Great news, today is my stop on the Altered Helix by Stephanie Hansen blog tour.
Stephanie Hansen is a PenCraft and Global Book Award Winning Author. Her debut novella series, Altered Helix, released in 2020 hit the #1 New Release, #1 Best Seller, and other top 100 lists on Amazon. It is now being adapted to an animated story for Tales.
Her debut novel, Replaced Parts, released in 2021 through Fire & Ice YA and Tantor Audio has been in a Forbes article, hit Amazon bestseller lists, and made the Apple young adult coming soon bestsellers list. The second book in the Transformed Nexus series, Omitted Pieces was released in 2022. Her next novella, Ghostly Howls, releases 2/7/23.
She is a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community so she tries to incorporate this into her fiction.
Our main protagonist, Austria, has just started a new job in a haunted house. She feels the most exciting thing about working there is that the toughest looking people scream the loudest. But when she meets homeless, Josh, Austria’s life takes intriguing and eventful turn. Josh and his ‘street’ crowd are in danger, and now so is Austria. The group find themselves joining forces with previously considered enemies to avoid a perilous end. Deeply compassionate and full of twists, Altered Helix captures the struggle of polarized people who must cooperate for the greater good.
My stop of the blog tour will take the form of an exclusive author interview.
Tell us a little about yourself and the inspiration for your novel, Altered Helix.
My name is Stephanie Hansen, and my world revolves around books. Professionally I’m a literary agent. I help authors land traditional publishing deals as well as subsidiary rights (audio, foreign translation, film, etc.) deals. When I’m not doing that, I’m reading or writing while waiting in the school pick up line. Altered Helix was inspired by a job I had at a haunted house.
What are the underlying themes of Altered Helix?
An important theme in this book is polarization and the need for people to work together for the greater good. Why did you find this important to explore? Not to get too political but it plays off of the polarization of the American government and how it’s divided our country. I believe that if people were to honestly answer political surveys, the majority of the population would sit somewhere in the middle, not right or left. I wish our government reflected that…not sure how to make that occur IRL but I gave it a shot in fiction…a woman can dream.
When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood?
Sometimes I set the writing mood with background music. Other times I need to step into a new setting in order to really push through a difficult scene. That might even mean booking an affordable Airbnb for a night. I also like to go for walks in nature to help work through difficult scenes. If none of those things work, a break might be needed. Stepping away from a project and soaking in other art (filling your creative well) can help pull a writer out of a rut.
Is there an aspect of writing for young adults you wish someone had told you when you started out?
I wish I had known how cathartic it would be because then I would have started long ago. Something about writing for young adults forced me to revisit those years in my life, face the trauma, and heal. I believe this is why so many adults enjoy reading young adult fiction.
How long did it take you to write Altered Helix?
It took me about a year to write the Altered Helix series. I wrote the first draft then moved to a different manuscript before returning for the second draft. It helps me to fully step away from a story for a bit of time so that I can look at it with a more critical eye.
Where is your preferred place to write?
That changes for me so it’s more of a rotation of preferred places to write. I think my most favorite is at a coffeeshop but that’s not always feasible with a hectic schedule. I also love to write outside when the weather is good. Plus, since I’m often sitting at a computer for work, I like to hand write in notebooks and a portable, smaller laptop that I can position anywhere.
What writing advice would you give to people aspiring to be a YA writer?
First, if you want to be a YA writer, read a lot of YA books especially in the sub-genre of your choice. Next, write the book in the way that best suits you. Some people like to outline, and others don’t. Know that your first written novel may never see the light of day and that’s okay so long as you grow as a writer. Once you have a completed manuscript that you feel is ready, it’s good to have a vetted resource review it (beta reader, critique partner, etc.). You want the process to improve your novel and lift you up.
You can follow Stephanie Hansen on Twitter @hansenwriter, Facebook at @writer.stephaniehansen, on Instagram @stephaniehansenauthor and on TikTok @stephaniehansenauthor. To find out more about Stephanie Hansen and her books take a look at her website: www.authorstephaniehansen.com
You can buy a copy of Altered Helix from Books2Read here. To follow the rest of her book tour check out the schedule below:
I would like to thank Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this blog tour and inviting me to take part. Thank you.