Thursday, March 22, 2012

An Interview with Chris Karlsen

Please join me in welcoming Chris Karlsen today as she shares with us a little about her writing, why she’d like to be a dolphin, and who she has a crush on. WARNING—I may have to fight her for Gerard Butler!

Be sure to check out her excerpt from Golden Chariot at the end of her interview!

1) Links to website and list of books with purchase links

Heroes Live Forever (Knights in Time)

Journey in Time (Knights in Time)

2) How long have you been writing? What got you in to writing?

I’ve been writing for seven years. It was something I wanted to do since my early teens but never seemed to have the time while I was in college. Afterward, my job and home life seemed to absorb most of my time.

3) What was your first published book? Looking back, is there anything you’d change about it?

First book was “Heroes Live Forever.” No, I don’t think I’d change anything in the story. I really liked the characters and the idea of multiple lifetimes. 

4) What or Who has influenced your writing?

My mother is an avid reader. My love of books came from her. That same love of books inspired me to want to write. Authors who influence me are: Mike Connelly, John Sandford, Joe Wambaugh for dialogue. Their dialogue is always crisp and tight. Julia Quinn has great, well rounded characters. Julie Anne Long writes such wonderful love scenes and just the way she can craft a sentence is something I aspire to. As for instructors, I am a big Don Maass fan. His “Writing the Breakout Novel,” and “The Fire in Fiction,” books are always within reach when I write.

5) Where do you get your ideas?

I get inspiration and ideas from places and things that have fascinated me most of my life. I am a history buff and love medieval history especially. In my first book, “Heroes Live Forever,” my ghosts were medieval knights. Time-travel and reincarnation are also keen interests of mine. I combined the two in “Journey in Time,” the sequel to “Heroes Live Forever.” I’ve traveled to England many times and knew I wanted to use England as a setting for some of my books. I’ve also visited Turkey often and really enjoy that country. I was inspired by two trips to the ruins of Troy and incorporated my interest in the Trojan War and my love of Turkey for an upcoming book, “Golden Chariot.”

6) What hinders your writing? (distractions? noise?)

We have four rescue dogs and they are pretty active, which can be very distracting as they run in and out the dog door. I love him to death, but my husband can be a big distraction at times, wanting to chat when I’m in the middle of a scene.

7) What genre are you most comfortable with? What would you like to explore?

I’m most comfortable with romance. I would like to try a Gothic horror story with a Victorian setting. I have the beginnings of a possible plot and maybe down the road I can develop it more. We’ll see.

8) Are you a by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer, or do you have to use an outline to put your collective thoughts into some semblance of common sense?

I write an outline. I write one or two lines indicating what I think should happen in that chapter. But my outline is not carved in stone. I find as I am writing that I often veer from what I initially thought I would put in a certain scene. 

9) Which of your books is your favorite? Why?

I hate to single out a book as my favorite, but if I must, I’d say “Journey in Time.” I got to take my characters to medieval England so I got to incorporate two of my favorite things, history and time-travel. The hero in Journey, Alex was a big part of the first book, Heroes. I really enjoyed being able to give him his own book, to deeply flesh him out. The heroine, Shakira, was fun. A lot of what distressed her about the medieval period were things that would cause me great concern too. I loved making her emotionally strong and clever enough to deal with her situation.

10) Do you incorporate some of yourself into your characters? Personality traits? Likes? Dislikes?

Yes, I do incorporate traits, likes and dislikes into my characters. Shakira, who I mentioned in the previous answer, reflects me the most. Charlotte, the heroine in my next book, “Golden Chariot,” also has much of me. I write character driven stories, all of my characters, including the heroes have a part of me in them. 

11) What do you think is the perfect hero/heroine? Why?

The perfect hero/heroine is clever and resourceful, they must have a great sense of humor, and they possess innate courage and strength of character. They’re honorable. And—they are flawed, as we all are, and they make mistakes. 

12) What is your latest release? Please share the blurb and purchase info with us.

My latest release is “Journey in Time.” It is book two in my “Knights in Time,” series. It can be purchased for Kindle on Amazon, or for Nook on Barnes and Noble or as a digital download or paperback from my publisher, Books To Go Now

13) What do you have in the works?

I have book one of a different series coming out in mid March. It’s called Golden Chariot, and is a romantic thriller set in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey. It involves nautical archaeology and artifact smuggling. 

I’ve just started book three of my “Knights in Time,” series. It will be titled: “Knight Blindness,” and is a time-travel also. It should be ready in early fall for release.

14) Do you have any suggestions/comments for prospective authors?

Take an in-depth look at the books you really love. Analyze what in a scene you like best or if it’s something that runs the length of the book, like characterization, then ask, what did the author do that made me love these characters. Try to imitate those same qualities but with your own spin.


1) If you could be an animal, what would it be? Why?

If I could be an animal, I think I’d be a dolphin. They’re sleek, smart, communicative, social and they travel some beautiful waters.

2) If you had super powers, what would they be? Why?

I’d like the power of persuasion but the problem is, the folks I’d want to influence I have no means of getting close to. It’s probably best not to give me a superpower, I’m pretty sure I’d wind up abusing it.

3) If you could be an immortal, what would you want to be? Why?

As an immortal, I’d opt for being a ghost. It looks like it might be very fun at times and I could travel anywhere I wanted to go.

4) Is there anywhere you’d like to visit? Why?

I’ve visited all the places I really wanted to see but I’d love to return to England, France, and Turkey. All of them have fantastic history, beautiful countryside, architecturally interesting cities with great restaurants and museums. I also like the people I’ve met in those places.
5) Do you have a crush on any actor/actress? Who?

I have a crush on three actors, Gerard Butler, Clive Owen, and Dustin Clare.  

Myth, murder, and money clash in this gripping undersea adventure.
GENRE: Romantic Thriller



The rare discovery of a ship sunk during the time of the Trojan War has been found off the coast of Turkey, near Troy. Charlotte Dashiell is an American nautical archaeologist and thrilled to be part of the recovery team. The wreck may contain proof of her highly controversial theory about the Trojan War.

Charlotte is present when the Turkish government agent assigned to guard the site is murdered. Her possible involvement and a questionable connection to a private collector of black market relics bring her under suspicion. Atakan Vadim is the Turkish agent sent to investigate her. Unknown to either of them, the smuggler behind the murder plans to steal a valuable artifact and frame Charlotte for the theft...after they murder her.


Shouts of “fire” came from all sides of the camp. The west wind blew sparks in the direction of the lab. They could lose the entire camp, but not the lab, not the artifacts.

Charlotte grabbed an empty barrel from the fire line. She ran with it and started climbing the stairs to the shower stall’s water tank. A man’s large hand covered her mouth. His other hand brandished a gun. With the cold barrel to her ear, he walked her backwards down the few steps to the ground.

“Don’t scream.” Little-by-little his palm came away from her mouth.


chris karlsen said...

Hi Shannon,

Thank you for inviting to visit with you and your followers. This was a fun interview. I had to really stop and think before answering some of the questions.

"Golden Chariot," is in release now as an Amazon Kindle exclusive. Trailers, blurbs and excerpts for "Heroes Live Forever," and "Journey in Time," can be seen on my website:

I love to hear from readers. My contact info is also on the site.
Have a great day,

chris karlsen said...

Hi Shannon,

I forgot to mention that "Golden Chariot," is a free download Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 from Amazon for Kindle users.