Interview with Lisa Bergren
1) How long did it take you to land your first contract?
I almost hate to tell this story…I got a contract right after I finished my first novel, REFUGE. At the time, there were hardly any contemporary Christian romances. It was mostly Oke, McDonald, Pella, etc historicals in the market. So I saw a hole and set out to try and fill it (and at that time, it wasn’t nearly as competitive). For my first book, the romance formula felt comforting–I knew girl had to meet boy, boy and girl had to break up, and girl and boy had to get back together. With that outline and a great setting, I was good to go. God was gracious in helping me find a publisher who saw the hole too–we ended up building a whole contemporary romance line together (Palisades). ThenI moved on to bigger historical women’s fiction, then contemporary general fiction and now these supernatural medieval thrillers in The Gifted series.
2) What does a typical writing day look like for you?
When I’m writing (which is not every day), I usually try and get some things done around the house, my family in order so they’ll give me a few hours to myself, squirrel myself away in my bedroom, put on my headphones to listen to soundtracks and let my “movie” flow out of my fingertips. Some days I’m lucky to write 1500 words. Other days I can write 7500 words. And there are whole MONTHS I don’t write a word. I read/research a lot, and start to build the story in my head before I sit down and write. I also like to rewrite what I wrote the previousday, which produces a cleaner chapter and reminds me where I was so I can move forward again.
3) Why do you choose to publish with an ABA house rather than a CBAhouse?
My agent and I thought the series could have good crossover potential, with its bigger, epic feel. And I LOVE it when I can be salt and light out in the world. I certainly will never leave my Christian faith out of my books–because it’s so much a part of who I am, I can’t imagine not writing about it. But where God leads, I will go. He opened the door; I just walked through it. Who knows what’s next? I may be back with a CBA pub again. I’m open!
4) What are a few good habits aspiring authors can incorporate intotheir routine to become better writers?
Read inspiring novels that are beyond what you can do yourself with yourown writing right now. Read writing magazines, blogs and web sites that offer good structural/building block advice. And write like crazy…if God doesn’t open the door for your first book, he may for your second or third. If you’re called to the craft, just work on getting better at it every time you try, and you’ll be on the right road. That’s what I try and accomplish still–pushing myself to the next level with each successive book. That’s the goal, anyway!