Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of 'Knight Blindness' Chris Karslen

Chris 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 loved traveling, a passion they handed down to Chris. She wanted to see the places she’d read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated her. She told us she has had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.

She’s 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. Finally, after retiring, she decided to pursue that dream. She writes in two different genres. Her paranormal romance series is called: Knights in Time. Her romantic thriller series is: Dangerous Waters. Her latest book is the time-travel romance, Knight Blindness

She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four rescue dogs.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win an eset of Heroes Live Forever and Journey in Time along with a swag bag! The swag bag will be a small tote with the book covers screened on, a “medieval style” bracelet and a package of soap leaves shaped like rose petals.

Questionnaire:

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

A couple of things built the fire in me. The first was the movie, “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.” I saw it as a young girl and loved it but was so disappointed that the Captain and Mrs. Muir never had the chance to enjoy a “life” together on a mortal plain. That’s the first time I can recall thinking how, if I got the chance, I’d write a better ending. The second influence was various books that brought tears or other deep emotions out for the characters. I read a lot growing up and I was an only child who spent many hours alone so it was easy for me to immerse myself in the fantasy world the stories created.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

The perks are the creation process itself. Having a character suddenly invade your thoughts and as a writer you get to make him or her come to life on the page. You are able to live another life through them. The demands are dedication and a willingness to go deep and strip the character you love down to bare emotions even if it means the reader dislikes him or her for a bit.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I tried traditional publishing. For several years I beat my head against the NY wall only to be rejected. A few years back my friend started a small indie publishing company. She asked if I’d be willing to give her company a try. I said yes. I just wanted to put my stories out and hoped some folks would like them and that wasn’t happening with NY. Since going with Books to Go Now, my friend’s company, I haven’t looked back.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

I am very lucky. My family supports me 110%. They’re very proud of me and respect that I was able to reinvent myself after I retired from police work. Both my uncle and my mom told me not too long ago, how proud my late father would be.

Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

I stop writing to get them dinner. When you’re surrounded by four canines who have the most accurate body clocks imaginable, you don’t get to write one more word. It’s much easier to feed them and return to the page.

Are your plants actually still alive?

Yes, but there aren’t a lot and they’re low maintenance.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

I am lucky. I don’t have a boss anymore. My husband and I are retired and the kids are all adults and live out of state, so family dinners aren’t an issue. My husband is terrific in the kitchen and often makes dinner. The phone I answer but don’t linger. I do have to minimize Facebook or I can get distracted for ages. Truth be told, I am easily distracted and not just FB. I have to be aware of that and try to not let shiny objects or squirrels take my attention. J

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

I haven’t had much that would qualify as crazy or insane. I did have a few days of panic several years ago. I’d read the late Ewart Oakeshott’s medieval knight series. Oakeshott was considered one of the best experts in the life of a medieval knight, their armor, their weapons, and their lifestyle. I needed a weight for my hero’s armor and used Oakeshott’s. Weeks later, The History Channel here put forth a completely different weight, substantially different. I did a mental mad scramble and not a whim took a chance and emailed the Curator of the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London.  To my delight and surprise, they answered and explained the reason for the difference and I was able to keep the one I used.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I use Facebook. I have a fan page: https://www.facebook.com/chriskarlsenwriter, which I only recently started. I also have a regular page/https://www.facebook.com/#!/chris.karlsen.90. I love Pinterest because I can post loads of things I love plus do book boards of my stories: http://www.pinterest.com/chriskarlsen/ I am working on getting a better blog and maybe a newsletter down the road. I dislike Twitter. I am rarely on it.  

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

I’ve done a lot of tours to promote them. I include giveaways. I’ve done free download days. Next month I’m doing a countdown of Knight Blindness where it will be on sale for the week of Feb. 8-14. I make trailers for all my books, which are available on my website and you tube. I also direct fans to my book boards on Pinterest.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

We need to treat the earth better. She’s the only one we have.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

The best part is having a story you want to tell and getting it down on paper. I love building the characters and love it when I hear from readers who tell me how much they liked one of them. I even like hearing from readers when they didn’t like a character and knowing why they disliked them. I also enjoy crafting an emotional scene and having readers respond to it, which means my intention was successful.

As authors we all dream of making the New York Times best seller lists. It means many people are enjoying your book. That said, most of us are thrilled we to tell our stories whether or not they make the best seller lists.



1 comment:

chris karlsen said...

I want to thank Mayra and Straight From the Author's Mouth for the fun interview. I always enjoy talking about the writing process and my books, of course:)
Chris Karlsen