Today, I am honored to feature an interview with Kristi Helvig, author of Burn Out!
Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy writer. You can find her musing about space monkeys, Star Trek, and other random topics on her blog. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, kids, and behaviorally-challenged dogs. Find out more about Kristi at kristihelvig.com.
Tell us something unique about yourself.
I got a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology only to realize what I really wanted to be was a writer. I would have saved a ton in student loans if I’d figured this out earlier!
What inspired you to become a writer?
My mom claims I read the entire Nancy Drew series in 1st grade, and I know I started writing soon after because she saved my first “book” which was made from construction paper and looseleaf paper. I even illustrated it, and if you’ve seen my artistic ability lately, you know it was even worse at age 6.
What inspired your debut novel, Burn Out? What makes it special?
My hubby and I are huge space documentary nerds. Nat Geo and The Discovery Channel are like crack to me. Basically, we watched a few documentaries one night and then I dreamed the story of BURN OUT. I think it’s special because it addresses our sun burning out early and I haven’t seen anything like it out there.
What’s the best part about writing Science Fiction?
It’s fun. I mean, I know the book deals with the apocalypse and death, etc. etc., but I get to make up stuff and bring new worlds to life. I can’t think of a cooler job.
Could you tell us a little about your main character, Tora Reynolds? What was it like writing her story?
Tora was in my head constantly after that dream I mentioned. She seriously wouldn’t go away until I sat down to write her story. She’s strong, stubborn, and has lost so much that she appears hard on the outside but deep down still craves relationships with people. She’s also really snarky which is her way of dealing with unbearable circumstances. I loved writing her so much. The best compliment I’ve received so far is a reader telling me that they loved Tora and that she reminded them of a female Han Solo–you just can’t beat that.
If you could date any one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Oh, that’s tough because I don’t want to give too much away. I’ll say James because there’s more than meets the eye.
Do you have any other books in the works? What are your future goals?
I’m working on the sequel to BURN OUT, which will be out in 2015. I’m also finishing up an alternate reality/fantasy YA and will be sending it to my agent soon. My future goals are to rule the world and mandate 5-day weekends. Oh, you mean writing goals? Um, to write many more books…and meet Joss Whedon.
What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Never give up. Keep writing. Eat lots of chocolate. Drink lots of wine. That all worked for me anyway. 😉
Where do you like to write?
In the same spot on the couch (I’m a little like Sheldon from BBT), next to my dogs. I dream of having a fancy home office/library one day, but would probably still just write on my couch.
Which do you prefer: longhand writing or via laptop?
It depends on my mood and how much time I have. I like to sit and write chapters freehand and then type them, but I don’t always have the time or inclination. If I didn’t have such things as deadlines or children, I’d probably go the longhand route as things come out better that way.
What is your favorite genre to read?
YA, though I’m also in a book club and read a ton of literary fiction as well.
Cats or dogs?
Dinner or dessert?
Dessert for dinner.
Ice cream or cake?
What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
That’s easy. Meeting my husband, and having the two coolest kids ever. (technically, I guess that’s three things but who’s counting?)
Thanks so much for having me, Kelsey! 🙂
No, Thank you, Kristi!! 🙂 Check out Kristi’s Up Coming Novel! Release Date: April 8th, 2014
Burn Out (Untitled #1)
Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth’s final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns “red giant,” but discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.
Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone–her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun–one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in.
When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take the weapons by force, Tora’s fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James. Tora must figure out who she can trust in order to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.