New WKAR Book Review: The Quick by Lauren Owen

Current StateHello readers! (Wow, that sounded corny, sorry.) I am back on WKAR’s Current State with a new book review, this time reviewing The Quick by new novelist Lauren Owen.

You can listen to my book review here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-lauren-owens-quick-wkar

You can also read my book review below.

The Quick can be found on Amazon here. If you would be interested in hearing/reading more of my NPR book reviews, you can do so via links on this page.

I hope you enjoy my new book review! Continue reading

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Book Sale on Kindle! The gothic MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH… is only 99 cents! Check out an excerpt!

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, Cover

“For now, let me warn you of the morbid and sad tale ahead of you. This is a
tale filled with horror, dark passages, ghostly apparitions, and deaths I would
give my last shilling to forget.”

For a limited time (and just in time for holiday shopping and holiday travels), my novel MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH AND THE CASE OF THE DANGEROUS DARE is on sale on Amazon!

The eBook version is only 99 cents and the print version is only $9.89! If you enjoyed my other books (like A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM) or are curious about my fiction or simply want to read something new, different, and unlike anything you will find… well… anywhere, this is for you!

Honestly, this is not a book for everyone and I adore it for all of its madness. It is the kind of book as a reader I would love to discover lost and dusty on a library shelf. My goal in it was to break down the idea of storytelling and see what remains in the ruins of it… with a lot of humor, romance, horror and mystery roped in as well.

You can find the novel on amazon here (http://amzn.com/B00CXSDEBE).

If you would be interested in kicking the tires first, there is an excerpt below and more via the page for the book on this site here. Continue reading

Free ebook for a limited time! Gothic, quirky, spooky, unexpected- Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, Cover

“If you like your supernatural books where reality mixes with the impossible, the inexplicable, then this is the book for you…. It is beautifully written.” A five-star review from GoodReads.com

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare  is a book pretending to be a gothic Victorian-period mystery. From its dashing hero to foggy London streets and abandoned castle, all the markings are there… but hidden underneath is a book questioning the very nature of storytelling.

For a limited time the book is a FREE EBOOK on Amazon! Here is the link-  http://amzn.com/B00CXSDEBE.

The description of the mad tale:

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.

MaximilianIf 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 be surprised.

“If you have read any Jasper Fforde, imagine him writing whilst tripping on acid.” A reader from amazon.co.uk

Discover the strange new book MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH AND THE CASE OF THE DANGEROUS DARE

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, Cover“If you like your supernatural books where reality mixes with the impossible, the inexplicable, then this is the book for you…. It is beautifully written.” A five-star review from GoodReads.com

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare  is a book pretending to be a gothic Victorian-period mystery. From it’s dashing hero to foggy London streets and abandoned castle, all the markings are there… but hidden underneath is a book questioning the very nature of storytelling.

For a limited time more the book is on sale on amazon (here). You can find the eBook for only $1.99 and the print version (my original vision for the work) for only $9.89. Here is the description of the mad tale:

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.

Here are some more options to learn about the work on this site:

I hope you will take this opportunity to check out this novel. If I can promise anything it is that you will be surprised. For nothing in the castle is at seems…

“If you have read any Jasper Fforde, imagine him writing whilst tripping on acid.” A reader from amazon.co.uk

“A tale filled with horror…” An excerpt from MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH AND THE CASE OF THE DANGEROUS DARE (on sale!)

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, CoverFor a limited time, the new gothic, experimental, fun and odd novel, MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH AND THE CASE OF THE DANGEROUS DARE is on sale on amazon!

It can be found for the low price of $1.99 for eBook and $9.89 in paperback via this link.

Below is an exclusive excerpt from Chapter 1. Enjoy…

The Beginning of Chapter 1 – The Dreaded Invitation

It is with great trepidation and very little pleasure that I begin this next chapter in the life of the great Maximilian Standforth. For many long months I have debated with my soul and conscience on whether to share this work with you, faithful reader. But in these hard times, my wallet and empty stomach have forced me to share this chronicle no matter my misgivings. Yes, hard times have forced my unsteady hand and pen, but I will share no more of that now. It’s not important. If it comes, it will come later in these pages. For now, let me warn you of the morbid and sad tale ahead of you. This is a tale filled with horror, dark passages, ghostly apparitions, and deaths I would give my last shilling to forget. A tale, I am sad to say, that even tested the mind of one of our country’s greatest citizens…. The outcome of that test you will see shortly if you dare continue. Continue reading

My Mad Genius Moment: The Thrill of Writing Something Radically New

Mad!!!On June 11, my new book MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH AND THE CASE OF THE DANGEROUS DARE will be released via amazon.com in eBook and print. Currently, there is a book giveaway going on for the book on Good Reads which you can enter here (only 7 days left!).

To help prepare for the release of this odd and playful book, I thought it would be entertaining to write on the unique experience I had creating my “monster.”

Every artist has a mad genius moment in their past that they can point to…. And if they can’t, chances are they are still in the midst of it.

My mad genius moment came when I had turned thirty. Let me paint the scene- my wife was in grad school; I was working a lousy evening temp job which made it so I only saw her one to two hours a day, if at all; my literary agent at the time was still uncertain how to represent my books, which I truly loved and thought should have been published yesterday; I was continuously hitting walls when I applied for creative writing positions on the college level; and I was turning thirty, which kept reminding me of how many writers and poets said the best work was created by people in their 20’s…. AHHHHH!!!

For any artist, feeling this level of burden and frustration, how could I not put the white lab coat on, mess up my hair and laugh loudly and evilly? Continue reading

My new book MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH AND THE CASE OF THE DANGEROUS DARE to be released on June 11. And a book giveaway!

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, Cover

I’m pleased to announce that my new book MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH AND THE CASE OF THE DANGEROUS DARE will be released on June 11. It will be available via amazon.com. Here is a description of my fun (and possibly mad) 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.

There is also a book giveaway for the work on GoodReads! Two readers will win a print copy of the book. The book giveaway goes through June 12. I hope you will consider entering below.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare by Scott D. Southard

Enter to win

I hope you enjoy my new book!

My Adventure in Self-Publishing: Curse All These Fonts!

fontI am haunted by fonts.  While the characters in MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH AND THE CASE OF THE DANGEROUS DARE are haunted by ghosts and other demonic surprises, I am haunted by the way an “a” can curve, and what each letter may or may not say about my story.

Yes, I have lost days, weeks, debating with myself the right kind of font to use for the book I am self-publishing. It has gotten so bad that some of the fonts are starting to take on personalities for me. For example:

  • Times New Roman is the preppy know-it-all in school. The one you would swear at under your breath when they get a better grade than you.
  • Verdana thinks it is mysterious (it is not).
  • Palatino would dot its i’s with hearts if it could. It is that overly cute.
  • Calibri… well… it is just dumb.
  • Arial is a pampering old grandmother with stale hard candy in a dusty bowl.  Yes, the best intentions are there, but you don’t want to eat them. Ew.

I’ve changed my manuscript again and again trying to find the one that best captures my book. Now the book is a Victorian period mystery (of course, that is not without including the experimental twists in it), so a font that feels a little dated would be nice. Yet, I don’t want to go too much in that regards. I don’t want to drive readers away as if they can feel the dust on the font and story. Continue reading

My Adventure in Self-Publishing: Next Steps and a Vision

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, coverA good cover artist can give an author an amazing gift.

This is not about sales, audience, branding, or marketing (I’ve talked about that already in previous posts and that’s all good); this is much, much more personal.

This gift can be sharp like a knife, and it can cut right into you, your brain and your heart, in a way you would never expect nor be prepared for. That happened for me and my cover artist.

See, what my marvelous cover artist did for me was she introduced me to my characters visually for the first time. For the very first time I could see them.

There they are, right there. They could almost wave at me…

Like I said, it is an amazing gift, and I will always be so very thankful of my cover artist for it. Her name is Brina Williamson and I am in awe. (Do yourself a favor and check out her website here now to see more examples of her work and what she could do for your own books.)

For the first time, one of my creations stepped out of the home of my imagination, becoming more than a description on a piece of paper. And, to be honest, I’m one of those writers that lean towards less is more in character descriptions, hoping that my reader will fill in the gaps, making the story more personal for them (an old writing trick, take note); but Brina asked for notes from me on the characters… and… well… there they are.

I’ve seen my stories performed at readings (many times in classroom settings with fellow writers), I’ve heard my characters recreated in audiobooks and in full cast radio dramatizations (you can hear The Dante Experience here), and that was all fun… but visual is new for me. And I have such a hard time looking away from it, it’s addicting.

I’m going to say it for a third time; that image is an amazing gift and when I saw it I am not ashamed to admit I had to wipe away tears. Continue reading

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