Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Power of Springtime: Setting the Stage for 'Permanent Spring Showers' by Scott D. Southard

When you grow up in Michigan, you feel the seasons.

I know, everyone in different states will argue with me on this one, but we hit all the hallmarks in our mitten of a state, each time, each year. Snow in winter, check. Leaves in autumn, check. Summer at the beach, check.

It’s all here!

And when you grow up in such a setting, chances are your emotions will start to attach something to each of them. In autumn, I am reflective. It is a time for remembering. In summer, a little hyper and full of excitement. I’m usually more daring during those three months. And in winter, I always feel more peaceful, quiet like a light snowstorm. But, in spring, I get edgy.

Spring in Michigan is unpredictable.

You can’t help but feel that in the very air you breath. It’s almost as if the world can shift on a dime. It’s moody. It’s a time of change, of rebirth (but into what?). And when I set out to find a time period for the story that became Permanent Spring Showers, I couldn’t think of a better season. Because like the season, my story is passionate, unstable, dramatic, comedic, and never the same from chapter to chapter.

Permanent Spring Showers covers the lives of my cast during those three volatile months. The story begins with an affair.

In the morning, right before Professor Rebecca Stanley-Wilson is set to leave for a literary convention, her husband admits to having an affair… and to make matters worse it was with one of her college students.

This affair sets off a chain reaction that slowly begins to build over the novel. Rebecca, while in Chicago, has an affair of her own. But hers was with one of the up-and-coming painters of his generation. That evening of passion will inspire a work of art of such beauty and power that it will capture the attention of not just the art world, but the entire globe. This novel follows everyone associated with the work of art. From the painter and the professor, to a romantic, to an Olympic hopeful, to even an author determined to make an impact in literature, by any means necessary.

This may sound a little odd to say, but one of the fun things about writing in a season like spring is you get to play God with the weather. Many times in the tale, I will use a shift in the weather to represent what a character may be feeling, and sometimes the season is saying more than that character would ever dare say aloud. It’s a fun writing device, and I’m sure all of the English majors in the audience will have fun picking out what I do on the pages.

When I first worked on this story, I imagined the idea of creating a work around each season, encapsulating the feeling and vibe of that time within the work. I don’t know if the others will ever find the light of day, but I could not be more proud of this surprising and fun novel.

I hope you enjoy Permanent Spring Showers.

Permanent Spring Showers

by Scott D. Southard



Professor Rebecca Stanley-Wilson is having a very bad season. The ramifications of one torrid evening with one of the great upcoming painters of his generation, 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 the hopeful Olympian with the failing marriage to the writer who is creating a new literary movement (through outright manipulation) to the romantic wondering what he did wrong to drive away the love of his life, 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.

Read an excerpt:
“You’re going to be fine, aren’t you, Steve?” A male voice with a British accent said behind me as I scanned the restaurant for the person I once considered my soulmate.

“Like warm applesauce,” I mumbled in reply, not bothering to turn around and face Vince.

Vince is my age and has a resum├ę an arm’s length long, painter, poet, performance artist, etc.; and he looks the part for all of those roles, from his black trench coat with the collar up to the tight shirt with an obscure artistic expression on it to the jeans with the holes that are a little too perfect. He has black hair, blue eyes, and from what every girl tells me, he is frightfully handsome. Hanging out with him can make a person feel like a pre-destined wingman, chosen by a maker never to be the center of attention. Oh, by coincidence, I met Vince at the creative writing course I mentioned earlier. He spent the entire time correcting the teacher and even once he stood on his desk screaming about romantic literature (I still don’t understand half of what he said), the whole class was sure he came in drunk that day, but he might’ve been acting. There is a lot of acting around Vince. Did I mention he’s pretending to be British right now? And no, I don’t mean RIGHT now, I mean for the last four months right now.

“Applesauce?” His accent rising a little in confusion.

I didn’t bother to say anything more to him because I had found her; and, shit, she still looked like a fallen angel.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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 “The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard" 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. His blog can be found at http://sdsouthard.com. Scott is also the fiction book reviewer for WKAR's daily radio show Current State.

Scott D. Southard will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a signed copy of his previous title: A Jane Austen Daydream (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn host. Follow along for more chances to win!

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  1. "I will use a shift in the weather to represent what a character may be feeling" - I love that.

    1. Thanks. I wish I could take credit. It is a very old dramatic trick. Heck, Shakespeare did it in King Lear. But spring was a great season for it, because there is so much that goes on during it. It adds a level of symbolism.

      In many ways, I am English major nerd, and I love debating this kind of stuff in classic literature and the like. So I am always looking for opportunities to sneak fun little literary tricks like that in.

      I hope you will check out the book! I'm pretty proud of it. Cheers!

  2. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

    1. Names are tricky. Sometimes they just feel right, sometimes they have double meaning (which is true in my novel Megan and the new book I am working on).

      This book originally began as a screenplay and I was referencing some of my friends from that period in my life. The character of Vince though is a different story. I was Catholic as a kid and when I had to choose a Christian name I always regretted not choosing Vince. One of my friends did and I thought that sounded awesome.

      I've been known while working through a novel to change a name from time to time. One book I wrote, I changed the name four of five times during the different drafts. It's almost like working on a song. You know when the beat is right.

      Thanks for writing!

  3. Thanks for having me on your site. I hope you and your readers enjoy the guest post and consider checking out my new novel.


  4. Replies
    1. Thanks! I hope you will check it out.


  5. I guess I've not ever heard of using the changes in weather as a literary device...very interesting. The book does look interesting also!

    1. I wish I could take credit for coming up with it, but it's been around for along time. Shakespeare did it famously in King Lear, for example. When the king is raging, the storm is raging around him as well. It's a very theatrical trick, I guess.

      For me as a writer it was a heck of a lot of fun to add another level of symbolism. I'm a big fan of discussing and debating books and there are little things like that throughout the book that book clubs will hopefully love.

      I hope you check out the book. Cheers!


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