Dallas Novel: "Good Christian Bitches"

In the hyperrich and hyperreligious Dallas enclave known as the Park Cities, Bible study is a contact sport. Author Kim Gatlin, a wealthy, gorgeous divorcée, was inspired to write "Good Christian Bitches" about the backbiting women in her orbit. She spoke with NEWSWEEK's Gretel C. Kovach.

Is this phenomenon of catty, devout women specific to Dallas?
This is a universal subject. In every affluent neighborhood and every trailer park you have people who are going to gossip and disappoint each other and betray one another. That's just an ugly part of human nature.

Have you ever been a good Christian bitch?
Absolutely. We're all guilty of it to a degree. It's already gotten to be a term with my girlfriends. They'll call me and say, "I was the biggest G.C.B. today," or, "I just got G.C.B.'d so bad!" All Southern girls are taught to love Jesus, but just because we're Christians doesn't mean we're perfect.

Will your pastor get past the title of the book?
The title is not mocking God. It's mocking those of us who love God and don't always make the best choices to honor him.

Do any Dallasites think you ' re a big sinner for writing this novel?
Yeah, they think I'm going to hell. [Laughs] But I'm not! There's been so much gossip about my book about the evils of gossip that I have enough material for a second book. The biggest problem is going to be from the people who will be disappointed when they realize it's not about them.