Monday, May 22, 2006

Guest blogger Kristin Billerbeck

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.22.2006

Kristin Billerbeck is one of the funniest writers I know. Her books are always entertaining. If you haven’t read any of her chick-lits, buy them or ask for them at your library. And she’s guest blogging with me today!

Today she’s guest blogging about her latest book, A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND.


From the outside, Morgan Malliard has it all: diamonds at her disposal, a willowy figure, a doting daddy and all the elegance that money can buy. But money can’t buy happiness—or an identity to call her own—and Morgan is realizing her perfect life has no purpose other than spectacular grooming (which isn’t really a purpose at all . . . unless you’re a chimpanzee). Then a falling-out with her father drop-kicks Morgan into the real world, and she is suddenly forced to get an actual job, wear affordable shoes and cope with public transportation—not to mention deal with that mysterious hottie who may or may not be stalking her!

It’s time for a spa getaway with her best gals, Lilly and Poppy—because there’s just something about lying under a pile of sweet-smelling papaya plaster that can help a girl figure things out. Like the fact that life isn’t aobut living up to a perfect ideal, and that with God’s grace, the beauty of it may just be in the flaws after all . . .

If you want to enter to win the book, leave a comment (at the end of this blog post, click on “comments”), giving your name and saying you want to enter. Please leave an email address or website where I can contact you (use this format with the brackets: you [at] International readers are welcome to enter!

And now, here’s Kristin Billerbeck!

I had one of my Austen-fest weekends. I was not feeling well, and watched Masterpiece Theatre's version of "Pride and Prejudice" from the 80's. Then, I launched into the BBC version with Colin Firth -- and tonight I'm settling in for "Sense and Sensibility".

Jane Austen was an absolute artist in creating characters. If Mr. Collins doesn't jump off the page at you, and have you laughing with Austen at his pompous self, you just haven't lived. Both Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are proud (Mr. Darcy telling Bingley not to marry Jane, shame on him! And Elizabeth turning down Darcy's proposal of marriage out of duty and honor to Jane!)

Do you see how she does that? Austen takes them both at unlikeable moments and gives them integrity. They are doing wrong for the right reasons. In the end, they both learn how their pigheadedness was not only wrong, but Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth take steps to gain the other's approval and grow in character.

As writers, it's so important to see how authentic characters make mistakes. Christians lie, we harm someone's character, we make assumptions and judgments. That's all truth. A writer will show the authentic self, not the sugary-sweet person we all wish we were -- but when our character's do wrong, let us understand why! Provide us with an unyielding motive.

On a side note: It dawned on me that Jane Austen's books and English manners of the era, are a great allegory for the church. There is so much subtexting that goes on in a church. "Oh I am fine, how are you? Is that outfit new?" Translation: "My boyfriend left me, my job stinks, and I'm too old to have a kid, and is that an appropriate outfit for church?"

I've just added a page for writers on my webpage at: I don't promise any great pearls of wisdom, just a glimpse at what I've learned from doing wrong myself.
If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

Camy here: Thanks, Kristin! I’m all for authentic characters. I’ve made them so authentic, they’re practically unloveable. LOL.