Friday, November 4, 2011

Interviewing Billie Letts

Yesterday, I had the privilege of interviewing Billie Letts, author of Where the Heart Is, The Honk and Holler Opening Soon, Shoot the Moon, and Made in the U.S.A. For those of you not familiar with her work, Where the Heart Is was selected for Oprah Winfrey's Book Club, and it was made into a movie starring Natalie Portman and Stockard Channing. 

Billie is as gracious as she is talented. I must admit I was a bit nervous interviewing someone so famous! In fact, I got halfway there, stopped at Barnes and Nobles to pick up my own copy of Where the Heart Is (I read a library copy.) and then realized I left all my interviewing notes at home! I ended up being 15 minutes late. I was mortified! I had no number to reach her other than her publicist, so I called that number and left a message; but I was sure when I got there, she would refuse to see me. But she didn’t. Instead, she graciously welcomed me in.
Interviewing Billie Letts is like going to a good movie. She’s adventurous, compassionate, and funny. She entertained me with stories about her own life and the lives of others who provide the inspiration behind her novels. She talked about her most treasured moments of being a famous author as being when she reads all the letters she receives from young girls who quit school but go back after reading her books. And, just when I thought she was getting serious, she'd pop out a sassy joke about herself. It was delightful. 

If you ever get a chance to interview Billie Letts, watch out! She will interview you back. Before I left, she found out as much about me as I did about her. I think she's looking for new characters for her next book!

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