USA Today Bestselling Author Tiffinie Helmer

December 2, 2015


Bio: USA Today Bestselling Author Tiffinie Helmer is always up for an adventure. Raised in Alaska, she was dragged 'Outside' by her husband, but escapes the lower forty-eight to spend her summers commercial fishing on the Bering Sea. 


A mother of four, Tiffinie divides her time between enjoying her family, throwing her acclaimed pottery, and writing of flawed characters in unique and severe situations.


You can find Tiffinie at the following places:



Q:  At what point did you decide to make writing a profession? What got you started in the industry? 


A:  I've always written. Growing up, writing and reading were the best escapes for an opinionated child living in a dysfunctional family. After I was married, and quickly had four children, it wasn't until my husband finally graduated from college and it was my turn to finish my education that I voiced my need to write a book. This didn't go over well at first, but I'm tenacious and eventually won over my husband. 


Q:  How long have you been writing?


A:  Toward publication, about 15 years of serious writing and learning the craft, getting involved with RWA and other writing groups.


Q:  What is your genre?


A:  Romantic suspense, contemporary, and paranormal.


Q:  If you could write in any other genre, what would it be?


A:  Thriller


Q:  Where do you get your plot ideas?


A:  I don't necessarily get plot ideas. My stories come to me with the characters. They start talking to me first. It's very organic for me as I am a very creative/artistic person. I see words as pictures. I write in pictures. I need to know my characters first and they usually inform me of what's going to happen next. As for ideas, they come to me in everything. I feel like my brain is made of stained glass, a mosaic of fractured colors and every shard is another idea waiting for its moment to shine. 


Q:  Who or what inspires you?


A:  Music inspires me as I feel emotions when listening. Movies, Daniel Craig, and nature are all things that also inspire me. 


Q:  Do you have a favorite “brain food,” a.k.a. snack food, when writing?


A:  Castelvetrano olives, I chew on them and worry the pit. I have no idea why this helps, but it does. I also love popcorn and will have popcorn for lunch while working at my computer. Both are great non-messy foods for the keyboard. Of course there is the standard chocolate that every writer needs to get through those long nights.  My favorite are dark chocolate covered almonds. Plus almonds are brain food. 


Q:  How do you approach a difficult scene? Do you tackle it head on or take time to mull it over?


A:  I throw pottery and mull it over. Since I moonlight as a potter, I will throw clay on my wheel, have music playing loud (usually Stevie Nicks) and let my subconscious work out the scene. Surprisingly this works really well. I will also set the scene too. Like if I'm writing a sex scene, I usually save those for middle of the night as the house is quiet and dark. I will have candles, romantic music or head banging rock (whichever the sex calls for) playing on my headphones. Headphones are very important as it drags me deeper into the music and the scene. Takes care of distractions too. 


Q:  In general, how many drafts and edits do you go through per novel?


A:  One draft and then edits. I'm very linear in my writing and don't skip around. I edit and read it through once, and then send it off to editors and beta readers. From what they find, I clean it up again. 


Q:  Because the writing process is all-consuming, how do you re-energize yourself and gear up for the next novel? Do you take time off?


A:  I have learned this last year that I must take a break between novels. Burnout is a real thing and there is nothing worse for a creative person to burn through their creativity. I must refill that creative well and that means living, adventure, travel, kayaking, reading other books. Doing other things between books or even while writing a book makes me a happier person and a better wife and mother. 


Q:  What book(s) do you currently have for sale? 


A:  I have many. Currently there are 17 books for sale and another one coming out this spring. Check out the Books by Series page on my website: 


Some books to get you started: