Lisa Berry of Jay is a published author under the pen name Evelyn Grace as well as under her legal name Lisa-Anne Berry. Submitted photo

JAY — Lisa-Anne “Lisa” Berry has loved to read since she was a young child and that love grew into becoming an author.

She has published many books in the genre of Christian fictional romance stories. She writes under the pen name Evelyn Grace, which honors her mother and mother-in-law, and has also written one book under her legal name, Lisa-Anne Berry.

She just released her newest novel, “Saltwater Orchard,” on March 31. The novel is set in the fictional town of Haven and tells the backstory of two minor characters in Berry’s ongoing “Haven” series, though this novel is not part of the series.

Berry was a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom for 20 years. During that time she offered support to local homeschoolers, including running a “recognized for attendance purposes private school” (RAPPS) called Freedom Academy for most of that time, according to Berry.

She retired last year after her youngest son graduated high school and she passed the reins of the school over to another local homeschooling mom.

“At that time, I had over 200 students enrolled. I also used to offer local homeschooling workshops and loved (and still do!) supporting homeschoolers. In fact, I do have a book planned about that subject.”


The Type I diabetic from birth was  “blessed” to be able to homeschool her three boys right from the beginning, starting when her oldest child was age 5, she said.

Berry is also a CrossFit instructor and teaches Zumba.

Lisa Berry of Jay recently released her newest novel, “Saltwater Orchid,” as an e-book. It’s set in the fictional town of Haven, Maine. Submitted photo

How did you decide to become an author? I have been an avid reader since the age of 4. My mom was the same way and she shared that passion for books with all of her children. I used to carry books with me everywhere. In fact, I still have some of them from my childhood! Writing flowed from that. I’ve always been more creative than analytical. Numbers turn my brain to mush, but words bring it alive. I always kept a journal, wrote little stories, and took as many creative writing classes as possible through school.

I started dabbling in more than just short stories after learning about National Novel Writing Month in 2010. This is an annual challenge to get people to just write. The goal isn’t to worry about the final product, but to get the words out. After all, you can’t edit what you haven’t written. This is held each November and the goal is to write 50,000 words during the month, which equates to a novel.

I “won” in 2013, which means I was successful in completing my 50,000 words by Nov. 30. And they were awful! But that story, “Seascapes,” became my first published novel. It took me five years to edit those original 50,000 words into something that was readable and to gain the courage to share the story with the world. It was my “pandemic project,” and I published it in June 2020. At that point, I knew I had found what I wanted to do now that my three boys were grown.

What type of books do you write? I write contemporary Christian romances. My first series, “Haven,” is set on the coast of Maine. I will be releasing book four in that series at the end of the year. My next series will be set in the fictional town of Pine Valley in the western Maine mountains and will feature three brothers who run a whitewater rafting company. I’m very excited to start!


Why did you choose Christian fiction? My faith is an integral part of who I am. I wanted to create books that I felt good about having anyone read, including young teens. In fact, one of my beta readers is a 15-year-old homeschool girl. I want to make sure that anything I write honors God. But I also don’t want to beat it over the reader’s head either. I hope I have been successful in my stories in showing how faith can be part of your everyday life. I tackle a theme within each of my books. For example, “Seascapes” focuses on forgiveness.

How long have you been a writer? Well, I just found some stories I wrote in high school, so at least for 30 years. However, it wasn’t until 2013 that I decided to do more with it. And in 2020, after my first book came out, I feel like I can now call myself an author.

Is there a reason you chose to write under Evelyn Grace? I didn’t pick a pen name to hide my identity. In fact, most of my friends and family know about my pen name. However, Lisa Berry is very common. After doing some research prior to publishing “Seascapes,” I discovered another author was already published under my real name. It made the decision to go with a pen name a little easier. And when I first published, I was the only author using that name.

There is a very special significance to my pen name. It honors both my mother and my mother-in-law. My mother died from complications of cancer in 2009. Sadly, she never got to read any of my books. And I know she would have loved them. Evelyn was her middle name. And Grace is my mother-in-law’s middle name. My mother-in-law is wonderful — no horror stories here!

In the end, I actually do have a book published under my real name. “A Look at Romans” is a short devotional on the book of Romans in the Bible and is published under Lisa-Anne Berry. I have more nonfiction books planned, including one on homeschooling, which will be published under this name.

Berry is offering her newest book, “Saltwater Orchard,” as a free download to anyone who signs up for her newsletter. For more information, go to

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