I Want to Tell You a Story … Cassandra on the Island

I want to tell you a story.

Let’s begin like this- I wrote a novel for my thesis when I was working for my Master’s at the University of Southern California and I made the head of the department cry.

I had few interactions with this professor. I like to think he liked me, he personally asked me to take a few advanced courses and met with me now and then to discuss agents and my writing, but we were of different worlds. How else do you explain the meeting of a poet and a novelist? We use the same words, but for a novelist it is about the meaning, where for the poet it is about the music beneath it.

To graduate, I needed people to sign off on my thesis. I had one from a fiction professor (I can’t remember his name now) and the head of the department promised to be the second… and he delayed… and he delayed.

I was working on campus, which was fine for me since I didn’t have to drive anywhere and there was a Carl’s Jr on campus and I was a little addicted to their crispy chicken sandwich (I don’t need to say more about that here). But on this day, instead of waiting in the outrageously long line of students and eating that awesome sandwich, I decided to bother the delaying professor. He was in his office and knew why I was there when I walked in. He didn’t make eye contact with me and promised to start the book that afternoon, shrugging me off.

I had to accept that answer and leave.

That night I received a call after 9 PM. It was him and he was crying. He kept saying the word “beautiful.” He talked to me about the book for over an excited hour, asking about why I did certain things, what they meant. He was figuring out different tricks I did in the writing in between his emotional outbursts.

It is not often a writer gets to speak to a moved reader the second after they finish their book, but I was having that experience here, and it was with someone that surrounds himself with books and writers! This is legit, right?

He wasn’t planning to read the book straight through, he said. He was planning to finish, maybe skim bits. He skims, he said. He skims most books from students, he said… but here he didn’t. And once he started he couldn’t stop.

He told me what he loved, what made him laugh and what made him cry.

He asked if he could share the book with others, and I said that was fine. He said I didn’t have to worry about my thesis, and he couldn’t wait to buy the book in print… and then he was off the line.

Now… let me be clear… I’m not telling you this story about a crying professor to brag. I’m telling you this because it was the first time I truly felt like a novelist. Continue reading

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EBOOK SALE! Hey Janeites! A Jane Austen Daydream is only 99 cents for the Kindle! Limited time!

A Jane Austen Daydream“Scott Southard’s Jane is a delightful creature.” -Austenprose.com

“I consider this novel one of the best not only in regency era literature, but also in mainstream fiction.” -NovelTravelist.com

For a limited time, Madison Street is having a sale on the eBook of A Jane Austen Daydream! You can grab a copy today for only 99 cents! Here is the link: http://amzn.com/B00CH3HQUU

All her heroines find love in the end–but is there love waiting for Jane?

Jane Austen spends her days writing and matchmaking in the small countryside village of Steventon, until a ball at Godmersham Park propels her into a new world where she yearns for a romance of her own. But whether her heart will settle on a young lawyer, a clever Reverend, a wealthy childhood friend, or a mysterious stranger is anyone’s guess.

Written in the style of Jane herself, this novel ponders the question faced by many devoted readers over the years–did she ever find love? Weaving fact with fiction, it re-imagines her life, using her own stories to fill in the gaps left by history and showing that all of us–to a greater or lesser degree–are head over heels for Jane.

“If asked to sum up this book in one word, I would have to choose “unpredictable”… you will, in the end, be rewarded by a quick paced novel unlike any you can ever have read, which injects new ideas and possibilities into the world of Jane Austen.” -The Jane Austen Centre

Published by Madison Street Publishing, A Jane Austen Daydream has also been released as an audiobook! Narrated by the amazing Louisa Gummer, you can find it on Audible and iTunes.

“A definite read for all Jane Austen fans!” -Laura’s Little Book Blog

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Permanent Spring Showers by Scott D. Southard

Permanent Spring Showers

by Scott D. Southard

Giveaway ends July 31, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Please, Make It Stop: A Rant About Game of Thrones

DragonAvast there, me hearties! Here thar be spoilers aplenty! (Wait! It’s not Talk Like a Pirate day? What was I thinking?)

Let’s get this out of the way first. We’ve all been holding off saying this for a while, but it’s time.

Game of Thrones is a soap opera.

I don’t know about you, but I feel a lot better after saying it.

I’ve recently found an interview with George R.R. Martin where he argues his book series is not a soap opera, maybe it was his way of preparing an argument before it came at him from outside his circle, but it is. Both the TV series and his book series… two words… soap opera.

Look, I hate to say it as much as the next person. The idea of someone truly doing something new in a very established (and usually predictable genre) is an awesome idea. He combined the history of the middle ages and fantasy… but the result is a freaking soap opera. With history almost being used as an excuse (or as a resource) for twists that help the soap opera continue.

Consider:

  • Soap operas and A Song of Ice and Fire both has multiple POVs of good and questionable individuals.
  • Both end every moment in a cliffhanger (You can almost hear the “stay tuned” at the end of some of the chapters in the books).
  • Both have meandering plots (I feel like I should be capitalizing meandering; no seriously, all caps).
  • Time seems to have its own rules. And both have marriages that seem to last for the same amount of time (and just like in soap operas most are bad matches).
  • And both are not working towards a clean resolution. There is no Mount Doom in sight from what I can see.

Oh, and all of these points is before I even bring up the fact that George R.R. Martin used to work in television and was a writer on a popular fantasy-lite soap opera in the 1980s.

Game of Thrones is a soap opera with people in funny costumes and dragons and we have bought into it.

Heck, I didn’t just buy in, I bought the DVDs, the books, the shirts and even gave them as Birthday presents to people I love. (I was like: “Hi, I love cocaine, I want you to take it too. Here- Happy Birthday!”) Continue reading

An interview with Lisa Haselton about my new novel Permanent Spring Showers (Book Tour Day 4)

SaxophoneToday,. as part of the book tour around my new novel Permanent Spring Showers, I am in being interviewed on Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews.

We discuss the book, the arts and writing; heck, I even talk about my love of jazz music. This was my answer to “As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?”

One of my fantasies was to be a jazz artist. I dreamed of being the next Coltrane or Parker (I played alto and soprano saxophone). I even got into college on a jazz scholarship. But there was a moment when I realized it wasn’t in me. I was just repeating myself and I was not getting a thrill out of my solos anymore. Basically, I had nothing to say anymore with the instrument, but I did have a lot to say with the pen.

You can read the rest of the interview on her site here.

This is the fourth entry in the tour. I have already had three guest posts on the work for you to check out. There is the one about passion (here), spring (here), and my advice to writers (here). I hope you are enjoying the tour!Permanent Spring Showers

Just for the tour, the eBook of Permanent Spring Showers is on sale! It is on sale for only $1.99. So there is no better time to grab a copy! You can find it on amazon for Kindle here and for the NOOK here.

Running out of time! Two will win an autographed copy of the new novel Permanent Spring Showers!

Mood-Paint-BrushThe book giveaway for my new novel Permanent Spring Showers is almost done on Goodreads!

Two winners will win an autographed copy of my latest novel. You can enter by clicking below. Get to it! You know you want to…

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Permanent Spring Showers by Scott D. Southard

Permanent Spring Showers

by Scott D. Southard

Giveaway ends April 21, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

Funny, Smart, Sexy, and very surprising, Permanent Spring Showers is the new literary fiction by that dude that wrote A Jane Austen Daydream (yeah me).

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.

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.

Permanent Spring ShowersPermanent Spring Showers was published by 5 Prince Books and is available on all online book retailers. Out in both print and eBook, you can find it on amazon.com here. The eBook is on sale for only $3.99.

You can read a sample and learn more about the book via this page. Grab a copy today!

Talking about new book Permanent Spring Showers with the Booknatics (and a book giveaway too!)

Paint SplatterToday, I’m back on the Booknatics, this time being interviewed about my new novel Permanent Spring Showers!

In the interview we took on a lot of different topics, including A Jane Austen Daydream (and the idea of a sequel), other novels, and my love of music. It was a lot of fun, I hope you will chime in.

You can check out this new interview here: http://thebooknatics.blogspot.com/2015/03/interview-with-scott-d-southard-author.html

Last week, the Booknatics reviewed the new novel (which led to them asking for the interview) and it started a book giveaway. One lucky commenter will win an autographed copy. Visit and enter today. Thank Sky for the chance to talk to you and your followers!

Permanent Spring ShowersPermanent Spring Showers was published by 5 Prince Books and is available on all online book retailers. Out in both print and eBook, you can find it on amazon.com here. The eBook is on sale for only $3.99.

You can read a sample and learn more about the book via this page.

Blog Tour Day 1: “Top-Notch” Review and Giveaway at Bookish for A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM

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Today is the first day of the blog tour for A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM! 

On bookish.com there are quotes, a book review and even a giveaway for my novel. Here is an excerpt from the very flattering review:

The author brilliantly re-imagines the life of our beloved Jane Austen, weaving in facts, names, dates partly just fiction but some real based on the facts we know of Miss Austen’s short life. He even tucks in quite a few quotes/book references, as to keep us on our toes.

Firstly, the quality of his writing is top-notch. From the opening sentence to the last word, I was captivated.  I felt the author knew where he wanted to take the story and did so in an authoritative as well as engaging way.

Secondly, Scott Southard is an expert at writing in such a fashion as to induce feelings of hate, love, joy, sadness, and righteous fury. I wept, I laughed , I talked back at the characters making foolish decisions, I even rallied against those standing in the way of Jane’s happiness.

You can read the rest of the review here. Also, on that same page, one luck reader can win an eBook copy of A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM.  Check it out!

Published 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).

Flashback Monday: “Cereal, Milk, and a Bank Loan” from ME STUFF

Bag of MoneyFor today’s Flashback Monday, I’m diving back into my experience in banking. Well, a bank at a grocery store, which to me still seems a weird idea. But this article has bank robbers, psychics, strippers, everything you could want in a story about high finance… or grocery financing.

This is the seventh installment in my doing these Flashback Mondays. You can check out the others installments here, herehere, here, here. and here. They are all included in my new book ME STUFF. Here is an excerpt from the beginning of my banking misadventures:

I own a copy of The Satanic Bible because of my time working at a bank.

Let me begin by pointing out that this was not a normal bank. For some reason, the higher-ups in the banking world (who I always like to imagine as fat pigs in suits with cigars) thought it would be a good idea to have a bank in a grocery store. Really? Okay, sure. This grocery store was also in the heart of a more struggling community, so the idea of a bank being in that store in that area made the entire experience that much odder.  Sometimes it would leave me feeling like we were taunting the more struggling citizens (those shopping with food stamps). Not for you…

No one that knows me would have argued that banking is the best career choice for me. Yes, I enjoy interacting with people and customer service to a certain extent, but numbers are not my thing. The one time I had ever (ever!) needed a tutor was for a beginning college course in Accounting. I remember the tutor having a hard time explaining something to me and so she would talk slower and slower as if it was the speed of her explanation that was the problem. For all I know that tutor is still sitting someplace trying to finish that sentence.

I was in grad school at the time (working towards a master’s in English Literature), and the job worked around my busy classroom schedule, so I couldn’t say no, no matter how off this position was for me.  It almost made me feel like I had a secret identity. At school I was in cool t-shirts and hoodies, talking about Virginia Woolf and William Shakespeare; at work, I was a business professional talking about mortgages. I was the English major’s version of Clark Kent.Me Stuff, front cover

This article was presented in two parts on the site; the first part can be found here, and the second here. Or, better yet, you can grab a copy of ME STUFF which contains 40 editorials like this one and it is super cheap-o.

The eBook version of the book is only $1.99 (here on Amazon) and in print for only $8.99 (here on Amazon).

“Nightmares and dreams” Part one of an interview with Nancy Christie

Jane AustenHappy New Year faithful readers! 

Last month I was interviewed by novelist Nancy Christie as part of her “One on One” series. It was quite a long and fun interview, and she has turned it into a two-part series for the site!

If you ever wanted to get really into my writing head, meet the wizard hiding behind the curtain, this is that interview! The first part of her interview was released today; you can read it here.  In this excerpt is my answer to the most challenging undertaking I have had as a writer:

A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM was easily the most difficult book I have ever undertaken, because I had to be true to Jane. In other words, I wanted her to be alive on the pages, which means her own dialogue and spirit had to be part of the narrative.

So first, I had to research her life and her books thoroughly. I used to be able to quote entire passages of her novels! (Not anymore, now that space is taken over by cute kid songs from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood thanks to my young daughter’s obsession with the show.)

Then I had to decide what of her life I wanted to keep and what I wanted to use for the book. See, I wanted the plot to be influenced more by her own stories than her actual life (it is a daydream).

After the plot was in place (with some very notable surprises and literary twists included), I then had to write a book where her voice would feel natural, but not too dated to scare off a contemporary reader.

Yes, it was a slow process, with each sentence and chapter written and re-written numerous times. By the end, I felt like I had run a marathon (or at least what I assume that would feel like). But it was all very worth it.

You can read the rest of the interview here. Part 2 of the interview will be on Nancy Christie’s site on January 15. Thanks Nancy! 

A Jane Austen Daydream

My latest novel, 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).