Billie Livingston on Religion, Writing Fiction, Crooked Hearts, and Mercy
Date: May 15th, 2016

In a bit of a departure from our regularly programmed social scientific discussion of religion, we invite Billie Livingston — independent novelist and poet — to discuss her life and the role of religious faith in the process of writing fictional works of literature.  This free flowing discussion takes us from Billie’s early days in foster care and filling milk coolers, through the process of discovering a love of writing, and through several of her novels.  Our discussion covers what religious themes have developed throughout her works, and how spiritual themes such as guilt, mercy, and redemption are woven into the characters and plots.  The books written by Ms. Livingston are not meant as religious novels per se, but rather reflect upon the real life struggles of individuals and how faith plays a role.  She reveals where a number of her stories and characters came from, including her own history as well as from meeting people in her travels, including an interesting Pentecostal family living in Northern California, and some of her husband’s fellow students during his time in seminary.  We also explore the concept of “mercy” in her latest novel, The Crooked Heart of Mercy.  Whereas mercy is typically thought as being forgiving or kind, Billie discusses the Greek origins of the term (eleos) and how it connotes steadfast love and immersive healing.  Billie shares a number of insights from the publishing world and what it is like to be an author throughout our conversation.  Recorded: April 28, 2016.


Billie Livingston’s personal website (including various novels and other works).

The Crooked Heart of Mercy, by Billie Livingston.

The Chick in the Back of the Church, by Billie Livingston.

The Trouble with Marlene, by Billie Livingston (and cinematic version).

Going Down Swinging, by Billie Livingston.

Cease to Blush, by Billie Livingston.

Greedy Little Eyes, by Billie Livingston.

One Good Hustle, by Billie Livingston.


Tim Kelleher on The Nicene Creed and Hollywood.

John Mark Reynolds on Dickens and “A Christmas Carol.”

Louis Markos on the Poetry of Heaven and Hell.

Corey Olson on J.R.R. Tolkien and “The Hobbit.”

Pamela Edwards on Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Leave a Reply

Listen or Download This Episode
Search The Podcast
To search the podcast, type a term and click the Search button.

Connect With Us