Friday, October 17, 2008

Interview with Author Kristin Billerbeck

In recent weeks I’ve been lucky enough to review not one, but two books by Kristin Billerbeck. They are part of her The Trophy Wives Club series. I am now lucky enough to get the opportunity to interview the author and share it with all of you. So, let’s all get to know this fantastic author together.

Q&A with Kristin Billerbeck

1. How did you begin a career in writing and what made you choose to write Christian Chick Lit?

I started writing late in the night when I had an MS flare-up and couldn't sleep. It gave me something to do. I soon became passionate about it and wrote my first book, Strong as the Redwood. My dad said if I got published he'd read it, so it is FILLED with Bible quotes, you know in the King James, just worked into standard conversation. LOL And incidentally, my dad never did read one of my books.

2. At what age did you begin writing?

29 with two young boys. I got my first rejection letter on my 30th birthday. : )

3. Who or what do you consider the biggest influence on your writing career?

I would say Thomas Hardy and Jane Peart. Hardy because when I read his books, I became immersed in them, in a way I didn't know was possible in fiction. I drank it in and wanted to write like him. Jane Peart (Brides of Montclair) made me realize I didn't have to really live up to the Hardy standard (and no harm meant to Ms. Peart, but you know, how many of us are Hardy?), but there was a Christian industry that was blossoming. I thought perhaps that was the avenue for me to take because I considered romance Pride & Prejudice. I was too prudish to read the romance novels in the stores.

4. How did it feel when you received the first call that your book was going to be published and what was that first book?

I didn't get a call like that. I received my manuscript back from Rebecca Germany at Barbour Books with a million corrections and a well-needed lesson on POV. If I cleaned it up, I might get published. So I did. I know publishers don't have that kind of time now, but I am eternally grateful to Becky, because I don't know if I would have pursued it. I keep the manuscript to this day. I love to even see it there, it reminds me how far I've come and not to get cocky.

5. The women of the Trophy Wives Club seem very realistic and people any of us would like as friends. Did you model them after anyone in real life?

When I write, it's like improv to me. I can see the characters and hear them talking. Okay, some might call it mental illness, but what I really try to do is give everyone a good side, and a bad side, to make them realistic. Isn't everyone you know like that?

6. We’ve read Haley’s story (The Trophy Wives Club) and now Lindsay’s story (Back to Life), should we look for any future books in this series? Will the rest of the women have their stories told as well?

No, I'm onto the next thing. I need a challenge constantly, so I'm always trying to change the game. My end goal is to write a book like a Maeve Binchy novel. I want the setting to come alive and the people to get into your lives, as if they're real. My next book is called Walking on Water and it's about a woman married to a man with schizophrenia and a good dose of narcissism. I did model his character after someone.

7. Which authors and genre do you read? Any favorite authors or books?

I read women's fiction, but I prefer a happy ending. My favorite authors are Maeve Binchy and Anne Tyler and my favorite novels are The Thorn Birds and The Accidental Tourist. I love the Russian novelists too, I tend to be all over the place, but I have a hard time staying with romance. My mind wanders too much.

8. Do you have a favorite book from your own work? Is there one particular project that is close to your heart?

She's Out of Control is my favorite. I can't really tell you why, other than I had a blast writing it, and it was the first book where I got to "let it all hang out" or be truly realistic. Plus, I think I took a special pleasure in "dumping" one of the heroes in the book.

9. Do you plan to write other genres or perhaps you already have?

I have written romance, but I got tired of it. Then, the chick lit, and now the women's fiction. I think my voice is pretty much the same in them all, but I like to move on and learn something new.

10. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Yes, read and do your research and don't stalk editors. It doesn't help and it gives you a reputation before you're out of the gate.

11. What are you currently working on and when will your next book be released? Can you tell us a little something about it?

I'm working on Walking on Water which will be out next Fall with Tyndale House. It's about second chances and redemption.

Thanks for all the great questions! Kristin

A big thank you to Kristin Billerbeck for taking the time to visit with us and a big thank you to Aurora Hughes, Associate Publicist at Harper Collins, for setting this up for us.

1 comment:

Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog! I always love reading comments and getting to know my readers!

After some careful consideration, I've decided to become an award-free blog. Although I appreciate and am honored by each and every award I've received, your comments and friendship are enough award for me. Thank you all so much for your thoughtfulness.

Due to way too many spam comments, I disabled the Anonymous User comments. We'll see if this works, otherwise I'll have to go back to word verification.