Today we have author Karen Mueller Bryson visiting. Karen is an award-winning screenwriter, produced playwright and published novelist. She is the creator of Short on Time Books, fast-paced and fun novels for readers on the go. She's also a featured author at Arizona Dreamin' - Arizona's first romance-reader event! http://arizonadreamin.wordpress.com/
So, Karen, what inspired you to become a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer from the time I was four years old and first learned to read. My mom helped me write my first book and I was hooked!
When did you attempt your first story? What length was it? What's become of it?
The first story I wrote that I tried to sell was called “Super Banana.” I was in 5th or 6th grade and created the character with my best friend at the time. I actually wrote a handwritten query and sent it to a magazine for kids. They replied with an encouraging rejection letter. I can only image what they thought getting a query from an 11-year old!
How many stories did you complete before you sold your first?
When I got into junior high and high school, I spent all of my free time acting and writing took a back seat as a creative endeavor. I acted off and on until I was in my late 20s, when I wrote my first stage play. I became a playwright for several years and had some success. I began writing novels again in 2000 and then started writing screenplays in 2005. I now have five novels published and nine full-length screenplays completed.
What genre(s) do you write in? What drew you to write in it/them? What’s your favorite genre of all to write in?
In screenwriting, I specialize in based-on-true stories, family films and faith-based stories. Most of my novels for adults are romantic comedy. I also like to write for young adults, mainly comedy/romantic comedy and I have a series of time-travel adventures for kids called The Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell.
What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?
The best advice: to be a writer you have to write! Write every day if possible. And don’t let anyone ever keep you from your passion and fulfilling your dreams.
The worst advice: You need an agent to succeed in the business.
How do you celebrate/deal with acceptance/rejection letters?
I always celebrate success by doing a little dance around the house! Since I can’t dance very well, I’m glad no one can see me because they might think I’m having a seizure! :)
I generally try to ignore rejection, especially when it is mean-spirited. It’s usually only one person’s opinion anyway!
In regard to the book you’re promoting, which actor and actress do you envision playing the roles of your hero and heroine? If there’s a villain or other characters who are pertinent to the story, who would play those parts?
For One Last Class, I always imagined Jennifer Morrison in the role of Dr. Amy Campbell. Jesse Spencer would make a great Zak Spencer. The two actors had great chemistry when they were a couple on House!
The book you’re promoting, is it a stand-alone story or part of a series? If it’s part of a series, please list the order the books need to be read in for maximum reading enjoyment.
I’m promoting a line called Short on Time Books, fasted-paced and fun novels for readers on the go. They are each complete, stand-alone stories that readers can finish in one sitting. The adult series includes the romantic comedies: One Last Class, Twyla’s Last Trip, Hey Dorothy You’re Not in Kansas Anymore and Where is Wonderland Anyway.
I got the idea for Short on Time Books when I took a business trip from my home outside Phoenix to Los Angeles. I bought a memoir in the Phoenix Airport bookstore and I hoped to finish it on the trip. I read as much as I could traveling to LA and then tried to finish the book on my return trip to Phoenix. Unfortunately, I was only able to complete about 60 percent of the book and I still haven't finished it. I just haven't had the time since my return. That's how Short on Time Books was born; I decided to create a series of fast-paced and fun books that readers can actually finish in one sitting. Readers can now enjoy a complete story when they're traveling, commuting, or just spending an afternoon on the beach.
*** Now for some fun info… ***
Are you a cat, dog or both kind of person?
I am a bloodhound person! (If you had a bloodhound, you’d understand.)
Which do you prefer: rain or sun & warm weather or cold weather?
I live in Arizona! :) The hotter the better!
Are you a morning person or night owl?
I’m usually up by 5am and in bed by 10pm (except when I teach nights).
*** About Karen’s book/series… ***
The romantic comedy, One Last Class, is part of the Short on Time Books series, fast-paced and fun novels for readers in the go.
Thirty-two year old, Zak Spencer, is a washed-up teen idol, who decides to rebuild his life by returning to college in Arizona. Trouble ensues when Zak falls in love with the young professor, Amy Campbell, who teaches the one class he needs to complete his degree.
Purchase Information: Amazon.com
Interesting information: One Last Class is based on a screenplay, which was in the Top 24 in the Phoenix Film Festival Screenplay Competition. The main female character, Dr. Amy Campbell, is a young professor, who is applying for tenure. I wrote the screenplay and novel when I was a new professor, also applying for tenure.
***Find Karen here***
Short on Time Books: http://www.shortontimebooks.com
Thank you for joining us here today, Karen! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your work.