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 currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.
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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.
Being trained in anthropology with a curiosity for marine archaeology, I felt this book was spot on. It is clear that Chris did her research.
I loved this book. The characters have personalities, they aren't just words on the page. The story is great, keeps you wondering how things are going to play out. It is awesome how Chris is able to bleeding in so much myth into the story- makes you wonder if she likes this particular topic.
Throughout the book the reader wants to slap the smugness out of the bad guys- well, at least I did. I love Charlotte's personality and how she knows that she's worked hard to get to the place she's at. The way she's pushed her dream forward is amazing, and how's able to deal with things as they are thrown at her is great. She is an excellent example of a strong female heroine! Chris even gives a perfectly logical reason for why Charlotte is so strong- Cop father and brother. Yes, take some of that kickassness that they have and turn it into an amazing, powerful, smart female that doesn't need to be rescued at the drop of a hat!
I recommend this book to anyone that likes murder books, mysteries, adventures, or books that relate to the field of archaeology! It's a great read!
JK: Did you always want to be a writer? If not, then what?
CK: No, when I was very young I wanted to be a paleontologist. I loved dinosaurs. Then, I wanted to be an archaeologist for a long time. I dreamed of being a writer once I hit my teens. By the time I was ready for college, I wimped out on pursuing a career in writing as I feared I couldn’t make a living at it. Instead, I went with a business degree.
JK: NO WAY! I wanted to be a Paleontologist when I was a kid too. I wanted it all the way up until college, but I ended up going to one without a paleontology program. I switched to Anthropology! I've got experience in Archaeology. My very first arch class the professor told us, "Archaeology is not Indiana Jones," I was heart broken. I've never met such a kindred soul! Although I've got absolutely NO business experience!
JK: Do your readers contact you? If so, what do they say?
CK: Yes. Many express interest in the Trojan War aspect of the story, which isn’t that commonly written about especially in romance or in the case of Golden Chariot, a romantic thriller. Many also like the fact the story is set in Turkey. Quite a few readers have said they hope to visit Turkey one day and they get a “taste” of it in my book. Female readers enjoy the way Atakan’s personality is developed from the stoic Turkish investigator to a warm man with a subtle sense of humor.
JK: I can tell you I ABSOLUTELY LOVED Golden Chariot. I loved the setting, characters. ALL OF IT!
JK: For aspiring writers, what three pieces of good advice would you give them?
CK: Study/learn the craft, either take classes at a local college or if possible from some of the best instructors in the field who tour the country giving seminars. If it is not affordable these same instructors often have books available.
Someone I’ve taken several courses from and who I think is excellent is Don Maass. Don has several books on the craft of writing: “Writing the Breakout Novel,” and “The Fire in Fiction,” are two. Another wonderful instructor is Deb Dixon. Her book, “Goal, Motivation and Conflict,” is a fantastic resource.
JK: Do you have a favorite of your own books?
CK: No, it would be like having to choose a favorite child
JK: Everyone says that!
JK: How do you balance writing with your life?
CK: I set aside a chunk of time almost daily to write. Mornings are for routine things like shopping, cleaners, appointments etc. Afternoons, I write for 4 to 5 hours. That doesn’t mean I always finish the number of pages I wish. It just means I try to get something accomplished. The evenings are for my personal life—dinner with my husband or friends, watching favorite TV. shows with my husband. We love The Big Bang Theory, Castle, NCIS, Mike and Molly and many of the premium channel shows like Boardwalk Empire and Spartacus.
JK: Wow! I wish I could do that kind of schedule. I'm up late at nights to write usually. Or during my young kids naps. I suspect I'm about to lose naptime on my oldest (he turns 5 in December) which will cut writing down more. But I've learned from doing NaNo this year, that I can get a lot done if I just commit to doing it everyday, even if I don't want to!
JK: How old were you when you wrote your first book and what was it about?
CK: My first book was Heroes Live Forever, which was released last year...I was “old” enough to take a chance and write a story I had in my head for a long, long time and “old” enough to risk letting others read it.
JK: Hmm. That sounds like you're reluctant to say! You'd be surprised in the variation between writers on this question. Some say they wrote their first books in elementary (which I suppose is true for us all)... other don't count it unless it was a novel and that age varies like no other!
JK: Where do your ideas come from?
CK: Ideas come from a variety of sources. Heroes Live Forever and the sequel, Journey in Time, came from my fascination with reincarnation, time travel, and medieval history. Golden Chariot’s plot came from two visits I made to the ruins of Troy. The land, the ruins, the history of the kingdom, this aura I felt standing on the ancient walls all combined to spark this quirky, unusual idea for a theory I’d give my heroine, Charlotte to pursue.
JK: I am personally very thankful for those ruins!
JK: Do you have a writing quirk?
CK: No. I’d love to offer a funny, oddball thing but I’m pretty dull that way.
JK: Maybe being dull is your quirk? :0) I have to have music playing when I write.
JK: Pantser or Planner?
CK: Both. I write an outline of each story but never wind up sticking closely to it. Mainly, the outline gives me parameters for the plot and is a reminder of things that might work well for the characters.
JK: I do the exact same thing. It's more of things I wanted to put into the story at some point. It keeps me on track.
JK: Do you pick out dream casts for your books? If so, what's your favorite so far?
CK: Yes. It’s a tough choice but I’d go with Golden Chariot. I think Stana Katic is the quintessential Charlotte and I like Oded Fehr for Atakan.
JK: Coke vs Pepsi?
JK: Chocolate vs Vanilla?
CK: Vanilla if it’s French Vanilla otherwise chocolate
JK: Cake vs Ice Cream?
JK: Do you think we dream in color or that we wake up and remember it in color?
CK: I think we dream in color.
JK: What's your favorite food?
JK: What type of food could you never live without?
CK: Salads of any variety
JK: If you were stuck on a desert island, what would you take with you (limit 4 items)?
CK: iPod, toothpaste, aspirin (I get a lot of headaches), and matches for fire to keep me warm or cook with.
JK: Favorite show growing up?
CK: Howdy Dowdy when I was very young and later on, I Spy.
JK: If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
CK:To be invisible so I could whisper suggestions in the ear of influential people but they’d think it was a spirit talking to them.
JK: What do you think the future will hold?
CK: I’d like to think/hope that we learn on a global level to share the earth and stop trying to dominate to the point of destroying the planet and driving various species to extinction.
A BIG THANK YOU TO CHRIS FOR DOING THE INTERVIEW FOR ME!
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