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!

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Five Things I Am Into Right Now, April 2014

UmbrellaSpring should be a time of rebirth, new things to discover. It’s one of the reasons that the summer blockbusters start in this month and Easter is filled with eggs and rabbits. Yet, when I look over my list I notice that much of it is filled with… well… old stuff.

Maybe this says something about me?

Or maybe I just need to stop psychoanalyzing myself?

I do it a lot, of course, but everyone that has a blog does. We are a collection of little self-therapists, the only difference is the world gets access to the notepad. And can comment on it.

Well, speaking as my own therapist, I see on this list a sonic piece of detective comfort food, a need for silly humor, a demon I can’t escape, a cartoon for the kiddies, and a CD that always puts a smile on my face. My diagnosis is that it is a something like a call for Spring, but a comforting one. So maybe I am almost on the right page, just not quite.

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

Their Obsession With Cheetahs

The CubbiesEvery night my children go to bed with cheetah cubbies that may be leopards.

They are cheap stuffed toys, the kind you see at the front of lesser family restaurants. Nothing extravagant, but wherever they go in the house, they are usually in the same room, many times next to each other. And each evening, they are needed for nighttime or there might be tears.

The cheetahs started with my son when he realized how fast they were.

My son has always loved to run. Back when he used to go to daycare and I would pick him up, on every nice day he would be in the playground racing with his friends. The teacher would just shout “Go!” and watch the kids run around and around again, not considering it was the parents that had to deal with the kids with sweat-soaked hair that would always need a bath later.

Now my son wasn’t always the fastest, he did good, but there were always kids a little faster since they might be older or just plan bigger. But that didn’t matter to my son, he would always tell me on the way home how he won… even when we both knew he didn’t.

He was Dash from The Incredibles for Halloween when he was four then the year after that The Flash. Whenever either costume was put on he would get this look in his eye, scream “zoom” and take off running around our house hoping to find a bad guy some place.

A red blur of speed!

 Last Christmas, my daughter gave her brother a giant stuffed cheetah. (Well, actually the parents did but she happily took credit for it, she was one then.) My son immediately declared it was the mommy cheetah, and they both happily agreed. The cheetah cubbies were grabbed and quickly were reunited.

They are now a family of cheetahs. Continue reading

Taking on the Princesses. Me vs. My Two-Year Old Daughter’s Heroes

ScoutFor years I dreamed of Scout.

That is how I used to imagine my future daughter. Smart, inquisitive, able to stand up in a fight and not playing with dolls, finally growing into a person like Harper Lee. Inventive. Creative. Empowered.

That is not to say I envisioned myself as an Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. I’m not that great, and when I do heart-to-hearts with my kids they are never that lyrical or profound. Usually, it seems to me, that my big parental moments are always about the importance of sharing and taking turns (from toys to parents). Ah, the life of a father with two little ones.

Whatever the case, my daughter is over two now, almost two and a half, and all of the popular girl trends I hoped to avoid with my daughter have taken over and laid waste to my Scout dreams. Where there should be overalls, there are pink leggings, where the toys should be educational and gender-neutral, her likes lean towards the pink aisle of the toy store, the one boys avoid like the cooties.

Yes, my daughter is a full-on little girl, surrounded by Care Bears, babies that need rocking, a lot of pink, and I am at a loss… and then there are the princesses. Continue reading

The Historical Resonance of Turning Two

With a baby...Sentimentality runs thick in my family. It has always been that way, carrying on that tradition from my parents to me. And when a holiday or family event arrives at our door, the past always arrives with it, shaking the snow off its boots, an escapable addition at the table.

Every Christmas tree is compared to a past tree, every gathering being a moment to remember those no longer there, and birthdays are always tainted with the feeling of a time gone that will never return.

This is not a bad thing.

In a way it adds to my family’s experiences along this mortal coil, since we view time and moments in such a special light. So at any event, look for me with the video camera trying to chase something down that can’t be chased down; the elusive kernel of a pure, real instant.

Every giggle, every dance, every story of my kids, I want to capture it, knowing that someday, with my sentimentality sitting beside me on the couch I will want to view it again… and again… and again…

That time that is just about to slip away. Continue reading

While You Wait…

I like to think of life as a theater sometimes. Mainly this is because I had so much experience growing up around the stage since my brother was a young actor and I was dragged along many evenings (sometimes even helping backstage with the crew).

Right now, I have two books waiting in the wings, being prepared for their performances (A Jane Austen Daydream and Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare). So while you wait for their appearances in a few months, why not check out some of the acts ready for the spotlight? I’m extremely proud of both of these books and I think you will enjoy them.

My Problem With Doors

My Problem With DoorsJacob is lost in time. He has been lost since as a toddler he first stepped through a door and ended up in a different land, in a different time. Over the course of the tale, Jacob tells of his struggles growing up in history. From the battlefields of WWI to an Afghanistan terrorist camp to the streets of Jack the Ripper to the estate of Lord Byron to a pirate ship, Jacob explores what it means to be human and if he, with his unique problem, has a purpose, a destiny. Romantic, surprising, and full of adventure, My Problem With Doors is filled with twists and turns.

You can find the book:

  • In print on amazon for $15.95 here.
  • It is available as an eBook (and will work on all devices) via Google Play (here) or on the publisher’s site (here).

You can read a sample from My Problem With Doors here.

Megan

MeganMegan Wane lives in two worlds. In one she is a beloved princess and secret superhero fighting to save her dream-like kingdom of Prosperity from disaster with a magic sword firmly in her grasp; and in the other world Megan is an event planner living in a stale cubicle, lost in the drab of an uninspired 9-to-5 existence. Megan is a story about the line where dreams and tragedy meet and the repercussions of the choices we make in our precious lives.

You can find the book:

  • In print on amazon for $15.95 here.
  • It is available as an eBook (and will work on all devices) via Google Play (here) or on the publisher’s site (here).

You can read a sample from Megan here.

Reblog- Discussing Brave

This film comes out on Blu-Ray this week and this is my initial response to the film (which is great). My daughter is only 18-months old and is obsessed with Princess Merida. She has a toddler doll of her and walks around with it, calling it her baby. She runs her hands through her hair, gives it kisses, sleeps with it each night… Yes, it is all very cute. The day I show her the film and she realizes her “baby” can walk and talk too, her little mind will certainly be wowed.

The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard

This discussion/review is filled with spoilers so if you have not seen Brave… Well, go see it, it is great.

I’m not sure whether to compliment the marketing division at Disney or scold them, but Brave is not the movie they were selling to us. Oh, it is a good film, and I really enjoyed the trip, but it’s not the film I felt like we were seeing in the ads.

Yes, there is magic, there is the princess with the bow, there is some adventure in the end, but it is not on a grand magical stage. If anything the film seems smaller than all that, and even seems to decrease in size over the picture, since we keep returning to locations we have seen before, again and again.

Yes, in many ways, Brave is a small  and personal film, with only a small cast dealing with an issue…

View original post 716 more words

Discussing Brave

This discussion/review is filled with spoilers so if you have not seen Brave… Well, go see it, it is great.

I’m not sure whether to compliment the marketing division at Disney or scold them, but Brave is not the movie they were selling to us. Oh, it is a good film, and I really enjoyed the trip, but it’s not the film I felt like we were seeing in the ads.

Yes, there is magic, there is the princess with the bow, there is some adventure in the end, but it is not on a grand magical stage. If anything the film seems smaller than all that, and even seems to decrease in size over the picture, since we keep returning to locations we have seen before, again and again.

Yes, in many ways, Brave is a small  and personal film, with only a small cast dealing with an issue that doesn’t affect the entire world but only one country in a minor political way. Kingdoms are not going to fall because of this story. Princess Merida is not fighting to save the world with all of the odds against her; no she is only trying to save one person, her mom. Continue reading

Time to Share! Some Southard Samples

Today, I thought I would link to some samples I have shared from some of my novels in the past. Think of this as something like Show and Tell, but it is my turn and no one gets a turn but me… Oh, and everyone has to listen and applaud at the end with a hint of jealousy… oh yes, and run out and buy all my books and love me.

Okay, maybe not all that, but you get the gist.

I have two novels currently in print. They were both honored in a novel-writing competition before being selected for publication by a new indie press. They are Megan and My Problem With Doors. I am really proud of both books.

Megan is the story of Megan Wane. Megan lives in two different worlds. In the real world, she is a very bored office worker, frustrated by the direction her life has taken and dealing with a micro-managing boss. In her fantasy world though, Megan is a princess superhero, The Great Defender.

In this excerpt (here), Megan deals with a very “bureaucratic” dragon. You can find my book on amazon.com here.

My Problem With Doors is the story of Jacob who has been stuck time traveling ever since he was a toddler. His “problem” is a unique one; doors do not work for him as they do for us, and when he enters one he never knows what he will meet on the other side.

In this excerpt (here) from the novel, Jacob has dinner with Jack the Ripper. You can find the book on amazon.com here.

A lot of my work over this year has been trying to find a home for A Jane Austen Daydream, my most current novel. Last year, it was selected to be shared online by greenspotblue.com. (Those links to the chapters from the book can still be found on the A Jane Austen Daydream page.)  My hope is to find an agent for the work and then get it published. So if you are an agent or publisher reading this… ah… hi...

A Jane Austen Daydream is not a biography, it is not even close to being one. In the book, I am “retelling” Jane’s life as if she was one of the characters in her novel, giving her the love story she deserved and never had.

This selection (here) is chapter two from the first part of the work.

Thanks for reading! And please, if you like what you read, share the work on your page or share with your friends or buy the books or visit the Austen page or tell your aunt who is an agent about me or send me cookies… I like cookies. Who doesn’t?