Split EndsSplit Ends
Kristin Billerbeck
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In a fit of short-lived courage, Sarah Claire Winowski flees Sable, Wyoming, for Beverly Hills, where she earns the title "Hairstylist to the Stars." But success isn't very satisfying---and she wonders about the small-town girl she left behind. Can she see through her gorgeous boyfriends, unscrupulous relatives, and an egotistical boss to find the real Sarah? 304 pages, softcover from Integrity.
     

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Kristin Billerbeck
Proverbs 16:2 -"All of man’s ways seem innocent to him but motives are weighed by the Lord."

Split Ends

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 Our Interview with Kristin Billerbeck

What led you to become a CBA author?

CBA is what I read and it’s who I was as a person.   I feel it impossible to write a story without the faith element because it’s essential to character – whether it be a heroine or a villain, the faith journey adds another dimension. 

How did you come up with the concept for Split Ends?

I have bad hair.  It’s a fact, it’s just a mess, all the time.  I become obsessed with Nick Arrojo on “What Not to Wear” and how I could find someone like him to cut my hair and solve my problems.  So I started researching, what makes someone like Nick great?  What does a hairstylist have to be to make $400 a cut?  I found out where Nick went to school, tracked down a local stylist who went to school there, and started learning about “team” salons and what makes them different.  It’s fascinating because they’re artists in their own right.  Now, I get stopped on the street and asked where I get my hair done AND I got a book out of it.  Now that is a coup!

Is any part of Split Ends factual?

Only the artistry of great stylists.  I found out there are hairstylists who do it for the artistry more than the money.  Just like there are authors in the business for the beauty of words.  I identify with that – always striving to get better and not necessarily to make more money.

How closely is this Split Ends based on your life?

Only identifying with hairstylists in pursuit of art.  Otherwise, it’s all pretty much fictional.  

 

How long did Split Ends take you to complete?

This one was a lengthy process.  Two moves, a husband’s new job, kids in different schools, a house that wouldn’t sell . . .what was the question?  LOL  The longest it’s ever taken me to complete a book.  I believe around eight months.

What is the symbolism for the title Split Ends?

I think life is all about our choices and we’re left with the consequences of whatever we choose.  The hard choices cost us something and unfortunately, we don’t get to see the ending when we make the decision.  I wanted to show a heroine who could have played it safe and didn’t.

Do you have a favorite character? Why?

My favorite character in this is Sarah Claire, the heroine, because she’s been told all her life what she is – and she chooses to believe otherwise and make things happen for herself.

How much research did Split Ends take?

A lot.  And team stylists aren’t cheap – but they are worth every penny.   Luckily, my hair is thick, so I got a lot of bang for my buck each time I went.  Though I’m sure they felt worn out when I left after all the questions I had!

How many titles will be in this series?

Split Ends is a single title novel about a girl with a dream and a mustard seed of faith.

Do you prefer to write contemporary- chick lit fiction?

I do, because I can take what’s relevant in the world and put it to the page.  It’s timely, but I think if you can take the core emotions that drive us all, it can be more of a setting than just dated.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

Time.  I have four children and a finely choreographed day.  If anything busts into the dance steps, there are far-reaching consequences.  I’m on a deadline right now and in the last week, we’ve had a broken sewer line, a move, a sputtering furnace, my daughter home sick, a broken arm on my wave-boarding son and my husband in Texas on business.  That would screw up anyone’s schedule – but try adding being creative to the mix and it can run one dry.  But my family comes first.  They always will.   

 

Are there any other new projects on the horizon?

Yes!  I’m really excited about “The Trophy Wives Club” coming out in the Fall with Avon Inspire.  It’s about when Prince Charming isn’t.

Who was the person who influenced you the most with your writing?

There are so many, but I would have to say my high school English teacher, Ms. Dimond because she gave me freedom to explore what I loved about fiction.  Other advanced classes forced me into the darker side of literature and it made my skin writhe.  The written word is powerful and I didn’t want those ugly images in my mind.  She allowed me to read the most obscure Jane Austen books for book reports, which gave me a love for Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens and other classics that I never would have read were I not allowed to explore. 

In the CBA, I would have to say it was Jane Peart who inspired me to write, because her books had likeably, spunky heroines who weren’t perfect, but I had to find out what they’d do next.

What advice would you give to a person trying to become a fiction writer?

Read what you love.  Learn the craft and take criticism with a grain of salt.  It will always be there.  

What message would you like your readers to take away from this book?

Our choices have consequences.  Choose wisely and learn to discern good and bad counsel. What is your goal or mission as a writer?My mission is to write the truth as I see it.  Sometimes the church can be a harsh environment and I want people to know Jesus is separate from that.  Nothing can separate you from His love, but people may certainly try.

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