L.S. Bergman is a British-Caribbean writer of adult romantic fiction. Her writing interests cut across multiple genres, from historical Caribbean fiction to erotic short stories, contemporary romance, suspense, Dystopian and poetry. She loves to explore different paths to multicultural love, with flawed characters from different blends of ethnic difference, imperfect and oft complicated, these journeys are rarely easy.
The ‘Love Notes’ Shorts Series: ‘Loving Gio’, ‘Let’s Do This’, ‘Rhythm to Love’, ‘Coffee Blues’, ‘A Private Fire'(IRRomance BWWM) Standalones include, ‘Separate’ (Dystopian), ‘Becoming Bessy’ (Historical) and an IR romantic suspense novel (BWWM) entitled ‘Inevitable Lies’, Midnight Sons: A Novel (Realism Romance) The ‘Love Chances Series’: AA release ‘Second Chances’ Bk1. An Afro-Caribbean romance, set in London. ‘Lucid Dreaming’ Bk2 (Afro-Caribbean Romance), The Promise: Tactics of Love Bk3 (IRRomance), ‘One Week’ Bk4 (Young Adult), ‘Daring to Hold’ Bk5 (Afro-Caribbean Romance), ‘Fragile’ Bk6 (Afro-Caribbean Romance), ‘Just Like You’ Bk7 (Young Adult, (Afro-Caribbean Romance)) Historical Romance: ‘Becoming Bessy’ (Afro-Caribbean Romance) Soul Love Series: ‘Soul Love'(AA Romance), ‘Loose Ends’ (IR Romance), ‘Smitten'(AA Romance)
Contact L.S. Bergman via her website, www.lsbergman.com
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Goodreads: LS Bergman
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
With a father and mother who both took up the pen, books and writing has always been part of my life. As a kid, I was always in a book. My father was the first to truly encourage me in a focused way to write though. We wrote a few non-fiction projects together and then he encouraged me to think about writing fiction. One day, he looked at me and said, ‘you can write … so why not become a writer’. It was like … yeah, why not? Something clicked in my head. Books had brought me only joy and I felt like I’d found my calling or life’s purpose. Since my teens, I’ve never looked back since cause I’ve written routinely.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
Sure, I was born and raised in the Caribbean but moved around a lot with my parents’ academic work both in the Caribbean (with the University of the West Indies) and internationally. I changed school a few times as well, so I got to know different cultures, languages and geographies. Plus, being bi-racial, I had this huge English and West Indian family cultural mixing pot vibe going on with lots of travel back and forth. This really informed my writing experience and remains the focus of most of my work. Many of my books are black romances, exploring the diversity of Afro-Caribbean love but I have also written a few Interracial Romances and explored romance in other genres such as Romantic Suspense, Dystopian Romance and my historical dip into Caribbean historical fiction with ‘Becoming Bessy’.
3) What projects are you currently working on?
I’m soon releasing what I think will be the final full-length installment in my Love Chances Series, a series comprising 8 books. Book 8 ‘Devotion’ is going to drop in a few and it’s a sexy black romance, set (like the rest of the series) in London. This new release will follow-on from ‘Just Like You’ a YA novel which I released a year ago which spanned both London and the Caribbean. I’m also working on another black romantic short, a suspense novel and a sci-fi love novella. So, the schedule is full.
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
I love to write and am constantly learning and developing my skills as a writer. I’ve published over twenty books and short stories during the last 5 years which feels incredible, seeing that the process has brought me nothing but joy. That’s what thrills me – loving what I do.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
I haven’t really experienced a lot of rejection which is one of the benefits of the Indie route. You can get your work out there and gradually find your readers. Being able to write is the outlet that makes me happy, and we each have our own path, but I tend to focus on the positive.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
A novel takes me anything from 3 to 6 months and that’s writing each day. That’s for a full-length. A short story can take anything from a few days to a week. But then there’s the editing and revision … and that takes however long it needs … until I reach a point where I feel at least satisfied (never totally happy) but a point where it feels good to go. In terms of writing style, I’m generally a pantser! I get a spark of inspiration and go with the flow, researching and figuring out stuff as I go along.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
Nah, absolutely not! Nobody has the same idea of success, and nobody dreams the same. So, I’d say ‘go for it’ don’t compare yourself to your peers. In fact, I actually believe a later start can be everything in terms of enriching your writing. Of course, if you’ve studied English Lit or done your MFA and have only ever wanted to become a writer… then of course, you may start young and follow a focused path. But that wasn’t my route and isn’t for many writers. I ended up working and learning different fields, different languages, traveled extensively, read a ton. So, I would argue keeping motivated and writing on the regular is the productive key. Early or late just start, it doesn’t matter. Everyone has a story to tell and starting later having really lived and experienced a full life can be a huge benefit irrespective of what others are doing.
8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
Yes, I’m a crazy book addict. I consume nearly a book every two days, depending on length and read very widely in several languages. It isn’t the first book I’ve read but one that had a huge impact on me early on was Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God.’ Geez, I have so many favorite author’s, lemme see … Toni Morrison and James Baldwin would have to be up there just to name two. I’m currently reading a book by the West Indian writer Earl Lovelace entitled ‘Is Just a Movie.’
9) The Pandemic was a challenging time for some writers and creative individuals but also for others it was time that they needed to focus on their creative passions. Which side of that spectrum do you fall on? Are there any lessons or nuggets of wisdom that you gained during the Pandemic that help you within your writing career? Did the quarantine stifle your creativity or did it make you even more driven to get things done?
Good question. I think, in 2020, my creative juices were definitely flowing. I wrote and published a lot. So, it was a very productive year. But then the pandemic dragged on and balancing a lot of changes in my life proved more challenging, so I only completed two books for 2021. Quarantine didn’t really bother me though. I think, as a writer, solitude kind of comes with the turf. I loved the mountain of reading I got through despite, like all of us, missing seeing many of my close friends and family spread out around the globe.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?
I started and am still an Indie, although I have traditionally published non-fiction way back. I do not feel traditional publishing takes enough risks on diversity but having said that… after the events of 2020… I think things may be starting to open up more. I don’t know. In terms of my writing, yes, I would be open to being a hybrid author. I just never approached the traditional publishing houses as I felt they didn’t represent the types of people and cultural body of work I was passionately interested in writing.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
I totally agree with you. Writing is my emotional outlet, and it keeps me purposeful. There’s always something to work on or think about. And, I guess, coming from a very multicultural background, I feel my writing reflects that and has helped process a lot of those identity issues, the history, the difference and vulnerability, for me personally. It has turned a lot of intersectional spaces, which I have occupied … perhaps … into something I can work with to mold an understanding of different perspectives. Cause I think writing should sometimes challenge the reader in some way not simply tell a good story.