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.

“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, May 8, 2019

Haunted

As we ambled through the New Mexico desert, we talked about our favorite books.

We knew, all too sadly, this would probably be our last time with my cousin Trudy’s husband. What we did not know was that it would be our penultimate visit with Trudy herself. Thoughts like those, in any event, were not on our minds as we explored the Petroglyph National Monument outside Albuquerque in the January sun.

She wanted to know what novels were closest to my heart. The first few titles—The Lord of the Rings, One Hundred Years of Solitude—would have been unsurprising to her. Then I mentioned Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, and there was an awkward silence. Trudy, an enrollee at Caltech the very first year they admitted women, would have been the last person to trade in gender stereotypes, so I had not expected her, after some hesitation, to say, “You do realize that would be considered a girl’s book?”

And suddenly I was back in junior high school. Back to a time when there were “boys’ books” and “girls’ books.” As far as I was always concerned, there were just books. Some books I liked, and some books I did not. Not everybody liked the same books I did, and I did not necessarily like the same books other people did. Maybe gender was a factor in some cases, but certainly not in all. All I know is that when I saw the cover of Brontë’s novel on a shelf in our local library, it appealed to me. There was a man and a woman and stormy weather. There was passion. I read the first several pages, and there was a ghost. What was not to like?

This should come as no surprise to readers of my movie blog, who have suffered through more than two decades’ worth of discussions and reminiscences of the 1966-71 Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows which, to be honest, was nothing if not a half-decade-long rehash of Wuthering Heights and every other Gothic novel and supernatural story ever published. Readers of that blog may also think they detect a disconnect, since I have sometimes used that forum to dismiss certain movies as “chick flicks.” The truth is, though, that I have always intended that term as descriptive shorthand—so that readers would know what to expect from a film—rather than as a definitive put-down. If that phrase is a criticism, it is of a too-strict adherence to formula and not because the story includes female characters or might appeal to female viewers.

My fourth novel, which should see the light of day in the coming weeks, is among other things my tribute to the Gothic novel. It is a story I have been wanting to get out of my system for most of my life. It is also my first book to feature a female protagonist. In fact, I have only recently realized that this is the first of my books to pass the Bechdel Test. Originally a gag in a 1985 comic strip, the test was originally aimed at movies but has since been generalized to apply to all popular fiction. It requires the work to have at least two (named) female characters who have a conversation about something other than a man. It is not something that is usually on my mind when watching movies, let alone when I write my novels, but it comes as no surprise to realize that my first three books came nowhere near passing the test. For one thing, two of them have a male first-person narrator.

The other, The Three Towers of Afranor, while narrated in the third person, follows its male protagonist relentlessly. Ironically, though, it probably would have passed if only I had followed the suggestion of a (male) friend who was keen for me to work in a quasi-erotic wrestling match between the warrior princess Eilís and the pirate queen Valloniah. Those two would only have needed to mutter a few words to each other in the heat of battle—and on a topic other than their lone mutual acquaintance, Prince Chrysteffor—to clear the bar. But would that really be in the spirit of the standard popularized by Alison Bechdel? Maybe. Personally, I find such a test interesting but not particularly useful or practical.

It was definitely a challenge to create and give life to characters who are not only female but also of a generation different from mine, but that was not the reason for this particular story. It was to spin a supernatural romance my own way. As usual, I ignored all writing conventional wisdom by not targeting a distinct target audience—other than myself. As always, I wrote a book that I wanted to read. Is the result a “girl’s book” or a “boy’s book”? When you are writing for yourself, that question happily becomes moot.

Sadly, my cousin passed away within mere days of the publication of my first novel, so she never got to read any of my fiction. Given her nature, I imagine she would have been supportive but not uncritical. I also doubt she would have labeled it a “girl’s book.”