've made--I just watch for tips and inspiration!




2. Lets say money isn't an obstacle and you can eat anywhere you would like, what place would be your favorite place to eat breakfast? What would you order and why? What is your favorite place to have dinner? What would you order and why?


Are you a fellow foodie, or what? There are a lot of food questions in your interview!

Breakfast: Mimi's Cafe: Eggs Benedict with spinach; it feels homey, comforting, and I can pretend I'm doing something healthy for my body (spinach) even though I'm clogging my arteries with holondaise









Dinner: Plate: a fabulous chef's restaurant, where he's always making something new. He's inspired by world cuisine, and you can see it in his menu--it's literally laid out with the choices in different regional columns. I feel like I'm on a trip when I'm there...and I usually eat something that I wouldn't try to make at home.

**NOT SURE WHAT A FOODIE IS? I must have been VERY hungry the day that I read up on you. All the food things JUMPED out at me! Plus these resturant questions everyone really loves to read about. Go Figure!! Maybe we're ALL Foodies!!Ha! Ha!"

3. You find yourself in a life threatening situation, who would you pick to save your life? Why? ( it can be anyone from T.V., movies,cartoons the sky is the limit).

Jack Bauer from 24. Because apparently, he can save anyone at any time.



4. What special talent, quality, and/or event you have experienced that would surprise people? Please Explain.

I'm a risk taker. If I wasn't a mom, I'd be sky diving. I like a challenge! I think that's why I can write. Most people can sit down and write for an hour, thinking they want to be a writer. The challenge comes in returning, day after day, or hour after hour, and believing you can actually get to the end of such a project.



5. If you could hang out and/or interview 2 people who are alive or dead in the history of the world for 48 hours, who would you pick and why? What would you do and what would you ask them?











Thomas Merton and Frederick Buechner; I'd ask them to simply let me sit and listen to them pray, and interact. I think they understand the walk of faith in a deeper way that would be truly fascinating to watch played out in normal life for 48 hours.


6. When you were a child what movie did you see that really impacted your life? Why the impact?





Star Wars and Superman--because it made me think beyond ME and my own little, known world.



7. What 2 places do you love to shop? Why?

Target for the deals on cool, hip things. Chico's for non-ironing chic.


8. You mentioned you enjoy being with your family and playing. Is there a board game or card game you all enjoy? If not, how does your family have the most fun? Please explain.


We love a movie night where we all watch a DVD together. And our favorite game form Christmas is Blockus. Very cool strategy game that doesn't take a long time; I get bored with Monopoly (and I always lose!)


9. What T.V.Shows were you passionate about as a child? Why? (you know the ones you couldn't miss each week). If you didn't watch T.V.and just read books - what books were your favorite?


Mickey Mouse Club, Little House on the Prairie--they were comforting, happy.


Emergency--I liked the drama.



And I ALWAYS was reading. My favorites were LITTLE WOMEN and WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS and ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS because they touched my heart, moved me.

10. hey have just invented a time machine that can take you any place you want to go, What event or time period would you visit and why (this could be in the history of the world or some place in your past for future).








Ooo, take me back to be able to sit at Jesus' feet along the shores of the Galilee. That would be amazing to see our Savior in the flesh, in action. To look in his eyes before I get to heaven? Can't find a cooler moment than that.

Thanks Lisa for letting my readers to get to know more about you and the many different books you have written.

IS THERE A FINAL COMMENT YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE MY READERS WITH?


Thanks for giving me a few minutes of your time. I hope you know how much Jesus loves you--if you don't think you truly understand that, I urge you to seek out books that will remind you, teach you, fill you with hope.

REMEMBER if you are ever in Atlanta we'll definitely have to do tea/coffee and of course book club!! This has been a real treat!!


I would love that! Thanks for the opportunity!
LTB

Blessings on your writing Lisa, Until Next Time.

Nora :D
ACFW Book Club Coordinator


****LEAVEA A COMMENT to be entered - DRAWING WILL BE November 20th-- Giving away her new book BREATHE

DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants *****


CONGRATULATIONS TO JULIE LESSMAN-- ON WINNING A COPY OF BREATHE-- THANKS TO EVERYONE for stopping by and leaving such encouraging comments for Lisa and myself. I APPRECIATE YOU!!

26 comments:

  1. Wonderful interview Nora!

    Gail Mundy

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  2. Nora,
    This is the author that answered all of the questions, right? I'm kind of glad b/c she had really good thought out answers.

    As for being a foodie, it's a new term that people use when food is your passion...you love to eat, try new restaurants and recipes, watch the food network, etc. I am definitely a foodie! :)

    Rachel Walker
    Lawrenceville, GA

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  3. I would love to win a copy of this book. Please enter me in the contest. My email address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

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  4. Do you live in Italy then, Lisa? You cooked that pizza outside in a woodburning oven? Wow!!! I am impressed!! I think I have your book Life on planet mom that MOPS sent me, I need to pull it out!
    Thanks for the wonderful interview!
    martha(at)lclink(dot)com

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  5. Great interview! I'm a foodie too!
    I'd love to read this beautiful book...it looks like a really good read. Please add my name to your giveaway. Thank you!

    Blessings,
    Sandee

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  6. a wonderful interview...please add my name to your giveaway...thanks.

    karenk
    kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  7. lisa sounds like a kindred spirit from her comments on well-crafted fiction, good food and beth moore, john eldredge and frederick buechner. i'm sure i'd love her novels.

    angela r.

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  8. I loved the comment about "read it, belive it" on the characters faith. If you have to struggle to feel the characters faith, it weakens the story. Thanks for the comments.
    dparker@englewoodgov.org

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  9. Christmas is coming soon, and I know someone who would love that book! Please enter me in the drawing.

    milibro.sulibro at yahoo dot com

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  10. THanks Lisa for this interview. I glad to get to know you and your books. You are such a versitle author. I'm glad to know you.

    Blessings to you in your writing adventures.

    Nora :D

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  11. Is this giveaway over? It says the drawing will be November 15, but I think you just posted this today?

    Loved reading this interview, but I always love reading the interviews on your site. :) Breathe sounds like a wonderful book--I love historical fiction, and I love mysteries!

    srfbluemama at gmail dot com

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  12. Great interview! I read chapter one of Breathe and would love to win it.

    worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

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  13. I would love to read this book!! I have all of her older books and have this one on my wish-list. She has such talent in writing. Please enter me in your giveaway. Thanks so much!
    esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  14. Please enter me for this giveaway. Thanks! Lori L.
    blessed6mom[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wonderful interview. Great questions and answers. I can't wait to read Breathe. Hopefully I'll win!

    pepsi324[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  16. What a wonderful and thorough interview. Please sign me up to win a book - this author is new to me.
    Deborah M.
    debbiejeanm[at]gmail[dot]com

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  17. Great interview. Please enter me into the drawing.
    kimberlyj503(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. I always look forward to your interviews, Nora. I'm also glad that Lisa is writing for the CBA again.

    I liked Lisa's interview choices of Thomas Merton and Frederick Buechner. My daughter learned about them while in seminary and introduced me to their works.

    Breathe is already on my wish list and I would love to win a copy. Thank you for the giveaway, Nora.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

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  19. I would love to win this book! I enjoyed your interview. Especially all of the pictures (book covers). Very cool!

    Thanks for the chance!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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  20. Another great interview, Nora! Sign me up for the giveaway -- Lisa's books sound wonderful.

    gsusatcharterdotnet

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  21. Lisa, wonderful interview! It's great getting to know you.

    Please enter me in the contest. I'd love to read one of your books.

    Now back to writing!

    CaraLynnJames at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a great interview. I would love to read the book. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I would love to win a copy of this book. Please enter me in this contest. My email address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have been a huge fan of Lisa's for a long time. Her book "The Bridge" my husband and I read out loud to eachother at night. We were very moved by it. Did you know there is a song too? So good?
    Please enter me in the drawing.
    dleathers36(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  25. CONGRATS to Julie Lessman you are the Winner fo Breathe.

    THANKS TO EVERYONE for stopping by and encouraging Lisa and myself. I APPRECIATE you for doing that.

    Blessings to you.

    Nora :D

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  26. i would like to win a copy this book tell me if i can enter the contest

    ReplyDelete