Interview by Brock Eastman
Featuring Season of Glory
The power of the Remnants and their people are growing, threatening Pacifica’s careful plans for domination. Among the Trading Union, village after village, outpost after outpost, and city after city are drawn to people of the Way and agree to stand against those who hunt them. As the Pacifica government seeks to annihilate the Remnants, the emperor Keallach finds himself focusing instead on his lost brother…and Andriana. While her heart belongs firmly to Ronan, Andriana still feels a connection to Keallach she can’t deny. But welcoming him as a Remnant may mean leading the enemy directly into their ranks.
“…accelerating action and heart-pulling surprises…” –USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog
Lisa T. Bergren’s Remnants series brings to life an exciting group of character and locations, her voice adds depth and intrigue that few other authors are able to do. The final book in the Remnants series is out and available now.
Brock: Lisa, what inspired you to take on a dystopian style series?
Lisa: With teens in the house, it was impossible to miss The Hunger Games and other dystopian novels. But most of the series I read left me missing an element of hope—which I think can only be found by incorporating a God-aspect. So I began thinking about how I’d go about doing it and yet still be accessible to the general market. I always love to write books that my teen daughter could hand to anyone in her public school.
Brock: Weaving in the truth hope only our God can provide, is so critical for teens and as mentioned is so often missing. Who are the main characters and what makes them unique.
Lisa: Remnants centers around teens who were all born on the same day, with the same birthmark. But each of them has different gifting. Andriana is an empath—meaning she can sense what others are feeling. Tressa has the gift of healing. Vidar can discern good from evil. Chaza’el sees the future. Keallach and Kapriel each have miraculous powers.
Brock: In three sentences, what is this book about?
Lisa: It’s about a group of kids, born to save the world on the brink. It’s about discovering your own unique gifting and utilizing those gifts for the good of all. It’s about finding hope and love even when all seems dark and dismal.
Brock: Do you outline the entire book before starting, or do you write as you go and let the characters take control of the story?
Lisa: I have a general sense of what’s going to happen at the end of each book in a trilogy, creating an overall arc. But most of the time I write by the seat of my pants; I love to see what surprises emerge in each story I write.
Brock: How do you believe this story relates to the lives of readers?
Lisa: My hope is that every reader would understand that they’ve been divinely gifted to change and better their world.
Brock: What is your favorite genre to write for?
Lisa: Right now, I’m in love with the teens! They’re so responsive, interacting me on Facebook, Twitter, email, Instagram. And those adults who read YA too seem particularly friendly. So I think I’ll stay in this arena for a while.
Brock: Any certain research required for the book, or is it all from your imagination?
Lisa: Most of my previous books have required historical research, knowing what had happened and when, and how that might impact my novel’s characters. This series was a challenge because I had to read about political, ecological and religious trends, and extrapolate what I thought a likely scenario might be. Since it’s a dystopian series—the opposite of a utopia—I figured I’d set it post-WWIII, with society resorting to a medieval/feudal sort of system as a fallback.
Brock: How do you strike the right balance in your book?
Lisa: I’m an action girl…but I try and not to wear my readers out. So a strong romance thread helps to create intimate, quieter moments. It’s definitely a rhythm I feel, and that ebb and flow is a natural part of every chapter I write. But man, do I love those action scenes. They just fly…I see them as a movie in my head. The romance scenes take me a lot longer to write.
Brock: Are you working on the next book in the series?
Lisa: Season of Glory is the third and final book in the series, so I’ve turned back to time travel. My next novel is about a contemporary girl who finds herself in 1840 Mexican California…it’s been a blast to write. And I’ve decided it’s easier to do historical research than extrapolating about the future!
Brock: Are you a full-time or part-time author/writer?
Lisa: I’m a part-time writer. My husband makes ducks out of old ranch fence posts and that crazy business has exploded…so I really have to fight to find time to write. I usually have a book I’m thinking about, and do the research, then I sit down and crash it out. Fortunately, I’m a really fast writer, when I have the time and focus.
Brock: How long does it usually take you to write a single book?
Lisa: A couple months to think about it/research it, and 8-12 weeks to write.
Brock: In what ways does your faith impact how you approach writing?
Lisa: Faith is a part of my life, every day. To not allow it to impact my writing would mean building a wall, holding back on the most important thing in my life. Sometimes the spiritual themes are strong—like in Remnants—and sometimes more subtle—like in my time-travel novels—but I believe you can hear whispers or shouts about the God who saves and loves us, in every book I write.
Brock: Favorite place to vacation?
Lisa: Italy; been five times and going again this fall! Inspirational for me as a writer (we usually go where I set my books); relaxing for me as a woman needing a serious break.
Brock: Favorite season?
Lisa: Autumn; perfect temperatures, amazing colors, fires in the fireplace but still warm enough to go and hike!
Brock: Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what are some examples?
Lisa: Film scores all the way. My favorites are still “Gladiator,” “Last Temptation of Christ,” and “Braveheart,” but I have a playlist of various songs that runs a good two hours.
Brock: What are your top three most unique travel experiences?
Lisa: Floating in the Dead Sea (it’s like you’re on an inner tube); Ugandan mamas singing to us and dancing with us when we arrived on a mission trip (unforgettable; BeautyforAshesUganda.org); watching a sunset over a medieval Tuscan village, complete with tower and wall, with bells ringing in the distance.
Brock: You clearly love to travel. Where did you go last? And where to next?
Lisa: We do!! We’re not very good about saving for retirement when there are places to see…Last up was a family trip to Scotland, where we saw tombstones with the clan name and Highland vistas that took our breath away; next up is Kauai with my hubby; and we’re talking about California this summer and Italy come fall. But I gotta sell a lot more books…
Author Website: LisaTawnBergren.com
Author Twitter: @LisaTBergren