Sunday, March 8, 2015

Author Interview - Chris Karlsen

Today, I’d like to introduce y’all to an author I’ve known for a while now. She just recently had a new release, Silk, book one of her new series, The Bloodstone Series, a suspense set in Victorian London. And so, without further ado, here’s my interview with the wonderful Chris Karlsen!

Chris, thanks so much for stopping by. So, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
I am an only child. Like many of us, I spent a great deal of time playing alone. I also came down with rheumatic fever when I was 7 and couldn't play outside for over a year, especially in the cold (we lived in Chicago). Those factors contributed creating playmates and places from my imagination. I think that was the start of my world building. That carried through to movies and books I read as I got older. I just automatically gave them my spin, my endings.

From the time I graduated high school, I traveled as much as possible (and still do.) When I'd find myself in a place that really moved me or a historical figure who lived in another time and place that fascinated me, I'd bury the info and used to tell myself: one day, if I ever write a book, I'm going use this setting or this person.

Once I retired, I had no reason not to try and tell stories I'd built up in my head.

How did you get started writing?
I retired in 2001 and began to write in mid 2002. I didn't know any writers or belong to any groups, I had no idea where to start other than to sit down and starting typing out the first story I wanted to tell. As I did, I began to go to conferences and taking online classes to learn the craft.

What was the inspiration for your book?
Silk, my latest book, came from a visit I made to the South Wales Borderers Regimental Museum. The movie Zulu is a fave of mine so I made it a point to visit the regiment the movie was about. I told myself that someday I'd write a story and have my hero be from this regiment. I like writing other time periods and I hadn't done one in Victorian times and I love England so it was natural to use Victorian London. The hero, Rudyard Bloodstone, former soldier with South Wales Borderers, just came to me as I was writing another book

Sometimes, characters do sneak up on you as you're writing something else and you have to promise them, when you're finished, you'll give them their own book.  Most of my writer friends say the same happens to them:)

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
Historical fiction. I love Bernard Cornwell. I can't think of a better historical fiction author. Silk is close for me as possible right now  as it is a departure from my romances and it is historical suspense.

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
Oh dear, I hate to speak ill of another genre. Let me just say I don't care to write Sci-Fi as I don't think I'd be good at creating other worlds. I like Star Trek etc. I just don't think I could come with Clingons or Romulans etc. I also don't read westerns or inspirationals.. Nothing wrong with them, I am just  not interested in the Wild West period and inspirationals don't generally hold my interest.

So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
Silk has only been in release a short time. I am currently working on the first draft of the fourth Knights in Time book. I don't have a title yet. It 's different in that it has two heroines and two heroes. The heroes are from Journey in Time and Knight Blindness. The heroines are the sisters of the heroine in Knight Blindness. It's a time travel, which is a topic I enjoy writing. I hope to have it out in fall.

Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions. Favorite color?
Bright Copper

Favorite movie?
Tough choice but I'll go with Casablanca.

Book that inspired you to become an author?
Interview with the Vampire (that said, I have no interest in writing a vampire story) and Outlander (time travel taken to the limit!)

Alright, you have one superpower. What is it?
I'd like to be able to time travel but make myself invisible when needed.  I don't fancy getting labeled a witch and face burning at the stake!!

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
I had to really think hard on this to be able to whittle down the list to 3. I'll take Queen Elizabeth the 1st, Oscar Wilde, and Dr. Neil De Grasse Tyson. I'd like to discuss how gutsy it was for Elizabeth to remain unmarried while under enormous pressure from her nobles to marry. Also, how she managed to know what advice to take that made England Queen of the Seas.

Oscar Wilde because of his wit and intellect and imagination.

Dr. Tyson because I want to talk time travel, Einstein's theory, life on other planets, the Big Bang, etc.

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?

I'd probably go with Charlotte, my American nautical archaeologist from my Dangerous Waters series. I love history and archaeology and she works mostly in the Eastern Mediterranean, which is a setting I love. My second choice would be Shakira, my London attorney from Journey in Time. I did consider going into law when I was a detective. I thought about going to law school and taking the bar after I left law enforcement. I turned to the more fun challenge of writing. I also like her independence and her very logical way of looking at things. 

Author Bio:
Chris Karlsen is a retired police detective. She spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. The daughter of a history professor and a voracious reader, she grew up with a love of history and books.

An internationally published author, Chris has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa satisfying her need to visit the places she read about. Having spent a great deal of time in England and Turkey, she has used her love of both places as settings for her books. "Heroes Live Forever," which is her debut book, is set in England as is the sequel, "Journey in Time," the third is "Knight Blindness." They are part of her Knights in Time series. She is currently working on the fourth in the "Knights in Time," series. "Golden Chariot," is set in Turkey and the sequel, "Byzantine Gold" is set Turkey, Paris and Cyprus. They are part of her Dangerous Waters series.

A Chicago native, Chris has lived in Paris and Los Angeles and now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four rescue dogs. A city girl all her life, living in a small village on a bay was a interesting adjustment. She'd never lived anywhere so quiet at night and traffic wasn't bumper to bumper 24/7.

Some of Chris's favorite authors are: Michael Connolly, John Sandford, Joseph Wambaugh, Stephen Coonts, Bernard Cornwell, Julia Quinn, Julie Anne Long, Deanna Raybourne and Steve Berry.


  1. Good morning,
    I want to thank Emily and Sharing Links for the opportunity to chat about books and to showcase Silk.
    I look forward to chatting with her followers.
    Chris Karlsen