Christopher Klim Catches Fire with "Everything Burns"

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Following the internationally praised novel, Jesus Lives in Trenton, offbeat and controversial author Christopher Klim heats up mystery fans with the searing tale of a serial arsonist in Everything Burns.

Christopher Klim has a knack for seizing attention. In 2002, the novel Jesus Lives in Trenton drew international praise and launched the literary career of a former space program physicist. Now, Klim gains renewed praise for Everything Burns (May 2004, ISBN 0972690654), the story of a serial arsonist in Texas and the photojournalist who must track him down.

“Photojournalism is my passion, but pyromania became my obsession,” Klim revealed in a recent interview. “I dove into the science of fire, interviewing investigators and psychologists. On book tours, I culled through the local papers, visiting the scenes of suspicious fires.”

Arson wasn’t the only hot topic on Klim’s agenda. With a title like Jesus Lives in Trenton, the fledgling author became a target for ridicule. “The title served as a litmus test. The right wing accused me of blasphemy, and the left wing feared it was a religious text. In truth, it was neither, but they pointed fingers and leveled accusations. Overall, working on satellite launches was a less risky venture.”

“It’s a reflection of the times,” says publisher Karin Seidel. “But thankfully, people recognized the title was only a metaphor. When the book started selling overseas, we leapt at the opportunity to sign a rising author.”

Klim’s latest, Everything Burns, is the story of a child arsonist who goes untreated and terrorizes a Texas desert city as an adult. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, half of intentionally set fires are lit by juveniles as low as seven years of age, and the problem only begins there. There’s a shortage of help for these troubled children.

“Many psychologists refuse to treat young arsonists, mostly out of fear,” Klim says. “Their parents won’t implicate them either. I met a fire investigator who was certain of a child arsonist but couldn’t get to him. He’d lit two fires already, each worse than the next. The future prospects were chilling.”

Klim’s personal fascination with fire and firsthand accounts from arson investigators combine for his chilling tale. Booklist called Everything Burns, “absorbing reading,” which quickly made it a library selection.

“We’re considering a second printing after only the first month,” says publisher Karin Seidel. “The turnaround is a first for us.”

The author is no stranger to garnering appeal. Jesus Lives in Trenton saw three printings, becoming a cult favorite in the US, UK, and Australia. His work has been compared to Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Carver, and John Steinbeck.

"Christopher Klim is that rare talent who brings characters and stories that resonate with the working class and excite the sensibilities of literary connoisseurs,” says best-selling author Robert Gover. “Maybe he’s the Jersey reincarnation of John Steinbeck, destined to become someone quite unique in the pantheon of American novelists."

Klim is the editor of Writers Notes Magazine. He also authored the popular manual, Write to Publish.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Hopewell Publications (609) 818-1049 or visit

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