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Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Where Does Inspiration Come From
by 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.

"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."

Excerpt :

“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.

Amazon: Buy / $5.47 (Kindle) ( EU price, click to see the US price )
Barnes&Noble: Buy / $2.99 (Nook)

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 via: Books to Go Now, P.O. Box 1283, Poulsbo, WA 98370 or on Facebook

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