Monday, April 2, 2012

Where Does Inspiration Come From Guest Blog with Chris Karlsen

As a writer, the most frequently asked question I get is: “Where does your inspiration come from?” My answer is always: “It depends on the story.” Inspiration can hit me like a lightning bolt or it can creep up on me like a ladybug on my arm or it can be an idea that was buried deep within me and has clawed its way to the front of my thoughts.

With my first book, “Heroes Live Forever,” the inspiration was an idea buried in my psyche for years. I love a good ghost story and always thought what fun it would be to be a ghost. But then, as I really examined the possibility, I realized how sad it might be too. In the case of my two medieval knights, Basil and Guy, they fought and died for king and country during the 14th century, only to see their homes and family destroyed three-hundred years later because of loyalty to a king. They’ve seen wonderful advances in the world over the centuries but they’ve also seen everyone they cared about die. I was inspired to explore both the good and bad of their ghostly world because they do still have fun with mortals.

While writing “Heroes Live Forever,” I found myself liking Guy and enjoyed writing him so much, I was inspired to give him his own book. What to do to him and for him came from my fascination with time-travel and medieval English history. What to do to my characters came to me like the lightning bolt I mentioned.
In “Journey in Time,” Guy has been given another chance at life. Guy, as Alex Lancaster leads a happy, modern world life as a music producer. He finds himself deeply attracted to Shakira Constantine, a successful London attorney. Because he’s her client, it takes a lot of charm for him to get her to agree to spending a weekend in the country with him.

The marriage of time-travel and medieval history gave me the opportunity to torture Alex and Shakira with a world of problems, life threatening problems. Sending them back to the year prior to Guy’s death in battle, I was able to put Alex in the position of facing his death again, if he can’t return to the modern world. His death put Shakira in the position of potentially having to face a very frightening time alone.

“Heroes Live Forever,” and “Journey in Time,” are from my “Knights in Time,” series.

With a book I’ve just finished from a different series, “Golden Chariot,” inspiration crept up on me and over several months.

While walking the ruins of Troy, in Turkey, I thought about the Trojan War. I found myself wondering how it must’ve felt to a citizen of Troy to look out over the Dardanelle Strait and see the masts of hundreds of enemy ships, invaders by the thousands coming to sack and burn your home. From that thought, I wondered what if Homer got it wrong in the Iliad. What if the Trojans didn’t lose the war?

Over the next few months thoughts of the Iliad’s heroes and villains crept into my head. Another visit to the Troy ruins brought more questions regarding the mythical characters. When it came time to write a story about my curiosity, I gave the heroine my same questions.

I have writer friends who’ve been inspired to write stories around nightmares they’ve had or human interest articles they read in the paper. Some are inspired to write about events they’ve experienced and people they know.

I’d say imagination is a writer’s greatest inspiration. If you can imagine it, you can write about it.

April 1 Tour Intro

Roxanne’s Realm

April 2 Guest blog
The Creatively Green Write a Home Mom

April 4 Interview

April 9 Promo
Flute Words

Radio Tamaria on April 10 at 2:00 EST

April 10 Guest blog- inspiration magical research
Romancing the Book

April 11 Guest blog
Paranormal Romantic Suspense,

April 16 Guest Blog
Fang-tastic Books

April 17 Guest Blog
Cate Dean Writes

April 19 Interview and promo

April 20th Guest post w/ review
Aislynn @ Stitch Read Cook

April 24 Promo
Reader Girls

April 25 review
Cate Dean Writes

April 29 Guest blog 

April 30 review 
The Dark Phantom.


By Chris Karlsen

Myth, murder, and money clash in this gripping undersea adventure.


The rare discovery of a ship sunk during the time of the Trojan War has been found off the coast of Turkey, near Troy. Charlotte Dashiell is an American nautical archaeologist and thrilled to be part of the recovery team. The wreck may contain proof of her highly controversial theory about the Trojan War.

Charlotte is present when the Turkish government agent assigned to guard the site is murdered. Her possible involvement and a questionable connection to a private collector of black market relics bring her under suspicion. Atakan Vadim is the Turkish agent sent to investigate her. Unknown to either of them, the smuggler behind the murder plans to steal a valuable artifact and frame Charlotte for the theft...after they murder her.

About the Author:

Chris Karlsen is a retired police detective who spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. Her father was a history professor and her mother an avid reader. She grew up with a love of history and books.

She has always loved traveling and has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Near East (especially Turkey and the Greek Islands), the Caribbean, and North Africa.

Born and raised in Chicago, Chris has also lived in Paris, Los Angeles, and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four rescue dogs.

You can contact her at:

Or on Facebook:


chris karlsen said...

I'd like to thank Wenona for inviting me to visit with her and her followers today.
I look forward to hearing from those who read any of my stories. Readers thoughts and reactions are always interesting.

Lorrie said...

I haven't read any of your books--yet, Chris, but I would imagine you would write about what you know, or maybe you want to get away from that life.

I agree the imagination is the author's best asset. I can also imagine the research you delved into for your books.

They sound fascinating. On my TBB list. Thanks for the informative post.

chris karlsen said...

Hi Lorrie,
You're right. I didn't want to write cop stories. I didn't want to relive my career through my characters. There were so many other things that interested me and I would rather write about them now.
Have a great week,