INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Permanent Spring Showers
by Scott D. Southard
Permanent Spring Showers is ON SALE for only $1.99 (save ($2.00 ) from 18-30 May. This book tour is brought to you by Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for my interview with the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
Professor Rebecca Stanley-Wilson is having a very bad season. Her husband has just admitted to having an affair. And it was with one of her students.
Blame it on a desire for revenge (or way too much alcohol), she then has had one of her own. Unfortunately for her, her affair was with one of the great upcoming painters of his generation. The ramifications of that one torrid evening will not only be felt across her life but over the entire art world.
Sexy, funny, and very surprising, Permanent Spring Showers is the tale of one very memorable springtime and how it impacts a group of unique artists and dreamers. From the writer who is creating a new literary movement (through outright manipulation) to the hopeful Olympian with the failing marriage to the romantic wondering what he did wrong to drive his love from him, each tale walks the line between reality and fantasy. And waiting at the end of the line is a very important painting … and possibly the revolver used in the Lincoln Assassination.
Affairs, betrayal, manipulation, and glorious inspiration, the new novel by the author of A Jane Austen Daydream.
“What are you thinking? She’s an escort!”
“I’m in love, Steve. After sitting through the first twenty minutes of this lunch, it’s obvious you certainly still remember what that feeling is like.” He pushed his plate forward.
"But Clark…” I began.
He interrupted, “And it’s not like she wants to do that her entire life, Steve, if that is what is troubling you. She is doing it to pay for college.”
I stopped, the car of my mind shifting gears again. “Wait, did you say ‘is’? Do you mean she is still doing it?”
“Well, times are tough all over,” Clark replied far too calmly for my taste. “Have you seen college tuition rates this year?”
“And she’s really in college?” I asked, shocked. I began to wonder if I was on one of those TV shows and a camera was hidden in a bush nearby me.
My shock was perfectly mirrored by the opposite reflection of the casualness of my brother.
“You didn’t think I would marry an idiot did you, Steve? I need to be mentally challenged, you know that. She is studying education; her dream’s to teach third graders.”
“You’re engaged to a hooker…”
“Escort,” he corrected quickly for a third time.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said sarcastically. “You are engaged to an active escort who wants to be an elementary school teacher?”
“Yes,” Clark said with a dramatic point across the table at me. “And Steve, this is where you come in. You need to help me introduce her to mom and dad.”
Praise for the Book
"Southard’s prose is an enticing blend of eloquent sturdiness, reaching for poetry when needed, but without bogging the story down in language for the sake of its own narcissism. All in all, Permanent Spring Showers is a novel worth reading, one that has an optimism to it but without any Pollyannaism; it is in short something that is hard to find in the world: a good story. As to whether, 'all’s well that ends well', you’ll just have to read it to find out." ~ Green Spot Blue
"What a ride this book was! I can honestly say it was an inspiring novel, and very unique! With a cast of lively, artistic characters and a spin so hard it will leave your eyes wide and jaw hanging until the very last word … Standing ovation to Mr. Southard for a brilliant piece of work!" ~ The Booknatics
"This book will make you laugh, gasp in shock, and feel utmost empathy for all of the characters, all in equal measure. An intriguing and eclectic mix of individuals that make this book what it is. A compelling read from start to finish." ~ Sue Price
" ... Mr Southard's characters, even the most minor ones, were vivid and truly came alive. The overall writing was not only original, but utterly beautiful, flowing, easy to read, witty and funny - the best use of proper English grammar I have experienced in a long time. This is definitely a tale that will stay with me for a long time." ~ BooksChatter
"The author have a strong clear style and huge talent. He wrote a clever and very romantic novel, that it will surprise you through the last word. Humor, warmth, love, wisdom, revenge, betrayal, lust, and desire fill the pages. The plots are interesting, thoughtful and very engaging." ~ Meglena Ivanova
I have started reading this book and am enjoying it immensely. It's like nothing I have read before. The plot and structure are extremely original and the writing is superb.
Interview With the Author
Hi Scott D. Southard, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book, Permanent Spring Showers.
Thanks for having me on your site!
For what age group do you recommend your book?
Permanent Spring Showers is for the older and probably more sophisticated (and let’s say awesome) reader. I would put the readership as 17 and older because of language and the occasional naughty bits.
What sparked the idea for this book?
Oddly this is a hard question to answer since this story has been with me for a long time. It first began as a screenplay that I wrote while as a graduate student in English Literature at Michigan State University. I used that screenplay to get transferred into the writing program at the University of Southern California. In the beginning, I wanted to do a story that captured the mad energy of the season, filled with eclectic and interesting characters. One of the first inspirations for that early version of the story was Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters.
Many years, later I wanted to do something different from my novel A Jane Austen Daydream. I wanted my next book to be a little more dangerous and shocking. I immediately thought of that old screenplay, but by chapter 2 it became a very different enterprise.
I could not be more proud of the final product, but it was a long path to get here!
So which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
For me this is not always clear. Every book begins in a different way.
A Jane Austen Daydream, for example, began as a playful joke I made with myself while researching Jane Austen one summer a long time ago. Finally, one day I couldn’t laugh anymore. It was too real a possibility.
My time-travel novel My Problem With Doors began as a nightmare. Woke up from that one in a cold sweat, shaking.
My book Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare began with a question. Here it is: "If Sherlock Holmes is so smart, why did he never figure out he was in a book?"
For those three options, it was all about the idea for the book.
My unpublished novel Cassandra on the Island was all about the character, as was my book Megan. Megan popped in my head fully formed. Still probably the easiest book I have ever written.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
The funny thing is all the difficulty I put on my own shoulders. See, I was inspired by Charles Dickens and the idea of writing a book in chronological order. While Dickens published each chapter one at a time in a paper, I decided to do the same on my blog.
I usually don’t work in chronological order, and since my book was jumping by leaps and bounds away from my original screenplay, it was definitely a challenge. I would spend my weekday evenings up until 1am, acting out scenes, reading aloud, preparing for that chapter’s release on Friday.
When the book came to its conclusion on my site, it was an awesome feeling. I don’t think I will do it again, but it was a journey worth taking.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
There are a lot of layers to Permanent Spring Showers and none of the answers are very clear since it only covers three months in the characters’ lives. It really, in a way, is a book made for book clubs and the classrooms and discussions over coffee. What does it mean to be a good person? What is a good decision? Does great art truly justify everything? What is love? Is anyone truly happy?
Heck, I love books like this, works that dare readers to come to their own decisions, not having them dished out in a nice clean spoonful. What can I say? The book makes me happy. Hopefully, it will inspire its readers as well.
How long did it take you to write this book?
When the book was being "created" on my site, it happened over 25 weeks, with each chapter getting its own week. After 5 Publishing Press asked to publish the book, I worked with their editor, expanding and reworking sections. All together, I would put it at a year.
One thing I have always noticed about writing a novel, there is nothing more fun than that first draft. You can always feel the creativity right at the tip of the fingers. It is in the editing and revising where the real work takes place. That is where the real skill is needed.
What is your writing routine?
Every book is different and each demands their own routine. I admit this can be a little silly. Most of my books demand a certain album or recording artist playing in the background. Permanent Spring Showers needed Fiona Apple, especially her last CD. Great album. (I like to dream that someday she will find the book.)
For this work, I would start that CD, take a few deep breaths and dive right in.
The only thing consistent for all my works seems to be the bottle of cola next to the notepad. Can’t work without the caffeine, no matter how many times I’ve tried.
How did you get your book published?
After finishing the book, I did some querying to agents and publishers. 5 Prince Publishing reached out to me and I really liked Bernadette’s (the founder) vision for her publishing house and what inspired it.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
I would first recommend starting a blog. There is no better option in the writing world today to test the waters, to see if you have it in you. Not only does it force you to write often and generate ideas, but it also give you real data over time. Who is reading you? How often? Are your numbers growing or falling? Do you have likes? Etc. Also, that data is something you can use when reaching out to publishers and agents. Win/Win.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I have two little kids, they demand every minute of my spare attention. I don’t have much say in the matter. Usually my role is either as Batman or as Ken. It really comes down to which one gets to me first.
Fabulous! What does your family think of your writing?
Usually very positive. I’ve been playing this game since I was a teenager so to really critique this lifestyle would be to take on who I am. I think they like my books, I have yet to have any really criticize a work.
I’m sure my kids will have an opinion when they get older. They have a lot of opinions about things I do now.
As they do! Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I was never one of those kids that marked his summers by sporting events, for me it was all about the books. The summer of Sherlock Holmes, the summer of Tolkien, etc. My mom would regularly have to kick me out of the house to go play with friends, since given the option I would always rather just sit someplace with a book. Of course, then I would just end up at the local park, leaning against a tree with that paperback in my hand.
So, you liked reading when you were a child?
I have always adored books. I still have a book memorized from when I was three. It was a practice I did then to try and learn reading. I kid you not.
Honestly though, I must have been a little annoying in classrooms. Whenever a book came up in a class, chances are I had read it … and a few years earlier. I remember arguing with a teacher about Shakespeare when in high school. LOL. Yeah, a book nerd, definitely.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I always knew I wanted to be a writer, it just had to be the right time, really. I knew it would happen when it happened. I wrote my first book when I was a teenager. That book has since been lost someplace (and probably for a good reason). When I was in college, I created other works and definitely took on the role as the know-it-all author. LOL.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
Not really. And the reason I can say that is that I’ve never been the kind of author to look towards his own experiences for inspiration. Right from the start of my writing career, I wanted to test how far "out of the box" I could go with my ideas. To draw on something from my own life, would feel like cheating. I’m not saying it is cheating (it definitely works for some authors), but for me I always wanted to go down a different route.
And I think it shows in my catalogue of work. From my latest novel about artists to my Jane Austen story, to my Victorian period mystery, to my time travel adventure. If there is one thing I can promise a reader, it is that when you pick up one of my works, you will experience something new and different.
Fantastic! Which writers have influenced you the most?
For me, I have always been fascinated by the authors who dared to try new things, whose library was filled with eclectic works. Mark Twain is a great example of that. Man, that guy could write anything. Same goes for Charles Dickens; no one did characters like Dickens. Ray Bradbury was a big hero when I was young. I even had a few autographed copies of his books around my house.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Yes, I do!
I have quite a big social media presence. I am on Twitter and I have my blog. And I get feedback in my comments and tweets all the time.
When I was writing that initial draft of Permanent Spring Showers on my site, I was also giving updates on the experience in posts. Making it a very immersive experience for my followers. Some followers had no problem telling me what they thought of a chapter or a surprise.
I have to say, that interaction with my readers can be very inspiring. I really dig it. An author not on social media really misses out.
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I have two books I am working on. One is still too fresh to discuss, but I can say it is probably the closest I will get to writing something sci-fi (but not really being sci-fi … it's complicated).
Soon I plan to start querying and testing the waters around my novel Cassandra on the Island. It is probably one of the most beautiful works I will ever do. Every time I read it, it gets me, and I am the writer! I can’t wait to share that with readers.
I can't wait either! Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Scott. Best of luck with your future projects.
About the Author
Scott D. Southard is the author of A Jane Austen Daydream, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, My Problem With Doors, Megan, 3 Days in Rome, and Me Stuff in addition to his latest release, Permanent Spring Showers.
His eclectic writing has also found its way into radio, as Scott was the creator of the radio comedy series The Dante Experience. The production was honored with the Golden Headset Award for Best MultiCast Audio and the Silver Ogle Award for Best Fantasy Audio Production.
Scott received his Master's in writing from the University of Southern California. Scott can be found on the internet via his writing blog where he writes on topics ranging from writing, art, books, TV, writing, parenting, life, movies, and writing. He even shares original fiction on the site. Scott is also the fiction book reviewer for WKAR's daily radio show Current State.
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