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Interview With Kristin Billerbeck

Meet Kristin Billerbeck
Interview by Sandra Moore

1) Tell us a little about yourself -- age, married/single, children, how many books authored, etc.

I'm 29 (plus 8), and married to a wonderful husband for 12 years. We have four kids: Trey (9), Jonah (8), Seth (6) and Elle (3). I have authored over 20 novels, novellas and short stories, but have recently found my passion in Chick Lit. I'm a big fan, and I like being a voice for my many single friends.

2) Tell us about this new genre Chick Lit. What exactly is Chick Lit, or Mom Lit for that matter?

Chick Lit is about living the single life in the city. Mostly, it's about voice. It's about seeing the details of life, and commenting wryly. Ashley is the Christian answer to Bridget Jones. She's just as neurotic, but saved. From my experience, she's a very real look at life in the Silicon Valley. Mom Lit is also about voice. The best secular example is "I Don't Know How She Does It" by Allison Pearson. Christian example: "Sisterchicks" by Robin Jones Gunn. Chick Lit and Mom Lit offer a humorous take on the mundane. Generally, the heroines are a bit "off", but you can identify with something in them, even as a optimist.

3) You've got a new book due out this month. Hmm . . . it is this month, isn't it? Tell our readers a little bit about it.

What A Girl Wants is the Christian's answer to Chick Lit. Ashley is fed up with life as a single girl, but doesn't know what to do about it! Her actions are derfinitely "off" and the results comical. The book is about searching for the wrong things, and how we as Christians, really don't help God sometimes.

4) Who is your favorite character in your newest book, and how did you come up with that character?

My favorite character is probably Ashley Wilkes Stockingdale, the heroine. She is all about her, and full of reasons why she's single, but she only sees other people's faults. I wanted the reader to identify with her, while still seeing that she acts outrageously sometimes, and is often her own worst enemy.

5) WestBow is your publisher. Aren't they the product of two merges? And aren't they known for exclusive contracts, meaning if you write for them you can't write for others?

WestBow Press is a new division of Thomas Nelson. Their plan is to take fiction to a new level. In secular publishing, fiction takes up the majority of the sales, while in CBA, it's the opposite with non-fiction being the majority. WestBow sees an opportunity there, and wants to not necessarily write "Christian fiction", but fiction with a Christian world view. For example, "The DaVinci Code" is complete heresy with regards to the Bible. But his worldview is being preached to the masses. We want to write great books from a Truth standpoint. I don't have time to write for anyone else, and after meeting with their publisher and marketing people, I wouldn't want to. Their vision is mine: To take fiction from a Christian worldview to the masses. I love secular chick lit, but I never lived the lives these young women are leading. I find it sad, and empty. Ashley still has lots of ruts in her world, but she also has hope. And that hope is the difference for everyone.

6) Where would you like to be as an author in ten years?

I would like to always continue growing as an author. My publisher WestBow does a deep editing process so that has grown me, and I see how far I have to go. I'd like to be at a point where readers know what to expect with me. That they will have an enjoyable romp.

7) Have any future chick lit books in mind? Can we have a peek into the premise, or should we just wait for it to hit the shelves? :-)

Ashley's sequel, She's Out of Control, is coming out in July of this year, and it's about Ashley moving towards commitment and adulthood (even though she's already 31).


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