My Time With Austen: Articles, Interviews and Excerpts

Jane AustenTomorrow (January 28) I’m going to be part of a panel about Jane Austen and writing at The Writing Show, sponsored by James Rivers Writers. If you are in the Richmond area and would like to attend, you can get more info here.

To help prepare for the event, I thought I would share some of the interesting stuff I have done over the last few years around my novel. It’s always fun to write or be interviewed about A Jane Austen Daydream. A lot goes on in that book, and there is soooo much to talk about.

If you are attending, or just interested in my novel or my experiences as a writer (since I talk about inspiration and all of the awkward and difficult steps that come along with this writing gig), why not check out some of the links as well.

I hope to see you this Wednesday!

Articles, Essays, and Inspiration

Excerpts

Interviews

And a fun bonus interview that I DID with the amazing narrator of the audiobook! Listen along!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Bravo, bravo, bravo!” Booktalk With Eileen reviews the audiobook of A Jane Austen Daydream

Audible Book Cover_A Jane Austen DaydreamNow this is cool!

Booktalk with Eileen recently reviewed the audiobook of A Jane Austen Daydream. I think Louisa Gummer did an amazing job bringing the book to life and I am thrilled that it got such a great review! Here is an excerpt from the review:

Readers who enjoy books that use Jane Austen’s characters in their writing will get much more from this book. We get to meet Jane Austen herself as she is writing her books and experience the moment when she finally becomes published. I applaud Scott D. Southard for this marvelous, delightfully written story which I place in literary fiction genre. I cried for Jane. I cried for another of the characters whom I can’t share his name—no spoilers here. I laughed at how the characters were described, acted and how outlandish some reacted to events. I’m sure this will be one of my better reads/listens this year and will stay long with me. A most laudable book with a laudable production. Bravo, bravo, bravo!

You can read the entire review here (and I hope you will!).

The audiobook of A Jane Austen Daydream is available on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon right now. And on each of the sites you can hear a different sample of the wonderful performance by Louisa Gummer. Check it out and grab your copy today!

  • You can find it on Audible.com here.  It is free for members, or it can be purchased for $24.95.
  • It is available on iTunes (here) for $21.95.
  • And on Amazon (here) where it is free to members, or $21.83

TWritingShow_logoColorAnd remember…

I’ll be part of a panel speaking about Jane Austen and writing this Wednesday! It will be on The Writing Show hosted by James Rivers Writers in Richmond. You can register to attend the event here. I hope to see you there!

New WKAR Book Review: Driftwood by Elizabeth Dutton

Current StateToday on WKAR’s Current State I reviewed Driftwood, a novel by author Elizabeth Dutton.

You can listen to my review here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-elizabeth-duttons-driftwood-wkar

You can also read my review below.

If you want to check out Driftwood you can find it on Amazon.com here. You can check out my past reviews via this page on my site.

I hope you enjoy my new book review! Continue reading

Reminder: I’ll be at The Writing Show on January 28!

TWritingShow_logoColorSo where will you be on January 28?

Well, I’ll be in Richmond, speaking as part of a panel on Jane Austen and writing! If you are in the area why not come check it out. It should be a lot of fun.

The event is called “Writing Romance Like Jane Austen,” and is sponsored by James Rivers Writers as part of their “The Writing Show” series. You can learn more about the event and register via their site (here).

$12 members | $15 non-members | $5 students
Social: 6pm | Show: 6:45pm
Wednesday, January 28th
At The Broadberry
2729 W. Broad Street

I hope to see you there!

 

 

Five Things I Am Into Right Now, January 2015

This is Lightning. She only has bad daysSo I’m going through a thing with a video game.

Do you remember this post? (The reference is only a few paragraphs, it won’t take you long.) There I am praising Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

You can feel the love.

It could be argued that it was the honeymoon stage of my relationship with the game.

See, I’ve had a long relationship with Lightning and her role-playing world, playing both of the installments before starting on the third and final part (I’m sure it could almost equal entire months if the hours were embarrassingly added together). And, as you can guess from the post then, everything was going swimmingly in our relationship. We laughed at the same jokes, enjoyed discussing our past history…. Then this damn monster called Grendel appeared in a desert world and ruined everything for us.

Ruined, ruined, ruined!

Now, I love the literary reference in the monster’s name, so the creators get points for that, but that monster destroyed my infatuation with the game and world and Lightning and sent me away. (Actually, over to Gotham City and a Batman game.) It’s not often I leave a game unfinished, especially a Final Fantasy game, so it was rough. I like to think it felt that way to Lightning too.

So here I am, it’s a new year, and I am looking for new beginnings, new possibilities. And since Lightning and I have such a long past I decided to give it another shot….

Of course, this time I am wisely playing on easy.

I have no video game shame.

Here is my first list for 2015, and speaking of video games… Continue reading

Permanent Spring Showers is coming! February 5th!

Permanent Spring ShowersGreetings my beautiful readers!

I’m happy (and proud) to announce that my new novel is hitting the shelves on February 5th.

Published by 5 Prince Books, Permanent Spring Showers is a work of literary fiction, filled with scandals, surprises, art, humor, romance (i.e., sex), and manipulation. Here is the back cover description of the work:

Professor Rebecca Stanley-Wilson is having a very bad season. Her husband has just admitted to having an affair. And it was with one of her students.

Blame it on a desire for revenge (or way too much alcohol), she then has had one of her own. Unfortunately for her, her affair was with one of the great upcoming painters of his generation. The ramifications of that one torrid evening will not only be felt across her life but over the entire art world.

Sexy, funny, and very surprising, Permanent Spring Showers is the tale of one very memorable springtime and how it impacts a group of unique artists and dreamers. From the writer who is creating a new literary movement (through outright manipulation) to the hopeful Olympian with the failing marriage to the romantic wondering what he did wrong to drive his love from him, each tale walks the line between reality and fantasy. And waiting at the end of the line is a very important painting… and possibly the revolver used in the Lincoln Assassination.

You can already add Permanent Spring Showers to your bookshelf on GoodReads.com (here). It will be available as an eBook for the Kindle and in print via Amazon (link to come soon). Add it to your calendar! Tell all your friends! Add it to your book club! Read, read, read!

I hope you will check it out!

“Writing Romance Like Jane Austen” I’ll be part of The Writing Show on January 28th!

TWritingShow_logoColorInterested in Jane Austen? Going to be in Richmond, Virginia around January 28th?

I am excited to announce that I have been asked to be on a panel on Ms. Austen. It is part of the James Rivers Writers series, The Writing Show (JamesRiversWriters.org). The event is called “Writing Romance Like Jane Austen.”

Here is how the event is described in the press release:

What are the romance genres? What makes romance believable? We’ll discuss Jane Austen’s influence on literature and romance, and why men also enjoy reading and writing romantic fiction.

This event will be for both readers and writers and should be pretty fun. If you want to attend (and why wouldn’t you?) here is some info on it:

$12 members | $15 non-members | $5 students
Social: 6pm | Show: 6:45pm
Wednesday, January 28th
At The Broadberry
2729 W. Broad Street

You can get more information (and register now) on their website here- http://www.jamesriverwriters.org/the-writing-show-writing-romance-like-jane-austen.

I hope to see you there!

The Stony Hue of a January Morn

January1 of 3

there is
no beauty
in a January snow
and
it conveys
no possibilities-

January cold
does not touch your nose
or tickle your skin-
it begins in your bones
deep in your marrows
then slinks out
like a death
never letting go-

there is a limit
in our cold, cold steps
and each could be the fated last
but we trudge
trudge
trudge forward
never running
forever counting down-

the sun is lost
baked red, hidden away-
the gray clouds will not free it
trapped like an animal
in a dark covered cave
waiting and growling deep-

when the world ends
it will look like a January morn-
quiet-
soulless-
colorless-
void-
and no amount of breath will bring it back- Continue reading

My Writing Resolutions 2015

1962720_10203577001564582_780062720_nThis blog actually began as a writing resolution.

It was 2012 and I thought as a writer I had been living in the shadows for too long. Oh, I played the game with publishers and agents and fellow writers, many knew who I was (granted, that doesn’t mean they published me or represented me), but with readers I was a ghost. No, let me correct that. A person can at least sense a ghost. I was a ghost that no one was aware of. A quiet and very lonely shadow watching and waiting.

So it began with this post.

That started a year of almost five posts a week. I did everything from personal essays to thoughts on media and entertainment to the art of writing (which are almost always my most popular posts) to original fiction. There was a good chance, and I knew this when I started, that I would end the experience feeling more depressed than when I began. For is there anything sadder than a blog not read? Probably the blogger that wrote the blog, of course.

Lucky for me (and I do consider myself lucky), my blog grew. I think getting into writing the blog, I never realized how inspiring having it (and you the reader) would be. You might think a little click on the like button or an occasional comment no big deal, but it can make my day, any day. That support over the last two years had led to me creating a novel on this site (Permanent Spring Showers, which will be released in February 2015 by 5 Prince Books) and a book collecting some of my most popular and fun posts (Me Stuff, which you can find on amazon here).

Thank you.

Here are my writing resolutions for 2015.

1. Keep the blog active. This one is not surprising, especially since this is one of the things that keep me sane. You know, I never really know what I will do in an upcoming week. It usually just happens all organic. It is in many ways pure writing freedom. Someday in the future I might step away from time to time from it, but I don’t think I see that happening any time soon. You are stuck with me, I hope that is okay.

2. Find a publisher for Cassandra on the Island. If you have been following my blog for a while you might have heard hints of this book in posts. This novel was my Master’s thesis when I was working towards my MFA from the University of Southern California. I also had the distinct pleasure of having the head of the writing program call me at 10 PM on a weekday night, emotional because of it. He had spend all day reading it and just had to talk to me after completing it. It was an awesome moment for me. This book also got me my last agent, but sadly it stays hidden of all my works. I would love to change that. So I will probably do a new edit of it sometime in the new year and see what happens from there. Fingers crossed. Hopefully, there will be publishers and agents interested.

Permanent Spring Showers3. Support Permanent Spring Showers. My new novel drops in February 2015. This book feels very much like an epic for me, a story that has been around since the mid-1990s when it first began as a screenplay (which was what got me accepted at USC, by the way). I could not be more proud of this novel. This book began as an experiment on this very  site and grew… and grew. I hope you will check it out when it is released and tell everyone! Book clubs, fellow readers, friends, loved ones, casual acquaintances, people sitting next to you on the bus or in a waiting room, etc.

4. Finish that new book! So I got this novel that has changed numerous times over the last few years. It went from a very serious work to a mad comedy. The full gambit of emotions and possibilities has been spilled into this work. Right now I have it fully outlined with about four of the 25 chapters written. I need to make this a reality. I won’t say too much more about it, but it reminds me a lot of my radio comedy series The Dante Experience (which you can listen to free on this page!).

5. Think about my screenplays. My screenplays are my abandoned children. The funny thing is they are what drove me to Los Angeles and USC. I have three screenplays right now that I believe are very strong. Possibly the best things I will ever do. One is a romantic-comedy Christmas movie (yes, I said a Christmas movie); the second is a black-and-white film noir mystery (think a young Humphrey Bogart); and the third is an adaptation of Hamlet. Eclectic stuff? Yup, that is how I roll. But realistically, I’m not in any of the hubs of filmmaking. Of all of the items on this list, this would take the biggest bit of luck. My fingers are forever crossed though.

Okay, there are my five points, and I’ll be pleased as punch if I can pull off at least three. I hope you will stick around in the new year to watch.

Thanks again for reading! Happy New Year!

How to Fix Love Actually

Love ActuallyI demand a new edit!

Since 2003, Love Actually has become almost a part of the holiday season. It is on TV, the DVDs are on sale. Some people love it, some people don’t; for me, I always have viewed it as a beautiful mess.

What I mean by that is that I see the well-intentioned heart under the surface, but there is a lot of embarrassing junk covering it up. You know what I mean, the stuff you throw away that you hope not even the garbage man sees.

The film also makes me sad, because it is a slipup of a writer I actually enjoy most of the time (and it could be argued should have known better). While in the movie world he is known mainly for romantic-comedies (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones), in my opinion his genius has always thrived in television. Richard Curtis is the man who gave us Black Adder, Mr. Bean, The Vicar of Dibley and probably one of the greatest Doctor Who episodes of all time (“Vincent and the Doctor”). If you don’t know what I am referring to here, check them out pronto!

But here is the kicker, while most movies after they are completed are what they are and we have to accept it, there is so much going on in Love Actually that a little correcting doesn’t feel impossible.

It would be like going to a barber but for films. A snip here, a snip there and suddenly we have a film that maybe the whole family can enjoy. Granted, some of my hopes are beyond the skills of the editor (unless we are lucky and there are deleted scenes out there), but quite a few of these could be done almost easily, all it would take are a pair of sharp scissors. I will even put a Christmas bow on them if it helps. Continue reading