An Interview with Krista Marson courtesy of Joel Mwakasege at BuiBui


Describe your path up to what you’re doing now.

I have always been an avid traveler. I was a travel agent back in the day when there was such a thing. I worked a corporate gig inside a big skyscraper alongside 300+ travel agents. Being a travel agent in the early ’90s was fun, but the writing was on the wall by the end of that decade. 

The internet threatened to take our jobs away when no travelers had a reason to pick up the phone and call us anymore. Then 9/11 happened, and the whole travel agent business took a giant nose dive. 

I eventually went back to school to learn how to be an x-ray tech and switched careers. Now COVID-19 is making me want to quit that job so I can focus on my writing.

How did your childhood influence your ideas and what you do now?

I grew up in Wisconsin and hated living in a cold climate. My dad’s mom moved to Florida, and every other year, we would pile into the station wagon and visit her. I never understood why we didn’t just move down there. I credit our semi-annual pilgrimage to Florida for planting the seed in my head that I wanted to travel…and move to a warmer climate. (I live in Arizona now.)

Did you or do you have a mentor? Who was it, and how did they inspire 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 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.

I have a question. Where were you born?

Good ‘ol Wisconsin. My big claim to fame is that I was born in the same hospital that Liberace was. I was born three days before Christmas and was supposedly handed to my mother in a Christmas stocking. (I got named after that holiday, too. My sister’s name ends in an A, and my parents wanted my name to end in an A too, so they took “Christ” out of Christmas, changed it to a K, and slapped an A at the end.)

Where do you live now? If there is a change of location what caused it. Can you share?

I live in Phoenix, AZ, and there is a long, convoluted story about how I ended up here, which I write about in my book, Memory Road Trip. 

Was there a point in your life when you decided to take a big risk to move forward?

I think I’m at that crossroad right now. I am so sick of this pandemic and working at a hospital. Climate change is pissing me off, and so is the American culture of mass consumption. I’m looking for a way to leave the rat race. I’m a huge Iron Maiden fan, and the song, Run To The Hills often plays in my head. I am thinking of becoming a Doomsday Prepper. (I’m being sarcastic, of course, but only to a certain degree.)

Do you feel a responsibility to contribute to something bigger than yourself and what do you hope to contribute?

Yes, no, maybe. How’s that answer? I just feel like such a small part of a much larger whole. I want to live gently and not be a big part of the reason why the planet is dying. I have a voice, and I am trying to use it. The Earth can not speak for itself, so I want to say things on the planet’s behalf.

Are you satisfied creatively? Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?

I am never satisfied creatively! I have always been artistic, and I’m always jumping into new hobbies. In the last 10 years, I have tried my hand at drawing, painting, photography, gourd carving, and now I’m into writing. I’m digging this writing phase that I’m in, so I hope to keep with it and write two other books.

If you could go back and do one thing differently, what would it be?

Well, if we’re talking time travel here, I’ll choose to go WAY back and be an ancient Egyptian so I can see for myself how the pyramids were made. I won’t even care if they make me a slave and put me to work. However, if the rules stipulate that I have to stay within my lifetime, then I’ll go back to the time before my dad had a massive stroke and ask him all the important questions that I never thought to ask.

Are your friends and family supportive of what you do? And why?

My siblings and I aren’t too close, but my sister just finished reading my debut novel, and she is now my biggest fan. She thinks that my book deserves a wider audience. 

How does where you live impact your creativity?

I love Arizona. The state is so incredibly beautiful, but the concrete jungle where I live isn’t all that inspiring. I am an avid gardener and have planted a ton of native plants. I feel a sense of contentment when I look at my window and see native birds kick it in my trees. Whenever I need a break from writing, I just sit on a chair and stare at my yard.

If you could give one piece of advice to another creative starting out what would it be?

Do not be afraid to be yourself. The best art is honest art. 

How do you keep learning new things?

I have an inquisitive mind. Ever since I was young, I would go to the library and walk down random aisles and pick out books that had interesting titles. I continue this version of library spelunking to learn new things.

All right, what does a typical day look like for you?

I work three 12-hour shifts on the weekends, so I have plenty of time during the week to focus on writing. Right now, this is where my head is at and I have to remind myself to go exercise every once in a while.

Favorite foods?

Macaroni and cheese. Kale chips. Salads that I grow in my garden when they are in season. 

Do you have a favorite book?

Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Also, The Complete Letters of Vincent Van Gogh.

Do you have any favorite movies?

There has only been one movie in my life that blew me away to such a degree that I had to walk around the block after watching it. When I came back in, I sat back down and watched it again. It was called Head-On by the German-Turkish writer/director Fatih Akın. I’ve watched that film several times since. So. Damn. Good. And real.

Current album on repeat?

The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking by Roger Waters. Oh, wait, you asked currently. I used to listen to that album a lot, but not so much recently. Currently, I always have the Soma FM Drone Zone station on in the background when I write.

Last question. What kind of legacy do you hope to leave?

Provided I don’t die of Covid very shortly, I hope to get two more books written and out into the world.


Krista Marson was a travel agent back in the day when there was such a thing. The ’90s were good to her, and she got to bounce around the globe on the last bit of coattails that was once the booming travel agent industry.

She traveled extensively in the past 25+ years, and people have always told her that she needed to write her travel stories down. She always thought that she’d have forever to write them, but now she knows that forever is not as long as she thought it was.

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“The painter should not paint just what he sees before him, but also what he sees within him. If, however, he sees nothing within him, let him also give up painting what he sees before him.” -Caspar David Friedrich

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