Interview with Author Chris Karlsen

 In BOOK BLOG, Everything, Indie Author Spotlight, Interview

Who is Author Chris Karlsen?

She was born and raised in Chicago. Her father was a history professor and her mother was, and is, a voracious reader. She grew up with a love of history and books. Her parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto her. She wanted to see the places she read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated her. She’s had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa. She is also a retired police detective who spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. Her desire to write came in her early teens. After she retired, she decided to pursue that dream. She writes two different series. Her paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. Her romantic thriller series is, Dangerous Waters. She currently live in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.

Get To Know and Love Chris Karlsen:

GG: Who is the fabulous Chris Karlsen?

Karlsen:  I worked as a cop for 25 years. I started with Chicago P.D when women were first hired to work patrol in the mid 1970’s. The order came from the Federal Courts so you can imagine how male officers felt about us. Overcoming the resentment obstacles was difficult to say the least. After three years there, I went to Southern California agency.  *Just to clarify, law enforcement wasn’t my career goal job but one of the few jobs in those days that paid the same for women as men doing the same work. I’m often asked about becoming a famous writer and is that my goal.  The agency I worked for brought me in contact with many folks in the entertainment industry.  Fame is overrated IMO. The financial gain is the upside to me, but the expectation level for all you do is pressure I wouldn’t care to deal with. I’ve seen it change a lot of people and not always in a good way. I have a decent pension, a good life, a happy marriage. What we can’t afford, we save for. That’s the way I grew up and I don’t feel bad because instant gratification isn’t ours to have. Fame isn’t in the equation.

GG: What is writing about for you? Why did you decide to go that route? You’re indie published, do you love it?

Karlsen: For several years, I tried to get “traditional” publishers interested in a couple of my stories. Then I hit an age where I decided to stop beating me head against the NY wall. I just wanted to get my books out there and hoped they’d find an audience who enjoyed the stories. My good friend started a small, indie publishing company. She read two of my books and asked if I’d be willing to give her company a chance to put them out. I said yes and haven’t looked back. She gives me a lot of say in my covers, my trailers and the overall handling of my books. Freedom I doubt I’d have with a NY publisher. The trade-off was limited exposure compared to what I might receive with Avon or Random House etc. I also don’t have editors breathing down my neck with deadlines or requests to write stories they want to market but I might not want to write. I’m a slow writer. I don’t need the aggravation and pressure.

 GG: What is your dream for your work?

Karlsen: If I have one dream, a big dream for my career, it would be for Hollywood to take an interest in one of my series. I’d love to see a movie of the week or television series of the books. What fun. THAT would have me crowing like a peacock.

GG:  You grew up being immersed in History and History is very prominent in your work.  Could you tell me a little bit about how that process works for you, how you pick and choose what to use and what not to?

Karlsen: I like to build a story around events, concepts, or persons who interest me, most often historical in nature. Or, if a single event is not the basis then I put the characters in a timeframe that intrigues me. I grew up loving medieval English history so I use the Battle of Poitiers (one of the greatest victories in English history) as the focal or start point for three of my stories. Involved in that battle was a true example of knighthood at its best (at least I choose to think so), The Black Prince, or as he was known to the court: Edward of Woodstock. He was the oldest son of Edward the Third and said to be brilliant on the battlefield, charming and intelligent off. He died of dysentery before inheriting the throne. I’ve often wondered how things might’ve been different had he been able to succeed his father. I made the prince a friend of my heroes.

GG:  History is just one of themes of your work; you seem to have a lot of varied interests.  How have some of your other interests made their way into your work?

Karlsen:  My books from my romantic thriller series center around nautical archaeology, which I find fascinating. If I could go back in time to my college days, I just might choose to follow that path rather than take the safe one and get a business degree. I am particularly taken with the Trojan War and how it has been presented throughout history. I had a different spin and used my controversial ideas as the basis for one of my heroine’s theories.

GG:  WE love all you have released thus far but we’re anxious for more … could I get you to spill a little about what you’re working on now?

Karlsen:  Well currently, I have begun what I hope will be a new series. It is set in Victorian England and the protagonist is an Inspector with London Metropolitan Police. This is not a romance series so I am taking a chance that readers of my other series will be accepting of my crossing over into the historical-suspense/mystery genre. *AND, no he does not get involved in the Jack the Ripper murders. I’ll leave that to Ripperologists.

GG:  Historical novels are some of my favs.  Yours have a unique spin that makes them even more entertaining.  Where did the ideas for those special elements come from?

Karlsen:  I assume we’re talking about the time traveling  … Time travel and reincarnation were common topics of conversation at the dinner table when I grew up. My parents liked to discuss the various pros and cons. As a result, I developed a healthy interest in the possibilities and used both in my paranormal romance series.  

GG:  We all know that part of the drive to write comes from the love of reading.  Do you have any favorites?  Authors that you’d wait in line for at midnight just have a new release?

Karlsen: Oh my, don’t we all.  I think I’m going to have to break this down into a bit of a list though, seeing as how picking just one cannot be done. Let me start with Historical,  Bernard Cornwell is my fav  historical fiction writer. I read everything he does. He writes the best battle scenes. I read a ton of research for my books so when I wrote my battle scenes, I dissected Cornwell’s and also read and reread the actual accounts and used the combo to put my spin on the event. 

Because I am a big romance fan and love the books that include humor, Some of my fave authors who do write some pretty funny romances are: Julia Quinn, Julie Anne Long, Deanna Raybourn, Julie Garwood, and occasionally Rachel Gibson. In the 80’s an English author, Jilly Cooper had a great series with tons of humor that involved competitive showjumping and polo players. She drifted away from what first attracted me and I haven’t read her in a long time. And last but definitely not least Lord Of The Rings is a longtime fave which is as good on the reread as the first read. The Lions of Al-Rassan, by Guy Gavriel Kay is in my top 2 books. The characterization of the two male protagonists is remarkable. You read the story knowing they must face off eventually and one will die and it is gut wrenching knowledge. I didn’t put it number 1 as I wasn’t overly fond of the female protagonist.

GG: So you read and write historical fiction as well as romance, what is it that draws you to the romance genre?

Karlsen: Well, I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of erotica ( so I don’t think that’s as genre I would venture into)  BUT  I do enjoy a well written sex scene. Julie Anne Long does wonderful ones. Whenever I’ve written one I wonder if mine are as sensuous and well-crafted as hers.

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What Does Author Chris Karlsen Do?  She Writes Amazing Books!

Ready for battle, Medieval English knight, Stephen Palmer, charges into the French enemy’s cavalry line. Heeding a warning given months before, he hesitates as he comes face-to-face with the knight in the warning. Struck down in the year 1356, he finds himself landing in the year 2013. Grievously wounded, he’s taken to a nearby hospital. Confused by the new world surrounding him, he attempts to convince the staff he’s from another time, only to find they think him mad. Rescued by friends, who, to his surprise, have also come through time, he must find a way to function in this odd modern England. He is quickly enchanted by the kind Esme Crippen, the young woman hired to tutor him. She too is enchanted by him. Tempted to deepen the relationship, she hesitates thinking him adorable, but mad. He must discover the means for getting her to believe the truth, all the while, unknown to him, he didn’t come forward in time alone. The enemy knight has also traveled to 2013. French noble, Roger Marchand, doesn’t question why the English knight who charged him hesitated. That fraction of a pause gave him the advantage needed and he brought his sword down upon the Englishman’s helmet hard, unhorsing the knight. He moved to finish the Englishman off when the world changed in a rush of sensations as he is ripped through time. Seeking a reason for the terrible event, he enters a nearby chapel. There, thinking God has chosen him for a quest to turn French defeat that day in 1356 to victory, he sets out to find the English knight. The man he is convinced holds the key to time. If he returns to the day of the battle, he can warn his king of mistakes that snatched victory from them.  




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