Christian Living


Author Offers Alternative to 'The Da Vinci Code'

CBN.com In best-selling author Lisa T. Bergren’s thriller, The Begotten, an unknown ancient manuscript from the Apostle Paul reveals a prophecy that has the power to destroy the church—and those who are racing against time to save it.

It is 1339 and the bloody Inquisition rages throughout the land. Kept hidden for centuries by the Medieval Church, a secret is about to be revealed that could change the course of Christian history forever. Though the letters of the Apostle Paul and other writers existed hundreds of years before being brought together to form the Bible, the world doesn’t know that the Apostle Paul also wrote another letter, spoken of in the holy scriptures, that foretold the coming of courageous men and women who would have extraordinary gifts and who would fight to vanquish the darkness that threatens the world.

In the vein of The Da Vinci Code and The Lord of the Rings, The Begotten (Berkley Praise, August 1, 2006) is the highly anticipated first book in The Gifted Trilogy. In The Begotten, Bergren tells the unforgettable tale of Daria D’Angelo, an Italian aristocrat with a dangerous gift. Daria needs to help a secret group of people stay alive when Church clergy and a dark sorcerer all want them dead. She longs to serve people with her gift of healing, and, although she yearns for romantic love, she keeps her eye on the task at hand. If she fails, she, her friends, and their purpose to bravely and radically transform the Christian Church—and the future of humanity—will all die.

The Gifted—a beautiful healer; a wise priest; a slave with a gift of prophecy; and a knight—gather and discover that as their gifts grow stronger, so do those forces of evil who wish to destroy them. They are in a race against both time and their enemies as they try to uncover the secret of the letter that will determine the fate of Christendom and, ultimately, the world.

It is a mesmerizing tale of mysterious treachery, frightening heresy, and a life-threatening struggle for redemption.

Bergen recently answered some questions about her latest novel and her life as a writer.

Where did you get the idea for The Begotten?  From where do you generally draw your ideas for writing?

I read and enjoyed The Da Vinci Code, although I was upset by the heretical “truths” the author set forward.  I wanted to write a competitor for Da Vinci—something with a similar pace and intrigue, but scripturally sound!

Who have been your biggest influences in your life?  Who have been your biggest influences in your life as a writer?

My husband and other family members—some of my dearest friends, who support, love, and guide me through good questions and who take me to task when I’m off track.  Those same people impact my writing.

What are your next plans for writing?  Do you plan to do any more books along the same lines as this book?  Or, will you move on to new writing?

I have two more books in this series—The Betrayed and The Beloved.  They release in 2007 and 2008.  So I’m already into book number two!

Who is generally your target audience?  How do you decide on which audience to focus your writing?

Anyone who liked The Da Vinci Code or The Lord of the Rings might have interest in my book.  Those who like intrigue, mystery, and suspense, or those interested in spiritual gifts, may find a good match here.  My goal was to reach out to a larger audience than I’ve typically captured before.  I don’t decide on audience—I decide on the novel’s theme/premise and let the audience follow.

How do you find time to write?  Life is busy and time is hard to manage sometimes.  When do you do your best writing and where?

Wow, this has become a big issue for me.  With three kids and a full-time job, this is my constant battle.  I’ve taken to going away for a day (or three) at a time to get concentrated writing done.  I head to Venice tomorrow, with my eldest daughter, and hope to come home with one third of my next book written.  I’m fast—if I can just find the time and concentration space!

What training do you have in writing?  Did you take any writing courses in college to obtain the skills you have currently?

I received a BA in English Literature and wrote throughout high school and college.  I went to UC Irvine, which had a renowned creative writing program for graduates.  Just being around them as an undergraduate inspired me.  I also took some creative writing courses, but it was mostly self-taught.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in writing?

Read like crazy.  I still love Writer’s Digest.  Go to writers’ conferences where publishers or authors you admire will be presenting.  Read books from your targeted publishers—it will give you a sense for what they like to buy.  And then write like crazy!  Don’t give up if #1 doesn’t sell—move on to your next idea.

Courtesy of The B&B Media Group. Used by permission.