KP Book Review: Waterfall

By KayleighAnne E. Stanton

What if our time collided with another? What would happen to our world? Who would we become?

See the answers unfold in Waterfall, book one of the River of Time series.

Every summer, sisters Gabi and Lia have reluctantly traveled to the beautiful country of Italy with their parents, who seem to care more about archeology than their daughters. After the death of their father, the girls stumble across Etruscan ruins their parents have long been hunting for. One hot, dusty day the sisters sneak off to examine the tomb, artifacts, and strange handprints no one can explain.KP_Book_Review_Waterfall

When the girls touch the handprints, they are pulled into a whirlwind that sweeps them into fourteenth-century Italy, where life is difficult. The sisters get separated, and Gabi searches desperately for Lia—and a way to return home. [Read more…]

Exclusive Author Interview: Lisa T. Bergren

Kingdom Pen’s own Sarah Spradlin had the opportunity to ask a few questions of the best-selling, award-winning author Lisa T. Bergren. Read the elusive interview below!

KP: In the end, our goal, as Christian authors, is to further the Kingdom for Christ and glorify Him. But it had to start somewhere. How did you come to know Christ as your savior and how has that influenced your writing?

LB: I was raised in the church and feel like I’ve always known Him. But I dedicated my life and work to Him after a personal reformation RemnantsSeasonexperience I had when I was a tending bar in Utah! You never know when and where God will summon his people…

KP: When we first think of Christian authors, our first thoughts may be more along the lines of Max Lucado or Andy Stanly, who are better known for non-fiction based material. How big of a place do you think Christian fiction has in the overall Christian media? Has this influence grown in recent years, or is there still room for lots of expansion?

LB: I don’t know if there’s room for a lot more expansion. I’d like to see more Christian voices in the mainstream, rather than segregated out, which is partially why I wrote the “crossover” series, River of Time (WATERFALL, etc) and now REMNANTS.

KP: Speaking of River of Time, the main plotline isn’t hinged on Christianity. Despite this, you have woven a lot of lessons and moral thinking into your novel. Characters such as the priest and many of the main characters speak about their faith throughout the series. How did you find the right balance in plot and Jesus, and how can young authors today find that for themselves?

LB: For that series, specifically, I was attempting to write for anyone in my daughter’s high school class. I wanted a faith aspect to be present, but to present it as a seeker might consider such matters (which Gabi is), rather than from a clearly Christian perspective. For me, the faith element always has to be natural to the characters—how they’d realistically think/believe (or not), rather than what the author WANTS them to think/believe. That’s just good characterization tactics. If other authors seek to do the same, I think they’ll find that same balance.

KP: River of Time also features many elements of fantasy, namely time traveling. Finding the right balance between fantasy and reality can be difficult, especially when writing from a Christian perspective. What were some ways you made sure things remained in good boundaries and what are some suggestions you have for other Christian authors endeavoring to write their own fantasy novels?

LB: Oh, heavens, I’m pretty liberal on this front so maybe I’m not the best person to ask. My own thought is that God gave us a creative mind, and Jesus told stories to get his ideas across, so that gives us a pretty broad platform. That said, I strive not to write anything that pulls people away from their faith or morals.

 

“God gave us a creative mind, and Jesus told stories to get his ideas across, so that gives us a pretty broad platform.”

 

KP: The River of Time series can accurately be labeled as a romance novel. And while some people may not be all out for the mushy-mushies, others may want more. Have you ever been pressured to put more romance into your novels—perhaps even parts that are more adult in nature? If so, how did you respond to those pressures and what advice do you have to authors who are trying to write clean, Christian romance.

LB: I’ve never been pressured to write more and I don’t think I’d write for a publisher who demanded it. I’m already pushing the physical attraction angle as far as I’m willing to go. As it is, I consider my writing pretty edgy for the Christian market. So I’ll draw the line there.

KP: It’s very clear what the stereotypical Christian romance book is: guy meets girl, girl has ton of faith, guy is sketchier, she brings him to Christ, there are some struggles, and they live happily ever after. Or at least some variation thereof. The River of Time series was not at all like that. What methods did you use to keep your romance from becoming cliché and unoriginal?

LB: Hmm, I guess I just always seek to tell a new story, about unique characters, and it emerges from there. 

KP: Publishing is often the hardest thing for an author to accomplish. What was the first book you submitted to be published? Was it rejected or accepted, and how can young authors best brace themselves and be okay with being rejected?

LB: I was in the right place at the right time. Christian fiction was young and I had a new concept novel drafted (contemporary romance) when there wasn’t much competition. The same day I got a job with a publisher, they gave me a contract for my novel, and that novel did crazy-well. So….God smiled. I was incredibly blessed. And have been ever since. * ducks now to avoid flying plates from other authors * I know it doesn’t come down for many that way and am grateful. That said, if you believe God has called you to be a writer, keep at it. Set aside the novel you’ve rewritten 10 times and try another. Go to a writer’s conference where the publisher you dream of pubbing your book attends. Get a meeting with the editor. And then get a meeting with the series-publisher who accepts many more newbie writers. Gain some experience wherever you can and then go after the dream-publisher again. Any and all experience in publishing helps.

KP: Remnants: Season of Wonder, the first of a new dystopian series, was released on April 8 of last year. Tell us a little bit about it and what your outlook for it is.

LB: I’m jazzed to be writing for the YA market again. I love writing for teens (and their moms!). I’m antsy about the reception, because once again, I’m cutting into new territory. To my knowledge, there haven’t been many fantasy-romance-spiritual-suspense-dystopians out there.

KP: Seeing your book in print for the first time must be one of the best feelings in the world. If you could pick only one word to describe the moment when you held your first printed book in your hands, what would it be and why?

LB: Glory! Totally stunning, overwhelming, is-this-real moment. 

KP: Authors can do some crazy things. Whether it’s talking in character, pulling all-nighters to make deadlines, or dressing up in full costume and storming libraries and bookstores everywhere, it can be pretty exciting. What is the craziest or most memorable thing you’ve done as an author?

LB: Nothing truly crazy from this author. Most memorable? Research trips to England, France, Italy, Alaska and Maine. Love that part of the job…

 

LTB_author_picLisa Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 40 books, with more than 2.5 million copies sold. Recently, she has published a YA series called River of Time (Waterfall, Cascade, Torrent, Bourne & Tributary) and Remnants: Season of Wonder, with a sequel soon to follow. Hailing from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Mrs. Bergren balances both managing home base and writing. She and her husband Tim have three kids–Olivia, Emma and Jack.

Maker sure to check out her website and books!

Profile photo of Sarah Spradlin
If you’ve ever emailed us at KP, you’ve probably “met” Sarah—a passionate storyteller with a huge heart that loves Jesus and everyone she meets. Sarah grew up in Georgia with her mom, dad, and little sister, Merry, where she attends the University of Georgia, majoring in International Affairs and Agriculture Communication. When she graduates, Sarah wants to help people all over the world succeed in the agriculture industry and tell the all-important story of the farmer. She joined the Kingdom Pen Team as Secretary in September 2013 and now serves as the Director of Community Happiness. Sarah has been homeschooled, private-schooled, and graduated from Madison County High School in May 2015. She attended Summit in July 2015. She’ll read pretty much anything (if she had to pick, though, her favorite author would be Frank Peretti) and has tried her hand at pretty much every kind of writing out there, though she likes writing fiction and poetry best. But because writing bios is a struggle, if you really want to get to know Sarah, shove some words in her general direction via the Forum, on one of the many social medias down below, or through the KP e-mail: kingdompenmag@gmail.com.