Girls Write Out
Thursday, November 17, 2005

I'm doing my first booksigning this weekend at a real life store. (Sam's Club on Camino in Sacramento from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. if you want to come point at the lonely girl!) A few years ago, I went with my mother and waited two and a half hours in Los Altos to meet Mary Higgins Clark. I had never actually read her, but my mother was gushing and pathetic. I'd never seen my stoic mother in such a frenzy, and I remember my mouth agape watching her.
"I love your stories!" is what she managed to get out.

Anyway, Ms. Clark was everything you want an author to be: She was elegant, dripping in ginormous jewels with a coiffed hairdo. She was fabulous! And watching my normally flatline mother stammer, sort of brought up the star power. That, and the 300 people in line. My signing won't be like this. I know that, but as I stood in the Clark line, I thought to myself, I wonder why she does this? Clearly she doesn't have to.

But I do have to. And trust me, I'm grateful that my publisher would have me do this, I'm just worried that no one will actually care. I write beach reads with cartoon covers. Do people, trying to get the lowest-price-per-pound on a turkey, really care?

Plus, booksignings let people know that I may be a chick lit author, but I'm no longer a chick! It's a bust -- my secret is foiled! I don't have Mary Higgins Clark's's nothing but a farce, a farce I tell you!

Even my beautiful convertible Volvo in the picture (that Colleen lovingly pasted in for me) is gone now . . .sucked away with my beloved, native Bay Area for higher, quieter ground. Camp grounds in a lot of ways. My new life is...well, it's not my life. Five minutes ago, my cat brought me a mouse. Earlier today, we came within inches of hitting a deer, the other night two raccoons. Last night, there was a centipede in my bathroom. There's a skunk living beside my driveway -- and I know how to get rid of him. We've done battle with rattlesnakes, wolf spiders and insects galore.

And the worst of it all--my shame and misery that I must confess. It's painful, but I feel I must be forthright. I, Kristin Billerbeck, am driving a minivan. Where, oh where, did my life go? When did I turn into Marlon Perkins? (Or the Crocodile Hunter for you youngins!) When did my house become a setting for Wild Kingdom and most importantly, when will it all end?

Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow, and I'll be living in the Presidio in San Francisco. Yeah, and I'll be driving a 645i convertible and I'll have a view of the Bay and I'll eat in North Beach, and feast on sauseetz and tiramisu and guzzle real espresso...I'm clicking my heels as we speak!! There's no place like home. There's no place like home. Crap. Still here. Maybe I have to concentrate really hard like Christopher Reeve did in Somewhere in Time.
Kristin Billerbeck  
posted at 12:46 AM  
  Comments (16)
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At 1:56 AM, Anonymous julie carobini said...

I feel for you, Kristen, I really do. Can't make it all the way to Sacramento, but if it helps, I'D BE THERE IF I COULD. :-) btw, I've read your last four books--and I just turned 40 this year. Does it matter that I read them under the covers with a flashlight? Ha, ha, only kidding--it was a Bic lighter.

I keep making the mistake of reading your blog when it's late and I've got no reasonable brain cells left. But thanks for making me laugh (I drive a minivan too, she said with a sigh.)

At 3:33 AM, Blogger Camy Tang said...

CENTIPEDE??? Gaaaaaaaaaack!

To be honest, you don't look your age. Plus I think the extra maturity enables you to write about how 20-somethings should act instead of how they want to act.


At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Mike Ehret said...

What's wrong with a minivan? (I pretend I'm driving a Jeep when driving mine). They're perfectly fine (if you don't mind screaming, "I'm old!").

In fact, I'm buying a new one (to me) today. (This part is true, sadly. And it's not even red.)

At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Bethanie said...

we have centipedes, redback spiders, lizards and venomous snakes!

i've never seen a skunk. don't think i want to either...

At 8:31 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

I feel for you on the booksigning, K! Wish I could be there. I'll bet you'll draw more people than you think. And, btw, welcome to the Minivan Club.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

LOL, Kris....I relate. I kicked, and cried, and screamed when I had to turn in my car when all the kids cam along! But I refused the minivan...stomped my feet and professed "I'm only in my early 30s"! (Yeah, that was a couple of years ago) So we compromised and got a SUV.

About the clicking your heels part....maybe you should don a pair of Stilettos and try again! LOL

GOod luck on the booksigning! Wish I could be there to support you, but know I'm there in spirit! :)

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Ron Estrada said...

Be careful what you wish for. Somewhere in Time was made on Mackinaw Island in Michigan. They don't allow cars on the island. Airplanes, however, are okay. Go figger. I'll be sure to post some of my roadkill recipes on my blog. I recommend the Whatsthat? Stew.

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Rebecca Barlow said...

I am laughing so hard--
I was just picturing myself clicking my heels this weekend and saying, "there's no place like home...there's no place like home..."
If it worked, guess where I'd probably end up???
Dragging my mom out to a "book signing" across town at Sam's Club!!!

Yep, that's right, Sacramento is my "hometown"! LOL

3 years ago, we traded in my husbands' life working in San Francisco/Silicon Valley and our life several hours away, living where family and friends were, in Fair Oaks/Orangevale to be all here together just east of Dallas, Texas (where the bugs alone are big enough to be roadkill)!! Talk about feeling out of my element--

The only "good" thing about moving here, is that I got to trade in my minivan for a 9-passenger Yukon XL with leather seats (at least my husband tried to convince me that it was a compromise for the space-saving cream and black convertible VW beetle that I had in mind, at the time?!!)

Well, Kristin, maybe I'll have my mom take pity on you and drop by to pick up her turkey and get a book signed for me this weekend.

I warn you though, she can talk to just about anyone about just about anything, as if everyone she meets is her personal friend--so just be careful with the content of your next "blog" on how things went-- I'm kidding!!
Have a really great time! Try clicking your heels and saying... "I'm so thankful...I'm so thankful.." Maybe that will work???

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Well, thank you all for your support. I must say I drove a Toyota Sequoia, and that's the reason I got the convertible, I just coudln't manuever the thing in parking lots where everyone has a Beamer. Now that I'm in truck country, I can drive it, but I like the feel of a minivan. I got the one with sunroofs all the way back, so it's kinda like a convertible. Sort of. Just a little bit?

Rebecca, thanks for offering to lend me your mother, but the less I have to open my mouth, it's probably for the best. : )

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Chaos-Jamie said...

If you would do a Sam's Club signing in Kansas City I would stand in your line with my, yes, six gallons of milk. Hey it saves me six dollars a week, well worth the gas! Even cheapskates can dream about Prada.

As for centipedes...have you noticed that you can douse them in scalding water, and walk away (I don't even touch them dead--that's what husbands are for) and when you come back they are gone, in other words--ack!--alive? And I'm a country girl even.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Malia Spencer said...

Kristin, you'll always be a convertible girl at heart, that's what matters. :) Think of this as temporary exile until the kids get old enough you won't need a minivan anymore and on that same day you can trade it in for another.

I'd come to the booksigning but I'm afraid heel clicking will only put me right back here, unless I hop a plane. Unfortunately don't see that happening.

And btw my sister has gone through the entire Ashley series in four days.

She moved home last week after five years and by the second day was complaining of being bored so I went into the cave (space under my bed where books are stored) and came up with What a Girl Wants and said, "here, there are three of them. This should keep you from being bored." First chick lit she ever read. She also used to live in California and dated a few guys that worked in Silicone Valley so I think she related.

After she finished the first one I got a whole stack of books and placed it beside her bed with the next two on the top. The first Spa Girls is in there too. I'd love to see what a Lily Jacobs original would look like. :)

Colleen, she already read Distant Echoes on the mainland and it made her homesick. She's been bugging me about Black Sands. I finally located a copy last night and plan to pick it up this weekend. Out of seven bookstores I've been checking one finally turned up. About time. I hate the fact everything gets shipped in. It takes way too long for me to get books. Definite trade offs for living in paradise. :)

Anyone want to do a temporary switch of lives?

At 1:12 AM, Blogger Lynette Sowell said...

Somehow I'm hearing the theme song from "Green Acres..."

Just drive it like you've got the top down. :)

At 4:22 AM, Blogger Rebecca Barlow said...

I told my dh just a few weeks ago that we needed to find some property and move out into the countryside (where our kids attend a darling little school),

His firm reply was "honey, we're like 'Green Acres', you and me, only you're Eddie Haskell, and I'm Zsa,Zsa Gabor..."

Through peals of giggling my response rolled out, "I'm glad you said that and not me!!"

At 4:15 PM, Blogger Amy Rinkenberger said...

The other day I tried to check out Spas Girls, from the library, but there were 25 people who already requested it. I haven't seen a request list so long since Lord of the Rings. So I put it on my Christmas Wish List.
Have you thought of doing a book signing in Minneapolis, MN? I know its cold, but it has a lot of charm to it. There's always cozy coffee shops to explore. Hopefully in the future.

In Him,
Amy Rinkenberger

At 12:41 AM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Mineapolis, hmm, isn't that where the really big mall is? Actually, the people from Integrity have talked about sending me out to meet my four fans, so Mineapolis...after I'm done with the last Spa Girls book perhaps.

Survived the booksigning gang, thanks for your support! Kristin

At 8:48 AM, Blogger south asia said...

You're my favorite author so I'd be there...only I doubt I could convince my husband to let me fly to CA just for a book signing. He has been bugging me about joining Sam's Club, though...


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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