Interview & Contest: Chris Karlsen

Jen:  Today we welcome Chris Karlsen to Romancing the Book.  Chris, please share a short bio with us.

Chris:  I’m a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My father was a history professor and my mother was and is a voracious reader. As a result, I grew up with a love of history and books. I’ve traveled extensively and fallen in love with places or events that happened in different locales and always thought–I’d like to write a book about this place or this event. Once I retired, I finally had the time to pursue my secret desire, which was writing. I also love animals and currently live in the Pacific Northwest with four rescue dogs, one rescue horse, and my hero and the love of my life, my husband.

Jen:  Do you have a writing routine?
Chris:  I do try to stick to a writing routine. I am not a morning person. My imagination and mind are not fully operational early in the day so I do my errands and take care of appointments before noon. I usually sit down to write around noon and stay writing until about 5. I take a few breaks during the afternoon but they are short. I like to write at least six days a week and if possible seven.

Jen: How about “must haves” while writing?

Chris: I have to have something to drink on my desk: water, coffee, or raspberry soda. I have to have my research binders close. I have three-ring binders of research for all my books. With a couple of books, I have two binders full of info. I keep a notepad next to my mouse pad. I jot down ideas or bits of info when something occurs to me as I am writing. I do play music almost always but I tend to zone out as I write and don’t really listen as I work.

Jen: What’s the most difficult, easiest and most rewarding aspect of being an author?

Chris: To me the most difficult part of writing is the disappointment of rejection. It’s especially hard when an agent or editor has appeared so enthused to read the story and then they reject it or worse don’t respond at all. The easiest, if any part of writing can be called easy, is finding what makes a character tick. I enjoy going deep into my character’s thoughts and emotions. Luckily, that tends to come easy for me. The most rewarding aspect of writing is having someone who’s read your book say: “I didn’t want the story to end. When is the next one coming out?”

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received regarding one of your books?

Chris: The most interesting comment I’ve heard was from a review on Amazon. The reader said: “I’d love to see both her books optioned for the screen.” I must say, I would too.

Jen: Who has influenced you as a writer?

Chris: Several writers have influenced me in a variety of ways. Julie Anne Long writes great love scenes. She incorporates the setting and the senses of the characters. The scenes aren’t just the sex act. I think Bernard Cornwell writes some of the finest historical fiction around. His battle scenes and historical settings are remarkable. When I write a historical scene/setting I try to use what I like about his work but with my spin. I also find John Sandford and Mike Connelly are great at dialogue. I think of how they pace the dialogue and make it crisp when I am writing and will read mine out loud to see if it as tight.

Jen: What do you do in your free time?

Chris: For fun, I read. I take belly dance lessons and have just started yoga. Of course, I still have a great penchant for travel and do so when our schedule allows.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Chris: In spring of next year, book one of a new series is being released. It’s called, “Golden Chariot,” and is a romantic thriller set in Turkey. I am currently finishing the first draft of the sequel to Golden Chariot. Then, I am starting book three of my “Knights in Time,” series. “Heroes Live Forever,” is the first. “Journey in Time,” is the second. The next is “Knight Blindness.” They are all romance novels. “Heroes Live Forever,” is a paranormal. “Journey in Time,” is a time-travel. “Knight Blindness,” will be a time-travel also.

Jen: Where can you be found online?


Jen: Do you have any questions for our readers?

Chris: I am curious who your readers love the most, the hero or the heroine. The heroine in my books is the primary protagonist, but I write very “hero driven” stories.

Contest details:

  • The prize is two sets of Chris’ Knights in Time series (Heroes Live Forever and Journey in Time).  Winner can chose ebook or print copies.
  • The contest is open to everyone, international readers included.
  • You must leave a meaningful comment for entry.  This means your comment needs to be more than “please enter me in the contest”.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday, January 1.
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