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
Rebecca - July 6, 2011

My guilty pleasure is People magazine for sure. I get in the mail on Friday. I grab my Starbucks and sit right down and read it!

Amy - July 6, 2011

I had to laugh when Kristen said that Daisy is the typical Christian teen who wants to love God, dress cute, and find a date for prom. I’m your atypical Christian 30-something that loves God, sometimes dresses “up”, and I just want to find a date period. My, how times have changed! 🙂

Guilty pleasure? Reading YA and listening to old Paula Abdul music (not at the same time, but I guess I could give that a whirl.)

Great interview and thanks for the giveaway.

Bethany Ellis - July 6, 2011

I don’t think I have a guilty pleasure. Maybe buying shoes. I love shoes. I have more than 20 pairs. But my good pleasure is Starbucks. 😛 I go just about every day now. I have this nice little routine. I drop my dog off at my parents’ house then spend an hour or more at the Starbucks around the corner from them. I usually study my Bible for a while, then read a few chapters of the latest novel I’ve gotten my hands on, all the while listening to music and people watching and sipping my iced venti green tea and nibbling on either a cinnamon scone or some madeleins. It’s extremely relaxing, and it helps me prepare for the day to come ;). After I leave there, I pick up my dog and I’m off to work.

Bethany Ellis - July 6, 2011

Oh yes — and A Billion Reasons Why is totally AMAZING! It’s definitely top of the line when it comes to Christian fiction.

Clare - July 6, 2011

My guilty pleasure would probably be watching Zac Efron movies with my sisters. Highschool Musical… Hairspray… Charlie St. Cloud… Yeah, yeah. I know. But he’s cute even now and me and my sisters laugh about personal jokes and make new ones everytime we watch those movies. It’s the perfect medicine to a bad day.

Rachel - July 6, 2011

My guilty pleasure is….(don’t tell my friends) Justin Bieber music.Yeah, he might kinda sound like a girl, but you gotta admit, the guy’s good. And…he’s kinda sickeningly adorable. Excuse me while I go jam out to “Baby” in the seclusion on my car…

Suzanne Schaffer - July 6, 2011

My guilty pleasure today is the chocolate covered cranberries that I have hidden. Not going to tell you where though. And the guilty pleasure will probably change tomorrow. I like variety. LOL

Jenny - July 6, 2011

Reading. While that sounds nerdy and like a good thing that I shouldn’t feel guilty about, I can be a bit…um…obsessive. It may even be an addiction – chain book reading. Put down one, pick up the next immediately. I hope there is never a Surgeon General Warning about reading. Can you imagine – not in airplanes, not in restaurants, is hazardous to your health?

I am a big fan of Kristin Billerbeck. She has contributed to my addiction.

Julie Arduini - July 6, 2011

Chocolate milk. When I’m stressed I have my Big Gulp size cup out and it’s filled with chocolate milk. You may see me one day on Intervention.

Such a fan of Kristin’s work. I read Ashley Stockingdale’s adventures years ago and she still stands out as a favorite.

Kristin - July 6, 2011

One of my guilty pleasures is reading Christian historical fiction romance books- you know, the kind where the hero is godly, tall, dark, and handsome and has some sort of super-manly occupation like being a blacksmith, and after a few minor misunderstandings, he falls in love with and woos the nerdy, awkward, average-looking girl? I love that. =) But I always feel the slightest bit embarrassed to be seen reading them…I feel like I should be reading some intelligent classic like Jane Austen or Charles Dickens (I do love Austen, though, she’s one of my favorite authors).

Another guilty pleasure is Disney songs. I’m a little obsessed with them and can frequently be heard humming them. A personal favorite is “Gaston” (from Beauty & the Beast). Really, the lyrics are hilarious: “I use antlers in all of my decorating!”


Mississippi Mama - July 6, 2011

My guilty pleasure is nail polish! I have a LOT of it and just keep buying more. My nails – fingers and toes – are ALWAYS painted. Always.

Madi A. - July 6, 2011

Hmmm…I’m not really sure. But I’m thinking one of my guilty pleasures would probably be
ice-cream. Or maybe all the cheesecake I’ve been fed EVERYDAY for the past week. But they’re oh-so-good, I could hardly resist:)

karenk - July 6, 2011

my guilty pleasure is…coffee…w/ french vanilla creamer…lots of it 🙂

Lauren - July 6, 2011

Hmmm…guilty pleasure is…What Not to Wear, and coffee. I try to like the stuff…but so far it hasn’t happened…

Laura J - July 6, 2011

Oh, I love Kristin! I stop by her blog every day. 🙂 Perhaps that’s my guilty pleasure.

My guilty pleasure is keeping up with the Young and the Restless. I blame this on my grandma who got me hooked on it when I was a kid. 🙂

Cheryl Olson - July 6, 2011

Hmmm I would say my guilty pleasure is “Pretty Little Liars”- not a great show…but I got hooked!

K. Floodle - July 6, 2011

First off, let me say that I LOVED Kristin Billerbeck’s Ashley Stockingdale series. That said, my favorite guilty pleasure is those romantic comedies that are so predictable yet ohhhh so good 🙂

Nicole - July 6, 2011

My guilty pleasure would probably be reading. I read a LOT. More than the average person. I always have a book around. Although dessert is another guilty pleasure, chocolate, ice cream, cake, cookie dough…I love it all. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t mind working out once in a while lol

Helen Loss - July 6, 2011

Please please don’t tell, but my guilty pleasure is Taylor Swift. Sigh! My husband would die if he read this. He hates country music.

HopefulLeigh - July 6, 2011

Definitely reality shows. Like Kristin, I love the Bravo shows, especially the Real Housewives. But I also like The Bachelor and those crazy Kardashians. Just a glimpse into the lives of people who are completely opposite of me!

kiersten - July 6, 2011

My guilty pleasure would either be reading (I walk out of half price book store with like 20 books every time!), or sappy chick flicks. 13 Going on 30, Pride and Prejudice, Letters to Juliet. You name it I have goof-grinned when “nobody puts baby in a corner”, hid my eyes and cringed at the embarassing moments that inevitably happen to the main character, and yelled at the screen when she’s about to walk out on the love of her life. Major movie buff.

While we are on the subject of movies…. Disney movies have to be one of my guilty pleasures too. At 4 this morning I was watching Thumbelina, and I had to talk myself out of Mulan or Hercules.

Catrina - July 6, 2011

My guilty pleasure is Starbucks… or Chocolate… or Reading… or internet shopping

Tonya - July 6, 2011

My emerging guilty pleasure is country music. Although Jenny in your eyes that just makes me right before the Lord 😉

Kelly - July 6, 2011

Starbucks Iced White Mochas. Also, I watch Psych almost every night and even made Shawn and Gus mii’s.. and the theme song is my ringtone when my husband calls. Sometimes I wait to answer so I can hear it longer.

Paris - July 6, 2011

My guilty pleasure is icecream. I could eat the stuff all day long.

Felicia - July 6, 2011

My guilty pleasure is definitely reality TV shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. I definitely watch almost every episode, but I don’t tell people about it!

Erin McFarland - July 6, 2011

eek! My to-read list is becoming impossibly long! Must learn to speed read!
Guilty pleasure: Starbucks. It is reeeeeally ridiculous to pay $5 for a cup of coffee. But i do it. And then i do it again. If it came down to my last 5 bucks and i could buy myself real food or a Starbucks, i’m a little embarrassed to say which one I’d pick.

Ashley Mays - July 6, 2011

The Ashley Stockingdale series is what inspired me to write in my own voice…LOVE it.

As for a guilty pleasure…music on the top 20 list.

Liv - July 6, 2011

Guilty pleasure…fan fiction. Namely Harry Potter fan fic. I’m obsessed. 😉

Katy - July 6, 2011

I haven’t read any books by Kristin Billerbeck, but Perfectly Invisible sounds like a fun read. I’d love a chance at winning a copy. 🙂

Hmm…my guilty pleasure? Well that would be sneaking into my room at odd hours in the day (no matter what’s going on in the house…i.e. company, clean up, dinner) and pick up the book I am currently immersed in and read for a few minutes before leaving my room. If I plan it just right, no one in my family even notices I was gone and I am that much farther into my book. 😛 Haha! Ya, so there is my guilty pleasure!

~ Katy

Lauren - July 6, 2011

I guess I’d have to say…my guilty pleasure is eating any kind of sweets. Lots and lots of them. They’re so delicious! 🙂

Sarah - July 6, 2011

My guilty pleasure is reading into the wee, unholy hours of morning. When I get my hands on a really good book it takes me a while — especially when it is suspenseful — to rip myself away from it. Lol

Joy - July 6, 2011

Top five guilty pleasures 5.Coffee 4.Mountain Dew 3.Reality TV (What Not To Wear, Say Yes To Dress, Four Weddings, My Fair Wedding, Cake Boss) 2. Reading the end of the book to make sure the guy gets the girl before I read the rest of the book 1.Convincing little cousins, nephews, and other kids I have babysat to watch the movies that I loved when I was a kid, like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladin, so *cough* that I can watch those movies again without feeling weird where I’m an adult.

Sorry, I couldn’t pick just one. 🙂

I love Kristin Billerbeck! Love all your books.

I love Erynn Mangum too!!!! Can’t wait for friday! Read all her books like three times waay to close. Not that I care. 🙂 Supper excited for the interview by one of my favorite author by one of my favorite authors. Like that wasn’t obvious 🙂

Wow, that felt like a long post! 🙂

Rachelle Rea - July 6, 2011

Once again, I loved reading this fun and fantastic author interview! Thank you! My guilty pleasure is chocolate. Need I say more? ::giggle::

Jess - July 6, 2011

Guilty pleasure…reading and chocolate, especially reading while eating chocolate! I always have to have a book to read, ALWAYS! And many times it is YA (I JUST turned 30).
I am loving all the author’s you are featuring!

capillya - July 6, 2011

“Someone brings me Starbucks, then they all leave.” I think I’d leave my perfect day at just that. 😉

Because I have almost zero amount of shame, it’s hard to figure out what my guilty pleasure is. I’m not ashamed at the terrible Step Up Movies that I adore. Not ashamed of my disgusting salty-sweet pairings that I eat (and make Hubs want to barf). CERTAINLY not ashamed of my ridiculous need to purchase books when I have a TBR pile at home that should make me automatically banned from bookstores.

Does liking Enrique Iglesias count? He’s so hot, but I read somewhere that he’s kind of a douche. And who wants to admit to liking a douche?

Reagan - July 6, 2011

Guilty pleasure?
Haha, ummm, I like to watch CBC’s show Heartland on youtube, cause that’s the only place in the US that I can find all the episodes, haha.

Rachel - July 6, 2011

Top guilty pleasures:

1. Coach purses, bags, bracelets, shoes,…

2. Disney movies. Beauty and the Beast is one of my all time favorite movies!

3. Buying new books-working at a bookstore is rather detrimental to my bank account; I just keep recycling my paycheck back into the store 🙂

4. Shopping. Anything from the above mentioned Coach store to bookstores to Loft(clothing). I am one of those people who can spend the entire day in the mall (with a shopping buddy, of course) 🙂

And, I have to mention, I bought A Billion Reasons Why right when it came out. I almost never do that, I have kind of a $5 rule when it comes to buying books. LOVED it. Went out and bought What a Girl Wants the very next week.

Carla - July 6, 2011

My guilty pleasure is cookie dough. On scoop for me, one for the pan, one for me, one for the pan. Then I cook the ones that actually make it to the pan and eat them…at least four with a large class of milk. My other guilty pleasure is reading…I become quite neglectful to my children, house duties and sleeping when I’m engrossed in a good book. Kristin Billerbeck did that too me. I believe I finished the Ashley Stockdale series in a week or less! 😛

Casey - July 6, 2011

My guilty pleasure??



I’ll answer IF I must. Or rather that gift card chance will make me…

Checking my emails. I really, really, really love to connect with other people and living in a small community I love to interact with my Christian fiction friends online. Looking forward to meeting many in Sept!!


kayli - July 6, 2011

mine would probably be Karen Kingsbury books or White Collar.

Dakota - July 7, 2011

Guilty pleasure: weekly trip to the library and then reading all my books while lying outside in the sunshine.

Cíntia Mara - July 7, 2011

Well, my guilty pleasure is… Listen to children’s music, the same that I used to listen when I was a child.

Shanda - July 7, 2011

A) Kristen’s Ashley Stockingdale series made me put down the prairie romance books & read contemporary Christian fiction. I had always struggled with the battle between my desire to give extra money to missions & to buy lots of cute shoes. Thank you for helping me navigate those waters.
B) Guilty Pleasure: buying multiple copies of favorite books. When I’m at Goodwill’s half off sale, I’m picking up paperbacks like crazy. I need extra copies, so they’ll fit in my purse to read on lunch, at the doctor’s office, or at a red light (with the car in park, of course.) I don’t ever want to be without reading material; plus if I can pick them up cheaply, it’s easier to share them with the uninformed. “What do you mean, you’ve never read Jane Austen (or insert Jenny Jones compliment here)????”

Crystal - July 7, 2011

My guilty pleasure is strolling around in a bookstore. I love picking up the books, reading the back covers, and ultimately purchasing one or ten.

Becky Tidberg - July 7, 2011

My guilty pleasure is Glee. Love the music and have plans to make my 5 year old son dress in Warbler attire and wander around the house singing popular A Capella hits.

Adrianne - July 7, 2011

My guilty pleasures would definitely be watching movies. I recently found Drop Dead Diva and I really like it. I enjoy all kinds of movies….Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, Julia Roberts……First Wives Club, Step Up 1-3, Sahara, National Treasure, The Interpreter, and most romance movies that don’t show too much. On a separate note, I absolutely loooooove Kristin Billerbeck. I love all the books I have read by her and I could hardly put A Billion Reasons Why down.!!!!! I also can’t wait to read the blog with Erynn Mangum, I adore her writings as well.

Side Note:
Jenny I have read Just Between You and Me and am in the middle of Save The Date and I absolutely loved both of them! What great stories that really captured my attention! I think Save The Date should definitely be made into a movie!! I can’t wait to read Then You’ll Find Me!

Rachel Kulp - July 7, 2011

My guilty pleasure is reading books while drinking chocolatized coffee. I want to win a package of books. I now have pre-teen grandaughters, and I want to learn what makes them tick.

Hannah - July 7, 2011

My guilty pleasure is…Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar Crunch ice cream! It’s completely unhealthy & delicious.

Tarrah - July 7, 2011

My guilty pleasure is sending the kids to bed early and reading a good romance novel…with a bag of white chocolate covered pretzels & cinnamon bears. Aaahhh!


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