My Books

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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.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Over the Hill

I have a problem with genres. I think I pretty well established that back when I wrote about how I could not get my head around the idea of the popular YA (Young Adult) genre. Having done that, of course, I then inexplicably went on to write what is to all intents and purposes a YA novel.

The Curse of Septimus Bridge is my second fantasy novel. The first one was The Three Towers of Afranor. Was it also a YA novel? I suppose, although it is not really like most of the examples I have seen of the YA genre. What is the difference between Afranor and Septimus? Well, mainly it boils down to the fact that Afranor takes place in an imaginary world (spoiler alert: it’s called Afranor) and Septimus takes place in our own recognizable world, specifically in Seattle, Vancouver, London, and Galway. But they both involve magic and the supernatural.

How do they differ from what I call my “odd” novels? Those are Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead and Lautaro’s Spear, and I refer to them as odd not because they are strange or unusual but because in the order my books have been written those are the ones which have numbers not evenly divisible by two. And in what genre do my odd novels fall? Well, there’s the rub. Depending on the context I have variously designated them as “adventure,” “coming of age,” “historical fiction,” and my personal favorite catch-all category, “literary fiction.”

If I were clever, I would have used a pseudonym for my fantasy novels. I am sure it is confusing for people wanting to pigeonhole me as a particular kind of writer to settle on what the “Scott R. Larson” brand is. But I do not use a pen name. I use the same name for everything I write. If you pick up a Scott R. Larson novel at random, you do not know what you are going to get. Kind of like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. It might be about something about dragons and sorcerers. Or it might be something about 18-year-olds driving to Mexico in an old Chevy.

If I had planned things correctly, the name Scott R. Larson would be clearly identified exclusively with literary fiction and Bildungsromans, while if you were seeking a good fantasy book, you would know to look for the name (I just found this on an online random-author-pseudonym generator) Griffin Opel Johnson. Would you be more likely to pick up The Curse of Septimus Bridge if it was written by Griffin Opel Johnson? I know I would.

So there are drawbacks to using one’s own name on one’s own books. There are also drawbacks to using real places—as I did in Septimus—in your book as opposed to just making up places—as I did in Afranor. For example, if you set your book in Seattle, you run the risk of some reader writing to tell you, “Hey, there is no Metro bus running from that street to that other street.” Or “There is no possible way you can sail from Shilshole to such-and-such place in just a couple of hours.”

It gets even trickier if you start using places in the West of Ireland. For example, my wife—who never reads my book until after they are actually published—was aghast to find some local place names mentioned. “You are going to draw Satanists on us,” she insisted. “The neighbors won’t like that.” You never hear people in Seattle complain about Satanists being drawn on them.

In particular Cnoc Meadha, an imposing hill in County Galway, gets singled out as a specific point of earthly contact with the demon world. Do people in the area mind me tagging that place with an unhallowed reputation? No one has complained yet, but that could well be because they have not seen the book. Personally, I think they might actually welcome some notoriety. There is an ongoing Knockma Hill Project (Knockma being the common modern version of the hill’s name) to implement improvements and a new trail. The project is driven by the Caherlistrane-Kilcoona Community Council and funded by a grant under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme supplemented by the local Community Council. Additional money was raised by a Christmas concert in December by well-known singer and musician Se├ín Keane and his band.

Publicity can help raise money, and no publicity is bad publicity, right?

The accompanying photos were taken at Knockma during a morning walk a few weeks ago. For the record, no demons were encountered.

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