I recently had a chance to catch up with Krista Wash, author of the wonderful Meratis and Cardis Trilogies, The Invisible Entente Series, and the Witch Hunt Series. I asked this popular indie author a lot of questions, from how she shows up for her art, to how she prepares for launch, and even how she markets her books. This is part 2 of a 5-part series exploring how this talented author shows up for her art. I hope you enjoy it!
If you haven’t read Krista’s work yet, well, get to it – you won’t regret it. Now, let’s dive in!
Krista Walsh Bio:
Known for witty, vivid characters, Krista Walsh never has more fun than getting them into trouble and taking her time getting them out. When not writing, she can be found walking, reading, gaming, or watching a film – anything to get lost in a good story. She currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario.
Laura: What’s your editing process like?
Krista: I go through about 15 passes from start to finish of the book, going through it myself about 12 times before publication. I takes notes while I work on the first draft so I know what needs to be changed during revisions, I do a couple of passes on the computer, then one draft I print out and do by hand (I would love to do more drafts by hand, but paper).
To keep things from being too overwhelming, I break the task up by chapter and take it one at a time, never going too far ahead so I don’t get lost in everything that needs changing.
Laura: Do you hire an editor?
Krista: I do! I’ve had some wonderful experience and some horrible ones, but I’ve found an editor now that I love, who works with me to bring out the best of the book.
Laura: Do you have alpha and beta readers providing feedback as you’re readying your book?
Krista: Yep! And I’m so grateful for their help. I use an alpha reader near the beginning of the editing process to help me at a deeper story level. If the plot doesn’t work, I’d rather know right away. I send to my betas after I send it to the editor to make sure I smoothed out all the rough edges and didn’t leave anything open or inconsistent.
Laura: What’s the biggest challenge of the editing phase?
Krista: Staying confident in my own voice. I always reach a point where I worry the changes I’m making in a draft are making things worse instead of better, and occasionally it’s enough to make me want to scrap the entire thing and go at it from scratch. So far, I haven’t gone through with the threat, but it can involve some tough love to push through and remind myself I know what I’m doing.
Laura: How do you develop your cover concept? Do you know what you want and convey it to the artist, leave it to them, or take another approach entirely?
Krista: Covers have never clicked with me. Many times I’ve been told to “look at the bestselling books in your genre and see what covers are trending”, which is great advice, and yet I have trouble translating that into ideas for my own covers. But I’m getting better!
For my most recent series, I chose a cover artist who knows the genre really well and knows what works. It gives me a chance to learn while knowing I’m in excellent hands.
Laura: That’s a good idea. How important would you say cover design is, in relation to book sales/success?
Krista: I want to say it’s really important. A catchy, stunning cover will draw the people scrolling down the Amazon page and checking out thumbnails, but at the same time I’ve seen a lot of books with poor covers hit bestseller rankings, so it’s difficult to pin down what the magic is.
Laura: Any advice on cover design that sells?
Krista: Personally, I love bright colours. Even if everything else is black, but there’s a splash of brightness, it’ll catch my eye.
Laura: Any advice as to what to avoid in cover art?
Krista: Too much colour – nothing turns me away more than a psychedelic trip after staring at the bright neon font against a kaleidoscope of an image. Choose a few images that apply to you genre/story, but less is more.
Laura: Thanks, Krista, for sharing some excellent advice!
This is the end of part 2 of the 5-part interview with Author Krista Walsh on Showing Up For Your Art. Stay tuned for part three, where Krista answers questions about “Launch!” If you missed week 1, you can read it here.
In the meantime, find Krista – and definitely check out here wonderful work: