Kristin Billerbeck+Giveaway

kristin-billerbeckWelcome back to my Mostly YA Fab Author Summer Extravaganza!!!! (MYFASE)

Today we're talking to the funny and talented Kristin Billerbeck. Kristin also got right with Jesus and began writing YA last year. YA…it gets the best of us. It was Kristin's Ashley Stockingdale series that I read years back that caused a light bulb to go on, and I thought, “This character could be any of my friends. I would hang out with this person. And not one person spoke in a dialect called King James. Maybe this Christian fiction stuff isn't so bad…”  That was life-changing reading for me. Beach reads save lives.

Kristin is graciously giving away a signed copy of her latest YA release, Perfectly Invisible. Details at end of the interview.

Welcome, Kristin! First of all let me say, I love the character of Daisy in your Universally Misunderstood YA series. Tell us about Daisy.

41KTwkyGX4L._SL500_AA300_Daisy is the typical American Christian teenager. She wants to devote her life to God, naturally, but she also wants to dress cute and have a date for the prom.

You have teenage boys. How does this figure into your YA writing?

It doesn't, or there would never be romance in the teenage world again.

A theme of the series is that everyone is special and worthy, no matter how we feel inside. Why do you think teens this message? (or 30 or 40 year olds…)

I think we can be told again and again how special we are, that God loves us, but then someone pinches our weak spot, and we question ourselves all over again. Everyone suffers from a lack of belonging at some point in their life. We all need the reminder that God only makes quality. Have you ever had a friend where she thinks she's fat? And you're like, girlfriend, there's not an extra ounce on you! But if she grew up in a household where her father was overly concerned with her weight, it's going to be a lifelong issue. For her. Not for anyone looking at her. I think we all have to look to others for truths about ourselves sometimes. Of course, looking UP is best.

Love that–when someone pinches our weak spot. So true. You know, I love Daisy's parents' eccentricities. How did you come up with the parents?

I melded a couple of characters I know. I think when people are really devout and don't see the view from the world's eyes, it can be really embarrassing for the sort of person who has that awareness. I wanted Daisy to have loving parents who truly want what's best for her, but don't operate from the same place as she does. I think that's how most natural conflicts arise. We simply can't understand the way another person sees things.

I always say writing for teens girls and women isn't all that different. One protagonist just has better skin and a later curfew. What is it like for you writing for both YA and women?

It's actually very difficult for me to write YA over women's fiction. Even though my adult characters can be immature at times, I have a hard time keeping things teen appropriate because my own kids go to public school, and sadly, I know what they see/hear every day. I want to address those things, but I know a lot of parents want to shield their kids from it. Because I am the kind to ask “why” constantly, there was no way I would have been satisfied with pat answers as a child, so I struggle with that aspect.

I totally get that. There's a lot of filtering that goes on when portraying the teen from the Christian writer's pen. I think, collectively, the Christian writing community has had a hard year. There's a lot of creative fatigue and frustration out there–along with the good times and the blessing of the work. What has been the hardest part of writing in 2011 for you?

Anything and everything. My husband works long hours and I am on my own with four kids–at three different school, in different activies.

Tell me about it, sister. I have a cat. I sooo hear you.

Trying to carve writing time out of this life is difficult. Once you have the time, you're so brain-dead, you just want to lay down and watch reality TV, not work.

The best part of the past year?

A+Billion+Reasons+Why+by+Kristin+BillerbeckA Billion Reasons Why making the CBA (Christian Book Assoc) Bestseller List and proving that my love of the 1940s era is truly romantic.

Any era that included Cary Grant has to be romantic.  What's a book you wish you had written?

The Thorn Birds. It embodies the most perfect conflict. A man who loves a woman, but he's a priest. Oh, and he's ambitious, so when he can give his love the money that's rightfully hers, he takes it so he can get promoted into the church. The characters are so juicy and ruthless. It's like people at their worst trying to work out their idea of faith, yet being so drawn in by their humanity. I read it every year. McCollough's descriptions make me feel as if I have an IQ of 7.

I so remember that miniseries. Speaking of TV, have any guilty pleasures besides reading books about priests who like the ladies?

Oh, bad reality TV. Real Housewives of this and that, Flipping Out, Millionaire Matchmaker. Pretty much everything on Bravo. I have to pay for the extra tier on cable to get my channel. Drives me nuts! What I love about these shows is that we are all so ignorant of our own shortcomings, and I think these shows offer a peek into our own lives.

Those Bravo folks are crazy. I mean they are their own breed-o-crazy. Makes me feel a little better about myself. Okay, tell us about your ideal day.

Someone brings me Starbucks, then they all leave. I'm home alone with my computer, my reality TV-filled-DVR and no dealine. Then, dinner out with the family and a movie.

Very nice. All right, Lightning Round of Seriously Heavy Intellectual Questions. I'm about to pose some queries worthy of CNN. FOX News. That weird guy on PBS. You ready?

You've come into some money from a forgotten, distance, rich, dead relative. You can either hire a maid, chef, or chauffeur. Which do you choose?
A maid. Without question. I don't care that much about food. If I have my coffee, I'm happy and I like to drive. Gets the aggression out.

I don't care that much about food either. ::steps to the left to avoid lightning::  Okay, favorite 80s flick?
Sixteen Candles and Romancing the Stone.

If you could step into the shoes of anyone else for the day, who would you pick?
Ingrid Bergman's. For someone who's alive, Lady GaGa's, though I probably couldn't walk in her shoes. I think it would be really fun to be that inhibited. Oh, I should say Lady GaGa dressed.

And not on a meat-dress day. Okay, last question of the day. Tell readers where they can find you.

They can find me at and at my daily blog at

Thanks so much for stopping by, Kristin. We so appreciate it. And one person is going to win a copy of Perfectly Invisible, book two in the Universally Misunderstood series. To get in the running for this, leave a comment by Wednesday, July 13th, answering the following question: What is your guilty pleasure? People mag? Easy crosswords? Scrapbooking? SPAM?

AND don't forget, if you comment on all six MYFASE blog posts (June 27-July 11),  you'll be in the running for an ARC of There You'll Find Me AND a $25 dollar Barnes and Noble card, in addition to any other books you win these two weeks of book/author fabulousness.

Be sure and return Friday when we talk coffee, one-year olds, and fun reads with Erynn Mangum. And another book giveaway! (Do the freebies ever stop? No! They do not!) 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 72 comments
Kate Meyer - July 7, 2011

My guilty pleasure? Easy! Dark chocolate peanut M&Ms 😀

Jenny B Jones - July 7, 2011

Apparently I have a LOT of guilty pleasures because I’m reading all these and saying, “Me too. Me too. Hey, me, too.” Love Disney songs. (Little Mermaid is a favorite. “Up where they walk! Up where they run!”) And People mag and nail polish, yep. Shoes, yep. Teeny-bopper music–most definitely. (Y’all Taylor Swift has unusually good lyrics, admit it.) Chick flicks (which Hollywood is in short supply of…) Step-Up movies–love. Excessive book buying, check.

Alli - July 7, 2011

My guilty plessure would have to be hollywood gossip…you know E! News, E.T., Inside Edition, etc. I know some of the stuff sometimes isn’t true but admit it we girls love our juicy gossip. 😉

Alexis r. - July 7, 2011

My guily pleasure: Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet. And books… ha

Mattie - July 7, 2011

My guilty pleasure is the History Channel. A lot of people don’t understand why a teenage girl would love history so much but I love learning! I could sit down and watch Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Decoded, and America the Story Of Us for HOURS on end! That ,along with a carton of Ben and Jerry’s, would be my ulitmate guilty pleasure 🙂

Katherine - July 8, 2011

My guilty pleasure– so weird, but watching korean shows/dramas on hulu! It is the strangest thing in the world to watch something from a different language/culture yet soooo addicting! 🙂 I have recently learned to control it haha

Lisa Carter Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder - July 8, 2011

My guilty pleasure—I like to watch Mike Rowe on the Ford commercials. There I’ve said it. According to AA (Admirers Anonymous) that is the first step toward recovery.

Elizabeth - July 8, 2011

My guilty pleasure is either shopping or reading. I could spend all day doing either one.

Jenny - July 8, 2011

My guilty pleasure…a secret stash of mini Reese’s PB cups that only comes out after everyone else goes to sleep…perfect for snacking on while surfing the web or reading a book.

Really looking forward to Perfectly Invisible…thanks for the chance to win.

macy muray - July 8, 2011

Those books sound so cool! My guilty pleasure is some good ole chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream while watching chick flicks! Oh that sounds like heaven on earth right now!

Allison - July 8, 2011

My guilty pleasure comes in a carton with the words “Ben & Jerry’s” written on the side. Five words: chocolate fudge brownie ice cream.

Katie P. - July 9, 2011

Guilty pleasure is drinking hot chocolate while watching Leap Year (and then looking at OMG)…. Sad, huh?! 😀

Em Sto - July 9, 2011

People magazine all the way!!

Joy Andrea - July 9, 2011

Guilty Pleasure? Ben and Jerry’s ice cream with a romantic movie….. 😀

Lindsay - July 10, 2011

This is so embarrassing but I’m gonna be honest here…The Disney Channel…some of the shows are actually really funny…however teeny-bopper they may be.

Jess - July 11, 2011

I love me some Justin Bieber. Yikes, I said it aloud.

Cara Putman - July 12, 2011

My guilty pleasure is reading on the treadmill…

Sheri - July 12, 2011

My guilty pleasure has to be reading but chocolate and coffee are running a close second!!

D Elizabeth - July 16, 2011

My guilty pleasure, oh goodness I think I may have too many!
As far as food goes:
White Queso (and it has to be good).
Other guilty pleasures? Dresses, and Books. I spend WAY too much money on them.

Kate - July 16, 2011

Mine is Disney movies. Beauty and the Beast is an all time favorite!

jenncallinghome - July 17, 2011

Hmmm, let’s see… Currently, Master Chef and So You Think You Can Dance. Also, Step Up movies and magazines (travel, home, fashion).

Kristin Billerbeck - July 22, 2011

I have been so swamped I haven’t been able to visit your blog lately Jenny, and I so love it. But I especially love seeing everyone’s guilty pleasure. It’s very inspiring!! Thanks for the great interview! And I loved your airport experience. I have traveled enough where I do think I can control it all, so if I couldn’t, no soap would make me zen.


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