Fingers Forever Crossed

So yesterday I got this really cool image in my e-mail….

IMG_4023-1

The picture is from Clare who is the person handling the marketing for my new book Permanent Spring Showers (set to be published in early 2015 by 5 Prince Books).  They are going full in with the book and are hitting many of the bigger book reviewers with a galley copy, like The New York Times in the pic.

I would love it if the New York Times picked up the book and read it. I’m not sure exactly what my chances will be, I’m sure they get drowned in galley copies of new books each day. But this image definitely put a spring in my step yesterday… what can I say? I had to share it. It is just awesome, and for me the stuff that dreams are made of.

I hope to have the release date for the book for you soon. Stay tuned…

Until then... have you entered the book giveaway for my novel My Problem With Doors? Two lucky readers will win an autographed copy of my novel (which was just recently released for the Kindle with an exclusive afterword- here). The competition on GoodReads.com ends on October 28. You can enter by clicking below.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Problem with Doors by Scott D. Southard

My Problem with Doors

by Scott D. Southard

Giveaway ends October 28, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

AND that is not all! The audiobook for A Jane Austen Daydream was just released. You can find it on Audible and iTunes!  I’m in awe of the performance Louisa Gummer did in the recording.  I hope you will check it out.  No wait… correct that… you need to check it out (and there are samples on both sites!). Definitely just the thing for roadtrips, iPods, iPhones or lazy afternoons.

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“Inspiration” Author Susan Jordan writing about A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM

One of the unexpected joys I have experienced since the publication of A Jane Austen Daydream is discovering the impact that my book has on some of its readers.

I have received numerous e-mails, tweets, and Facebook messages from readers. For example, I received an e-mail from one reader who wanted me to know she was re-reading the book while sitting in Jane Austen’s garden in Chawton.

You save e-mails like that, let me tell you.

Author Susan Jordan (Eli’s Heart) tweeted to me yesterday about how she finished the book in one day and then wrote a 5-star review of it on Amazon! She has gone on to write a post on her site about how the book has impacted her own writing and life. Her post is called “I Read This Book…” Here is an excerpt from the editorial:

His book, A Jane Austen Daydream, looked intriguing, so I ordered the e-book and lost myself for many hours in the wonderful world he created. What I read was the most charming mixture of fact and fantasy I believe I’ve ever read and was utterly delightful. More than that, he gave voice to Jane Austen’s deep emotional feelings about writing, and reduced me to tears and inspired me at the same time.

You can read the entire post via her site (here). I hope you will check it out. And Susan, I am glad you enjoyed my book!

Audible Book Cover_A Jane Austen DaydreamPublished by Madison Street Publishing, A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM can be purchased in print ($13.46) or as an eBook for the outrageously low price of $3.99 for Kindle. You can find it on Amazon here (http://amzn.com/B00CH3HQUU). It has also just recently been released as an audiobook! Narrated by the amazing Louisa Gummer, you can find it on Audible and iTunes.

Only a little while left! Enter to win an autographed copy of MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS!

On October 28, the giveaway for MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS ends on Goodreads.com. Two lucky readers will win an autographed copy of this surprising time-travel novel.

Jacob is lost in time. He has been that way ever since he was a child for doors don’t work for him like they do for the rest of us. A door can take him to the past or the future, into any house, into any country. MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS is Jacob’s plea for help. This novel is an unpredictable adventure filled with thrills, romance, horror, and even the occasional cameo from historical figures like Lord Byron and Jack the Ripper.

You can enter by clicking below.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Problem with Doors by Scott D. Southard

My Problem with Doors

by Scott D. Southard

Giveaway ends October 28, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS was published by I Publish Press and was just recently released for the Kindle, with a brand new (and exclusive) afterword by me. You can find it on amazon here.

If you would like to learn more about the work you can check out a sample (here) or find more info via this page on the site.

“This is a most compelling book. It pulls you in to a fascinating concept from the beginning…. I give this book 5 stars.” -The Voracious Reader

3 Dreams of Missed Opportunities

SleepingDream #1

Ninjas!

I awoke in bed to find I was completely surrounded by ninjas!

Adorned all in black, they were the night, they were the shadows. I began to sit up and scream when one of them lightly jumped on my chest, putting his hand over my mouth.

“No noise.” He didn’t seem to speak using his mouth (or at least I didn’t see it move through his mask), but I could hear him.

I nodded my head. His voice carried the type of gravity that it would have felt wrong to react any differently.

“You have been chosen,” he said to me in his deep and very dramatically slow voice. “The world is in peril and we need you. The elders looked into their green smoke and found you. You will be trained at the top of the great ghost mountain in the way of the specter ninjas. It is our sacred duty to protect the Earth from all of the perils the commons do not know about. You will join us in fighting the giant rock lizards of Mars, the beautiful Venus army, and the ravenous smelting beasts.”

He removed his hand from my mouth and sat up. “The specter ninjas need you. You are to be our new leader, our hope. Scott Southern…”

“Scott Southard,” I corrected.

I couldn’t exactly see the ninja’s expression, but I knew it was confused. “Excuse me?”

“My name is Scott Southard, not Scott Southern. It is a common mistake.”

The ninjas looked around at each other and in a flash of green smoke they were gone.

I woke up feeling regret. Continue reading

NEW WKAR Book Review: The Mockingbird Next Door by Marja Mills

Current StateThis time on WKAR’s Current State I review the new book on Harper Lee, The Mockingbird Next Door. This nonfiction work is by Marja Mills.

You can listen to my review online here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-marja-mills-mockingbird-next-door-wkar

You can also read my book review below.

If you want to check out this new book by Marja Mills, you can find it on Amazon.com here.

I hope you enjoy my new book review! Continue reading

Five Things I Am Into Right Now, October 2014

It's The Great PumpkinSo I have to accept the fact my kids are not going to be into the Peanuts. I truly see the generational gap there. While I can write a post dissecting the interworking genius of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (which I did do here), my kids would rather watch something else.

Actually, my son had a really good answer for not wanting to watch the show. He said they used bad language. Which is true, if you consider the word “stupid” a bad word, as we try to do in our house.

And while my son loves looking at my old comics (especially Calvin & Hobbes), he has no interest in looking at Peanuts. So while I’m busy each year collecting the complete works (thanks to the releases by Fantagraphics Books), my old paperback copies sit gathering dust on his shelves. Once I tried reading him the books and he was startled by them.

“Why are they so mean to Charlie Brown?”

“Well, it’s…”

Now how would you answer that? Is it funny to be mean to someone? Are we laughing at a child’s pain? In our age of fighting bullying, is Charlie Brown a victim? Granted, in the later years of Schulz’s writing, Charlie Brown took a back seat and much of his torture disappeared (usually everything seemed to be about Rerun), but it is there in the early years tenfold.

In the next year we’ll be getting a new Charlie Brown movie. The trailer looks beautiful, but I wonder how they will handle this stuff. It could either be a rebirth for the franchise or the final nail in the coffin. When Charles Schulz died he made it very clear he wanted everything to stop after his passing. His family seems to have done everything possible to keep it going though; yet, a part of me believes Schulz had it right. Especially now.

Now on to my October list! Continue reading

Pontius Pilate, Dr. Seuss, and Me (Part 2)

Pontius Pilatus / Gemaelde 16.Jh. - Pontius Pilate / Paint./ 16th cent. - Ponce Pilate / Peinture du XVIe siecleThis is part two in a memoir that began in this post here.

I oddly wanted this.

I don’t know when this experience changed for me, but the idea of coming in second or third or fourth to another grad student (or worse an undergrad) in auditions felt beneath me. I was Scott freaking Southard and I wanted to be the super grad student! I wanted to be the one that professors would talk about after graduation. A living benchmark for the program. Yeah, I wanted future conversations in the office around history to be like: “Was that before or after Scott was a student here?”

Preparing for the auditions with that lousy script was the equivalent of eating a meal you hated, but promising yourself you were going to eat every drop and love it. Yeah, you were going to smile through the awful meal. Again and again. And I did. I memorized every bit I could of the audition script, bit my tongue as I acted it out in the mirror.

And when the day of the audition came about, I felt ready. Some of my friends thought I was a little crazy for caring so much and maybe I was. Who knows? My brother was an actor when I was growing up, so maybe a part of me wanted to prove it was no big deal and I could do it too. Yeah, I admit there might have been other issues at play in my head. I honestly admit it.

I thought I did great but when the roles were handed out I was not Ponitus Pilate, I was given the second biggest role, that of Caiaphas. I was told in confidence by the theater professor that he only gave the other student Pilate since he had actual acting experience in his past. I could live with that answer! It’s like I was the secret best (but still the best don’t forget).

And that evening I was almost gleeful as I started to highlight the script… until I realized what I was going to be doing and saying.

“Oy vey.” Continue reading

The Tragedy of Bert

Our Tragic HeroFor the last six days I’ve been sick. I’ve had a fever that kept coming and going, a non-stop cough and I felt really weak. I slept away pretty much my entire weekend. Actually, my house has been the perfect storm for illnesses, with my son recovering from pneumonia and my daughter dealing with croup… but enough about them, let’s get back to me.

So while in one of my fever moments I started having a weird debate with myself.

Granted, this happens a lot but more so when a fever is included. And after one memorable (fever-induced) debate I have come to this conclusion.

Bert is the most tragic character in all of the Disney films.

Yes, I am talking about Bert, the lovable bloke from Mary Poppins. The one always up for an adventure and a song and dance. That Bert. And, yes, he is more tragic than Cinderella’s dad (who I still think was murdered by the step-mother) and all of the other lost parents in their cartoons (which is another good reason you don’t want your daughter to be a princess). Bert takes the cake and I carefully constructed this argument to prove my point.

This will not be a jolly holiday. Continue reading

New for Kindle! The Time-Travel Adventure MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS Now Available! Book Giveaway!

My Problem With DoorsI’m really excited to announce that my novel MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS has just been released for the Kindle! I’ve always been very proud of this book and to celebrate this release an exclusive new afterword is included in the Kindle version.  Published by I Publish Press, you can find it on Amazon here (http://amzn.com/B00O6N32ZW). (And check out that cover! So 1950s sci-fi!)

“This is a most compelling book. It pulls you in to a fascinating concept from the beginning…. I give this book 5 stars.” -The Voracious Reader

Jacob is lost in time. He has been that way ever since he was a child for doors don’t work for him like they do for the rest of us. A door can take him to the past or the future, into any house, into any country. MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS  is Jacob’s plea for help. This novel is an unpredictable adventure filled with thrills, romance, horror, and even the occasional cameo from historical figures like Lord Byron and Jack the Ripper. You can check out an excerpt from the book here.

There is also a book giveaway going on for the work over at Goodreads.com. Two lucky readers will win an autographed copy of the novel. You can enter by clicking below.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Problem with Doors by Scott D. Southard

My Problem with Doors

by Scott D. Southard

Giveaway ends October 28, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Pontius Pilate, Dr. Seuss, and Me (Part 1)

Pilate in his big sceneRecently, I happily discovered that a picture of me wearing a fur coat and brown tights was finally off the internet.

The picture was from 1998 and for over 15 years it has dogged me on the worldwide web. With a few scrolls down through my name on any search engine (pass the covers of my books and headshots; you know, the important stuff an author cares about), there it was, always waiting for me.

Me in tights.

“Hello Scott, want to see your legs?”

-

When I signed up for the graduate-level course in Medieval Literature (at Michigan State University), I was expecting a challenge.

Actually, I was expecting a massive challenge!

I heard rumblings from past students of the class, everything from translating to long writing assignments. While I love diving into classic literature, I have to be in the right mood for the older, more historical entries. I’m not the kind of person to relax with Chaucer on a Sunday morning (even though I do have a pic of him on my wall and I did once mimic his style in a very long short story). At least Chaucer can be a little bawdy and playful, but you have to earn the Chaucer in such classes. And usually that due is paid by Caedom and Margery Kempe.

Medieval literature, the literary equivalent of a hairshirt.

But it was required for my MA, so what could I do? I decided to put my own writing aside for a semester and accept my fate.

However, as we got closer to the start of the semester, my fellow students and I started hearing from the professor. This year we were to do something different, something special. It was obvious the professor was thrilled and he wanted us to feel that way as well. Maybe with another group of students he would have gotten a bigger reaction, but typically bookworms (i.e., graduate students in English Literature) don’t usually like to be thrown on a stage.

Yes, I said “stage.” See, we were not going to be studying Medieval Literature, we were going to be performing it! Watch out Broadway! Continue reading