Kristin Billerbeck: Quirky Confidence
A walk through the teen section of a local bookstore opened Kristin Billerbeck’s eyes to the sexuality and dark supernatural nature of the books available for teen girls.
“I wanted something that would address what it feels like to be different in high school,” the author says, “but a heroine confident enough to know she was making the right choices.”
Best known for her quirky romantic comedies, Kristin brings those talents to the young adult market with her Universally Misunderstood series for Revell Books. Her heroine, Daisy Crispin, feels out of place at the posh Christian school she attends, and homemade clothes, overprotective parents and no social life only add to the disconnect. “The one thing I have in common with Daisy,” Kristin says, “is being the poorer girl in a school of rich kids with designer clothes.”
In book three of the series, Perfectly Ridiculous, Daisy’s post-high school vacation in Argentina changes into a mission trip to fulfill a scholarship requirement, and her parents insist on coming along.
“I have one tween girl and three teenage boys,” Kristin shares. “I think the hardest transition [to writing for young adults] was trying to be ‘cool’ in fiction when my kids think I’m the biggest nerd ever! I just didn’t want to use words like ‘groovy’ while trying to appeal to the younger generation.”
Whether she’s writing for teens or adults, Kristen’s focus, however, remains the same. “The heart of my books is building confidence in girls and women to follow their heart and listen to God—not the crowd. Everyone has that experience where all of your family and friends believe one way and you know in your gut that it’s another path you must take. I want to build confidence in girls and women to be that warrior for God.”
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2012 issue of FamilyFiction Edge digital magazine. Subscribe for free today!