Author Spotlight with Kristofor Hellmeister
Kristofor Hellmeister is a Canadian born, Georgia bred, New England Patriot loving middle school teacher and author. He lives near Atlanta, with his wife Kristie and two children. Kristofor enjoys baseball, football, fishing, writing, reading, watching a good movie and teaching.
Hi Kristofor, thankyou so much for agreeing to take part in this interview with me, I am very excited to have you here so we can chat more! You seem like a very passionate man, and your books are incredibly well written and unique, with many genres layering into one. What would you say is your inspiration for your books? What particularly inspired you to write these as they are?
Aimee, first I want to thank you for this opportunity. I am honoured to be interviewed by you. The answer comes twofold. On the surface Shape Of Memories was inspired by numerous struggles in my life. The tension between Alpha Grisham and his wife comes from my struggles within marriage-struggles that I had to overcome in order to have a healthy marriage. The story about the miscarriage was also pulled from my life. Alpha Grisham's struggle with reconciling his emotions and his desires with his responsibilities is one I had to face in my early twenties. Beneath the surface is a desire to worship through my writing. One of the things that I know is that when I write, I feel like God enjoys what I am doing. Thus, when I write, it's worship.
Your book 'Shape Of Memories' comprises of space travel and exploration, what are your thoughts on our future, now that you have envisioned different scenarios in your book?
I think the future will fundamentally mirror what we see around us already. The human dilemma-the search for meaning and purpose- is integral to our existence. No matter how far we push humanity, we will always face these questions. I think colonization of space is inevitable, but avoiding our humanity is not.
I read your book, and I found it completely compelling, and in my opinion, I really think it would make an incredible film. If this happened who would you pick to play the characters in 'Shape Of Memories'?
That's a wondrous question! Alpha Grisham could be played by Robert Pattinson. He encapsulates the character!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
After seeing Jurassic Park, I wanted to be a dinosaur digger. After watching Twister, I wanted to be a storm chaser. I think I finally settled on writer and teacher.
How did you first get into writing?
This may sound lame, but I started writing after I moved to a new school and didn't have any friends. I wrote from my loneliness. Now, these books will never see the light of day, but they sparked a desire to write inside of me that hasn't gone out.
What marketing strategies do you find that works best for you? Are there any recourses that you would recommend to any aspiring authors?
I have tried numerous marketing strategies from in-person book signings, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Amazon ads, and multiple websites that offer promotional services. What I have found that is most effective is when I give my writing away for free. I have asked thousands of people and now my book is in hundreds of hands. Yes, I get little to nothing in return, but I believe in my work, and I know it is making a difference in the lives of others. That is what matters most to me.
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
My family and getting my four-year-old to love reading. We read every night, and he loves using his imagination to tell stories.
Do you have any quirky/unique writing habits?
I will play a single album over and over for each book that I write. For 'Shape Of Memories', I was engrossed in Lord Huron.
You seem to be an incredibly busy man, especially being a Dad, a Teacher, and a Husband. How do you find the time to write, whilst juggling such a busy life?
Finding time to write with a four-year-old and a six-month-old is incredibly challenging. I aim to write at least one chapter a week and to edit it as much as I can. I am also devoting a lot of my time right now to promoting my work. I edit during the day and I write at night once the boys go down. It's an adventure for sure!
What would you say that literary success looks like to you?
Literary success means that the people who do read my work-whether that is 100 or 1,000-are affected by my work. Of course, I want to maximise my success, but I don't write for numbers. I try to create the most excellent story I can, and then promote it as much as I can.
How long does it take you to write a novel? Who would you say has been your biggest support in your writing career?
It typically takes me around 3-6 months to write, and then another 3-4 months to edit. In total, I aim to get a book out within a year of first beginning the project.
My mother has always been my biggest fan. She enrolled me in the Institute of Children's Literature when I was 13 years old. At this school, I learned how to fine tune what was a budding passion. Along the years, she has encouraged me with her attendance at book signings and through her own ideas and wisdom. She once told me that "someone out there will read your work, write for them". This encouraged me tremendously.
If you could sit down with an Author (alive or dead) who would you pick, and what would you ask them?
That's a hard one! I'd love to have a coffee with C.S Lewis, dinner with Ray Bradbury, on an adventure with Tolkien. It's hard to narrow it down!
Could you please tell us more about some of your other books that you have published?
Absolutely. My first book, Brothers of Baseball, is a combination of Saving Private Ryan meets sandlot. It also has an outsiders vibe. If you love historical fiction, you'll dig the book! My second book, Axiom, was the beginning of the Axiom chronicles. It's a combination of Anthem meets Divergent with a little bit of Mad Max. It is part of a five-book series of which I am now working on the third novel. Another one of my works, The Daylight, is a midgrade historical fiction that is a mix of Hardy Boys and Murder On The Orient Express.
If you could, would you want to travel into the past? Or forward to the future?
I'd love to go into the past.
Out of all the characters you have ever written, which one do you think you relate to the most?
Alpha Grisham. His personal struggles externally and internally mirror my own struggles that I have overcome.
Are you reading anything right now?
Of course! I am reading War and Peace (it's a slog) and just finished Children of Dune by Frank Herbert.
Thank you so much for taking some time to take part in this interview with me! Can you tell us what to expect from you in the future, and what you are working on right now?
At the present, I am working on a YA book called Academy of Breath and Fire. It's a bit like Harry Potter (minus the magic) meets Agatha Christie. I am also about to finish editing the third book in the Axiom Chronicles. After that, I am writing the sequel to The Daylight, which will be called High Noon. For more information don't hesitate to reach out to me!
To follow Kristofor on social media:
Instagram : @hellmeisterkristofor
To purchase his books click the link below!