Please welcome this week’s guest author — Chris Karlsen
Layering the character’s obstacles
Knights in Time is a three book anthology built around three friends who are also knights. Time-travel and reincarnation are the foundations for the stories. I discovered as I approached the solutions to the obstacles I put in the paths of the heroes and heroines, I wanted to throw in one more complication.
In Heroes Live Forever, two medieval knights Basil Manneville and Guy Guiscard, haunt the house a young Englishwoman, Elinor Hawthorne, has inherited from her grandmother. Basil and Guy reveal their ghostly presence to Elinor early in the story. As the story progresses, Elinor falls in love with Basil. The fact she’s a mortal and he’s a ghost presents is a large obstacle to “life” together they long for. A solution to their problem exists. However…I thought wouldn’t it be fun to have an unexpected problem in the solution to overcome? Nothing works out the way the hero planned.
In Journey in Time, the best friends of the hero and heroine in Heroes Live Forever, Shakira and Alex/Guy are thrown back in time. They find themselves in England, in the year 1355. Alex/Guy has a strong connection to the period. That connection will cost him his life if they don’t find a way back to the present. Just when it looks like a saving solution is on the horizon, I decided to throw a monkey wrench in their plans.
As a detective for over two decades, I spent a lot of time in courtrooms. In addition to testifying, I observed how the prosecutor presented evidence of guilt and how the defense attempted to cast doubt on the strength and validity of the State’s case.
The heroine, Shakira in the modern world is a successful London attorney. I wanted to use my courtroom experience to complicate her life. When she is accused of a crime, in a case of he said/she said, and where the accuser is truly the guilty party, I had to give her both a means to defend and prosecute. The added challenge to me, the author, was to rely on evidence without the benefit science gives us today.
Knight Blindness is also a time-travel but to put a different spin on it, I brought the medieval knight, Stephen Palmer forward to our time. To make things even more difficult a wound he received in battle just before being transported in time has left him blind. With the help of the heroine, Esme Crippen, he must learn to function in a world where almost everything is alien to him. Not only is the environment filled with unknowns, his blindness keeps him from having context for what he’s experiencing. To make achieving this harder, I veered from my original outline and decided to bring the enemy knight forward as well.
As an author, stirring things up just when things look good for the characters has taken me through lots of ups and downs. In the end, I was always glad I took the time to layer in another hurdle.