Author Interview with Kristi Helvig author of Burn Out #BlogTour

Thank you for the interview Kristi Helvig, I’m excited to showcase a new science fiction, dystopian on!

PJVBURN OUT looks very interesting, but the first thing that caught my eye was the comparison to Beth Revis and Lenore Appelhan’s series…both fan favorites of YA SciFi addicts, like myself. What do you think about the comparison?


khWell, I think it’s a compliment for sure! Those comparisons are from my editor, but I’ve read both Beth and Lenore’s work and love them. I’d say they’re similar to mine in that they have strong sci-fi components, but the premise of the books and the characters are vastly different from one another.


PJVThis is your debut novel, what inspired you to set off on a path to become a writer, especially from being a clinical psychologist? A YA SciFi writer at that..?


khI don’t know…watching too many Discovery channel documentaries? The research aspect of being a psychologist has lent itself well to writing. I’m a huge nerd and spend my free time watching documentaries, and I really love quantum physics. While my friends are watching The Real Housewives of Wherever, I’m watching theories of black holes in the universe. Sad but true.


PJVCan you tell us a little bit about BURN OUT in your own words?


khIt’s about a 17-yo girl who thinks she’s the last girl on a dying Earth, only to find out that there are other survivors who turn out to be even deadlier than the planet. She’s torn between saving herself by getting off the planet and protecting her father’s bio-weapons that she swore she wouldn’t let fall into enemy hands.


PJVAre there certain books, or movies that inspired BURN OUT?


khNot really, though I’m sure my formative years spent watching Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica had something to do with it. BURN OUT was actually partly inspired by a song. I heard this haunting song on Pandora after watching one of those aforementioned space documentaries and then had a vivid dream that same night about Tora and James (the characters in BURN OUT). I wrote the first draft in six weeks.

As far as inspiration after I wrote the book, I have to mention Joss Whedon because I want him to write the screenplay if it ever turns into a movie (a girl can dream). A friend of mine read BURN OUT and told me they thought I’d love a show called Firefly by Joss Whedon, and I’m ashamed to say that I was like “Josh who?” Yeah. Anyway, that next week, I watched every episode of the show on Netflix and was devastated to find out it was cancelled, even though I was about 8 years behind the rest of the world. Story of my life.


PJVWhat would you say is the defining aspect of BURN OUT?


khA girl with major trust issues comes across others who totally validate those issues, yet she still finds a way to have faith in humanity.


PJVCan you tell us a little bit about the characters of the book BURN OUT? Will there be romance?


khTora is my 17-yo main character, and reviewers have described her as a female Han Solo. She’s sarcastic and tough, but underneath it has a vulnerability that few people see. Her dark humor has helped her survive horrific circumstances, including living alone in an underground bunker. James is a soldier who is initially sent to take her father’s weapons by force. He’s stoic and doesn’t say much, yet they have similar losses in their lives and form a cautious bond with each other. I don’t want to give too much away about romance but there’s not really much room for it in her world.


PJVHow many books will be in the series? On the series is untitled – any hints?


khWell, I just turned Book 2 into my editor so I know there are at least two! We’ll see, but I’ve always envisioned it as a trilogy.


PJVIn your series Earth is described as a “wasteland,” becoming this way because our sun has gone Red Giant. What kind of research did you do to set-up the world building?


khI started out with googling and documentaries, but that only takes you so far. I needed a plausible way for our sun to burn out early as well as help with some other science aspects, so I contacted a well-respected astrophyics department at a large university. They were awesome and provided much needed assistance on the book. I had to do the same thing with the second book as it takes place on a different planet, and I needed help with planet mass versus rotation speed, etc. It’s always great to get help from people smarter than you.


PJVWhat would you like your readers to understand about your new book? Is there something that you would like to them to feel, or experience while reading your book?


khI’d just like readers to experience what it really feels like to live in Tora’s world. I still remember waking from that dream and thinking “holy hell…that was intense.” The coolest thing is that I’ve had multiple people email me after reading the book to tell me they can’t stop thinking about Tora. That makes me insanely happy.


PJVThanks again for taking the time to answer all my questions! Is there anything else you would like readers to know about?


khThanks so much for having me! If readers want to check out where I’ll be doing book signings and conferences, I update my website regularly at or you can find me on Twitter.


Author Interview with Kristi Helvig author of Burn Out #BlogTour

Burn Out by Kristi Helvig

Published by EgmontUSA on Apirl 8, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, YA Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Source: Tour Host

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.

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

About Kristi Helvig

Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy writer. You can find her musing about space monkeys, Star Trek, and other random topics on her blog. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, kids, and behaviorally-challenged dogs.

The Giveaway

1 signed hardcopy of BURN OUT, a red sun necklace, and assorted sun survival items (ie. chapstick, sunscreen) US Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule


Week One:

3/31/2014- Library of a Book Witch– Interview

4/1/2014- Shortie Says– Review

4/1/2014- Literary Meanderings– Guest Post

4/2/2014- Ketch’s Book Nook– Review

4/3/2014- A Book and a Latte– Interview

4/4/2014- Such a Novel Idea– Review

4/4/2014- Fantasy Book Addict– Guest Post


Week Two:

4/7/2014- Reading with ABC– Review

4/7/2014- Refracted Light Reviews– Interview

4/8/2014- Imagine a World– Review

4/8/2014- Ticket to Anywhere– Guest Post

4/9/2014- The Demon Librarian– Review

4/10/2014- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post

4/11/2014- Working for the Mandroid– Review

4/11/2014- Parajunkee’s View– Interview