Lisa T. Bergren: Captivated By Italy
Already well-known for her historical and contemporary adult fiction, Lisa T. Bergren takes on new challenges in a time travel series for teens.
In Waterfall (David C. Cook), the first volume in the River of Time series, readers meet two daughters of archeologists, Gabi and Lia, who anticipate a boring summer at a Tuscany dig—until they place their hands on an ancient tomb and Gabi finds herself in 14th century Italy. When she emerges from the tomb amidst a fierce battle between knights of two noble families, a young nobleman rescues her and takes her back to his family’s castle. Gabi struggles to adapt to medieval intricacies—like riding sidesaddle and eating without forks—but her greatest struggle will be not falling for the dashing knight who lives in a time not her own.
“I had a teen who was a reluctant reader until I found the Twilight series for her,” Lisa says. “They really made her a reader for the first time, because she experienced how a book can capture the imagination.”
Lisa decided to write a series portraying that same romance and adventure, and she set the novels in the Italy she loves. “The heart of [the story] is a desire to find true love and identity,” the author shares. “Because they’ve been thrown into such wild circumstances, it really pushes them to ask those big questions about purpose.”
To help her teen characters sound realistic, Lisa relies on a group of teen girls she calls her River of Time Tribe. “They don’t hesitate to set me straight on my characters’ dialogue.”