Author Interview: Karen Mueller Bryson
I would like to introduce Author Karen Mueller Bryson, the winner of the BRAG Medallion for the book, “The Mustard Seeds.”
Read the entire interview at:
Karen, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion! Please tell me about your story, The Mustard Seeds.
The story is about Elliot White, a 16-year old musical savant with Asperger’s Syndrome. After his mom’s sudden death, Elliot is forced to leave his performing arts high school in New York City and relocate to Winslow, Arizona to live with his eccentric aunt, Amaryllis Long. When Elliot discovers his new high school has no music program, he decides to form his own band of musical misfits, who it turns out, are unable to attract an audience. This is when Amaryllis inspires Elliot by giving him some mustard seeds, explaining that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. As their faith grows, Elliot and his band-mates begin to believe they will be able to give a public performance, but the school’s principal, Mr. Winters, who just cut all of the arts programs, stands in their way.
The premise of your story is heart felt and moving. What inspired you to write your book?
I’m a university professor and I was asked to teach a class about autism. I did a lot of reading and research on austim spectrum disorders and became fascinated with the idea of having a main character with Asperger’s, which is high functioning autism.
What is the lesson you hope your readers come away with when reading your story?
I hope people will come away from the story with a greater understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorders. I would also like people to appreciate the importance of having faith.
Was there any research involved?
I made a trip to Winslow, Arizona to get a better sense of the place where I wanted the story to take place. My favorite part of the trip was seeing the Meteor Crater, which plays a significant role in the story.
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Write every day. After National Novel Writing Month this past November, I made a resolution to write a novel a month for the 12 months that followed (ending with National Novel Writing Month in 2014). I’m getting ready to complete my fourth novel since November. And I’ve accomplished that level of output by writing every day without fail.
Will you self-publish again?
Yes, of course. The Mustard Seeds is my seventh self published work. For 2013, I plan on self publishing all 12 novels I’m writing this year.
How did you discover BRAG?
I discovered BRAG through some marketing research I was doing online.