Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Interview & Giveaway: Kristin Billerbeck, author of THE THEORY OF HAPPILY EVER AFTER


THE THEORY OF
HAPPILY EVER AFTER
by
KRISTIN BILLERBECK

  Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: May 1, 2018
Number of Pages: 288

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According to Dr. Maggie Maguire, happiness is serious—serious science, that is. But science can’t always account for life’s anomalies, like why her fiancé dumped her for a silk-scarf acrobat and how the breakup sent Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream–fueled chick flick binge.

Concerned that she might never pull herself out of this nosedive, Maggie’s friends book her as a speaker on a “New Year, New You” cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Maggie wonders if she’s qualified to teach others about happiness when she can’t muster up any for herself. But when a handsome stranger on board insists that smart women can’t ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she may discover that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart.

Filled with unforgettable characters, snappy dialogue, and touching romance, The Theory of Happily Ever After shows that the search for happiness may be futile—because sometimes happiness is already out there searching for you.

PRAISE FOR THE THEORY OF HAPPILY EVER AFTER: 
“. . .the sweet will-they-or-won’t-they of Sam and Maggie’s courtship will please readers. . .”
                        --Publishers Weekly

“Billerbeck returns with a light Christian chick-lit novel just in time for the summer beach-read season, taking on stereotypes of femininity, intellect, and worth within an exciting cruise-ship setting with plenty of sunshine and gelato.”
                        --Booklist

“Billerbeck’s latest is full of memorable characters and witty dialogue. . . .The overall story reminds the reader that sometimes happiness will find you, no matter what you may do to avoid it.”
--RT Book Reviews  Four Star Review


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Where did your love of storytelling come from?
Growing up, I had a brother who was very ill. He was in and out of the hospital, and I spent a lot of time waiting and by myself. I made up stories to make the time pass quicker.  Stanford Children’s Council used to have a grove of Eucalyptus trees behind it. While my brother was in therapy, I would be breathing in the deep scent and imagining I was somewhere else. 

To be honest, I wasn’t much of a reader until my freshman year in high school when I discovered Jane Austen. I devoured everything she’d written, and my love of reading was born. That year, the BBC had a “Masterpiece Theatre” of “Pride and Prejudice.” Long before Colin Firth, I first fell for David Rintoul as Mr. Darcy. In truth, I loved him so much that I didn’t watch the Colin version for years. Now it’s my favorite version.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I had two children. I now have four and they’re all adults. How frightening is that? My first book was published in 1997.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?
I would have to say humor. I really believe that laughter is the best medicine, and I always try to keep a smile on my face no matter how tough life gets. I also feel things too deeply, so I can’t take too much blood/violence. I want to believe in upright people and that good will always triumph. I try to reflect that underlying message in my books. There’s enough unfairness in the world.

What is your favorite quote?
Not surprisingly, it’s a Bible quote. In my lifetime, I’ve really been hurt and betrayed by Christians and people in the church. This verse reminds me that God sees all and just because someone says they’re Christian, it doesn’t mean they’re trustworthy. This verse reminds me that God knows the heart, so even if someone is doing a fabulous ministry for the wrong motives, God takes note. It reminds me to have the right motives. 
“All a person's ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.” Proverbs 16:2 NIV 
What did you find most useful in learning to write for publication? What was least useful and most destructive?
Listen. Be humble. Published authors and publishers know something about what sells books. If you’ve heard a piece of advice, take it to heart. That being said, I’d also remind you to listen to your gut. Sometimes, advice is bad, but if you’re getting it from more than one place? It’s probably worth listening to. 

The worst piece of advice I got was that I had to write a certain way. Everyone’s process is his or her own. If someone tells you that only this method will work for publication, that’s not the truth. I’m an intuitive writer. I sit down and let the characters speak to me. Figure out what kind of writer you are, and get those pages written.

What was the hardest part of writing, The Theory of Happily Ever After?
My character is smarter than me. So I had to do a lot of research and talk with people who are, indeed, smarter than me. I think my next heroine might have a more basic vocation than happiness researcher.

What do you like to read in your free time?
I am all about character studies, so I love a good memoir or biography. Finding out what makes people tick is the reason I write.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I’d be invisible, so I could get the whole story every time.





Kristin Billerbeck is the author of more than thirty novels, including What a Girl Wants and the Ashley Stockingdale and Spa Girls series. She is a fourth-generation Californian who loves her state and the writing fodder it provides.

WEBSITE   FACEBOOK    TWITTER   






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GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
GRAND PRIZE: Copy of The Theory of Happily Ever After + Bookish Beach Towel, Tumbler, & Book Sleeve
2ND PRIZE: Copy of The Theory of Happily Ever After
+ $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
3RD PRIZE: Copy of The Theory of Happily Ever After
+ $10 Starbucks Gift Card
(US ONLY)
August 22-31, 2018

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
8/22/18
Excerpt, Part 1
8/22/18
BONUS Post
8/23/18
Excerpt, Part 2
8/24/18
Review
8/25/18
Playlist
8/26/18
Review
8/27/18
Scrapbook Page
8/28/18
Review
8/29/18
Author Interview
8/30/18
Review
8/31/18
Review


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