Five Things I Am Into Right Now, November 2013

A Charlie Brown ThanksgivingThanksgiving bothers me.

Last year, I wrote a post on the holiday where I summed up all of my feelings around it (You can find that piece here). I wrote about how odd it is to see Woodstock eat another bird in the Charlie Brown special for the holiday and I did this deep thing about how maybe we should reconsider the holiday; as compared to the starting mark for Black Friday. In other words, a typical Southard post.

Well, that post did some good numbers on the site, so I thought it might be fun to take it on again… So I thought… and thought… and then banged my head on my keyboard. Seriously, I have nothing else to say about the holiday. Nothing. Nada. Zip.  I then considered just reblogging that post, but I already did that once before. As Charlie Brown would scream “Argh!”

This year my wife is making the turkey for the first time. I’ll probably attempt to watch some of the Macy parade with my kids (which always seems to have more commercials than floats). I’m not a football dude, never have been. I think that goes back to a memory I have of one of my cousins tackling me which knocked the air out of me. After that I rarely showed interest in the sport.  I was done. So I’ll watch the kids, help my wife when I can in the kitchen, and countdown the days until I can write about Christmas.

I always have something to say about that holiday.

Here are my five things that interest me this November. Continue reading

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My Adventure in Self-Publishing: Wrestling the Proof Copy into Submission

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, CoverA proof copy of your novel is a beautifully constructed illusion.

Oh, it feels like your book, it could even be argued that it smells like your book, but when you open it up… Wait! I forgot that comma! What happened to that word in that sentence? I know I didn’t mean that!

The illusion is shattered like a mirror and by the time you have gone through the entire book your hands are riddled with little scratches and nicks, and the mirror is nothing like it used to look like. It’s all funky now and so is the reflection staring back at you.

Okay… okay… I know that is dramatic, but that is how I felt going through the proof copy of my new novel MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH AND THE CASE OF THE DANGEROUS DARE.

One of the wonderful little surprises I had with deciding to work with CreateSpace is this option for a proof copy. Yes, they give you the option to look at the proof online for free, but I wanted to hold it.

See, I’ve never gotten into the whole Kindle thing. I just can’t get lost in a story via a screen like I do with paper. Maybe that makes me old fashioned (and, wow, I feel too young to have that feeling about anything), but it just feels more real. On paper is how I discovered all of my favorite books! We share a history, paper and me; and I want my new book to be part of that as well. Continue reading

My Online Literary Experiment: The Joy and Agony of Reaching 100 Pages

100 pages has always been my writing hump.

I can’t explain why this is true exactly, but it has been for each of the six books I have written (three published, and one online), but I do have some theories. By 100 pages, I will have presented and introduced much of the plot, the style of the work will be firmly in place, and by then each of my major characters would have stepped forward and taken a bow. The only time I can remember this not being true was when I wrote A Jane Austen Daydream and the main love interest would not emerge until almost page 200.

Sometimes this 100 page marker can be a book killer. I have abandoned work and actually started over from scratching after reaching that mark and not being happy with what I did building up to that almost holy number.

When Chapter 8 goes up on Friday, I will have reached 100 pages for Permanent Spring Showers, and with it, just like noted above, much of the plot and all of the major characters will be introduced. Yet, because of how I am creating this work and sharing it the feeling of relief I usually get at this point does not feel the same. Continue reading

It’s time! The eBook version of MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS is available! (Links, samples, and a new introduction to the work is included in this post)

The eBook for MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS is now available via Google eBooks for a mere $9.99. You can find it here.

This version can work on any eBook reader from Kindle to your iPad or iPhone. 

If you would rather have a paperback copy of the book, it is still available via amazon.com (here) for $15.95.

There are a few samples from the work available out there if you would like to check it out first. You can find a sample from the work via the official Google eBook page for it (here) as well as a sample on my own website (here) of one of my favorite scenes in the work.

If you have read the book and liked it, please consider sharing it with a friend. If you haven’t read it, I hope you will check out this unique and surprising novel. I am very proud of it. A new introduction to the creation of the work is included below. Continue reading

MEGAN is now available as an eBook! (Only $9.99). The link to purchase, samples, and a new introduction in this post…

I am proud to announce that my novel MEGAN is now available as an eBook!

It is being sold via Google Books for only $9.99 and it can be used on any eBook reader (Kindle, etc.) or iPad or iPhone. Here is the link to my novel, MEGAN.

I hope you will check it out and share it with your friends.

If you would like a sample of the work first, they are available as well via Google Books, or you can find a previous sample I have shared on my site here.

If you would rather not deal with an eBook, it is, of course, still available via amazon. You can find the paperback here for $15.95.

Here is the amazon description of the book: Megan 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 upside down and shake her to the foundation. Can Megan turn disaster into deliverance?

Below is a new introduction to the book and my experience writing it.

I hope you will check out the eBook of my novel, MEGAN. I am really proud of the book and I think you will like it as well. Continue reading