Chris Karlsen is the author of Journey in Time, a time-travel romance that transports heroine Shakira back to the 14th Century. I love time-travel romances, so I invited Chris to the virtual offices to discuss her new book.
[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Chris Karlsen] Retired detective, history, book & animal lover, traveler, enjoys dry, acerbic humor-think Black Adder, wants answers to what it?, likes Johnnie Walker Black scotch.[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about your book, Journey in Time?
[Chris Karlsen] Shakira Constantine is a successful London attorney who offers to represent Alex Lancaster, the best friend of Shakira’s best friend’s husband. Alex is more interested in a personal relationship and invites her to his country cottage for the weekend. While horseback riding they’re caught is a strange lightning storm, which triggers a time portal. The storm passes and they find themselves in the 14th century.
Alex reveals to Shakira a shocking and strong connection to the past. He is also mistaken for Baron Guiscard, a baron who died at the Battle of Poitiers. If he and Shakira can’t find a way back to the modern world, Alex will be forced to sail to France and fight at Poitiers, where he will die. They both realize that history cannot be changed, and history doesn’t care which man it takes. The idea of possibly being left alone in the medieval world terrifies Shakira.
Journey in Time is about a couple falling in love in spite of the very dangerous and frightening situation they find themselves in.[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Chris Karlsen] Time-travel has always fascinated me. So often, when people talk about going either forward or back in time, they tend to assign a certain romance to the idea. I wanted to have the romance but give the characters in a realistic environment with the problems that involves. The characters are the friends of my hero and heroine in my first book, "Heroes Live Forever." I knew when I was writing "Heroes Live Forever," that I wanted to give Shakira and Alex their own story.[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?
[Chris Karlsen] For me the most challenging aspect is letting the characters show emotion in a way that is true to them, true to the moment, but not overwrought. I personally dislike hyperbole and scenes where a character’s response is over-the-top. Because of that, I have to be careful not to keep too tight a rein on my character’s actions and emotions.
[Manga Maniac Café] What three things would Shakira miss the most while trapped in the 14th century?
[Chris Karlsen] This is an easy one. I know what I’d miss and I let Shakira miss them too. First-indoor, flush toilets. Second-running water. Third-toothpaste.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Chris Karlsen] My creative influences are mentioned in my 140 character bio. I want answers to what if questions. I love to travel. I’ve gone places that I instantly imagined the lives of people who lived there in the past. I mentally create a world. I use those places as creative influences. I also travel to places that a major historical event has occurred (the Trojan War for instance). I will walk the ruins of a place, like Troy, and ask, what if the war didn’t happen the way we believe. Then, I’ll use that premise to create a story around.
[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Chris Karlsen] I need my research material handy to write. I am constantly referring to it. I need something to drink on my desk, like coffee or water or raspberry soda. I need a game plan for writing that particular day. I need to have in my mind an idea of where I am taking the characters or what I am doing to them. My plan might change as I write but I need a direction to start.
[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Chris Karlsen] The one book that made me an avid reader was "Les Miserables," by Victor Hugo. The characterization, the setting, the richness of the story hooked me. When I closed the book, I remember thinking what a great writer, what a great story.
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Chris Karlsen] When I’m not writing, I read, take belly dance lessons, and started yoga. I love to travel and do when our schedule allows.
Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to be interviewed.
[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!
You can order a digital copy of Journey in Time by clicking the widget below:
Journey in Time By Chris Karlsen
TRAPPED IN TIME
London attorney, Shakira Constantine, finally agrees to spend the day with her handsome client, Alex Lancaster. While riding in the countryside, the couple finds themselves caught in a time warp and transported back to the 14th Century, and an England preparing for war. Everyone believes Alex is the Baron Guy Guiscard…a baron who died in the upcoming battle.
If they can’t find a way to return to the 21st Century, Alex will have to sail with the army to certain death. Shakira will be left alone to survive in the alien and terrifying medieval world.
“Alex, what is going on?” she asked in a frenzied whisper.
“Shh.” After they mounted, Alex sidled over, so close their boots touched. “We’re riding into a very perilous situation. I’ll explain everything when we’re alone. Your life, my life,” he stressed, “depends on you being quiet until then.”
Confused it took Shakira a few seconds before she nodded yes.
“Remember what I told you,” he warned and trotted ahead to chat with the knight he called Simon.