Today we'll be speaking to author Krista Walsh.
She is an epic and urban fantasy author, focusing on ebook and paperback and recently looking to add audiobooks as well.
She has been publishing as an indie author since 2013 and has released a serial novella (now unpublished), two epic fantasy trilogies (The Meratis Trilogy, The Cadis Trilogy), a 7-book urban fantasy series (The Dark Descendants), an urban fantasy trilogy (The Ghostmaker Trilogy), and is in the process of concluding her third epic fantasy trilogy (The Nayis Trilogy).
Krista, what first attracted you to the genre?
So many books. The Bailey School Kids, Bruce Coville, CS Lewis… all these stories of children stepping into other worlds or having their eyes opened to the strange and unusual in this one.
12-year-old me was fascinated by the idea of the world being more than it seemed, and I filled so many notebooks with versions of my own.
As I got older and was introduced to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s works and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all these other wonderful worlds both ours or fictional, I was hooked.
Who were your favourite authors at the time?
As mentioned, Marion Zimmer Bradley was a big one, my first real step into epic fantasy, followed by Kristen Britain and her Green Rider series. Anne Rice, Mercedes Lackey were certainly on that list as well.
Huh. Only realizing now in writing them out how many female authors inspired my career.
Name three of your favourite books, and why they are your top picks.
The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery. Such a beautiful, overlooked piece of Canadiana, filled with so much heart and determination and humour and family drama. This is my top comfort read, and I come back to it at least once a year
Persuasion by Jane Austen. Her satire is so wonderfully biting, and this one plays with so many absurdities, but there’s also a passion that grabs me. “I am half-hope, half-agony. Tell me not that I am too late.” How can you not swoon?
The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The wordplay! The madness! Every time I up this classic, it reads a bit different, but the Cheshire cat remains my favourite literary character.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’ve gone back and forth over the years. I started out pantsing, snowballed into a super-detailed plotter, and have thawed again into somewhat more of a pantser.
So, I guess, my comfort zone is a plantser. I like having my beat sheet, my road markers, and then have fun figuring out how to get to each stop.
What are your two favourite virtues in a character?
Empathy and a sense of humour.
Empathy goes such a long way, encouraging kindness and compassion and creating an emotional connection on a deeper level than simple common courtesy. And a good laugh—whether an outright joke or some witty banter—is just a necessity of life.
What is your idea of happiness?
Being surrounded (literally or metaphorically) by people who make me laugh and support me in all my craziness. Freedom to be myself without judgement, to run wild if the mood strikes, and sit quietly when I need to recharge. It’s baby snuggles and new story ideas and taking long walks to clear my head.
Basically, happiness for me is anything that allows me to feel centred so I can tackle the rest of the world.
What are your ideal writing conditions?
In concept? A quiet space, a good keyboard, and an exciting idea.
In reality? Knowing I only have X amount of time before I need to go do something, so I have to squeeze as much focus out of myself as possible.
What is your favourite type of nemesis to write?
Charismatic, clever, someone who believes strongly in what they're trying to sell.
Where or when do you feel most inspired?
With a 2 year old running around, the answer is: whenever I can get 30 seconds of peace and quiet. Because of this, I’m quite selfish with my work hours and always make sure my writing apps are up to date on my phone.
Generally speaking, though, I’m a morning writer. Back in my day job days, I would happily get up at 430 a.m. to write before work.
As for where? Inevitably, wherever I don’t have access to some way to write it down. Shower, elbows-deep in dirty dishes, driving, about to fall asleep…
What do you appreciate most in your friends?
A sense of humour is key, as well as understanding and patience that I am a very antisocial person, so while I love them so much, I will avoid making 90% of plans with them.
Where would you like to live?
Somewhere with good weather, no giant bugs, decent health care, safe to raise my daughter, lots of green space and good walking trails.
So Ottawa serves me pretty well.
If there was one recommendation you could give to authors starting out, what would it be?
Follow your passion.
Regardless of whether you choose to write for love or for love and money (the difference here lies in how closely you want to follow the market), the last thing you want is to get stuck writing something you don’t connect with.
So think about what makes you excited when you read. What made you leap to start this project in the first place? Find it and follow it. It’s the best way to guarantee you’ll finish and have oodles of fun along the way.
What are the characteristics you believe make a great urban fantasy story?
I came to this realization a bit late, but it’s absolutely true. There are no new stories, only new ways to tell them, and the reason people love stories in a certain genre is because they have those familiar elements.
Folks often jump on tropes as cliches, but that’s not true. Tropes are the glue of genre fiction, and as soon as I embraced them, writing and reading became way more fun.
What is the title of your latest story?
An epic fantasy, Cairnfire is the conclusion of my Nayis Trilogy, the third trilogy in my popular Andvell Saga. It’s long overdue, and I’m eager to get it in reader hands this year.
Can you give us a synopsis of it?
Naya Reed is bonded to a dragon. She thought once she found a way to stop the bond from killing her, life would be less complicated, but now the woman who once tried to save her dragon herd by destroying the Veil between worlds is back and wreaking havoc, and she’s targeted Naya as her enemy. Naya will have to master her dragonbond and act fast if she wants to save the country from Sera’s chaos… and maybe save Sera from herself.
What sparked the underlying theme?
Very much unplanned, but there’s a lot of talk about the repercussions of progress and expansion at the expense of nature and wildlife. It’s been interesting to play with those ideas given the current political climate.
Are you working on anything else at the moment, or have the germ of an idea for another story you’d like to titillate your audience with?
I currently have six works in progress across 4 different series (why yes, I have lost my mind).
1) An immortal sorceress, tired of life and her complicated relationship with a servant of Death, fights to protect the balance between supernatural and mundane. But the future takes a turn for the terrifying when her past returns to haunt her.
I aim to have this first one out 2024, with a freebie prequel coming this year.
The other 3 are offshoots from my published, Ottawa-based Ghostmaker Trilogy, slated to publish 2025
2) A bar-owning witch finds herself on the run from a roguish yet charming bounty hunter, faced with accusations of murder and magic theft. But when the bounty hunter decides to believe she’s innocent, it becomes the two of them against the onslaught of enemies
3) A succubus desperate to escape a lousy contract with a demon finds herself hunted by mundane enemies and poached by another demon looking to buy her debt. To escape the tightening noose, she turns to the help of a handsome chaos demon to fight back.
4) A woman who always believed she was just another human with a crap job, crap life, crap family discovers her ancient supernatural lineage and is thrown into a world of magic and power… and becomes the enemy of the vampire who’s bite she’s grown addicted to.
I also have an ongoing RPG-inspired epic fantasy That I’m releasing weekly to Patrons over on Patreon (www.patreon.com/kristawalshauthor)
Once again, thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions. I wish you all the best of luck in your writing endeavours!
Thank you so much for including me in this interviews! They’ve been a real treat to read
Would you like to follow Krista Walsh?
Publisher: Raven’s Quill Press c. Link: https://www.kristawalshauthor.com/shop/obscure-ghostmaker-trilogy-1
You can find her on her website: www.kristawalshauthor.com
If you enjoy Urban Fantasy, you'll love Afterdeath!
Why not check out my previous interview with Joseph Schiller?