Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. Karen. We're so glad you could stop in for a chat today.
BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...
I am an award-winning screenwriter, produced playwright and novelist. I am the founder of Short on Time Books, fast-paced and fun novels for readers on the go. Short on Time Books are novelizations of my screenplays. I write for all ages: tweens, teens and adults.
BK: Please tell us a little about your books....
Twyla’s Last Trip is about twenty eight-year old, Lucinda Starr, 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.
One Last Class is about thirty-two year old, Zak Spencer, 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.
BK: What inspired you to pen this particular novel?
When one of my best friends died of cancer, her husband and daughter took her ashes on a trip across the country on Rt. 66 because it was something she wanted to do but never got the chance. The idea stuck with me, so I decided to use it as the premise for Twyla’s Last Trip.
I’m fascinated by what happens to teen idols, when they are no longer famous, so I decided to explore the concept in One Last Class. Because I work as a university professor, and most of my students are adult learners returning to school to earn their degrees, I decided to send former teen idol, Zak Spencer, back to school to finally finish the degree he started but never completed when he rose to stardom.
BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I wrote my first “book” soon after I learned to read at age four. I haven’t stopped writing since then!
BK: How do you keep your story flowing?
Before I write a story, I usually let in “percolate” for a while, so that when I actually sit down to write it, I have a good idea of what is going to happen to the characters and when. I then immerse myself in the work, so that I think about the story day and night. That way, the story flows whenever I have time to work on it.
BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it?
I have the opposite problem! Because I work full-time as a university professor and write in my “free” time, I always use the little time I have to put words on the page. I wish I had more time to devote to my writing because I have a lot more stories than I currently have time to write!
BK: What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write?
I like to work in silence, when possible. It is much easier for me to concentrate when I am alone and with no distractions. Of course, it is not always possible to have silence when I share my home with a husband and two bloodhounds, so I do the best I can! The only thing I absolutely have to have is a computer with a word processor.
BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future?
I just founded Short on Time Books and I would like for my brand to be a success. I currently have six fast-paced and fun titles and I plan to add more as quickly as I can write them! I have ideas for an adult suspense thriller, three young adult books and several more Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell time-travel adventures for tweens.
BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?
My primary goal is to entertain people with my writing. I want people to enjoy my stories and feel like they had fun reading them.
BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing?
I can’t recall where I got this bit of wisdom but I love it: writers should always stop in the middle of a paragraph when they stop writing for the day. That way, they know exactly what they are going to write when they sit down to work the next day. It’s an excellent way to combat writer’s block.
BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?
Writing requires action. If you want to be a writer, you have to actually write. I see too many people, who call themselves writers, who don’t actually write. In order to be a good writer, you have to write a lot and hone your skills.
BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?
I am currently working on the biography of Roller Derby legend, Cindy McCoy. I am also working on publishing the graphic novel version of The Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell, a project which was has been over a year in the making! I am also going to continue adding additional titles to the Short on Time Books brand.
BK: Where can readers find you?
Short on Time Books: http://www.shortontimebooks.com
Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.
In the romantic comedy, 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.
In the romantic comedy, 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.
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.
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.
Short on Time Books: http://www.shortontimebooks.com
Karen will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenters during the tour. You can follow her tour HERE for more chances to win.