Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Interview: Karen Mueller Bryson, author of The Adventures of Puggie Liddell, Tesla Time, Book 1

Author Bio: Karen Mueller Bryson is a published novelist, optioned screenwriter and produced playwright. Her latest book, The Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell, published by Zeta Comics, is a fast-paced and action-packed time-travel adventure for young adults. Karen is also the creator of Short on Time books, a series of fast-paced and fun books that readers can finish in one sitting.

What inspires your stories?

I am inspired by classic literature, such as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I am also inspired by the world around me and by the stories I hear in everyday life. My latest book, The Incredible Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell, which is about siblings, who travel back in time, was inspired by the relationship my brother and I had growing up and also by my love of history. I wanted to provide an opportunity for young people to learn about historical figures and events in a fun way. The Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell is a fast-paced and action-packed novel that readers (so far) seem to love!

What genre do you gravitate toward and why?

My fiction books nearly always have a comedic element to them. I tend to write things I most enjoy reading! I like books that are fast-paced and fun. I enjoy reading “chick-lit” and books for tweens/teens and those are the books I tend to write. The Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell will be a series and I also began writing a series of fast-paced and fun novels for adult readers on-the-go called Short on Time books. The first in the series a romantic road-trip comedy called, Twyla’s Last Trip, set to be released later this month.

What are your work habits like?

I have a full-time job as a university faculty member, so that is my first priority. The majority of my free time is spent writing and promoting my books. I try to write every day but I don’t always succeed. I generally do “marathon” writing sessions on the weekends. It is not unusual for me to spend eight hours on a Saturday or Sunday writing.

What do you consider your best work?

I think The Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell is the work I am most passionate about. I spent a lot of time doing research for the book, so that it would be as historically accurate as possible. I loved every minute of the research process! I also adore Puggie, the main character of the book, who is based on my brother. Puggie is a “wise-cracking whiz kid.” Even though I made Puggie up, he is much smarter and funnier that I am!

Do you plot out your novels in advance or do you write on the fly?

All of my recent stories began as screenplays, which I novelized. I love this method of work. I am also a screenwriter and I love writing in that medium. I write the story as a screenplay first and the screenplay then serves as an outline for the novel. Novelizing screenplays is a lot of fun. The process is quite similar to coloring a picture in a coloring book.

What experience do you want for your readers?

I want my readers to have fun! Our society is so fast-paced and serious. I want to write books that readers can enjoy in the little free time they have. I want readers to smile or chuckle to themselves when they read my books.

Are any of your character traits or settings based on real life?

Yes! There’s a saying that writers should “write what they know.” I think writers should “write who they are.” I think the most successful work is produced when writers write from their passion and from who they are as individuals. Writers should be courageous and not be afraid the expose themselves in their work. I think authenticity can produce amazing work.

What are your most significant challenges when you write?

I have too many ideas and too little time to develop all of them. I could use a clone. Or maybe more hours in the day!

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on Puggie’s next Incredibly Awesome Adventure. I’m also working on several more Short on Time books including another romantic comedy, One Last Class, and a book for teen girls called, Retro Geeks. I also have a few screenplays in the works.

Do you have any writing advice you would like to share with aspiring authors?

Read as much as you can! Most great writers are also avid readers.
Keep writing. You will not be good at anything unless you practice (a lot!).
Don’t let anyone ever discourage you. Keep your dreams alive!

The Incredibly Awesome Adventures of Puggie Liddell, Tesla Time, Book 1 is available on Amazon.

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