Monday, April 21, 2014

Kristi Helvig Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

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.

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What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

Maybe that I have a Ph.D. but was a preschool drop-out. I really couldn’t stand preschool and thought it was so boring, so my mom let me stay home until Kindergarten. My now 7-yo is also a preschool dropout and is doing fabulous in school.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

That teachers are the most awesome yet underappreciated professionals out there. I still remember the great teachers I had, and feel so lucky that both my children have amazing teachers now. A school is only as good as its teachers.

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Burn Out, how would you introduce it?

Seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds is one of Earth’s last survivors when out sun burns out way ahead of schedule. She soon discovers that her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the environment.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Tora?

I was a little in awe of her to be honest. There’s no way I’d make it in a world like hers, and her toughness was inspiring. Also, I found that I have been more aware of our resources like water and air after writing about Tora’s experiences.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

I’ve said in other interviews that I had a very vivid dream involving the characters and plot of BURN OUT. The characters, especially Tora, wouldn’t leave me alone after that until I started writing it. The first draft flew out pretty quickly in six weeks.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

Oh, I’d love to introduce Tora to Jo from Little Women because I think they’d get along swimmingly. They’re both strong women with their own opinions about things.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

I just finished the sequel to BURN OUT and have already seen my cover (woot!) but don’t know if I can share the title yet. I’m also finishing a YA fantasy novel and have started a speculative fiction YA in my spare time.

Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?

I was on vacation in Ambris Caye, an island in Belize, and it was amazing. I biked all over the island on dirt roads, saw howler monkeys and mayan ruins, and went parasailing for the first time there. I’d love to go back with the kids someday, though I hear it’s been commercialized a lot since I’ve been there.

What book are you reading now?

Night Film by Marisha Pessl.

Who was your first boyfriend?

I remember his first name was Todd but don’t even remember his last name. I was in 6th grade and we ‘went steady’ for a month or so, which basically meant that we talked to each other when we saw each other around the neighborhood. It definitely wasn’t a serious thing. Ironically, Todd is also the name of my husband but that relationship is much more serious. ;)

Tell me about your first kiss.

Well, that would be the first Todd, and it was more like a peck than a kiss. That was probably my first sign that the relationship wasn’t going anywhere. Oh, Todd Litterelli—that was his name, so there you go.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

I wouldn’t say it’s an outright lie, but when people ask my age, I tell them that I’ve been 29 for a very, very long time. :)

What's the memorable summer job you've ever had?

This one’s easy. I was diner waitress on the overnight shift for a summer while I was in college. Oh, the stories I could tell.

What did the last text message on your phone say?

Ha, also easy. It says “Todd Litterelli” because I texted my brother and asked him the name of my neighborhood boyfriend was when we were kids (they were friends).

When was the last time you cried?

When my beagle Gennie died in September. She was the best dog ever and she died in my arms. I cried for an entire week.

Where can readers stalk you?

You can find me musing about Star Trek, space monkeys, and other assorted topics on my blog and Twitter. Or pick up a copy of BURN OUT on Amazon, Indiebound, or Barnes & Noble.

"A scorching series opener not to be missed." - Kirkus

A futuristic blend of Beth Revis's Across the Universe and Lenore Appelhans's Level 2, Burn Out will satisfy the growing desire for science fiction with a thrilling story of survival, intrigue, and adventure.

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 quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father's request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.

You can purchase Burn Out at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Kristi and Egmont USA for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Burn Out by Kristi Helvig.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail*
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