Hello and welcome to the next interview of 2021! To read past interviews, click here. Today’s spotlight is on author LC Helms. Let’s dive in.
What are your favorite parts of the writing process? Do any of them change from project to project?
I enjoy creating the story inside my mind, dwelling on it a while, and sort of courting it. This stage of the writing is fun for me. It’s the phase where anything can happen. No fear of not getting it perfect at this point. It’s just creating something time, and I see the story as a movie playing inside my head.
I also enjoy the process of putting it down on paper for the first time. The entire first draft is so freeing. I think this getting acquainted phase is the same every time I write a new piece. It’s the editing and chopping that I hate, but editing can never be avoided.
Do you have any book recommendations for folks looking to add something new to their stacks this year? Favorite genres? Authors?
Mark Greaney is wonderful; I love his Gray Man series. JN Chaney’s science fiction books are fabulous reads … I have to admit he’s my son, so there is a little prejudice for his talent. Elizabeth Berg creates wonderfully human and interesting characters.
I also love the work of Ann Patchett. Dean Koontz surprises me every time with his new plots, and depth of character development. I loved his book, Intensity.
According to your website you’re a writer of fiction, non-fiction and short stories. Which do you find the most challenging? Which is your favorite to write?
I find the fiction novel most challenging, though I love to write them, it’s the editing that gets to me (I’m still editing three novels I wrote and have another novel inside my head). There’s a lot of work that goes into good novel writing, and thank goodness writers can always improve their craft, which is definitely my hope.
My favorite is the short story. I think it’s a moral booster because I can write the story, edit, get feedback, rewrite, and have something tangible I can submit within a short amount of time. I enjoy writing non-fiction, but this area of writing must be accurate, though creative non-fiction does add a level of spice that can make the piece much more interesting.
How do you balance your writing life with family/work life? Did anything change with the events of 2020, or were you able to stay on track?
I’m a mental health counselor part-time now and a writer full-time. Balancing my work and leisure time is always a challenge. I can get so immersed in writing that I don’t come away from the cave until late at night sometimes, it’s then that I realize I’ve overdone my stay. It’s hard to find a good balance but making sure I spend lots of time with family, my time in the kitchen, and traveling (not all that easy right now) is always an intentional endeavor.
I think I settled in nicely during the pandemic and told myself there was nothing else I could do but write and study the craft of writing. I’m thankful that I did have a creative outlet to keep me from going stir crazy.
When did you begin your writing journey? What inspired it? Do you write the same things today as you did back then? Do you have any future projects to look forward to?
My writing history began first with a love of reading. I longed for the escape of finding adventure and intrigue within books from a young age, probably in elementary school. I suppose I began writing poems when I was around twelve. Then came songs and short stories. I stopped writing in my mid-twenties.
I had a near 30-year run of writer’s block. My son was very encouraging and never stopped pushing me to just sit down and write something. When I did, I couldn’t stop. I want to believe my writing has improved, but I’m still in love with a good crime thriller and a desire to move the reader emotionally. The craft of short story writing is new for me.
What tropes do you love to read? To write? Do you think including a certain trope in a story can throw the reader off, or can doing so add an interesting curveball?
I love a wonderfully written crime thriller full of action and adventure. It’s great when good triumphs over evil and the characters are forever changed. When a writer is skilled and can twist things up and have us believing one thing about a character, and wham, something else happens; that is priceless. Those are the books that become unforgettable.
Okay, so once again that was more than five questions, but still loads of fun. Many thanks once again to LC Helms for participating in this year’s interview series!
Check back next week, Wednesday, February 24th to meet author Evalyn Broderick!
Interested in being interviewed? Message me here.
LC Helms is a licensed mental health counselor and runs a private counseling practice in Central Florida where she enjoys walking alongside others and blogging about mental health, change, and moving forward. She is also a writer and enjoys crafting crime thrillers and women’s fiction, and if she gets a chance, she’ll throw a little humor in. She is currently editing a non-fiction book on the topic of anxiety and a fiction novel. You can connect with LC on her website at lchelms.com or at lorihelmscounseling.com.
She’s also on social media @lchelmsauthor.