We interviewed Author Kristi Helvig today on the blog, and we’re excited to share her with you! Kristi’s story in TICK TOCK: Seven Tales of Time is called Countdown Cafe, in which a coffee shop offers a respite for the cursed.
What do you never leave home without, and why?
A sweatshirt. I have the uncanny ability to be cold regardless of the actual temperature outside.
What is your fav secret indulgence?
Well, it’s not so secret, but I’ve got a serious thing for Cadbury Crème Eggs. The reason it’s not so secret is that I’ve tweeted, posted, blogged, etc. about my undying love for them. It’s good they only come out once a year, or my waistline would be in serious crisis.
What is your favorite way to celebrate finishing a novel?
I’m pretty intense when I do my first draft, so my first celebration usually involves a long, much-needed shower. Sad but true fact: last time I finished a draft and announced I was going to shower, my husband jumped up and down like he won the lottery. Then, I spend the next week or two reading entirely for pleasure, and enjoying time with hubby, kids, dogs, friends, etc. before I head back into my editing cave.
What got you started with writing? What drives you to keep writing?
I started at age 5 with my first “self-published” picture book, complete with a stick drawing cover. From there, I moved on to Nancy Drew fan fiction using my mom’s cursive typewriter (which tells you how old I am). Other than some angsty teen poetry, I didn’t write fiction again until my youngest child was born, so about 20 years later. I wrote two novels fairly quickly, and the second one was picked up by an agent and publisher, and I haven’t stopped writing since. In terms of what drives me, every time I finish a manuscript, new characters pop into my head and show me their world. They don’t stop bothering me—they even show up in my dreams—until I get them down on the page, so it’s easier to give in and write. It’s also the most fun thing I’ve ever done, aside from raising my kiddos.
Are you more of a half-full or half-empty kind of person? How does that influence developing your characters—plots—endings?
I’ve always been a half-full kind of person. In fact, several of my clients (I’m also a clinical psychologist and life coach) have correctly guessed that I was a cheerleader in high school—and no, I don’t use pom poms in our sessions. What’s funny is that my disposition allows me the freedom to explore some very bleak settings and situations, which is why my sci-fi novel, BURN OUT, focuses on the last girl on Earth when our sun burns out early. My books definitely trend toward the dark side of things, yet there is always a glimmer of hope in the end. The quote at the beginning of one of my books: When it is dark enough, you can see the stars, pretty much sums up my mentality during the book-writing process.
Do you ever see yourself switching genres?
Sure. I’ve written sci-fi, fantasy, speculative fiction, and am currently working on a contemporary thriller. They’re all YA though, and I have a few adult fiction ideas as well, but those will have to wait for a bit. I’m also working on a non-fiction book related to the work I do in career coaching, so that will be my first non-fiction title, and I have several other non-fiction books in the pipeline.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Just do it. Well Nike didn’t give me that advice personally or anything, but the idea applies to writing as well. You can have all the ideas in the world and it doesn’t matter a bit if you don’t sit down and write the darn thing. I can’t tell you how many people have made comments like “I wish I had the time to write a book too.” I don’t have any more hours in the day than anyone else, and also juggle working my day job with shuffling our kiddos to various activities, so it’s a simple matter of “butt in chair.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?
Hmmm…well, on the book front, I’d like to put out a minimum of 2 books per year, one fiction and one non-fiction, so in 5 years, I’d have at least 10 more books out which would be awesome! I love coaching people so I hope to still be doing that in some capacity, as well as continuing to speak at conferences. It’s hard for me to even picture 10 years out—my youngest will be 18 then, which blows my mind! I’m sure I’ll still be writing and coaching, and my husband and I have a longer term goal of creating our own charitable foundation so I’d love to be giving tons of money to non-profits in 10 years. And of course, I also plan to have a few Cadbury Eggs along the way.
Good stuff, there! Thanks for reading about Kristi. You can learn more about her and connect with her online here.