Name: Chris Karlsen
Book Title: In Time For You
Genre: Historical Romance (with time travel element)
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Author: I was always an avid reader. I often thought how I'd change a story. When I retired I didn't know what to do with myself and my husband suggested that I write the book I always talked about writing. Yes, there was one book I had in my head for years that I especially wanted a different ending for. That turned out to be my first book, Heroes Live Forever.
As for In Time For You, my latest, this is the fourth in my Knights in Time series, which is part of the series that Heroes is from. I liked the hero in it. He was the antagonist in the previous book but not a villain and I thought he deserved a book of his own. The heroine in that book, Knight Blindness had two sisters and that gave me the opportunity to include two heroines. For the second hero, I brought back a knight from Journey in Time, Simon. In that book, Simon was a gruff somber knight. Putting him in In Time For You as a hero gave me a chance to round him out and show a romantic, fun side to him.
Is this your first book?
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Author: Small press. Books to Go Now was started by a dear friend of mine who is also a writer. She began the company a few years ago and now has over one hundred authors and three hundred titles published. I was having no luck with the big NY houses wanting to publish my first book and she asked if I’d give her company an opportunity. I said yes and we’ve been together ever since. In Time For You is my seventh book.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Author: I’ll start with the pros: the best is the feeling of accomplishment when you finish a story. An idea for a story pops into your head or maybe it’s been hovering there begging to be told for ages and you finally commit to telling it. The fact that you sat down and put did the job is a huge pro. Many, many people you meet as an author will say, I always wanted to write a book. To achieve it is major whether you get published or not. Another huge pro is getting published and hearing from readers. I love it when readers contact me and say what they liked or even what bothered them. I recently published a book in a different series where half the book you’re in the mind of the murderer and the other half you’re in the mind of the detective. I loved to have readers react to being in the mind of the killer. Another pro is personal pride in that I was able to tell a story that held a readers interest. I have no painting skill or singing skill or dancing skill so to tell a story in an artful way makes me proud.
The cons are: you need a tough skin. Most everyone tries to get the big publishing houses of NY to take notice of their stories first. It’s painfully hard and more often than not you don’t even get a boiler plate reject letter anymore. You just get ignored. Or, you pitch an agent or editor at a conference and they “seem” very interested in your story and you send them the partial they request and you never hear a peep from them again. There’s a lot of rejection in the business. Another con is bad reviews. You just have to get past those. Not everyone will love your story. That’s the nature of the beast. You can’t get too discouraged.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Author: No one system is perfect for everyone. I believe, for many of us in the beginning, there is a tendency to think we must find a way to get a big NY house to notice our work. We can stay with that thought for years and years and for the vast majority, fail to find success. I found after about five years that it wasn’t true for me. I was one that success seemed just out of reach. But I also found there were other avenues to get my stories out to the public. I have been very satisfied with going with a small press publisher. For me that works.
There are five writers in my critique group. Three of us are with a small publisher and happy with that. We have a lot of input and creative say with our covers and we have help with editing. One writer is self-published. That requires her to be cyber savvy, which I am not. She has to know how to upload a variety of systems to the different platforms but if a person is capable in this way, she finds this is good for her. She keeps all her royalties and has complete control of her product. One is with a NY house. She doesn’t mind having deadlines and editors “suggesting” storylines etc. That would irritate me. But, they also help her with promotion.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Author: Yes. If you like having more freedom.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Author: The first thing we all have to learn is: your first draft is terrible. Accept that fact. I don’t care who you are. When we started as writers, most of us were delusional enough to believe the first draft of our first stories were perfect and we were shocked when other people shot them down. Even Stephen King says never let anyone see your first draft. That’s something we all have to get over. He offers great advice and I’d repeat it and I follow it. When you finish your first draft, stick it in a drawer and walk away for a few weeks, let it “marinate.” Then, come back to it, read it over, and start your rewrite. I probably do an average of 5 rewrites per story.
About the Author
Chris Karlsen is a Chicago native. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was in her late teens where she later studied at UCLA. She graduated with a Business Degree. The daughter of a history professor and a mother who was a voracious reader, she grew up with a love of history and books.
Her parents were also passionate about traveling and passed their passion onto Chris. Once bitten with the travel bug, Chris spent most of her adult life visiting the places she'd read about and that fascinated her. Her travels have taken her Europe, the Near East, and North Africa, in addition to most of the United States. She most frequently visited England and France, where several of her books are set.
After college, Chris spent the next twenty-five years in law enforcement with two agencies. Harboring a strong desire to write since her teens, upon retiring from police work, Chris decided to pursue her writing career. She writes three different series. Her historical romance series is called, Knights in Time. Her romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters, and he latest book, Silk, is book one in her mystery/suspense series, The Bloodstone series.
She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five wild and crazy rescue dogs.
My website is: http://chriskarlsen.com/
My FB page: https://www.facebook.com/chriskarlsenwriter
My Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/chriskarlsen/
ABOUT THE BOOK
While horseback riding in the English countryside, sisters Electra and Emily Crippen find themselves trapped in a tear in time. Thrown back to 1357 England and caught by a local noble, they are in a place that is home but as frightening and unfamiliar as an alien world would be. With no idea how the tear in time came about, the one thing they do know is: they must stay together and stay near to where the event took place in hopes of discovering the way back to their modern life. That certain need to stay together is the first certainty taken from them when one sister is forced to remain in England and one is sent miles away to Wales by royal order.
There is one other hope for help the sisters don’t know exists. It’s Electra’s lover, Roger Marchand. A time traveler himself, he never told her of his past. When he realizes what has happened to the sisters, he enlists the help of a scientist friend to help him open the suspected passageway through time. Any effort to save Electra and Emily will likely cost him his life. This was the time Roger came from, a time when his country, France, was at war with England. If he is discovered on English soil while searching for the sisters, he will either be killed or taken prisoner of war. Any risk is worth saving the life of the woman he loves.