Last year we reviewed Journey in Time by Chris Karlsen and we are excited to let you know that the next book in the Knights in Time series is now out. Chris stopped by to talk with us a bit.
Why do you write in your genre?
I write two different genres: paranormal romance and romantic thrillers.
What draws me to it?
My mother was an avid reader and she read many romance authors. From my early teens on, she’d give me her favorite books to read so I grew up with a love of reading and especially romances. My fave genres now are romance, thrillers and historical fiction. I love the fast pace of thrillers and usually the protagonist has a wicked sense of humor, which I enjoy. My father taught history and I grew up with a love of that, which is why I am a fan of historical fiction. For a romance to succeed or resonate with me, I must truly and deeply care about the hero/heroine, more so than in the other genres. If I dislike one or the other, it ruins the story for me.
What research is required?
In my paranormals my characters are from a specific period in English medieval history. I chose the period as it is one I’ve been interested in since I was young. That said, in order to flesh out the setting and the support characters, along with presenting my H/h with problems inherent to the times, I had to go beyond the basics I already knew. I read dozens of books, watched DVD’s from the history channel or Nat Geo or Discovery, sought various articles by experts and on occasion, when I had the opportunity I interviewed experts. I searched the same media sources for my thrillers, which involve nautical archaeology and Bronze or Byzantine history.
Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.
My hero in Knight Blindness, my latest book and part of my Knights in Time series, has returned from battle with a grievous injury. I learned great determination and intestinal fortitude can overcome much of what is thrown at us. From my heroine in the same story, I learned how to have and show a new appreciation of another’s strength of character.
Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?
Honestly, I am not terribly superstitious or possess many quirks. If I had to name one thing I’m superstitious about regarding my writing it would be that I avoid verbalizing negative worries or possible disappointing predictions. I am leery of putting those vibes or negative sound bites out in the universe. To me, it’s kind of like telling someone you’ve never had an accident. I don’t ever do that either for fear it will happen.
Plotter or pantser?
Up until very recently, I’d say a bit of both. I always wrote out an outline but it wasn’t written in stone. I always wound up moving away from it when I felt the need. However, I just started a book that I hope will be book one in a new series. I haven’t come close to writing an outline. So far, I’ve simply sat and wrote what I thought made some of the characters tick. We’ll see how it turns out.
Look to your right – what’s sitting there?
No one. My desk is in a small niche area between the living room and dining room. The stairs to the second floor are to my right. On occasion, our dog Sammy sits on the rug to my right at the base of the stairs. Usually, he sits behind me and to the left while our little guy, Trooper, sits in my chair with me like a personal fanny pack. It is not the most comfortable for me but he likes it.
Anything new coming up from you? What?
I just released Knight Blindness. It is book 3 in my paranormal romance series. It’s a time travel involving a hero who is a medieval knight. I wanted to do something very different. Instead of taking my heroine back in time, I brought the hero forward to our time. What he doesn’t know is the enemy knight he was battling when the time shift occurred has also come forward. The enemy knight believes the hero holds the “key” to time and is pursuing him in hopes of forcing the hero to reverse the shift.
Do you have a question for our readers?
I like asking the readers if time travel was possible where would they go and why. Forward to the future? Back to a past time? Here’s the tricky part, if you fell in love would you stay? I think the initial response is to say yes without hesitation. But thinking on it, much comes into play. What if something happens to your love? Now, you’re in a place that is pretty alien to everything you know and may present remarkable dangers you don’t face in your modern life.
This is a major concern of my heroine in Journey in Time. She and the hero are caught in a time warp that sends them back to medieval England. England is at war with France, and the hero is about to sail with the army to France. If he’s killed in battle, my heroine has no means to make a living and provide for herself, not to mention this was a desperate time for a woman without a protector. She might be thought a witch and burned at the stake or any number of other dangers can plague her. My heroine had no choice. She and the hero were trapped and had no idea how to return to the modern world. But when answering the question of staying, in a circumstance where you have a choice, these are factors to consider.
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.
My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.
I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write two different series. My paranormal romance series is called Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters.
I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.
Find Chris at her website or Facebook.
Buy the book at Amazon.