Kris Abel-Helwig

What’s your genre?
Picture books, YA, currently modern crime fiction

Are you published?
Self published

What inspired you to become a writer?
After being diagnosed with breast cancer and then witnessing the devastation of 9.11.2001, I wanted to put into words and illustrations the desire to nurture and protect by growing roots and giving wings to my children and those of my family and friends. After substitute teaching for eight years, I began to write young adult novels with clever protagonists and quirky casts of characters inspired by dreams and the high school experiences of my three sons, as well as my own. In addition, a playlist of the music I listened to while writing enhances the reader’s experiences and sets the tone for each chapter.

What author(s) do you admire and how have they inspired your writing?
Picture books: Maurice Sendak, Mercer Mayer, Sandra Boynton, Eric Carle
Young adult: J.K. Rowling for showing loving family and friendship relationships, her world-building imagination, and the ability to drop breadcrumbs while weaving tales that engaged adolescents, teens, and adults.
Mystery: Louise Penny because of her wonderful character development

Name three of your favorite books and their authors
Beach Music by Pat Conroy
Still Life by Louise Penny
On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft by Stephen King

What’s one thing readers should know about you?
Sarcastic characters run amuck in my head and converse with me and each other when I’m walking my pups in the woods or swimming laps.

What one piece of advice would you give a budding writer?
Write your character’s unique story, not the one someone else tells you to write.

Author Bio
As a twenty-one year breast cancer survivor, Kris champions early detection and thriving happily ever after. Her husband is a professor at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where they live with a herd of cats and dogs. Their three grown sons are active-duty military, stationed all over the world in fun places to visit and photograph. Visit Kris here.

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