This and the Other Thing: A Writing Update

Even Superman writes!So this is my life right now.

I got this book. I can’t really talk about it. I mean, it’s still being created. It’s fresh, still new, like a babe. Let’s call it SB for Secret Book. This book has taken over a good part of my daily thoughts, and I’ve spent the last few evenings just working on it.

SB has also entered my dreams. No seriously, I’ve had two dreams with it and both moments ended up in the book.

This is the part of writing that I love about writing. The pure joy of creation, not being bogged down in marketing, query letters (to agents and publishers), etc. Just me and a blank piece of paper. Nothing but possibility.

The only thing I can compare the feeling to is back when I used to play jazz. For me it was the saxophone (alto and soprano), and there is this wild feeling of freedom once you know a song and its chords. That confidence that you are on this, you are in control and you can take the song wherever you want. There is pure improv possibility at that moment. It’s a flash of lightning, controlled energy.

That… right there, is what putting together a first draft feels like for me. And I’m in the midst of it. That is the smile on my face.

Hello. Continue reading

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Guest Post Tomorrow on the Undercover Soundtrack!

Permanent Spring ShowersTomorrow, I’ll be on the Undercover Soundtrack to talk about the musical influences behind my new novel Permanent Spring Showers. There is a preview post on the site today, introducing it and the rock artist I will be talking about. You can check it out here.

The preview is called “Demons, Frustrations, and Betrayal.” (Damn good title for an exciting book too, if you ask me.)

This is the second time, I’ve appeared on this fun series. The first time was to discuss the musical impact of Belle and Sebastian on A Jane Austen Daydream. I called Belle and Sebastian the perfect band for writers, and I still stand by that statement. You can check out that older post here.

I hope you tune in tomorrow to check it out!

Free eBook, New Reviews, a Guest Post, and a New Book!

This has been a really fun week. With the release of my new novel Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, there has been a lot going on. Let’s star with new Max news, before Austen

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, CoverFor only a little longer, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare is a FREE eBook on amazon.com. This is not just for the US Amazon, but also Canada and the UK! So if you are interested, this is the best time. The special ends on June 15 (where it will return to the low price of 3.99 for eBook and about $10 for print). You can find it on amazon here: http://amzn.com/B00CXSDEBE

Now those who read my blog could probably sense I was a little nervous about how people would react to this book. I use the word “experimental” and I mean it. I am doing something very unique here. Well, the first reader review has emerged on GoodReads. And to my great relief it is 5-stars! Here is a quote from it:

It is beautifully written. It reminded of these old fashion books I read as a child, that I used to read hiding from my parents and books that I understood without understanding them. Complicated I know but it is how I felt when I finished The Case of the Dangerous Dare (and dangerous, it was, believe me).

And remember you can read an excerpt from the book as well as learn about it via my posts on the Max page (here). I hope you will check it out.

A Jane Austen Daydream

A Jane Austen DaydreamOver the last day a new 5-star review has come out on amazon for A Jane Austen Daydream. I love this review. It is the kind that can make an author smile for days. Here are some excerpts:

Mr. Southard is an expert at writing in such a fashion as to induce feelings of hate, love, joy, sadness, and righteous fury. I wept, I laughed (out loud, scaring my cats, no doubt), I talked back at the characters making foolish decisions, I railed (in my mind) against those standing in the way of Jane’s happiness…In short, this author is a king at character development and mood setting… this book just might become a classic.

I had a guest post on The Undercover Soundtrack on the music inspiration around A Jane Austen Daydream, Belle and Sebastian. You can read my post here.

A Jane Austen Daydream is available via amazon.com where you can find it in print for just $13.85 in print and only $3.99 for the eBook. Here is the link: http://amzn.com/0983671923

Thanks for reading everyone!

“Belle & Sebastian Meets Jane Austen” A Guest Post on the Undercover Soundtrack

Belle and SebastianToday I have a guest post up on The Undercover Soundtrack. For those that don’t know, it is a unique writing blog where writers share the music that influenced and inspired their writing. My post is on the music of Belle & Sebastian (one of my favorite bands) and how it impacted my new novel A Jane Austen Daydream. Here is the beginning of the article:

There is usually nothing more important to me than the music I have playing while writing a book.  Music can inspire me, engage me, keep my energy up when I need it to be up. It sets the mood for me, and the right song can pull the right levers to get me to go from point A to point B in a plot. It has also been known to drive the people that live with me crazy since while I am writing I may play a CD a few too many times (Just ask my wife about the writing of My Problem With Doors and my nonstop playing of O by Damien Rice; an album I am forbidden to play in her presence again). But what I used for A Jane Austen Daydream was something surprisingly contemporary. This was not something for Liz Bennet to dance to (but she might if given the chance).

You can read the rest of the article here, where I go into details on how Belle & Sebastian (especially their CD The Life Pursuit) changed my version of a certain famous novelist.

A Jane Austen DaydreamA Jane Austen Daydream is available via amazon.com where you can find it in print for just $13.85 in print and only $3.99 for the eBook. Here is the link: http://amzn.com/0983671923

And remember, my new experimental gothic novel Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare is a free eBook on amazon until June 15! You can check it out here.