“To write means more than putting pretty words on a page;
the act of writing is to share a part of your soul with the world.”
With this words I want to truly say thank you to The Writing of Scott D. Southard for the amazing gift he sent me a few weeks ago, his new book – Permanent Spring Showers.
- Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Scott D. Southard, I’m the author of the novel A Jane Austen Daydream, and most recently Permanent Spring Showers. I’ve always been obsessed with writing and books. When I look back at my childhood, my years and summers were not marked by big baseball games or events; for me, it was always about the book I devoured that year.
The summer of Sherlock Holmes, the summer of Shakespeare.
I went on to study writing at Aquinas College, Michigan State University and, finally, at the University of Southern California.
Today, when my focus is not on my own books, I do the book reviews for my local NPR station. which feels in a way like giving back to the artform I love. I also have a blog that I really dig doing. It is called “The Musings and Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard” at sdsouthard.com. You can learn more about my novels, my philosophy about writing, and pretty much my opinion about everything under the sun there. I hope will check it out.
- When did you began to write and why?
Let’s start with the spark. That moment when a dream or a simple playful question grows into the possibility of so much more. From a teenager on, I cannot really remember a time when I wasn’t playing with one quirky idea or another. That spark is always wild fun for me.
What truly inspired me to write (and still inspires me today) was the idea of doing something unique on the page. In other words, I didn’t want to just tell a story, I wanted to surprise.
That surprise could be anything from a twist a reader might not expect, to finding a new way to tell a story. It’s one of the reasons all of my books are very different from each other and why I am always testing myself as storyteller. So, it could be said, that if someone picks up one of my books (no matter which one) that should expect something new…. At least, if I did my job right.
- Your favorite book when you were young and/or your favorite book now?
This always changes for me.
I can say that an important book for me when I was a child was The Lord of the Rings (and yes, I see it as all one book) by J.R.R. Tolkien. The reason why is not because I see it as perfect (It isn’t, e.g., Tom Bombadil), more for the pure escapism I felt upon reading it for the first time. I lost days just laying on my parents’ couch devouring it. I would love to imagine that my books could have the same power for my readers.
I always get a lot of inspiration from other writers and their books, and what is my current favorite usually relates to what I am creating at the time, be it books by Vonnegut or Dickens or Austen.
The most recent book I’ve read and loved was Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper. Check it out!
- What is the name of your new book? Tell us more about the characters and the story?
My new novel is entitled Permanent Spring Showers and the story begins with an affair.
Book Description – Professor Rebecca Stanley-Wilson discovers that her husband had an affair (and with one of her own students!). He tells her this news while she is preparing to leave for a literary convention. While at the event (and after way too many drinks) she has one of her own. Problematic for her, her affair was with one of the great up and coming painters of his generation. That evening of passion would inspire one of the great works of American art.
Permanent Spring Showers is the story of that painting and all of the people connected with it. There is humor, romance, and a lot of twists, all building to one very surprising Memorial Day.
- How do you go about promoting your work?
It’s always a battle. The world of books is a very congested market with new works published every day. You can go on Twitter at any minute and read the tweets of fellow writers begging people to just give their work a chance.
We’ve all been there. And it is a very steep mountain to climb. There are no easy answers, and luck does play a part (a big part actually).
Permanent Spring Showers was published by 5 Prince Books, which means I get to work with their marketing people on promoting the work. For me, I have my blog, my Twitter and my Facebook page. I also sometimes give readings or present on writing. I will never turn down a chance to find new readers for my stories.
I like to say that I have earned every reader I have had. Hopefully, they will come back again and again (and maybe bring a friend).
- How do you think electronic books have changed things?
Honestly, I feel limited by eBooks.
The thing is I like the idea of experimenting with how to present a story. A great example of this is in my novel Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare. It is a faux-period mystery, with some big questions about reality. At one point reality is broken, and I’m not sure if it truly conveys the shock in eBook format as it does when you turn the dreaded page. And now every time I get one of my more creative ideas, I have to wonder about how it will work on a device or screen. Argh!
Yet if it brings people to my stories, I can’t complain. And really this is not an issue with Permanent Spring Showers or A Jane Austen Daydream. They are fine on devices. Read away!
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would love to say a full-time author. That has always been the dream. But, realistically, with the congested market we live in, I don’t know how possible that is without a fairy godmother waving a wand. (Sorry, I have a daughter who is obsessed with Disney’s Cinderella.)
So, I hope to still be coming up with ideas and writing new books for my readers to check out…
Oh, heck… No, I will be rocking the New York Times Bestseller list and friends with J.K. Rowling. Watch out world!
- Something close to your heart?
Music has always been a big piece of inspiration for me as an author. Sometimes I can’t write without the right music or song on. They help me find the right mood.
I can’t imagine not writing without music around me. So in a way, a CD or a song is never just a CD or song for me.
Other people love The Beatles (everyone loves them, right?), but for me they are collaborators. So are Miles Davis, OK Go, Damien Rice, Belle and Sebastian, and many others. For Permanent Spring Showers it was all about the music of Fiona Apple (especially her last album The Idler Wheel…).
So as a writer, it comes back to the soundtrack that drives my creativity. The music under my words.
You can FIND Scott:
MY REVIEW OF Permanent Spring Showers by Scott D Southard:
I thoroughly enjoyed the book even when I had to re-read some of the pages. I try to guess the big master plan during reading but of the end I was truly surprised.
A little bit about the story…
Professor Rebecca Stanley-Wilson is very passionate about her teaching career and her book. When she forgets her copies of her book at her cheating husband’ car she feels devastated. Left without books, with shoddy assistant and heartbroken, she sees Vince as her very own prince. Vince’s character is “one of the greatest upcoming painters of his generation” as the author describes it. Very charming, very handsome and very talented, Vince becomes obsessed of Rebeca. He sees her as his inspiration and he needs her more then he cares for her as a love partner…
A few more characters are mixed in the main story. All of them are unique and described so well. I could honestly find some of their mind-dilemmas to be so close to what I was feeling in similar situations.