I’m so excited to be hosting another one of the great YA Valentines here on the blog, this time with Kristi Helvig. Kristi’s debut is an awesome adventure sci-fi called BURN OUT that will be released on April 8th! Be sure to add it to Goodreads and enter to win signed swag from Kristi below!
To make a loooong story short, this book came about as the result of a combination of three things: a science documentary I watched, a song I heard on Pandora, and a crazy vivid dream. I’m a bizarre dreamer and my current book (a YA fantasy) is also based on a wild dream.
Seriously, only one book? You’re killing me. Okay, in that case, I’d pick a metaphysical book so I could try and change my circumstances. At least then I’d know that I tried everything. ;)
Completely losing track of the time and getting lost in this world. I finished the draft in six weeks.
Ugh. I get turned off if a book has morals or seems preachy, so no, I wouldn’t say there are any lessons I wanted to teach. I wanted to tell Tora’s story to the best of my ability. In terms of themes, I’ll say that one of the things she struggles with is whether more advanced lethal weapons make us better, more advanced humans.
Wow, your questions are hard. I’d have to say my hubby because he always encouraged me and treated me like a ‘real writer’ long before I was one. He’s my biggest cheerleader, the best dad in the world, and he brings me coffee to wake me up every morning because I’m so not a morning person.
Hmmmm. Professional laundry folder? Champion coffee drinker? Or I can always fall back on my day job as a clinical psychologist, but I’d still write no matter what because I’m a rebel like that.
It would have to be Stephen King because he had such an impact on me in my childhood and I’d stay up late into the night reading his books. As an adult, even though I break some of his rules *flings adverb wildly onto the page*, I adore his On Writing book, and he’s the writer I’d most like to collaborate with.
Yes. I just finished the sequel to BURN OUT and have a YA fantasy novel almost ready, but I can see myself doing adult paranormal, new adult, middle grade (I already have a completed MG manuscript) and even non-fiction down the road. I love YA though and have more books in the works (one paranormal and one speculative fiction).
The short answer: Read and write a lot. The longer answer: Find a good critique group–one that doesn’t tell you what you want to hear, one that tells you how to make your book better (but in a nice way). I don’t know what I would do without my awesome (and sarcastic) critique partners. Read books on craft, and attend conferences or writing retreats as your budget allows. One of the best things I did was go to a small week-long writing retreat with editors and agents. After incorporating their feedback into my book, I had several offers of representation within a month. Never give up. Never surrender.
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Thanks so much to Kristi for doing this great interview! Be sure to check out BURN OUT on Goodreads and connect with Kristi on Twitter! Also, you can enter to win signed swag from BURN OUT here!
Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy author. She muses about Star Trek, space monkeys, and other assorted topics on her blog. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, two kiddos, and behaviorally-challenged dogs.