Sunday, September 22, 2013


Hi, Chris,                                                                            

Welcome back to
my blog.

I would never attempt
to write a time travel story.
I'd mess it up so badly.
Kudos for you and anyone
who can accomplish this
Tell us what inspired you.

I’m often asked what inspires a story. For me it’s either a setting, an event, or on occasion a person. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively in my life. I grew up with a love of history. As a result, my stories are set in places I love. Once I choose the setting, I look into historical events and on occasion modern events to build a story around.

Once I fix on a setting or event, other interests come into play to influence how I proceed with the story. I grew up in a somewhat unconventional house where time travel, reincarnation and other meta-physical theories were common discussion at the dinner table. It was a fascination for my parents and me. The many aspects of it were debated.

Two of the books in my Knights in Time series deal with time travel. I wanted to put my spin on the premise. When I decided to write my own versions I went back in one story with my characters (Journey in Time). For the next, my latest release, Knight Blindness, I wanted to do something very different with both my hero and the antagonist (who is not a villain though). I wanted to follow each man as he struggled to function in a world they had little context for.

A real challenge, and on the surface you would think it wasn’t an issue, but I always had to keep the limitations of the time in mind. I couldn’t allow the characters who were back in time to have any environmental advantage. They were compelled to use the tools available. Intellectually, they could be clever and resourceful but even that modus operandi had restrictions when it came to the heroines. Women suffered many limitations in the period and to not abide by them could prove dangerous.


The challenge bringing the hero forward in time I mentioned earlier was unique. I had to constantly remind myself what he could put into context or figure out the meaning and purpose for and what was totally alien to him. Take one of us back and we’d pretty much be able to identify much of what we came into contact with. We’ve seen tools, “surgeon’s instruments,” farm equipment, kitchen utensils, and everyday life objects in books and/or museums etc. How extraordinary, confusing, and even scary are some things he’s seeing for the first time? How would he understand the concept/science behind a square box capturing the images of living beings, or a machine that can cook food in minutes without flame, or an immense vehicle that can leave the ground and fly through the air?

Stephen, the hero, was a favorite character from Journey in Time. I had killed him off in that story but my critique group insisted I let him live. I did like him a lot and thought he really is a sweetie who deserves a story. I love writing time travels and since Journey in Time took the hero and heroine back in time, I thought bringing Stephen forward would be fun. Then, I thought to put an extra special spin on the story, I’d make him struggle with not just the time shock but with a crippling war injury. Still not satisfied, I decided to have the enemy knight who injured him come forward at the same time. I thought it was interesting to see how each man adjusted to his circumstance.

For my heroine, Esme, I wanted her to be intuitive, to understand this unusual man (Stephen). She’s well educated and smart, which is why she’s brought in to help bring the hero up-to-date with what’s happened in the world. What I like about her is she sees beyond the surface. Because on the surface, he appears to have had a serious break from reality in that he believes himself a medieval knight. She accepts and can deal with that aspect, after all to anyone hearing him say that it does appear he’s had a mental breakdown. What is special about Esme, is how she can focus on his honorable nature and how determined he is to be independent in all ways. I think readers will relate strongly to how charmed she is by Stephen and how much she believes in his ability to overcome whatever challenges he faces and her desire to help him.
I wanted both men to represent honor and courage. Both were very loyal to their king and willing to fight for a cause they believed right. When one thinks of the Age of Chivalry, I wanted the reader to see these heroes as befitting that ideal. I also wanted them to have their fair share of funny and charming moments as they discover the differences in the modern world from the medieval one. Stephen is the hero I set out to write. Marchand, the enemy knight, isn’t really intended to be a hero but he is not a villain either. I enjoyed giving him a “history” and letting him have a decent amount of time on the page. I think the reader will fall in love with Stephen. He’s charming and witty but possesses a deep sense of ethics and honor. He’s a fighter who will not allow himself to give in to self-pity or doubt. I think the reader will find it hard not be his cheerleaderJ

Chris, I can't wait to meet Stephen. My kind of guy.
Here is the cover folks.

You can find the whole series here at Amazon
More links for Chris



I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.

My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.

I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write two different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is, Dangerous Waters.
I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.  

What do you think about writing/reading time travel novels?
We love comments,even if it's a "Hi" to let us know you were here.
Please leave one below.





  1. Chris, you would have been an excellent guest on my Time Travel/Alternate History month blog. If I'd known, you would have been hearing from me. I hope you stop by my blog to read about a lot of fellow time traveling writers. I do have one who travels into the future, but not by 1000 years!

    Congrats on your series. Quite an accomplishment.

  2. Hi Chris, Your post was fascinating as was your bio. It seems you've led an exciting life to draw on for your books. I wrote a pretty simple romance novel and doubt I could ever attempt time travel for the reason you mentioned--staying true to the time you happen to be in.

    Thank you for the free download. I plan to check out your other books. I have a suggestion. Time travel for somebody like me--deaf and in a wheelchair now--but not in my youth. Boy, would I love to go back in time.

    1. Hi Leona,

      I had a wonderful woman, Tara Annis, who is blind and works for the American Foundation for the Blind help me with many details and ideas for my blind hero. I may look into a story like you suggest down the road. I have been a (small) donor with Dogs for the Deaf for awhile now. I get their newsletter, which is inspiring to read about the partnership between their owners and the rescued dogs.

      You're braver than me. I'm not sure I'd go back unless I could make myself invisible. I would always be leery of winding up burned at the stake!
      Chris Karlsen

  3. Hi Chris and Lorrie. Great interview. Loved hearing how you create your settings, Chris, and the difficulty in remaining true to the time period.

    1. Hi CCarpinello,
      Thank you. I'm so glad you liked the interview. When you love a place writing setting is fun and natural.

  4. Loved the interview. And loved the premise of the book. There aren't that many time travel books where the protags leap forward in time, and I don't know of any where they're blind, to boot! It's a fab read, as are all the books in the series. Keep up the good work :-)

    1. Hi DV,
      Thank you for the kind words. In many ways, sending characters back in time was easier to write than bringing them forward. But, bringing them forward was more unique.

  5. Hi Chris, I did get the free download offered yesterday on Amazon. Thank you so much. I'm looking forward to reading this one, especially with our weather starting to turn colder. When anyone comments today all I can say is, "Sorry you missed out on the freebie yesterday, but leave a comment anyway."

  6. I worked in the space program for a few years, and then taught astronomy and ran a college planetarium for 32 years. After retiring I had time to write, and my first novel as a time travel story with some well known and not so well known figures: Washington, Franklin, Mozart, and the church deacon who provided Paul Revere a horse. Called it "Time for Ptriots" and it is available both soft cover and on Kindle.