Exclusive Interview with

Chris Karlsen

BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

When did you start writing?

I started within a few months of retiring from law enforcement. My husband suggested I write the stories I'd told him for years I wanted to tell. I bought several writer's magazines and began taking workshops and seminars to learn the craft.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

What makes writing your passion?

I can only describe it as an organic thing. The characters will come to me first and then the setting and the world they live in. I want to share that vision and hopefully entertain at the same time.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

How long have you been writing?

Seventeen years. I can't believe it has been that long. The first book took a long time as it kept evolving as I learned from seminars and successful writers.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

What was the feeling when you published your first book?

I was thrilled and nervous. I loved the story and wanted readers to love it too.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

It changes with each story. I like writing powerful heroes and heroines. I like to give them a strong sense of honor and ethics. Then I enjoy challenging those qualities and showing them overcome the worst of what's thrown at them.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

Nothing really, otherwise I'd stop writing.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

I sit and force myself to put something down on the page. I can and often do change it later. It can be a paragraph or just a few lines but I refuse to let writer's block take over.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

Having a story I want to share keeps me going. As I said, it is an organic feel, characters demanding to get out. I advise new authors to commit to sitting and writing. Also, have someone who is honest with you read it. If there are weaknesses, they'll tell you. Finally, make sure it is well edited.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

Start sooner. Don't give up when you get rejected.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

That's a tough question. I know several authors who refuse to read reviews. I do. I try hard not to let a bad one ruin my day, but it does bum me out. I have to push it from my mind and press on.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

What is the feeling when you get a good review?

I am elated. I get very excited and love to share on FB and social media. As I do a ton of research, it makes all the work that went into the story worthwhile.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Yes. I've included variations of people I've met as a detective, or on occasion a situation. I also like to have the characters share experiences I've had in my travels.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

I haven't based one character on me, per se. I think there's something of me in most of them heroes and heroines. I have to admit that a couple of the killers possess a trait or two of mine. Having said that, I don't write slasher type killers. I try to make them more complex.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

The cover is hugely important. It is the first thing the reader sees. If they find it unprofessional or bland, then they'll likely not bother to pick the book up and read the blurb. I have a great designer I work with. I have a concept and we build on that.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I enjoy chatting with readers. I will get comments and questions when I tour and I always answer.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

I've never been recognized in public but when readers send me emails or chat on tour sites, I am thrilled.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

Who is your favorite author? Why?

I love Bernard Cornwell, especially his Saxon Tales. His characters are so well-rounded and beautifully drawn, I am transported. He also knows how to give them a wry sense of humor, which makes them fun too.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

I wouldn't say big as -but the dream is to have Netflix, or HBO or Starz or any of those studios want to produce one or more of my book series.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

No. Once a story is done, I am ready to move onto another.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?

I don't want to switch necessarily but as I mentioned I'd like to have a television series made from my stories.

Chris Karlsen
BooksShelf-Interview-Icon.png

What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.

It's pathetic that some people feel compelled to be nasty. And they're usually the type that would never say anything to the author's face. They rely on keyboard courage. Sad.