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Why Speculative, Now?

I love that I’m providing an option that offers a little light, in a very dark sector of publishing. Seriously, head to B&N and you’ll see the shelves. There are vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, half-angels, half-demons, dark angels, trolls, etc. Why are kids drawn to these characters?
| Mar 9, 2012 | No comments |

Editor’s note:
You can find Lisa T. Bergren adult supernatural/historical series, The Gifted, in the Spec Faith library. Her latest series is a young adult time-travel story, entitled The River of Time. Her website offers this overview:

Gabriella and Evangelia Betarrini are the daughters of Etruscan archeologists. Stuck on a hot, dusty dig site for yet another long, dreary summer—far from the nearest boys—they go exploring. They enter a forbidden tomb and find two handprints among the frescoes. And when they touch them, together, they are catapulted back in time…and into the adventure of their lives.

Now to Lisa’s article.

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I’ve published in lots of genres—contemporary romance, historical women’s fiction, contemporary general fiction, supernatural historical and now, teen fantasy/paranormal. Lots of people have wondered why I’ve leaped to this new sector at this point in my career.

The answer? I have two teen girls in my house. Two teen girls who are reluctant readers (which is pretty darn horrifying when you’re a writer). And what is the only thing I can get them to read, without standing in their doorway, hands on hips? You guessed it. Paranormal/fantasy.

For my eldest, it was Meyer’s Twilight that finally awakened her love for story; she finally understood how a book could keep you up late reading, and make you think about the characters all day. Ever since, she’s been a reader. For my middlest, it was White’s Paranormalcy, a novel about a paranormal hunter who had paranormal tendencies herself.

So essentially, I just wanted to write a series that would capture my daughters’ attention–as well as their friends. And I’ve discovered I love it. L*O*V*E it. The teen reader crowd is a blast—super responsive, super supportive. It’s like writing for a bunch of cheerleaders! And I love that I’m providing an option that offers a little light, in a very dark sector of publishing.

Seriously, head to B&N and you’ll see the shelves. There are vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, half-angels, half-demons, dark angels, trolls, etc. Fairies and mermaids, while not quite so dark, get their share of play too. Why are kids drawn to these characters? Because they’re seeking something bigger than they are. A world beyond the known.

 Sound familiar? To me, they’re really seeking God. They want to know that they’re more than they appear. Capable of heroic acts. Possibly swept into something deeper and wider than they’ve ever known before…

So I wrote the River of Time Series (Waterfall, Cascade, Torrent, Bourne) to help feed that need. It’s about two girls who time travel back to medieval Italy and discover love…and a measure of life like they’ve never lived it before. The faith aspect is very subtle—I wanted this series in any public school library possible—but it’s definitely present. Hopefully, readers will explore what really makes life worth living, and then seek out the Source of all answers: God. That would make me happy. But even if they just read it for the epic battle scenes, romance and adventure, that’ll make me happy too. Because we need to give teen readers an alternative to the darkness, providing entertaining reads that also offer a message of hope.

What’s next for me? A dystopian series about teens with spiritual gifts—out to save a world on the brink of demise. I plan to incorporate angels, demons and the ongoing, supernatural spiritual battle of good vs. evil—which I think will make for a fun book to write (and hopefully, read). I’m excited to dig in—the first manuscript is due this summer.

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Lisa T. Bergren is the author of over 35 books with a combined sale of more than two million copies. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband and three kids, but constantly daydreams about her next trip to Italy.

You can find out more about her at her web site or contact her on Twitter: @LisaTBergren or Facebook: Lisa Tawn Bergren



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Morgan Busse

Your books are on my list to read 🙂

Rebecca LuElla Miller

Interesting to see how different writers come to speculative literature. Donita Paul did it when she had a serious injury that forced her to read. 😉 Others have said they first created stories for their own children. Of course there is a group who grew up on speculative literature and loved it so much they weren’t content to simply read it.

I was sort of a mix. In my early years the story books were all some kind of myth or fantasy. I read stories like how the elephant got his trunk or Uncle Remus’s tales of talking animals or Mr. Toad’s wild ride. I didn’t realize it for a long time that these are nothing but speculative.

My first thoughts about writing speculative fiction were to give my seventh and eighth grade students something to read that was fitted to their age. My first writers’ conference squelched that idea — at the time no one was doing YA,  and Christians houses have been slow to join in the golden age of YA.

Thankfully, that’s changed. Who knows but God will bring me back to writing stories for that age too.

Anyway, Lisa, I’m sure glad you’ve joined the party. 😀



I admire people who write good YA, but I could never do it myself. All the YA I’ve ever read is angsty!teen with broken family/relatinship problems.  Well, there was one series, but I tend to group fantasy YA with fantasy, not YA.