Dusting the Bookshelf – A Jane Austen Daydream

As we get closer to the release of my latest novel (In Jerry’s Corner) from Stargazing Publishing, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at some of my previous novels. Maybe, if I am lucky, it will inspire you to check them out. Whenever I set out to write a book, I am aiming to do something unique, surprising and original. This might be a bad business model, but for me as a reader and an artist, it is a lot of fun.

Most people know me because of A Jane Austen Daydream.

It led to most of my followers on Twitter and this site, it led to me working on Current State on WKAR for three years talking about books, and it led to almost 250 reviews on Goodreads (a number which continues to grow each month).

When the book came out (after going through a separation with an old agent and two publishers, one of whom tried to massively re-edit it and then finally released it with Austen spelled wrong on the paperback), I became for many the Austen man. Every interview I did had a question that was kind of like “Hey, you’re a guy! Do you know it is strange for you to like Austen? Because you’re a guy, I mean.”

Honestly, even though I always found that question a little insulting and sexist. I never pointed it out in my responses (and I’ve given dozens of various little playful responses to it). Jane Austen is a great author and wrote probably the greatest novel in the English language. It really doesn’t matter if I am a guy or not; it doesn’t change that fact. To enjoy her writing is human.

…And, on a side note, the professor that got me into Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen’s work was a dude as well. He is sadly gone now, but I did add him in as a character in the book as a thank you. He is the local doctor in Jane’s village, Dr. Chesley. Continue reading

Advertisements

New Interview! Learn More About the New Book… Coming Soon…

Recently, I gave an interview with Stargazing Publishing, the publisher of my new novel In Jerry’s Corner (coming soon). In the interview we hit a lot of different topics, including inspiration behind the new book, favorite authors, and writing tips.

Here is one excerpt:

1.  What or who inspired you to be a writer?

I have always loved storytelling and reading. My parents enjoy sharing stories of me making up tales when I was very young, and becoming a writer always felt like a natural step for me.

When I was a teenager, I really started writing. Then it was short stories (I had dreams of being Ray Bradbury then). Finally, I dived into novels, and since then I have been in love with the all-encompassing, larger-than-life feeling of it.

For me, I love finding that new story, that new twist that no one else has done yet. If I get an idea that sounds like someone else’s work I will usually throw it away. I always want to try the “new.” If I am doing it right, a reader should always be surprised and moved when they pick up a Southard novel. At least, that is my hope.

 Check out the entire interview here: http://stargazingpublishing.moonfruit.com/scott-d-southard-interviews/4594395174

…AND stay tuned!

Big News! Get Ready! New Book Coming Soon!

Coming soon from Stargazing Publishing, my latest novel – In Jerry’s Corner!

I know a lot of writers like to say “My latest book is my best, blah, blah, blah.” But for this book, all of that is TRUE for me. I can not be more proud of this novel, and I look forward to having readers discover it.

Check out my author page on the publisher site- http://stargazingpublishing.moonfruit.com/scott-d-southard/4594395172.

In Jerry’s Corner is many things for me. It is a very original and surprising story, the kind I love to discover as a reader. It is also fun, romantic, humorous, daring, and human. I could go on and on… and I do! Check out the interview just released today on Stargazing’s website about my writing and my latest novel! You can read the interview here- http://stargazingpublishing.moonfruit.com/scott-d-southard-interviews/4594395174

I really look forward to sharing this story with you. I’ll keep you updated here on the process as we move closer to publication (release dates, back cover descriptions, samples, reviews, cover release, etc.). So stay tuned! Until then, I hope you enjoy the interview and thank you so much for following me and reading my books, posts and other crazy stuff. This is a very important novel for me and I really hope you like it.

Cheers!

A Rant Against Harry Chapin‘s “Cat’s in the Cradle”

I am always haunted by three songs. They are my personal ghosts. They are with me wherever I go, just ready to jump back in front of me with a scream of “Boo! Got ya! Now sing along!” And I have no choice. I sing every damn time.

The first is “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something. Let’s get this out of the way first, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is an awful movie. It’s not just an awful movie, it’s also a racist film. There is no good reason for the lyricist and the soon-to-be ex-girlfriend to have fond memories of that film. I would even argue that an enjoyment or love of the film a good ground for dumping… on both sides.

But gosh darn it, that chorus in the song is so catchy!

I hope wherever the lead singer of Deep Blue Something is, he is also singing that song every day… seems only fair for what he has put me through since its release.

The second song is “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)” by Us3. This song from the ’90s was created out of an attempt to combine Blue Note jazz records with rap. For some strange reason, this is the only rap song I can rap along with all the way through. Which means at some point during my day you might hear me quietly bragging about my basketball skills and my ability to rap. (Both things that aren’t true.)

The third song though hits me more psychologically. It cuts me to my core, leaving me feeling guilty about the smallest things, because…

I will not ever, ever, EVER be like the dad in Harry Chapin‘s “Cat’s in the Cradle.”

For those lucky enough not to know this folk pop number, it is a cautionary tale about parenting and the lessons we teach our kids without meaning to. The narrator is a father who never seems to have time for his son. He wasn’t there when his son learned to walk or speak. He even casually dismisses his son’s birth, saying that he was merely born “in the usual way.” I’m sure his wife when she was screaming in the hospital didn’t think it was “usual.”  Continue reading

“The Singular Affair of the Assassin’s Knife” A New Episode of The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

I am going through an old radio kick. A few weeks ago, I wrote an episode of the Jack Benny Program as if it was still on the air today (you can check it out here); now I am doing probably my favorite old-time radio show, The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. (I wrote about my love of the show here and here). Honestly, I’m really happy with how both of these little creative “time capsules” turned out.

It is Monday night on the Mutual Broadcasting System, time for…

The Singular Affair of the Assassin’s Knife

OPENING CREDITS

HARRY BARTELL: Petri Wine Brings you…

MUSIC: Dramatic organ sound!

BARTELL: (Quickly) Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

MUSIC: Organ plays the theme

ACT ONE

BARTELL: Now, let’s visit the good friend of Sherlock Holmes, our own beloved Doctor Watson in his California cottage. Dr. Watson? Hello? Are you in?

WATSON: Oh, come in my boy. Why Mr. Bartell it has been quite a long time since you have visited my home. It is lovely to see you.

BARTELL: It’s good to see you too. How are the puppies?

WATSON:  When you are a man of a certain age, like myself, you need to think of your health. I’ve been doing what the young people are calling “counting their steps.” I decided to take the puppies with me today on one of my longer walks. While I feel great, the puppies are right now fast asleep on my bed.

BARTELL: (Light laugh), Well, I hope you still have the energy to share an adventure of Sherlock Holmes with us tonight. We’ve been waiting for quite a long time for this.

WATSON: Of course, and I am very ready for you. Sit down and make yourself comfortable. That’s it. I named this adventure “The Singular Affair of the Assassin’s Knife” and there are few tales I know that were more dangerous for Holmes and myself.

BARTELL: Assassin’s knife? I would say get to the point, but I wouldn’t recommend that with a knife like that. It certainly sounds exciting.

WATSON: Our story begins in the summer of 1881. It was an unpleasant time to be in London with a heatwave that seemed to be never ending. Most of London, those who could not escape for the coasts or countryside, were hiding in their homes; and it was rare you saw a soul on the streets when the sun was still blazing. I was married at the time and living away from Baker Street and very busy in my medical practice which was starting to actually draw some much-needed financial attention. I was only occasionally seeing my friend, the great detective, but I did take part in his adventure of the Red-Headed League.

BARTELL: I remember that one. That was the mystery with the secret tunnel into the bank vault and you and Sherlock Holmes captured the culprit right at the scene of the crime.

WATSON: Yes, Mr. Bartell, that crime was orchestrated by the wicked Professor Moriarty. Before that escapade, it could be said that Sherlock Holmes was merely a nuisance to Moriarty, but with the loss of that fortune, Moriarty finally saw Holmes for the arch-nemesis he was. He had his focus now set on my good friend, but I did not know any of this at the time. My part in this adventure began when Inspector Lestrade from Scotland Yard appeared at my Doctor’s office. Continue reading

“Jack Tries to Buy an Electric Car!” A new episode of the Jack Benny Program

Have you ever had a day when you just wanted to write an episode of the Jack Benny Program, as if the radio show was still on the air? (Or is that just me?) What would they be talking about today? Enjoy!

“Jack Tries to Buy an Electric Car”

OPENING CREDITS

MUSIC: Fast-paced “Yankee Doodle Dandy”

DON WILSON: (Quickly) It’s the Jack Benny Program! Starring Mary Livingston, Phil Harris, Dennis Day, and yours truly, Don Wilson.

SOUND: Audience applauds.

MUSIC: Fades out.

ACT ONE

SOUND: Nature, quiet Sunday. Birds chirping. Cars quiet in the distance.

DON: Quiet Sunday afternoons can make any man contemplative, even Jack Benny. Today we find our esteemed host walking through his neighborhood deep in thought.

JACK BENNY: (Thoughtful) Well, this neighborhood certainly has changed over the years… Neighbors have come and gone. Some have died, some have moved. I only sued a few of them…

SOUND: Laughter

JACK: Fifties… Sixties… I was here for the Beatles. Now two of them are deceased and the other two are in their 70s. (Pause) I’m still 39.

SOUND: Laughter

JACK: Don’t know how I do it. Yet, even at this age, I still see the tripping of time… Maturity that is what you get with the days. You can’t be young and foolish forever.

DENNIS DAY: Excuse me, Mr. Benny have you seen my little red wagon?

SOUND: Audience cheers and laughs

JACK: Dennis!

SOUND: Laughter

JACK: (Holding back his own laughter) What did you say, Dennis?

DENNIS: My little red wagon. Yes, my little red wagon. (sing-song style) Oh where, oh where can it be?

SOUND: Laugh

JACK: Dennis, I have known you for so many years, how are you still so incredibly ridiculous?

DENNIS: A daily regimen of pushups, vitamins, hijinks and tomfoolery.

SOUND: Laughter

JACK: Dennis, have you noticed how much the world has changed? How the world has begun to embrace multiculturalism, and different voices and talents seem to rise every day. Oh, some fight against the changes, but they can’t stop the tide of change. They will lose in the end, you can’t stop positive change. It is definitely not the privileged world we knew back when our radio show first aired.

DENNIS: (Frustrated) Have you seen my red wagon or not?

SOUND: Laughter Continue reading

My Updated Star Wars Order

I saw the incredibly fun Solo over the weekend, so I thought it was time to update my Star Wars order.

This lists includes movies and TV shows. Honestly, if I was to include the books I would throw them all at the end… and then throw myself off a bridge.

(Seriously, can’t Han, Leia, and Luke have a break for a few years? They all must suffer from PTSD, those poor people. But just imagine the possibility— a serious grown-up novel about Han and Leia dealing with a baby, relationships and the stress of just normal living in a galaxy far, far away. That is a book I would love… but, no, something else has to be saved and we are all supposed to be on pins and needles. Will they make it Star Wars authors? Will they!?!)

The official Star War order of greatness, from best to worst:

1 Rogue
2 Empire
3 Hope
4 Solo
5 Last
6 Return
7 Force
8 Rebels
9 Revenge
10 Clone
11 Attack
12 Menace

Let the debate begin!

Just got my copy! #HappyAuthor #JaneAustenIsBack

Did you get your copy yet?

A Jane Austen Daydream is Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Book Tour, Day 4: “Obsessed With Every Page” New Book Review!

On Day 4 of the book tour, I awoke to a wonderful review of A Jane Austen Daydream by Pursuing Stacie. How wonderful, you might ask? It included lines like this:

(By the by, THANK YOU, Mr. Southard! I need everything you’ve ever written.)

How do you not smile when you read that? (Oh, and for those that want to know more about my writing, check out the links and info to the right of the post. There is more work out there by me, I swear!)

Here is another excerpt from the review:

I felt that I was given the gift of getting to know Ms. Austen on a personal level; her private life, her struggles, her hopes and even (in my opinion) her failures. The author took those gaps in her narrative and began filling them in. He took a beloved author, threw in some fact, dropped in some fiction and stitched the whole package together with a raw authenticity.

You can read the entire review here. Thanks Pursuing Stacie for the smile this morning.

A Jane Austen Daydream is Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

 

Book Tour, Day 3: Book Spotlight on Let Them Read Books

Today, something a little different on the book tour for A Jane Austen Daydream. On Let Them Read Books, I was asked to say something about Jane Austen’s father. An interesting question because there is the real reverend, and then the fictional one in the book.

Here is how I begin my discussion:

George Austen was born in 1731. He met his wife Cassandra at Oxford. They would go on to have six sons and two daughters; the youngest, they named Jane.

If A Jane Austen Daydream was a typical historical fiction, I would point to research and letters to find Jane Austen’s father. I would paint his characters with his sermons, lessons, and what he wrote to his children, basically anything that I could find… but A Jane Austen Daydream is not a normal historical fiction.

You can read more about Jane’s pop and learn more about my novel here.

A Jane Austen Daydream is Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US