Interview with Lisa Bergren

I’m so excited because today we have the author Lisa Bergren here talking about The River of Time series!   Waterfall is released tomorrow, so be sure to pick up a copy.  

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and The River of Time Series?

 I’m a wife and mom of three, as well as an author–WATERFALL is my 18th novel, but my first YA.  The River of Time Series is about two American sisters who time-travel back to 14th Century Italy and discover love and life, at a whole different level.

Description of Waterfall:

Lisa Tawn Bergren’s new YA series, River of Time, is romantic, historical fiction in which the plucky heroine doesn’t have to fear a vampire’s bite but must still fight for her life.

In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in sixteenth-century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds… until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the sixteenth-century—and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.

What was your inspiration for the series?

I got interested in YA because my eldest, who is now almost sixteen, was a reluctant reader. I tried giving her book after book, but it wasn’t until TWILIGHT that she understood the power of story, and how a book could keep you up all night reading. I read it with her, and then the rest of the series, and we had a blast discussing the characters and things we liked–and wrestled through a couple issues I didn’t like as a mom. It led to some great conversations. After that, we read the HUNGER GAMES trilogy together, and had a similar experience. When I stood in the movie theatre when the first TWILIGHT movie was out, watching all those girls get so excited to see the book “come to life,” and how attached they were to the characters, I knew I wanted to write something for that audience too. Something my daughters would read and get so excited about, they’d tell their friends, “You HAVE to read this!!” Hopefully, WATERFALL will snag its own share of passionate fans, even outside my kids’ social circles. :-)

When you started writing the first book, Waterfall, did you already know it was going to be a series?  And was it all planned in your head already or did it come to you as you wrote?

I knew it was going to be a series–and a sort of “hooked” series, so we planned with the publisher to release them fast: WATERFALL in the Winter, CASCADE in late Spring, and TORRENT in the fall. We didn’t want kids to have to wait to read the next one for long. I never know exactly what I’m going to write–only the broad brush strokes–what I want the characters to learn/encounter/conquer. The rest plays out like a movie in my mind.


What are some obstacle’s you’ve had to overcome when writing this series?

Writing dialogue that sounds believable to teens. I had to get my daughters’ friends to help me out–and had other readers via Facebook (River of TIme Series) who jumped in too. Apparently, “good grief” isn’t something a kid would say. :-)

How did the title’s come to you?  And that leads me to the cover of Waterfall, did you have any say on what it looked like?  It sure is beautiful!

I knew the series title right away–The River of Time. It sounded ethereal and romantic to me. Then I wanted water images for each of the titles of the book. WATERFALL is symbolic of the girls’ fall into another time period, a pool that’s fairly idyllic in some ways, but draining into a fast-moving river again. CASCADE is about them getting all churned up and pushed one way or another as things speed up, in their lives and in their hearts. TORRENT is when they really get hammered by the obstacles in their lives–and have to make it through. The River image gets broadened in TORRENT, to embody life itself–living deeply, feeling it rather than just surviving it–which I think is a big issue in our contemporary, fast-paced society.

And in regard to covers–I was lucky to have lots of input on the covers…about model choices, costuming, images, color. I’m so glad they turned out as beautifully as they did!

I’m guessing there was a lot of research done for these books being as they are a time travel historical fiction.  So what kind of research did you have to do?  Did you get to do a ton of traveling?

We have a passion for Italy and have a family travel web site, So yes, we got to go Italy several times and I can’t wait to return. In regard to the historical research, I’d done a previous series for adults (The Begotten, The Betrayed, The Blessed), so happily, that was mostly in order in my head. The first time around, it took me a year to research!

Do you have a favorite book or series that you are always recommending to everyone?

I really enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy last year. My favorite read was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society–total delight. And the opposite of Collins’s dystopia! I’m a fairly eclectic reader!


Where can you purchase your books?  Are they available everywhere?

Anywhere fine books are sold–isn’t that the marketing line? :-) If a copy isn’t on the shelves, they can order it for you. Or you can order it online. It releases Feb 1.

Anything else you want to say?

I’m really hoping this can be a “Mom and Me” kind of read–it’s geared for teens, but I think a lot of adult women will enjoy it too. In the back are discussion questions–I love the idea of teens getting together to chat about the book, or a mom and daughter doing the same. As much as it’s action and romance, there are some deeper things going on too, which I hope will lead to some great life discussions.

Also, I invite you to jump in with us via Facebook, at “River of Time Series.” Lots of contests, giveaways and updates can be found there.
Thank you so much for stopping by and answering the questions!  And of course, thank you for the giveaway!
You can find Lisa on her Website | Facebook (River of Time Page) | Twitter
Read the prologue and first chapter at Scribd.

Watch the video trailer at YouTube. (I tried to load it on here but my computer is being difficult, it’s really good though, go watch it!)

The Giveaway:This Giveaway has Ended

You want to win Waterfall for yourself?  Lisa is being awesome and is giving one copy away to one US or Canadian reader.   Just leave a comment about this interview or about how much you want to read the book and contact information and you’ll be entered!  You must be 13 or older.  Ends Feb. 15, 2011.

Thanks for subscribing!


  1. I love any writing that allows a chance to travel without leaving your house, this sounds like the perfect book for that and I would LOVE a chance to read it!


  2. I hadn’t heard of this one yet, but it sounds really good! I just went to Italy last spring and I’ve been looking for more fun books about the history ever since – this book is definitely going on the list!

    greenparrot55 [at] hotmail [dot] com

  3. I’m definitely looking forward to this one! I didn’t know it was a series but I like the themed titles (and the fact that we don’t have to wait long before the next one – thank you!)

    Thanks for the giveaway :)


  4. I love books about time travel. I don’t think I’ve read one about going to 14th centurty Italy before, so this sounds really good. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    erinberry12 at charter dot net

  5. I haven’t heard of these books! But they look sooooo good!!! And I love he cover!! Thank you for the giveaway and the Interview! I love to read Interviews!!!

    Idroskicinia @ aol . com

  6. This sounds like an amazing read!! Can’t wait to get my hands on it. I’m semi new to YA and I’m having fun discovering all these books that I never knew existed. I can’t wait till my daughter is old enough to read all these and I’m excited that all these books are available. Can’t wait for her to pick up the YA books I have read. I’m reading them through adult eyes, so I’m interested in how she will see them through a teenagers eyes (I have a wait ahead of me though :)) When I was in school it was Sweet Valley High and V.C. Andrews :) Thanks so much for the chance to win


  7. “Lisa Tawn Bergren’s new Young Adult series, River of Time, is romantic, historical fiction in which the plucky heroine doesn’t have to fear a vampire’s bite but must still fight for her life.”

    This description says it all. I love how it has elements of love, history, and sci-fi(ish). You don’t see many books set in France during the height of their battles, so that intrigues me as well!

    Thanks for hosting!



    Eli to the nth

  8. Would love to give this book and author a read. This is the first I have heard of this book. Love the cover.

    I am a follower.
    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  9. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! I love reading time travel romance so I will need to check this series out. Definitely include me in the giveaway, please!


  10. I’ve only heard of this book recently but as soon as I read the description, I fell head over heels, period. Also, I love historical fiction…I think I was born in the wrong century, but anyway, Knights, Swords, Italian hotties–I’m there!

    Thanks for this giveaway!


  11. This book sounds fantastic! I know what you mean about kids struggling to find something to read. For me, it wasn’t until I discovered Harry Potter that I realized how awesome books are. Now I can’t stop lol…I hope I get a chance to read your book!

    hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

  12. Ohhhh! This book sounds great! I was so tempted to read the prologue and 1st chapter… but I hate doing that because then I want to keep reading and can’t!!! I’m definately adding it to my TBR list!


  13. I love the term “Mom and Me” read – I think it describes perfectly that niche market of books that are geared towards teens but speak to adults too. As an adult who loves this genre – thanks!


  14. This sounds like such a fun story! I’m a little paranormaled out, but I do enjoy the basic fantasy, and this sounds like it would be a great read!

    Great interview!

    basicallyamazingbooks [at]

  15. I’ve been totally hyped about this book for awhile!!! I mean, time travel, Italy,swords,castles,AND italian hotties..who wouldn’t adore this book??! I also read the prologe/first chapter and it was amazing!!! I cannot wait to get a copy in my Hands!! The cover is really georgeos too and how she got the idea because of her daughter was realy sweet and cool 😀

  16. So great that she found something her reluctant reader enjoyed.

    I have one of those at home and every time I read something I think she might like, I give her a synopsis hoping this might be “the one” that brings her around to loving books the way I do. Waterfall looks like it could be it!

    Thanks for the chance to win!


  17. I think it’s great that she read the Twilight series and Hunger Games series with her daughter, especially that she took the opportunity to discuss some things with her. I’d love to win a copy of her book! Thanks!
    tressa dot sherman at hotmail dot com

  18. This book looks very interesting. It sounds like something I would love to read with my own daughters…someday (right now they are 6, and 8). I love the way she is releasing them so fast. Patience is a virtue that I don’t necessarily have! =) Can’t wait to see if I win!

  19. I think it’s great how much thought the author put into the titles of the books in this series and what each one symbolizes. I love time travel books, so I would love to have a chance to read this one. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

  20. I love time travel books that go into the past! I’d love to read this one. I think the cover is very pretty too. Thanks for the chance to win!


  21. Even reading the Twilight series as an adult, it got me reading again and out of a slump! I was buying the books one per weekend for a month! I couldn’t wait for the workweek to get by so I could get the next one. I’ve read much more since then, and read 85 books last year!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  22. Great interview! The story behind the titles is really interesting and I love how Lisa wants the series to be something for more than just teens. I honestly hadn’t taken much note of this book before, but I’m adding it to my wishlist because of this wonderful interview.

    Thanks for the giveaway as well. If I don’t win, I will be getting the book myself 😀

  23. This book sound amazing. Right up my alley! Can’t wait to read it. I just added it to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing! I love that they plan to release the three books relatively close together, without making us wait too long. Yay! Also, I would love to win a copy of it.

    Thanks again,

  24. Wow what a great interview. I love the fact that her want to write for YA came from reading with her teen daughter. My daughter is almost 9 and I look forward to when we can read the same books and discuss.
    This series sounds amazing and I cannot wait to read it.

  25. i am very sorry to say that i hadn’t heard of this series before this review but now i am really looking forward to reading it


    thank you for the giveaway!

  26. I have read only a little about this book before stopping by here, but it sounds super good! Nice nterview and thanks for the giveaway!

  27. This is the first time I heard of this book, thanks for bringing it to my attention. It sounds like a great book, I would love to read it. Please inter me in the giveaway, keeping my fingers crossed.
    Thanks for the chance to win it. C:
    Sarah S.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge