Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Hello! My name is Krista, and I am (or at least was) a traveling fiend. The advent of COVID-19 has pretty much grounded my travel forays, but I have a wellspring of memories that I can tap into. I presently work at a hospital, and I probably don’t even need to say how great my life has been the last year and a bit. Writing has been my escape hatch from this dystopian reality, and I invite anyone and everyone to join me in the bottom of my pit.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I started writing my travel novel, MEMORY ROAD TRIP, four years ago after my niece asked me to tell her a travel story as we were sitting around bored at a wedding. I proceeded to tell her a story about how I got locked inside a French cathedral. She found my story so funny that she asked me to tell her another one, but the wedding toasts prevented me from telling her another hilarious tale. I always loved writing, but I mostly ever wrote poems. It took me a little while to find my voice, but once I found it, I wasn’t able to shut myself up. In the course of four years, I wrote over 250,000 words — enough stories to fill nearly three entire books. MEMORY ROAD TRIP is the first installment in what will be a three-part series.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Oddly, I have not suffered from writer’s block (yet! knock on wood.) I think I suffer from the opposite. I have too many thoughts and tend to “over-write” things. I’ve learned to embrace the mantra “kill your darlings.” I’ve murdered so many paragraphs during the editing process that there exists a literary graveyard under my desk.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My heroes are John Muir, Victor Hugo, Vincent Van Gogh, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Henry David Thoreau (in no particular order.)
As a kid, I wasn’t a big reader. I always preferred to draw or write poetry. The first poet that I really got into as a teenager was Arthur Rimbaud, and I distinctly remember that I tried copying his style.
The first book that I ever read was James Michener’s THE SOURCE. I was given an assignment in high school to do a book report, so I searched through my mom’s stack of crime novels and found the least crime-looking one. I read the whole thing while listening to Europe’s “The Final Countdown” album. To this day, I can’t read a book unless I have music playing in the background.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on my blog (https://kmarson.com/blog/) and posting whatever thoughts come to my head at the moment. Other than that, I’m mostly focused on getting the word out about my book. I’d much rather spend my time writing the second installment, but as a self-published author, I am responsible for marketing myself, which isn’t nearly as fun as writing (so I’m discovering.)
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Ya, good question. I’m still trying to figure the ropes out considering that I’ve never swung on them before. I am definitely open to suggestions. (hint, hint, wink, wink.) I figured that Awesome gang would be a good start! I’m not the most media-savvy person out there. I’ve managed to avoid Facebook until only recently. I have hardly any friends on there and it’s purely for the lack of trying. If anyone wants to visit my Facebook page and friend me, it will make me feel very special. For the most part, I think that I was born in the wrong century. Did I answer this question okay? I don’t think that I did.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Being a new author myself, I still have a lot of questions as well, but I’m figuring things out as I’m going along. Writing is a lonely business, and it’s easy to forget that there are other people out there. The best advice I can give anyone is to find a good pair of eyeballs to read your novel before impatiently hitting the publish button. My number one saving grace was finding a good editor. Never underestimate the importance of ARC’s (Advanced Reader’s Copies.)
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“Winter’s Coming.” There’s something about that phrase that makes me want to prepare for the worst.
What are you reading now?
Well, considering that I live in Phoenix, Arizona, I’m reading a book about cacti. I recently revamped my garden and planted a bunch of shrubs that haven’t survived the summer. Come fall, I’m simply going to stick a bunch of cacti in the holes that I already dug.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m going to quit my job at the hospital and work on making the book that I wrote into a movie. No? Don’t believe me? Ya, I don’t believe me either. Guess I’ll initiate Plan B then, which involves all the other internet promote-y stuff. Yada, yada, yada, we all know the drill. Personally, I’d rather just be a writer, but what good is writing if no one reads what I wrote? Marketing is part of the deal, so I may as well embrace it. Sigh. I wish that I was rich. Wouldn’t that just make life easier? If I was rich, I could afford to be a writer. What was the question again? Oh, ya, what’s next for me as a writer? Guess the answer is that I’m going to keep on writing but now with the side hustle of promoting.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
The Complete Letters of Vincent Van Gogh. It’s a three-volume set, so does that count as one book or three? If I’m allowed two more books, then I’ll also bring along The Journals of Louis and Clark and Les Miserables.