New WKAR Book Review: Jim Harrison’s Brown Dog

Current StateI am back on WKAR’s Current State with a new book review!  This time I am taking on Michigan author Jim Harrison and his collection of novellas entitled Brown Dog.

You can listen to my book review here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-jim-harrisons-brown-dog-novellas

If you would rather read my review, you can do so below.

Brown Dog can be found on Amazon.com here. You can check out my other book reviews for WKAR’s Current State via this page on their site and the links on my page here.

I hope you enjoy my new book review! Continue reading

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Something romantic for Valentine’s Day? A Jane Austen Daydream is a FREE eBook for a limited time!

A Jane Austen Daydream

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

This February 14th and 15th A Jane Austen Daydream is available as a FREE eBook! You can find it on amazon.com here (http://amzn.com/B00CH3HQUU). Grab your copy now!

“…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

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.

A Jane Austen Daydream is published by Madison Street Publishing. You can learn more about the work, read reviews, and read excerpts via this page for the book.

“…Lovely, thought-provoking novel. Fans of Austen will adore this book.” – Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List

New WKAR Book Review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Current StateI am back on WKAR’s Current State with a new book review! This time it is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

You can hear my review here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-donna-tartts-goldfinch

If you would rather read the review, you can do so below.

The Goldfinch can be found on amazon.com here. You can check out my other book reviews for WKAR’s Current State via this page on their site and the links on my page here.

I hope you enjoy my new book review! Continue reading

On sale for the holidays! A Jane Austen Daydream is only 99 cents for Kindle!

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

Just in time for holiday travels, long flights, new Kindles, and quiet evenings by the fire, A Jane Austen Daydream is on sale for Kindle on Amazon!

For a limited time it is ONLY 99 cents! You can find the book here (http://amzn.com/B00CH3HQUU).

“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

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.

“Southard has taken the facts about the great author and woven them into a credible, touching, and also entertaining portrait of a life.” -Historical Novel Society

If you would like to learn more about A Jane Austen Daydream, you can do so on this page for the book (https://sdsouthard.com/a-jane-austen-d…); read interviews, excerpts, and editorials. A Jane Austen Daydream is published by Madison Street Publishing.

“…Scott Southard’s Jane is a delightful creature. She is clever and witty and determined to do the best she can for herself, even when things take a turn for the worst….her thoughts and comments had me smiling (and even laughing) on more than one occasion.”-Austenprose.com

“…Lovely, thought-provoking novel. Fans of Austen will adore this book.” – Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List.

New WKAR Book Review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Current StateJust in time for the holidays!

Today on WKAR I take on one of the greats, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

I’m really proud of this review and I hope you will check it out. You can listen to the review here:

http://wkar.org/post/book-review-charles-dickens-christmas-carol

If you would rather read my review, you can do so below.

This was my twelfth appearance on Current State and you can hear/read my other reviews via this page on my site or on the Current State site here. I have reviewed other classics as well as contemporary books.

I hope you enjoy my book review… and Merry Christmas! Continue reading

Charging the Melancholy Dragon: The Down Bits in Writing Today

Bugs Bunny in CasablancaBeing a writer can be… depressing.

This is really not surprising and most that work in the arts feel this to a certain degree, because you are putting a piece of your soul out there for the world to see and judge.

And everyone judges.

Yet, for an author there is something about writing that makes it seem so, so much more personal.

It’s probably because a story begins in one’s mind and resides there for months to years, until that fateful moment when a writer finally hits “print” on their keyboard or “send” in that first e-mail. And when you consider that most authors are introverts to a certain degree to being with.… Well, it just spells depressing doom, doesn’t it?  Yes, this all seems completely explainable, so why does it affect all of us so much?

Because creativity is all illogical! It’s on a completely different side of the brain from logic! Creativity resides with emotion and once I am ready myself to show or talk about a book, I usually expect to be disappointed and a little down. This is not me being a glass-half empty kind of guy; it’s just the nature of being a writer, especially in today’s overly-congested market of authors peddling their wares.

Yes, we writers when we are young to the field all dream of accolades and awards and long lines of readers desiring autographs at the local bookstore, but that doesn’t always happen. The chance of that happening to any of us is the equivalent of winning the lottery. Maybe three lotteries… back to back… in one day… and then getting hit by lightning while picking up the winnings.

These are the two most important lessons that get me through the rough authoring patches… Continue reading

New WKAR Book Review: Mitch Albom’s The First Phone Call From Heaven

Current StateI am back on WKAR’s Current State today with a new book review! This time it is for the new novel by Mitch Albom, The First Phone Call From Heaven.

You can listen to my latest book review here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-mitch-alboms-first-phone-call-heaven

If you would rather read my review, you can do so below.

Mitch Albom’s book can be found on amazon here. If you would like to learn more about my book reviews or hear/read past installments you can do so via my site (here) or via this page on Current State’s official website.

I hope you enjoy the review! Continue reading

Working The Audience: A Very Useful Writing Trick

On the StageI am a little bit of a helpless romantic.

For those who read my novel A Jane Austen Daydream that is not at all surprising. And before I met my wife I thought of my writing as a gateway to the heart.

I was one of those fools that bought into the lie of the romantic novels and the romantic comedy films. You see this plot twist all the time! That grand gesture that makes a person reconsider another in a different light. Oh, it is a great idea in a story, but we all know, honestly, it goes against how people are wired in the real world.

Short stories with hidden messages (and not so hidden ones), books, and I still squirm to remember the poetry. I have admitted a lot of embarrassing stuff on this site, but this is one of those few memories I still want to crawl into a cave and live out my remaining days because of. Yup, just the hint of it makes me want to become a hermit.

I, Scott Southard, was the creator of bad love poems. And I have sent them, strategically left them around, and even mailed them once anonymously in the hope that it would make another stop and see me as hotter (as some kind of light rock classic kicks on in the background like in a bad movie). In the end it never worked… and, by the way, the recipient of the anonymous love poems didn’t even figure out they were from me until I said something! Ouch!

All those bad memories aside, there is something to be said for the importance of an audience. I’m not just talking about the readers all writers dream to have, I mean that more enigmatic dream of a reader. The one we hope will find our work, the one in the back of our mind that drives the creation forward. They demand the story. What many don’t realize is that dream reader can be a tool, and can help over many different steps in the creative process if used right. Just be sure to leave the poetry at home… Continue reading

Looking for a Literary Agent…

Empty StageSometimes being a writer can feel like being a designer at a fashion show. (Well, that is what I imagine, I’ve never been a designer. Some would laugh at that idea. I’m slightly colorblind which wouldn’t help, that is for certain.)

You spend so much time preparing your “look” and then suddenly the model needs to take the walk in front of the crowds. And you wait, terrified, seeing what reactions you get.  Are there gasps or moans?  It’s all stressful, with highs and lows, but we all have to do it. It’s part of the gig.

In the next few months I’m going to start to query different literary agencies about my new novel Permanent Spring Showers. Yup, I’m pushing my new book onto the catwalk and I will stand backstage with my fingers crossed not daring to look.

Preparing my query letter, synopsis and excerpt has gotten me thinking of my experiences and also some of my writing posts about literary agencies. Below, after the jump, are links to some of those posts as well as new helpful insights on them. Some of these writing articles are the most popular things I have ever done on this site.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with literary agencies on other books and I hope that Permanent Spring Showers gets the same chance. I’m really proud of it. Permanent Spring Showers revolves around an artist named Vince who is about to create some of the most important and groundbreaking contemporary art.  Inspired by an affair, his creations will affect all around him in this multi-cast tale about relationships, academics, art, authors, and lies. You can learn more about the book on this page and read the first chapter exclusively here.

Now about those agency articles… Continue reading

Free eBook for the weekend! Only a little longer left to grab Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, CoverThe clock is ticking and the haunted McGregor Castle is awaiting your arrival!

At the end of Sunday (September 8), the free ebook giveaway for Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare will come to an end. You can grab a copy by visiting Amazon.com here: http://amzn.com/B00CXSDEBE. Throw it on your Kindle now!

I have always had a great fondness for this story, and have written on its creation a few times on this site (which you can read on the page for the book here). It’s a mad experimental tale, trying to capture that excitement I used to get finding a dusty book at a library, filled with mysteries and new literary surprises. Anything is possible in a story like this, as you will soon see…

Here is the description from the back of the book:

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.

MaggieIf you do take this opportunity to download my free novel, please consider checking out my other books as well- A Jane Austen Daydream, My Problem With Doors, and Megan. If I can promise anything with MAXIMILIAN (and my other tales) it is that you will find something very, very new.