Interview with Krista Walsh
Next up in my list of incredibly talented people to have on my blog is Krista Walsh, author of The Serpent’s Kiss, a story in the Day of Demons anthology.
I think it’s an excellent book and Krista’s story is one of my favourites in it, but here’s a little more about the anthology.
Day of Demons is a collection of powerful stories featuring the conflict of demons and humans over the course of a day.
Read how one woman’s inner-self awakens to unexpected and frightening consequences, or how a charismatic half-breed thief is forced to strike a deal with a pen-stealing imp. Read about a mother as she struggles to cope with a deadly, satanic bargain, and a sword-wielding anti-hero as he returns out of exile to face his demonic fate.
Nine stories, nine demons, nine authors. From fantasy, to horror, to contemporary fiction, this anthology will fright, delight and grip you with tales of daring-do, danger and of course — demons.
Oh yeah, and it has an incredible cover.
Here’s a short excerpt from Krista’s story.
The Serpent’s Kiss
Becca stared blankly at the shimmering letters of the house warming invitation that danced on her computer screen. The cursor hovered uncertainly over the “Delete” button.
“Still haven’t made up your mind if you’re going to Seth’s party?” Natalie’s short curly-haired head popped over Becca’s shoulder.
“I don’t know,” she answered with a grimace, and wiped her hands over eyes weighed down with fatigue. The whispers had been bad again lately, preventing what would otherwise have been a good night’s sleep. She made a note to ask her doctor for a better sleep aid at her next appointment. And maybe she’d see about bumping up the appointment.
“Oh come on,” her friend urged, giving Becca’s shoulder a shove. It jostled her awake again. “It’ll probably be lame and boring and full of work people you don’t want to spend your days with let alone your evenings…but I’ll be there.” She ended with a white smile and Becca had to laugh. It was hard not to smile at Nat’s indefatigable cheerfulness. “And who knows,” she added, “Rob might be there, too.”
A smile touched on Becca’s lips and her eyes dropped to the keyboard.
And now, on with the interview:
1. Can you tell us a bit more about your book? Where did the idea come from? How long did it take to write?
I can’t take credit for the concept of the Day of Demons anthology – that belongs with Colin F Barnes – but it really is something worth checking out. It’s a collection of 9 dark fantasy stories: epic, contemporary, horror, steampunk, religious – basically any sub-genre of the sub-genre one might think of. My own contribution, “The Serpent’s Kiss”, stemmed from an idea I had for the monthly flash fiction contest at Devin O’Branagan’s forum (forum.devinwrites.com). . Unfortunately (at the time, but later it seemed pretty lucky), I wasn’t able to fit my whole concept into 1000 words, or make it geared towards the right age group, so I jumped at the chance to elaborate on it.
2. Do you have a favourite book or author? What are they?
It may be a cliché answer for an English major, but I’d have to say Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice in particular. Not only because of the sweet storyline, but I adore Austen’s humour. It’s so sly and satirical that no matter how many times I read it, I get something out of it. I’ll also say L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle. It’s probably one of most underrated additions to classic Canadiana, so I like to talk it up whenever I can. Sweet, funny, and relatable to anyone with a family. I grew up with these books and authors and without a doubt they’ve influenced my writing style.
3. Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?
Perhaps a better question is how do I keep them all straight. The answer? I haven’t figured that out yet. I have a novel in the querying process, another in the rough edit stages, an online serial that will be ending in a month’s time, and another short story anthology I’m involved with that should be revealed sometime in the fall. That doesn’t include the other ideas scrambling for priority in my head. So a very busy time, but a lot of fun, too!
4. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Absolutely. Always. Amazed I’m able to write anything at all. For me the problem is rarely that I have no ideas, but just that I’m not sure how to get them on paper. I have two ways to work around it. The first is to ignore myself and write anyway, but often the result is unpleasant and the writing isn’t fun. What I do more often is go back to the brainstorming phase. If my problem is the writing and not the ideas, then it’s really easy just to sit down and type, or sometimes voice record, plot points, character development, etc. It makes it really easy then to go back and use those ideas once the mood strikes me to narrate.
5. What’s your favourite genre to write in?
Hard to say just yet – I feel like I’m just getting started. So far though I seem to be leaning towards the fantasy side. World building isn’t really my strength, however, so contemporary or urban fantasy takes up most of my time. From there it’s kind of easy to remove the fantasy element, which is sort of what my online serial Greylands does. I honestly never saw myself writing dystopian fiction, but that idea took hold and I ran with it. So glad that I did, too; the quality of the work I’ve received has left me astounded!
6. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Getting up the courage to write it, I think. I was writing with a particular project in mind (one I knew was going forward and would be available for anyone to read), so it became a bit of a challenge to remember why I was writing in the first place. Which was, of course, to please myself. If you’re not writing for yourself, then where’s the enjoyment in it? As soon as you factor in readers/editors/critics and your brain starts going “Will they think this is stupid? Will they like this? Is the whole idea inane?” it’s hard to focus on the story. I had to stop a few times to get centred again on what my point was and what I was aiming for.
7. If you found a time machine, where would you go, and when? (What time period)
Easy-peasy. Early 19th century. Of course I’d bring the money I have now, so I could be wealthy in the early 19th century, but I wouldn’t hesitate. People who know me best often tell me I was born in the wrong era.
8. Wile E. Coyote or Road Runner?
Wile E. Coyote!!! I hated that damned bird. I always wished that just ONCE the coyote would win. Still hope it. Hmm…maybe it’s a good thing I’m a writer.
9. What’s your favourite Monty Python film/sketch?
The Killer Joke! Or the Dead Parrot….or The Spanish Inquisition…or the Argument Clinic. Never mind. Next question.
10. What is your favourite band?
This is a tough question. I have everything from Renaissance Dance music to Eminem to AFI on my mp3 player, so I guess it just depends on my mood and what sort of project I’m working on. Greylands has a more Massive Attack feel, whereas my novel Playing with Fire is more E.S. Posthumus and Florence and the Machine.
And that’s the end. I’d like to thank, Krista for taking part and for picking Wile E. Coyote, who is clearly the better character. I hope everyone fun reading it. And if you want to learn more about Krista, and why wouldn’t you? You can click on the links below.