“Nightmares first take breath.” An Excerpt from MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH AND THE CASE OF THE DANGEROUS DARE

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, CoverI’m proud to announce that my new novel MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH AND THE CASE OF THE DANGEROUS DARE is now available!

You can get the eBook from amazon.com for just $3.99 (http://amzn.com/B00CXSDEBE) or as a a paperback for the low price of$10.71  (http://amzn.com/1484034287). The book is also available via amazon in other countries.

This excerpt is from Chapter 7 (and depicts much of what you see in the great cover art), when our heroes and two questionable individuals arrive at the dreaded McGregor Castle. Enjoy! 

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare

From Chapter 7. The Gothic Landscape


Even in that cloudless and starless night, it seemed to win out against the sky’s eternity, surpassing it in black, the darkest and heaviest black.

All the stories Blackberry tried to tell us on the train, all the fear that McGregor showed at our departure could not match, could only hint at, the vision of horror in front of us. It looked like the kind of place you would believe was built in the center of hell, not to keep evil out, but to keep the evil in.

No words exist to express the horror of its peaks, the gothic nature of its shape and structure, the grimness of its design. I wish I could properly convey the feeling of terror it generated in all of us, dear reader. I wish I knew words that would fill you with the same dread we felt, the same repulsion, the same desire to escape, to run.

I do not. Continue reading

Dante, Tigers, & Tap-Dancing Demons, Oh My! Listen to THE DANTE EXPERIENCE

The Dante ExperienceDan Brown in his latest book, Inferno, thinks he knows Dante’s Divine Comedy.


Inspired by Douglas Adams’ The Hithchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series and Monty Python, the entire award-winning unpredictable and bizarre radio comedy series The Dante Experience is available to listen to online via soundcloud. All freaking 10 episodes! If you don’t know this work of mine, you are in for a treat. Listen below!

Produced and directed by Mind’s Ear Audio Productions, The Dante Experience follows a badly-managed attempt to instill a fear of the afterlife in the next generation of man. Robert and his friends were definitely the wrong young adults to choose for the tour, as his girlfriend dumps him for Mephistopheles the devil, his friend Susan forms an army with Julius Caesar to argue for the deads’ rights, and Steve seduces famous women throughout history. The afterlife is never going to be the same.

I hope you enjoy listening to my comedy series!

Beautiful. Entertaining. Insightful. Well Done. Three New 5-Star Reviews for A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM!

Jane Austen talking to agents and publishersThis weekend my novel A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM received three new 5-star reviews on amazon! It’s truly a wonderful feeling to know that my book is having such an impact on it’s readers.

“A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM is an entertaining and insightful book… A delightful read, and not just for Jane Austen fans!” (From  “A Delightful Daydream!)

“Good writing, great characters and I would definately read more from this author. This book was well done and I thoroughly enjoyed it!” (From “A New Favorite”)

“All and all, I loved the book. I’m just sorry that the real Jane Austen didn’t get the happy ending that Southard so lovingly creates for her.” (From “A Happy Little Dalliance”)

A Jane Austen DaydreamA JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM is available via amazon.com where you can find it in print for just $9.85 in print and only $3.99 for the eBook. Here is the link: http://amzn.com/0983671923

I hope you will check out my new book as well.

Thanks for reading!

Cool! A Review & Interview For My Novel MEGAN

MeganRecently, writer and blogger S.M. Nystoriak reviewed my novel MEGAN. This is how she described MEGAN in her review:

A blend of whimsical fantasy and modern day reality, Southard’s writing takes the reader through Megan’s life. Megan, the character, is unhappy with the lot she has been given in her modern day life, and she escapes into her imagination at will to the World of Prosperity, where she is Princess Megan, and has a whole fantasy world at her disposal. Much like Alice’s world of Wonderland, Southard has created the World of Prosperity, where the sun battles the moon for control on a daily basis, and the inhabitants of Prosperity have unique problems all their own.

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!

Afterwards, Nystoriak asked if I would give an interview about the book for her website Writer’s Block. In the interview, I discuss my history as a writer, my books and my inspiration for this novel. You can read it here.

I hope you will check out the interview and consider reading my novel. It can be found in print via amazon.com and as an eBook on Google Play (which will work on all eReaders).

Thanks for reading!

An Interview for A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM by The Jane Austen Centre!

The Jane Austen CentreI’m incredibly honored to have an interview for A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM (my new novel coming this April from Madison Street Pubilshing) in the Jane Austen Centre online magazine! (You can’t see me right now, but I am doing quite the happy dance.)

In the interview, I share some of my thoughts on Jane, the book’s influences, and how I found Jane.  But that’s not all! There is an excerpt from the book included as well as the very first glimpse of the new cover of the book!

You can read the interview (and see the cover) here: http://www.janeausten.co.uk/an-interview-sd-southard-author-a-jane-austen-daydream/

A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM will be available in eBook and print in April.

Stay tuned for more information!

A Writing Update: I Don’t Like Roller Coasters

Ahhhhh!!!!!I don’t like roller coasters.

I never have, and the few times I have dared ride one, I stiffen up, feeling all of my muscles tighten and lock in place from my toes to my face. I’ve even been known to get kinks in my neck from the experience that can last for hours afterwards. Yes, I suffer from a good roller coaster. You may scream in joy, I’m the guy in the back with the gritted teeth screaming in terror like a child in a haunted house.

The only roller coasters I have been known to enjoy are not considered intense in anyone’s book. For example, I like the ones at Disneyland (Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, etc.) and I think part of the reason I like those is because I have something to look at, as compared to the ground rushing towards me, preparing to swallow me up into the black of death’s eternal oblivion.

Well, last week for me and my writing was a roller coaster. In a matter of a week (and just a week), I had my old publisher close up shop, got a termination letter, received my last check, and watched my beloved novel disappear from amazon… AND in that same week- I got a great new publisher for it and decided to try something new with one of my other books! So on the roller coaster I went screaming down and then rose up in relief, safe to live once more, and strangely and magically stronger and happier for the experience.

Here is an update on what is going on right now with three of my books: A Jane Austen Daydream, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, and Permanent Spring Showers. Continue reading

A Jane Austen Daydream: Issue With Print Copy!

A Jane Austen DaydreamGreetings readers!

This weekend my publisher discovered that the printer has been using the eBook format instead of the formatted printing version for its printing of A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM. So if you have a copy of the novel that is only 280 pages and no page breaks… Well, there you go.

The fact, of course, is that this doesn’t change the book. It is still my book… just with smaller font and other visual issues. My publisher is working now to fix the problem with the printer. I’ll post here once the book is ready to be available again.

Of course, while the paperback is being corrected, the eBook is still available.

And you can learn more, read interviews and excerpts, etc. always via the A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM page.


My Online Literary Experiment: Time to Catch Up!

Feeling the ShowerPermanent Spring Showers is a new novel, but it is also an experiment… an experiment around creation, instinct, and a heck of a lot of literary luck.

To begin with, I grew up a fan of Charles Dickens, and one of the things he is well known for is how he wrote many of his novels, sharing them via his papers one chapter at a time; many times while still creating them. So to start, I wondered if I could do the same thing. That was the basis right there for my challenge.

Using an old screenplay I wrote years and years ago as the starting point, I first created 25 chapter titles. Those chapter titles now are the only direction I really have in the writing. See, the book is nothing like the screenplay, only a few scant remnants remain. (I can’t even remember the last time I have even opened up the screenplay file!) If having to guess, I would say only two plotlines remain, and only that many of the original characters are still like their former selves. Everything else is so sparkly new, and many times when I start a chapter, I have no idea where the characters are going to take me next. Thrilling and terrifying.

When I started it felt so wonderfully easy, with the first chapter oddly being the shortest one in the book. It was a lie! When the third chapter reached over 25 pages I realized I might be in a little bit of trouble. I wasn’t drowning, but I was enjoying the deep end of the pool a little too much, let me say that.

To help you, the readers, feel part of the process, I’ve also been creating occasional editorial updates on the experience. I like to think of them as fun little glimpses into the mind of a writer at work. They are full of contradictions, conflicting goals, and seem to carry through them the one underlining thought, “I don’t know what I am doing or where I am going, but this is strangely fun.”

And it has been a fun experience for me.

In 2013 I will be creating the last three chapters (plus one very short epilogue) for the novel. With the end so close I thought this might be a good time for readers to consider catching up or maybe starting for the first time. You can find all of the chapters here. I hope you will consider checking it out. Below, is a brief introduction to the book and the characters in it: Continue reading

My Online Literary Experiment: Riding the Train

The Approaching trainOn this Friday I will be sharing Chapter 21 and I am, honestly, feeling more stress and pressure now around the writing of the book than I have ever before.

Wait… have I said that before? Whatever the case, I am on the train and we are flying down the tracks. Little animals beware!

Part of the stress might just be because I have to keep up this blog at the same time… and there is the matter of my new little book being released last week!

A Jane Austen Daydream(Oh didn’t you know? Here is a link for my info- https://sdsouthard.com/2012/12/07/a-jane-austen-daydream-my-latest-novel-is-out-only-4-99/.)

Yes, there is a lot going on and I feel it in my writing bones…

The Struggles

As I noted in my last update I am no longer ahead a week in my writing, which means Chapter 21 is still a work in process even today, but that is not my big problem. My big problem is that as I get near the end there is so much I want to do which means my chapters are getting long.

When I first began the experiment, I thought the chapters would always be between 10 and 15 pages, in the most. Well, that was thrown to the wind with the first 20+ page chapter emerged (Chapter 3).

Ah, Chapter 3… What did you do to me!?!

Continue reading

A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM has a Facebook page!

A Jane Austen Daydream's Facebook page!A Facebook page for A Jane Austen Daydream has been created on Facebook by my great publisher. I hope you will consider liking it. There are samples from the book, comments, and giveaways! Yes, prizes related to my book. How cool is that?

Right now they are giving away a poster. (I kind of want one.) You can find the Facebook page here.

And as always, you can find the book for purchase here:

I can not wait to hear what people think of the work…