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 Amazon.com


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 Amazon.com

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 Amazon.com


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.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Amazon’s Reign Forest

One of the interesting side effects of writing and publishing a book is that you end up learning a fair amount about certain people’s reading preferences and habits. And you get disabused of certain things you thought you knew.

For example, before publishing I had completely bought into what I was reading and hearing seemingly everywhere: that digital books had largely supplanted print books. And maybe that is actually still true. After all, what I had been led to understand is that J.K. Rowling single-handedly converted new young generations into ravenous readers. And there is certainly evidence of that. Look at the endless numbers of titles published in the young adult and fantasy categories. Surely, somebody is reading a lot of those books and those somebodies must logically fit into age categories corresponding to readers who were young when Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone, as Rowling consented to for American versions, to her eternal regret) first came out.

And why wouldn’t those ravenous young readers prefer to be reading on digital devices? After all, young people are about nothing if not about their electronic devices. So it made sense that digital books would have caught on—just as music downloading and streaming had caught on. And surprising numbers of older people whom I knew were into their Kindles as well. And why wouldn’t they be? They are easier to read in terms of being able to enlarge text if necessary. I myself was a quick and unassailable convert to ebooks when they first appeared—although, strangely, I have never owned a Kindle. That was kind of an accident since I was hot to get an ebook reader before the Kindle was available in Europe, so my only choice was a Sony device. By the time Kindles arrived in the nearest Tesco, I was already addicted to reading books on my iPad. (Reading app of choice: Marvin by Appstafarian.)

So when it came time for me to publish I was convinced that there would quite likely not be a print version. After all, print was dead. Lots of niche authors were eschewing hardbacks and paperbacks and, in many cases, any format other than the Kindle’s. So I published for the Kindle with the plan to follow up with other digital formats after three months. As for a paperback version, I kept an open mind but did not make it a priority.

What I was not expecting was the number of people who informed me that they would wait until a paper version came out to read the book. Furthermore, I was surprised at how many people—in many cases younger than myself—were not familiar with ebooks and not interested in them. This includes people with whom I worked on the cutting edge of the software industry in the 1980s and 1990s—the very people you would think would embrace new technology. (A surprising number of them are pretty retro in their personal lives.) So I prepared a paperback version to be released at the same time as the non-Kindle digital versions. And the reaction was pretty much universal that the release of the paperback was the “real” release of the “real” book.

Something else I encountered, to a lesser degree, was that a number of people would have nothing at all to do with Amazon. That wasn’t exactly a shock. After all, Amazon is a huge corporation which has a competitive advantage over the small neighborhood bookstores and funky quaint book shops where lots of us book lovers would love to spend all our time hanging out. Amazon is the kind of business that is always portrayed as evil in the movies.

My own attitude toward Jeff Bezos’s operation has always been fond. After all I was living in Seattle when it was founded and I loved the idea of making every book available to everybody. I like it even better now that I live “in the back of beyond” where the nearest mom-and-pop book shop is a significant drive away. But I respect people who consciously choose to give all their book buying business to small shops. Some people I know will not even frequent chain bookstores like Eason’s or Waterstone’s.

The economic reality, though, is that my book will almost certainly never be stocked in a small shop. At best a determined customer might be able to ask the staff to special order my book—if the staff are even willing. A friend tried this at a Barnes & Noble in Bakersfield, California (where my book is partly set) and was told to go home and order it on B&N’s web site.

This creates an interesting paradox. Amazon has made self-publishing an attainable reality for multitudes of authors who otherwise would likely remain unpublished. But it is also endangering the quaint and traditional book shops that so many of us cherish. This is because the economics of those traditional bookshops always meant that a self-supporting author was necessarily a member of a relatively exclusive club.

Amazon’s business model is definitely more democratic and inclusive for authors and readers. But it also forces change that is not always comfortable. Thus it has ever been—at least as far back as the time Johannes Gutenberg put an unknown number of calligraphers out of business.

A final note: despite all the feedback about paperbacks and mega-bookstores, the vast majority of sales for my book to date have been for the Amazon Kindle. Despite this, when my next book comes out, it will be released in paperback first.

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