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

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New WKAR Book Review: Gregory Maguire’s Egg and Spoon

Current StateHey I was on the radio again! This time on WKAR’s Current State I review the new young adult book by Gregory Maguire, Egg & Spoon.

You can listen to my review online here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-gregory-maguires-egg-and-spoon-wkar

You can also read my book review below.

If you want to check out this new book by Gregory Maguire, 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

Dragons, trolls and cubicles! Win an autographed copy of the real-world fantasy MEGAN!

Starting August 26 and running through September 16, there is a book giveaway for my novel MEGAN on goodreads.com (here). Right now! Go for it! What are you waiting for!? Two lucky readers will win an autographed copy of the book! You can enter by clicking below.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Megan by Scott D. Southard

Megan

by Scott D. Southard

Giveaway ends September 16, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

 

Enter to win

To me and you, Megan is just a normal worker in a drab office, but in her imagination there exists an entire world, one she has escaped into ever since she was a child. It is the land of Prosperity and it is filled with dragons, castles, trolls, moon people, and wizards, And in Prosperity, Megan is a princess and a super hero. MEGAN is the story of her worst day and how Prosperity saved the real her.

Published by I Publish Press, my novel MEGAN was recently released for the kindle and includes an exclusive introduction only for that version. If you want to check it out as an ebook, you can do so here.

If you will like to learn more about this novel you can do so on my site. There is an excerpt as well as a post about the writing of it (here).

I hope you will enter the contest and pick up a copy of the new eBook today! Good luck!

I am very impressed with how Mr. Southard has interwoven the two world’s of Megan. It is very artfully crafted with vivid descriptions. I enjoyed it! -S. M. Nystoriak, Writer’s Block

New for Kindle! MEGAN, a real-world fantasy adventure with a big imagination!

MeganI’m proud to announce that my novel MEGAN was just released for the Kindle! It can be found on amazon via this link (http://amzn.com/B00MUEAW48).

I love the format of this book.  I’m sure most of us—as children or even now as adults—have made up worlds within our imaginations and spent hours daydreaming or play acting what occurs in our imaginary worlds.  Our protagonist, Megan, is stuck in a boring job, with coworkers she barely coexists with, with a boss she hates, and nothing interesting or exciting happening in her life.  She escapes this monotony and the dreary reality of her life by imagining the world of Prosperity. -Definitely Not For the Birds

Published by iPublish Press, MEGAN is the story of Megan Wane. To me and you, she is just a normal worker in a drab office, but in her imagination there exists an entire world, one she has escaped into ever since she was a child. It is the land of Prosperity and it is filled with dragons, castles, trolls, moon people, and wizards, And in Prosperity, Megan is a princess and a super hero. MEGAN is the story of her worst day and how Prosperity saved the real her.

If you will like to learn more about this novel you can do so on this site. There is an excerpt as well as a post about the writing of it (here). And, as AN EXCLUSIVE for the Kindle version, it contains a brand-new preface to the book written by… well… me.

I am very impressed with how Mr. Southard has interwoven the two world’s of Megan. It is very artfully crafted with vivid descriptions. I enjoyed it! -S. M. Nystoriak, Writer’s Block

Grab a copy today, tell a friend, tell a dozen! You can get your copy on amazon here. I hope you like the book!

Free eBook for Memorial Day Weekend! The playful, odd, and thrilling MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH……

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, Cover“If you like your supernatural books where reality mixes with the impossible, the inexplicable, then this is the book for you…. It is beautifully written.” GoodReads.com

Need an eBook for this Memorial Day Weekend? Want something different, unique, unpredictable? Consider one of my latest novels Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare. It is free for a very limited time on amazon for Kindle. You can find it here (http://www.amazon.com/Maximilian-Standforth-Case-Dangerous-Dare-ebook/dp/B00CXSDEBE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1400851518&sr=8-2&keywords=Scott+Southard). Grab a copy today!

“I started this book expecting a Sherlock Holmes style mystery with a bit more humour and got so much more than I bargained for!… If you have read any Jasper Fforde,  imagine him writing whilst tripping on acid.” amazon.co.uk

This is one of my favorites of my books.  Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare is the supposed fifth book in a fake mystery series. Here is the back cover description:

The cursed and foreboding McGregor Castle is the most terrifying and haunted location in all of the British Empire. Only a brave (or foolish) soul would consider visiting it, let alone staying within its walls for five days. In other words, a perfect dare for a man like Maximilian Standforth!

Maximilian Standforth, famed playboy aristocrat and private detective, is a genius with dangerous tastes. With Bob (his trusty carriage driver, biographer, and body guard) and Maggie Collins (actress, spy, and maid) by his side, Maximilian will experience horrors and madness unlike any seen before. For it is at McGregor Castle that the team will discover more than they ever could imagine in this very experimental and genre-breaking thriller.

You can enjoy a test run of it with the first chapter below. And if you do decide to grab this free eBook, would you consider showing your thanks by grabbing another of my novels as well? A Jane Austen Daydream is only $3.99 on Amazon here. My other two novels (My Problem With Doors and Megan) can both be found exclusively on Google Play for ebook here (which will work on Kindle as well).

“This book proved to me the writing skill of Mr. Southard! I believe the man has quite the imagination, albeit a twisted one” Goodreads.com

Continue reading

New WKAR Book Review: In the House Upon The Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell

Current StateI am back on WKAR’s Current State with a new book review! This time I am reviewing the new novel (and Michigan Notable Book for 2014) In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell. This is kind of a unique book review for me, as you will soon hear.

You can listen to my review here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-matthew-bells-latest-novel

You can also read my book review below.

In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods  can be found on Amazon here. If you would be interested in hearing/reading more of my NPR book reviews, you can do so via links on this page.

I hope you enjoy my new book review! Continue reading

Is Historical Fiction a Good or Bad Thing?

HistoryI have a few writing posts on my site that are a little bit controversial.

One of those posts is my discussion around fan fiction, which you can read here. Every time—and I do mean every time—I share this article on Twitter or on a site it generates a response. (This is not surprising because people that read and write fan fiction come from a place of loving a story or an author. The debate is really around how best to show their love, what is appropriate and what isn’t, and who owns the story.)

On Saturday, I decided to re-tweet some of my writing articles, and just like clockwork I was getting responses to my fan fiction piece. One responder, Vanilla Rose (@MsVanillaRose), asked if that was not the same thing I was doing with my novel A Jane Austen Daydream. I quickly replied that my novel was historical fiction, a re-imagining of Jane’s life as one of her romantic and literary adventures.

It was after a few more tweet exchanges that Vanilla Rose said this, taking my breath away:

“…I think that inventing stuff about a person’s life is more problematic than playing with their work.”

Whoa… Continue reading

“Gladiators and Lions!” Discover MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS

My Problem With Doors“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

Just finished A Jane Austen Daydream? Do you enjoy my blog? Curious to learn what else I have written?

Time travel! Thrills! Adventure! Romance!

After winning a writing competition, My Problem With Doors was  published by the new press IPublish. It is the story of Jacob who is lost in time. When he steps through a door he has no idea where he will turn up. It is an unpredictable book filled with twists and turns and excitement, and the occasional surprise cameo like Jack the Ripper. Below is one of my favorite moments in the novel. I hope you will check it out.

My Problem With Doors is available in print from Amazon via this link. The eBook is exclusively available via Google Play but it can work on any eBook reader, you can find it here (you can also read a sample). It is even available as an audiobook via the publisher’s website.

In this exclusive excerpt below, Jacob finds himself… well… in a very, very, very bad situation with swords and sharp lion claws. (Did I mention this chapter is all in second person?) Enjoy! Continue reading

Jane Austen! Demonic Castles! Time Travel! Dragons! This Black Friday Consider a Southard Novel…

When I sit down to write a book, my first goal is always to give my readers something new. So much of what you find on bookstore shelves can feel like a cookie-cutter recipe for a tale. Add a twist here, build to a love story here, sprinkle some comedy… That is not what you will find in one of my novels.

This Black Friday, and in your holiday shopping, consider one of my novels for your readers. You can find excerpts, reviews, interviews, and more information on each of the books via their pages on this site.

A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM
Available in print ($13.46) and eBook ($3.99) from Madison Street Publishing via Amazon.com here.

A Jane Austen DaydreamAll 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.

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

MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH AND THE CASE OF THE DANGEROUS DARE
Available in print ($9.71) and as an eBook ($3.99) via Amazon.com here.

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, CoverThe cursed and foreboding McGregor Castle is the most terrifying and haunted location in all of the British Empire. Only a brave (or foolish) soul would consider visiting it, let alone staying within its walls for five days. In other words, a perfect dare for a man like Maximilian Standforth!

Maximilian Standforth, famed playboy aristocrat and private detective, is a genius with dangerous tastes. With Bob (his trusty carriage driver, biographer, and body guard) and Maggie Collins (actress, spy, and maid) by his side, Maximilian will experience horrors and madness unlike any seen before. For it is at McGregor Castle that the team will discover more than they ever could imagine in this very experimental and genre-breaking thriller.

“Playing with traditional style and plot ingredients but introducing enough surprises and originality this book was great fun to read.” -Christoph  Fischer Books

MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS
Available in print ($15.38) on Amazon.com here and as an eBook via Google Play ($9.99) here.

My Problem With DoorsJacob’s life changed in a single moment when, as a toddler, he walked through his bedroom door only to find himself in the office of a British officer in Capetown, 1870. This would begin a thirty-year journey which would take him from ancient to future civilizations, and innumerable places and times in between. Through all of his travels, Jacob seeks for the purpose of his predicament, the significance of his life with all of its joys and suffering, loneliness and impermanence.

“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

MEGAN
Available in print ($15.51) on Amazon.com here and as an eBook via Google Play ($9.99) here.

MeganMegan Wane is caught in a life of dull dreariness. She goes to work in a dead end job with a boss she can’t stand, and comes home to a silent apartment with only a standoffish cat for company. She can only get away through her imagination. And there, in her thoughts, there exists a fairy-tale kingdom with wizards and dragons. A place called Prosperity, where she is both a princess and a hero. On this day, both Megan’s external reality and her interior world will suffer tragedy that will turn her life upsidedown and shake her to the foundation. Can Megan turn disaster into deliverance?

“I am very impressed with how Mr. Southard has interwoven the two world’s of Megan. It is very artfully crafted with vivid descriptions. ” -S. M. Nystoriak, Writer’s Block

New WKAR Book Review: Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Current StateI’m back on the radio with a review of the new novel by Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. You can hear my review via the WKAR’s Current State website here:

http://wkar.org/post/book-review-ocean-end-lane

WKAR also has a new page for all of my book reviews, which you can find here. You can also learn more about my reviews via this page on my site.

You can find Neil Gaiman’s new novel on Amazon (here) and at any bookstore. If you would rather read my book review than hear it, you can do so below . I hope you enjoy it.   Continue reading