My Books

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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.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What's in a Name?

Imagine my shock. Suddenly the hero of my first and third novels was dead. The author is always the last to know.

Okay, my protagonist is not really dead. Actually, I guess I am only presuming he is not dead since I have not yet worked out where Dallas Green would be today in 2017 and what he would be doing. Obviously, though, I have worked out where he is at least as far as the end of the upcoming book and, truth be told, a good few years after that, since I have already been plotting out the third installment in his prospective trilogy. I hope that is not a spoiler to be divulging he survives for that amount of time. I figure that, when the protagonist of a book is narrating the story in the first person, he necessarily cannot narrate past the end of his own life. Well, unless he is narrating from beyond the grave like William Holden’s character in Sunset Boulevard.

The shock I mentioned above had to do with an obituary I came across in The New York Times last month. It reported that Dallas Green had died on March 22 at the age of 82. Of course, the story was not about my fictional creation but about a real person.

The real Dallas Green (actual full name: George Dallas Green) was born in Delaware and had an undistinguished baseball pitching career before going on to manage to the Philadelphia Phillies to their first-ever World Series title in 1980 (coincidentally the very same year in which my upcoming book is set). He later was a manager for New York’s Yankees and Mets. He was known to be tall and hot-tempered and to have a booming voice. His life was marked with sadness that went beyond simply being one of numerous people fired by George Steinbrenner. His nine-year-old granddaughter was one of six people killed in the shooting that injured U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson six years ago.

One of the tricky things about writing fiction is coming up with names for characters. It is pretty much impossible to come up with a plausible-sounding monicker that does not already belong to some number of real people. Generally, one avoids using the same name as someone particularly famous—unless maybe it is a plot point or important detail for building the character. (“Unlucky enough to be named Frank by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sinatra, he was regularly beaten in school by bullies who insisted he sing for them with the same voice quality of his famous namesake.”) Not being much of a follower of sports, I do not think I was even aware of the existence baseball’s Dallas Green when I came up with that name for a teenager in a California farming town in the early 1970s. As for his best friend, Lonnie McKay, I don’t know how that name came to me but, after the book was published, a childhood acquaintance mentioned with some amusement on Facebook that his cousin had the very same name. Had I met or heard about the real Lonnie and then had the name stick in the back of my head somewhere?

I did learn of another real-life Dallas Green not long after Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead came out. I was listening to Weekend Edition on National Public Radio one Saturday when Scott Simon interviewed a Canadian singer/songwriter named Dallas Green. If I had missed hearing about him up until then, it may have been because he was a vocalist/guitarist in the hardcore band Alexisonfire before setting out on his own seven years ago. He has since recorded under the name City and Colour—because his name is a city followed by a color. Born in St. Catherine’s, Ontario in 1980, he was actually named after the baseball manager who achieved his World Series triumph that very same year.

I am sure there are many more Dallas Greens out there. A quick web search, for example, turns up a couple of men (a DJ in the Washington D.C. area and an Australian athlete and father who died way too young last year) and a couple of women (a technical administrator in northern California and a recent bride in North Carolina).

It is always worth doing a search on a character’s name before committing it to print but, as I say, you are never going to come up with any kind of normal name for a character that is not already being used by a whole bunch of actual real people out there. I suppose the best you can hope for is that your fictional creation does not resemble a real person to the extent that you could be looking at lawsuits—especially if your fictional creation is not very well behaved.

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