Megan's 5 star rated Contemporary Romance

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A Warm Welcome to Karen Mueller Bryson
Karen Mueller Bryson is an award-winning screenwriter, produced playwright and published novelist. She has been writing since she learned to read and fell in love with books! Karen is the creator of Short on Time Books, a series of fast-paced and fun novels for readers on the go. When she’s not at her computer creating new stories, Karen enjoys spending time with her husband and their bloodhounds.
Here's the Blurb for  "One Last Class"
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.

        And for “Twyla’s Last Trip”
Twenty eight-year old, Lucinda Starr is an uptight research psychologist, whose deadline to complete her doctoral dissertation is completely derailed by her estranged mother, Twyla Starr's sudden death. Lucinda must take her mother's ashes on a road trip on Route 66, in order to fulfill the requirements of her will and inherit her fortune. To make matters worse, Lucinda finds herself forced to travel across the country with her mother's easygoing country lawyer, T.J. Yates, who drives her crazy, and his drooling bloodhound, Dakota, who Lucinda finds revolting.
Before treating us to a excerpt, Karen Reveals:

From where do you get inspiration and what inspired you to write your books?
Like most writers, I get my inspiration from a variety of different sources. I’m fortunate that I work as a university psychology professor, so I am exposed to a lot of different people and ideas, which often make my creative juices flow.
I got the idea for Twyla’s Last Trip, when one of my best friends died of cancer two years ago and her husband and daughter took her ashes on a road trip along Route 66. The trip was something my friend wanted to do but she never got the chance before she passed away. I work with a lot of adult students, who return to school to complete their degrees after many years away from academia. In One Last Class, I thought it would be interesting to explore the idea of a “washed up” teen idol returning to school to complete the degree he never finished when he rose to stardom.
Who controls the story – you or your characters?
I spend quite a bit of time creating what I hope are unique and interesting characters and then setting them on a journey. It often seems like once the characters are created and I set them loose, they take over the story. I find it interesting that the characters sometimes say or do things that even surprise me! I hope that doesn’t sound insane.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your books?
My primary goal is to entertain people. I want people to say my books are fun and they enjoyed reading them. I want to provide an escape for people, who are busy and want a break from their hectic lives.
What do you think are the main ingredients for a successful book?
The most important part of having a successful fiction book is to have a captivating story. Writers should strive to create such an intriguing story that readers are not able to put the book down. I often listen to audiobooks in my car. There have been several instances when I had to drive around the block a few times because I had to hear what happened next in the story. That’s a great book! I also think it’s important to have characters, who readers fall in love with. Readers don’t have to agree with all of the characters’ choices or like everything about characters but readers must care about what happens to them. Finally, I think it’s important to provide readers with a satisfying conclusion. I find it extremely disappointing when I invest my time in a book only to be let down by how it ends.
Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? What would be your tips to overcome it?
I never suffer from writer’s block. I have the opposite problem. Because I work full-time as a university professor, and write in my free time, I never seem to have enough time to write everything I would like to write. So, if I had to give someone advice, I would say, keep yourself so busy that the time you do have to write is so precious, you always use it for writing!
What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
I think the best thing writers can do is to read a lot. You don’t even have to read “good” books. You can learn a lot from reading things that are not very good. You can learn what not to do and what doesn’t work. When you find books you like, try to figure out why you like them. What do the authors do that make the books so special?
What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
My next release is a young adult romantic comedy called, Retro Geeks. The book is about two 80s obsessed BFFs, who decide to prove to their classmates that they are not complete losers by getting super-hot dates to senior prom. I am also working on the release of a graphic novel version of my tween time travel adventure, The Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell.
Do you have a favourite author/book? What was your favourite book as a child/teen? Are you currently reading anything?
My two favourite authors from my youth are L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) and Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland). The first two romantic comedy novels I wrote, Hey Dorothy You’re Not in Kansas Anymore and Where is Wonderland Anyway, were inspired by the work of these two iconic writers. More recently, I fell in love with Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy. Lisbeth Salander is such as remarkably complex character and the books are addictive.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Because I work full time as a university professor, the majority of my free time is spent writing and marketing my work. I also enjoy spending time with my husband and our bloodhounds. We love to watch movies.
What would you most like to accomplish this year?
I just started my own business, Short on Time Books, fast-paced and fun novels for reader on the go. I am in the process of releasing my 5th book. I would love to double my number of titles but that’s a lot of writing and publishing! I think it’s probably more realistic to say I’ll have three or four more titles released by the end of the year.
Finally A Taste of Karen

Excerpt from “Twyla’s Last Trip:

Lucinda peered intently into her microscope until Bunny's voice blared from the intercom—again.

“I'm sorry to bother you, Lucinda, but Mr. Yates is on the phone. He says he won't hang up until he speaks with you personally.”

Lucinda took a deep breath, stood and exited the lab. She marched over to the reception desk and ripped the phone from Bunny's grasp.
“Lucinda Starr,” she growled into the phone. “How may I help you?”
Thirty-year old T.J. Yates, the epitome of all things country, spoke to Lucinda from his cell phone. “Miss Starr,” he said. “I know we've never met but I've been your mom's attorney now for nearly a decade.”
“Will you please get to the point?” Lucinda interrupted. “I'm in the middle of an extremely important experiment.”
“I hate to be the bearer of bad news but your mom has passed away.”
Lucinda flinched slightly but then it was back to business. “And what does this have to do with me?” she asked.
“Well, Miss Starr, you are the sole beneficiary of your mom's estate.”
“Estate?” Lucinda snorted. “My mother was a cat lady, who lived in a trailer.” 
“Miss Starr,” T.J. continued. “I don't think you understand.”
Before T.J. could finish, Lucinda slammed the phone into the receiver and hurried away.
T.J. looked at his cell phone dumbfounded. People never hung up on him, especially women.
Dakota, his two-year old bloodhound, glanced up from her doggie pillow and gave her head a tilt.
“I think this requires a little trip up to Chicago,” T.J. said.
Dakota just yawned and plopped her head back down on her bed.
Follow the rest of Karen's tour

Read more about Karen at the following Links:

Twitter: Blog:
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Karen will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour and to the host whose post has the most comments (excluding Karen's and the hosts).

Leave a comment to enter the draw
A final message from Karen:Thank you so much for interviewing me. I greatly appreciate it!

Thank you for sharing with us. Love the way you combine humour and romance. Pleasure to meet you!


  1. I love the idea of Short On Time Books. There is certainly a need you can fill.


  2. Twyla's last trip sounds like a hoot. And I absolutely LOVE the distinction of 'Short on Time Books.' Best of luck, Karen.

  3. Thank you so much for hosting me today. And thanks for the lovely comments, Readers!

  4. Short on Time Books sounds a great idea.Love the humour in your work

  5. Hi Karen,

    You didn't sound crazy when talking about characters taking over and even saying unexpected things. I've heard a lot of writers, myself included, say the same thing. Being a psychology buff and you being a prof, perhaps we could agree that it would be very easy for our subconscious to make suggestions the more we think of our characters as being real. I do know that the phenomena only happens to writers who become wholly engrossed in their writing. Non-writers are often surprised by this. I have gotten many strange looks at book signings and such when telling people that my protagonist in my first fantasy novel tended to swear when under duress, and I just couldn't cure him of it.

    Happy days...


  6. I agree: the key to good writing is reading good writing. Even reading bad writing can help because you learn what doesn't work so well and what not to do.
    bas1chsemail at gmail dot com

  7. I love the premise for Short on Time Books. It sounds just like me. Can't wait to see what kind of books come out.

  8. I know what you mean about letting your characters loose. It sounds very familiar! LOL Great interview.