Exclusive Interview with

Chris Karlsen

Let’s start with your Career as a writer!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

Nothing really, otherwise I'd stop writing.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

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

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.

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.

What would you say to your readers?

I hope you are entertained by my stories. If you have felt transported to a different place and time, then I am thrilled. I hope the characters were brought to life for you and you felt their joy and their successes, maybe even fell in love at times.

Thank you for sharing! Let’s talk about your Personal Life!

Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?

I am a retired police detective. I spent 25 years in law enforcement. I have traveled extensively. I am married for over 32 years with 3 step children, all grown. My husband and I live in the Pacific Northwest with 4 crazy rescue dogs. All our dogs have been rescues as were our horses when we had them. We share a big love for animals.

What is your day job if you have one?

I am fortunately retired and loving it.

What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

I read and do some gardening. I used to travel a lot but my health has restricted that now.

Did you have a happy childhood?

I had a wonderful childhood. I'm an only child and my parents took me everywhere. They took me early on to museums and to the ballet and plays. We went to the movies a lot and had fun. We often had interesting conversations at the dinner table. I miss them very much.

Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?

I loved the movie The Ghost and Mrs. Muir but hated that they never had any sort of "life" together. I wanted to write a love story with a ghost but give my characters that life. In my first book, Heroes Live Forever, the heroine falls in love with a knight who haunts her house. I enjoyed creating a world for them.

Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?

No.

What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?

I am shocked by the lack of historical knowledge in many and the lack of basic geography. Civics is no longer taught I understand and that is unfortunate. Everyone should know how our government works.

If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?

I wish for animals to get the respect they deserve. No more trophy hunting.
I wish the earth was treated with respect and not continue to be destroyed
I wish mean-spirited people would find another planet to live on (smile emoji here)

What is your favorite music?

60's rock and roll and disco.

Share a secret with us 🙂

I always lie about my weight on official paperwork. I take off 10 lbs.

Thank you! We wish you the best of luck for you and your art!