Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Interview with Kristi Helvig

Let's beat the summer heat by partaking in a cool interview with a very active member of the writing community. ;) We're talking with aspiring author Kristi Helvig.

Welcome, Kristi. It's great to have you here. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a clinical psychologist by training and work part-time in private practice—like, really part-time. I’m working 4 hours/week right now, so that I can be with my kiddos. They’re growing so fast that I don’t want to miss this time with them. After everyone is asleep and the house is quiet, I write. I’m working on my second YA manuscript right now.

It's true, they grow fast. I totally respect your schedule. Tell us, what is the name and genre of the manuscript you're currently pitching?

The one that I’m about to query full-force, once I have my crit partners read it again, is a YA urban fantasy called BOUND.

Love urban fantasy! What’s the story about?

Here’s my 1-sentence pitch:

When wings of a murdered faerie fetch big bucks on eBay, a teenage girl realizes her kind aren’t only being ostracized—they’re being hunted.

What an intriguing premise! How did the idea of the story come to you?

This will sound so lame but it’s true—a dream. I’ve always been a vivid dreamer. My current YA is also based on a dream, as is a 3rd that I’d started but put down to work on BOUND. I had a great story idea from a dream last week, but I had to write it down to save it for later, because I can only write so many stories at once.

I hear you. Are you a planner or a pantser?

Total pantser. I get the general idea from the dream, and immediately know the MC’s name and title of the book, but that’s it. I have no idea what will happen next, which makes it fun to write but crazy to edit.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Revising. The first draft is magical for me, but the 10th revision makes me want to bang my head against a wall. I love the end result of course, but the process is definitely not its own reward for me.

I'm sure many writers feel the same. So who are your inspirations?

My husband. He doesn’t write, but he’s an amazing singer/songwriter who creates the most beautiful songs. I’m in awe of him and would be happy with one tenth of his talent. Aside from that, I’m inspired by every great book I read, by the great community of bloggers and writers out there, and by my super-supportive critique partners and beta readers.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Can you name three things about yourself that people might be surprised to find out?

That’s a tough one. Since no one who reads this knows me well, I’m guessing it would all be a surprise, but here goes:
  1. I worked the overnight shift at a diner one summer while in college, mainly serving people whose blood alcohol levels were in the toxic range. I think that’s when I decided to get my Ph.D.— I never wanted to waitress again. I didn’t.
  2. Spiders freak me out. I can watch any horror movie and not be bothered at all, but a tiny eight-legged creature crawling in my direction makes me scream like the girl I am.
  3. I don’t do dishes. I’m fine with laundry, cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, etc. but I have a thing about dirty dishwater so my husband has always done the dishes—and we once lived somewhere that had no dishwasher, so everything had to be done by hand. We’ve now been married 14 years, so I’m guessing he’s used to it.

Sounds like a fair deal as far as housework is concerned. *makes a note to try the dirty-dishwater line on hubby, lol*

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: microscope, avalanche, and hula skirt.

If he’d known that wearing a hula skirt to the annual Science is Sexy costume party would garner such an avalanche of attention, he would’ve played it safe and come as a microscope.

Hahaha, now there's an original sentence. Very clever. Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Whom would you like to give a shout out to?

My hubby, my two fabulous critique groups: The Critiquers and Sisters in Scribe, Carrie Seidel-beta reader extraordinaire, and all the wonderful bloggers like you out there who make writing such a fun adventure.

And finally, where can people find you online?

Most of the time, I can be found blogging at Sisters in Scribe.

I’m on Facebook every day (under Kristi V. Helvig), and I also have a Twitter account but don’t use it. Figuring out Twitter is on my to-do list for the year!

Thank you so much for chatting with us, Kristi. I wish you much success with BOUND and all your future publishing projects.


Lacey J Edwards said...

Great interview!!!! Can't wait to read all about the shiny new idea. And it's not lame to get your story ideas from a dream. Stephenie Meyer made it cool. *hugs*

Unknown said...

Dorothy - thanks for having me here! Lacey - I wouldn't mind being similar to her in many ways. ;)

Unknown said...

Oh, I'd also like to add that I am finally on Twitter (YAY!) under Kristi Helvig.

Valerie Kemp said...

Yay! Another awesome interview with one of my Sisters in Scribe!

Lisa said...

Wonderful interview! Kristi, I worked the "until 2 a.m." shift at a Big Boy restaurant in college, I am completely spider-phobic, and while I don't mind doing the dishes, my husband does them because it's his zen time. :)

I can hardly wait to see BOUND on the shelves. What a great pitch!

~ Lisa

Tahereh said...

another great interview, dorothy! it was so nice to learn more about kristi. a big thanks to you both for sharing!!

best of luck with everything!!

Gina said...

Okay...my first reaction to the "1-sentence pitch"...Oooohh! Love the writing test answer as well, very creative. Definitely suggest figuring out Twitter quickly....it's a great place to garner support for a new idea, exposure in your chosen niche and simply a place to have fun. Would love to find out more on BOUND....

Great interview, Dorothy! The style may change, but the results are always the same...pure genius. Another author-to-be to watch for...

Unknown said...

Lisa - I couldn't imagine dishes ever being zen for me!

GMR - thanks so much for the kind words. :)

Dorothy Dreyer said...

Thanks to everyone for the great comments! It was a pleasure interviewing Kristi. She's awesome and I'm sure we'll be seeing Bound on bookstore shelves someday. :)