Tuesday April 8th 2014, I had the opportunity to attend Kristi Helvig's book launch for Burn Out at the Tattered Cover in Highlands Ranch. What a great event, with yummy cupcakes, to celebrate the release of a fun, face paced, young adult sci fi! Here are some pics!
Your debut title, Burn Out, is a young adult science fiction published by Egmont USA. Tell us about Burn Out, what can we expect?
It’s about a 17-year-old girl, Tora, who is one of the last people on Earth when the sun burns out early. She finds other survivors, or rather they find her, but they turn out to be even deadlier than the planet. Expect a fast, tense ride.
What would you say makes it stand out from other books in the same category?
Hmmm. I haven’t seen the concept of the sun burning out before and it involved a lot of science research because I’m a total nerd. So I could say it’s nerdier than other books, but that’s probably not a strong selling point-lol. I will say that I’m a huge Star Trek and Battlestar Gallactica fan (I’m really not doing much to dispel the nerd thing, huh?), but a big part of that for me is the characters and not just the sci-fi setting. Shows like BSG and Firefly had characters that made me care about them, which was what I wanted in my own book.
How long have you been writing fiction? What inspired you to become an author?
Either a few years or forever, depending on how you view it. I wrote my first picture book at age 5 or 6, and then my first novel a few years after that. However, I didn’t write anything other than angsty teen poetry until after I had my kids. The first book I wrote with the intent of it being published was a few years ago.
I see that you also work as a clinical psychologist; do you feel this has any bearing and/or impact on your fiction writing?
Yes, I’ve always been fascinated with what makes people tick, and why they make the choices they make so I got my Ph.D. and have been working as a psychologist for over 12 years now. It definitely helps with characterization and motivation in novels. I also worked with teen girls in youth corrections and met a lot of smart, tough girls, so writing a tough girl came pretty easily.
How do you balance work, your writing career, and family?
Ha. I should ask you that because I’m not sure I’m balancing anything at all right now. I’m lucky in that I only work part-time in my private practice which leaves more time for writing. However, right now I’m juggling the deadline for Book 2 revisions with the launch for Book 1 and feel more unbalanced than ever. Whenever I have crazy times like this, I make sure to create some down time afterward. I have things planned with my family after my launch, and a mountain trip with girlfriends. Other tips are appreciated. ;)
What tips or recommendations do you have for aspiring authors?
Keep writing, keep learning, join a critique group, attend conferences, read blogs. And chocolate and wine always come in handy too.
Thanks so much for having me on the blog, Rebecca! :)
Kristi, thank you so much for being on the blog. Your release was great!
You can follow Kristi here: