Interview with Alex and Shakira Lancaster
by Chris Karlsen for my book “Journey in Time.”
As an author, I can tell you my story ideas come from a variety of sources. When I heard a pub rumor that a local Gloucestershire couple, Alex and Shakira Lancaster, were time travelers, I immediately saw the potential for a novel, perhaps a paranormal romance. Maybe I could persuade them to talk to me.
I paid for my lunch and hurried out the door. Before I left the pub’s carpark I Googled the Lancasters. He was a successful music producer. As Shakira Constantine, she’d formerly been an attorney with a revered London firm. No longer with that firm, she now was on retainer for Alex’s company. One news article mentioned he’d donated a large parcel of land to a group of scientists who happened to be working on time-travel theories. My curiosity spiked higher.
A short drive later, I pulled up to their surprisingly small, thatched roof cottage. I’d read they split their time between a fashionable London townhome and the cottage. A search showed no phone or email listing for them at this location so I had no choice but to knock on the door and hope they’d didn’t slam it in my face.
A tall, slim woman with coal black hair and dark eyes opened the door just as I was about to knock.
“Can I help you?” she asked.
I recognized Shakira Lancaster from pictures on Google. I introduced myself and told her I was an author interested in writing a time-travel romance. I admitted I’d heard a rumor she and her husband might discuss their feelings on the topic. “You have donated property to physicists experimenting with the theory.”
A ruddy complected, well built man around thirty years old joined Shakira at the door. I knew Alex Lancaster from the same Google photos.
“The young scientists are keen to spread that rumor.” He exchanged a smile with his wife.
They stepped aside and waved me into a comfortable drawing room, gesturing for me to sit. They sat in two overstuffed chairs across from the sofa where I sat.
“What do you want to know?” Shakira asked.
“Have you and your husband time-traveled?” No point in beating about the bush.
“No,” they said in unison.
There was a devilish glint in his eyes when he’d answered and I’d darted a glance her way. I’d swear I saw a humorous twinkle in those ebony eyes. Hmm.
“This rumor—where is it you’re supposed to have gone?”
“Medieval England. The 14th century to be exact and a few months prior to the Black Prince’s campaign in France,” Shakira said.
Alex looked healthy and strong and the right age for military service. “Well, then it’s a good thing you didn’t travel back to that time. The prince could’ve conscripted you into the army as a foot soldier.”
“Not necessarily. I might’ve been a mounted knight. There was a barony quite close to here during the period. It’s possible I’d have been mistaken for the baron.”
Odd deduction. Odd indeed. “But still sent into battle.”
“It’s our understanding the baron died at Poitiers,” Shakira added. “Since Alex is here, it’s obvious that had we been caught in a time portal of some sort, we also found a way to return. You see how amusing the rumor is.”
I thought about how I’d feel in her position. “Were there a kernel of truth to it, had you’d not returned to this century, I can imagine how terrified you’d be at the thought of winding up alone, with no protector in a world totally alien to you.”
“I’d be awash in fear and panic.” she said in a serious tone, the twinkle in her eyes gone. Alex reached over and clasped her hand in his.
“Do you believe living in that period would be horrible?” I asked.
She shook her head. A slow smile crossed her face. “No. Not as long as I had Alex with me. I believe there’s a lot to be said for living a life that’s simpler in many ways. Less noisy, less hustle and bustle, less television and more conversation.”
They stood and wrapped their arms around each other’s waist. I took the hint. This was all I’d get for an interview. I thanked them and left. As I drove away, I kept thinking about how such a rumor got started. I thought about the glint and twinkle in their eyes and wondered where the truth really lay. I didn’t wonder about characters for my next story. I had my time-traveling hero and heroine for “Journey in Time,” and I knew where I planned to send them.
TRAPPED IN TIME
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.
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: http://www.facebook.com/chriskarlsenwriter
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