My Books

Links to sellers of these books, in both digital and paperback formats, can be found below on right-hand side of the page.

Now Available in Paperback and for Kindle

It was only meant to be a few hours of fun.
A lark. On a sunny Saturday morning Lola, Kyle and Maria set sail on Puget Sound to look for a vision that had come to Maria in a dream. Then disaster struck, and the three of them were plunged into a dark adventure in which they would confront good and evil, past lives, and a timeless curse born from a tragic love. What are the hidden secrets of Bridge House and Riesgado Island? Part Gothic romance, part supernatural mystery and part fantastical adventure, The Curse of Septimus Bridge is Scott R. Larson’s homage to the horror and adventure stories of his youth, notably the 1960s television series Dark Shadows. In this new book, the author of The Three Towers of Afranor takes us on an adventure that ranges from 17th-century Ireland to the Pacific Northwest of today. At the heart of it all is the mysterious figure who lives out his endless, solitary days, having been rejected by both heaven and hell.

“This is a sequel to Larson’s earlier novel, ‘Maximilian and Carlotta are Dead’, which was set mostly in Mexico as a buddy adventure and introduced the character of Dallas Green, a young man with wanderlust from a small town in the San Joaquin Valley. ‘Lautaro’s Spear’ takes us on further romantic and political adventures to France, Germany, and Chile, and deeper into Dallas’ psyche which we find to be darker and more complex than in the first novel. An engrossing read by a first class storyteller, it leaves you wanting more.”

“Totally enjoyed the characters lost souls that they are. Life is not always what we would like.”

Excerpts from Readers’ Reviews on

A legendary reclusive filmmaker. An enigmatic cook and restaurant proprietor, who is clearly more than he seems. Two mysterious deliveries to be made behind the Iron Curtain. A desperate search for a long-missing old friend. An unexpected love affair on the coast of Normandy. Dallas Green’s life has only gotten more interesting since his wild youthful adventures recounted in Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead.
“I loved this book. It is a rollicking fantasy—youth must pass increasingly difficult tests to attain wisdom and perhaps, just perhaps, win the girl! A pure joy to read. And such a great metaphor for life!”

“It was a great read for young adults as well as adults. Can’t wait for the sequel.”

“A fantasy novel with magic and heart. It’s a quick read that is set up for a sequel. A great story about growing up and learning what you are capable of and it’s clean so it can be recommended to all ages!”

Excerpts from Readers’ Reviews on

What secrets do the three towers hold? For years travelers have avoided the mysterious kingdom of Afranor, but necessity now requires three brothers—the valiant fighting princes of Alinvayl—to pass through Afranor’s dark, forbidding expanse. Not all will survive the journey, but one may succeed in finding his destiny.

“I loved this book! Once I started I couldn’t put it down… What an adventurous way to come-of-age in a place in time that no longer exists. Truly a great read!”

“Larson really captures the sense of a particular time and place. His details of clothes, music, cars, speech, etc. all ring true. Also, the first-person narrator’s voice is pitch-perfect…”

“Scott Larson does a magnificent job of taking his readers on a southern trip with the three young heroes.”

“What a wild and crazy adventure! … The characters were all very well developed; I especially loved Antonio, the star and the hero. Looking forward to the sequel.”

Excerpts from Readers’ Reviews on

It is Summer 1971. With the Vietnam War raging and the draft looming, 18-year-old Dallas and Lonnie look for an escape. Fleeing their hot and dusty farming town in Lonnie’s ’65 Chevy, they head to Mexico. In one last misguided adventure, two lifelong friends blaze a trail to Tijuana and beyond, just to see how much trouble they can get it into.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Making It Real

Yes, that’s a new book cover for Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead near the top of this page.

And, yes, I know I was in the middle of a story about the process of migrating my novel from e-book form, for which it was targeted, to paperback format. And I will continue it anon.

In fact, that new cover was made for the paperback edition, which should be available Real Soon Now. It just goes to show that it makes more sense to finish the paperback version before publishing the e-book version. Not only is this the traditional way of doing it, but also the print format has more rigid requirements than the digital version. In other words, whatever works for the print version will undoubtedly work for the e-book as well. The reverse is not necessarily true. So if you want the two formats consistent, do the paperback first—even though it’s more work.

My own story illustrates this pretty well. I came up with a cover for the e-book that I liked okay. I had a couple of other covers before that one which I liked okay too, but I didn’t use them because they used photographs that I had not taken myself. One of them appeared to be in the public domain, but it wasn’t certain enough for my comfort level and I could find no way to contact the photographer. That was a hard decision because I really liked the photo, which was of the actual highway that Dallas and Lonnie would have been driving down through the state of Sonora. A bit of the Gulf of California could even been seen in the distance.

So I resolved to use photographs I had shot myself to avoid any possible rights issues. For the original e-book cover I used a photo that I had taken back in the early 1970s in Santiago, Chile. It was of the entrance to the Cerro Santa Lucía, which is actually mentioned in the novel. In fact, by a happy coincidence my photo could well have been the post card that my protagonist Dallas Green receives from Chile in the final pages of the book.

Unfortunately, when I decided that I would go ahead with the paperback version and went to make the requisite PDF files, I found that the art was not suitable for the printing press that would be used—something about color densities or some such. I tried to re-work it so that it would make the printing company happy, but I wasn’t happy with any of the results I was getting. So I accepted that I would have to come up with a simpler cover design.

As you can see, that turned out to consist of nothing more than text (title, byline, blurbs) on top of a desert photograph that covers and bleeds off front and back covers and the spine. Unfortunately, I had no photos of Mexico at all and very few of the California locations mentioned in the book. So I cheated. I used another photo I had taken in Chile in the early 1970s. This one was of the Atacama Desert. It is not a perfectly sharp and clear photo. It was actually taken through the window of a bus, so it hopefully gives an impression of how Dallas and Lonnie’s desert travels might have appeared to them through the window of Lonnie’s 1965 Chevy.

Just yesterday I received my proof from the printer. Nowadays such a proof is basically an actual copy of the book since this, after all, print on demand. I’m pretty happy with it. It actually looks like a real book. I have to concede that there is an element of excitement in having an actual physical copy of your own book in your hands that you can actually thumb through—as compared to the experience of scrolling through pages on a computer or a Kindle or other device. Perhaps the most impressive thing about it is being able to see clearly exactly just how much I have written. In digital form, my 294 pages of text always seemed kind of small.

Seeing all those pages in the form of actual paper, they look absolutely substantial. It looks, well, it looks real.

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