The Next Big Thing!

Yep, I too have been tagged to be a part of this ongoing blog hop, so here’s my entry.

What is the working title of your book?

My novel in progress is titled “The Betrayed.”

Where did the idea come from for the book?

To be completely honest, I don’t fully remember where the idea for the novel came from.  I do remember sitting around with a buddy of mine one night, discussing the nature of good and evil, and why we, as humans, perceive Lucifer as being the ultimate evil.  Why is that? I thought.  Because we’re told that’s the way it is?  Accept it and move on, nothing to see here?  There was obviously something there, and over time the idea settled into my brain and refused to leave.

There was also the idea of young, single parents and how it affects someone’s day to day life accordingly.  I had started writing the novel right after college, and the notion of “What’s next?” was always slapping me in the face.  Though I am not a parent myself, I’ve seen how being a single parent can affect someone’s choices.  My protagonist struggles with this kind of life, along with lost love, parents who were never there, and…maybe a gift that might make sense of it all.  A gift that affects the entire world.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s religious horror, but it doesn’t beat you over the head with it.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

The cast is primarily young people in their mid twenties, so I guess I’d like to see:

Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass) as Sidney Jameson

Emmy Rossum (Shameless) as Megan Connors

Chris Hemsworth (Thor) as Mitch Happe

and Noel Fisher (Red, Shameless) as Mike Sauer (mainly because Mike is a smartass dickhead, and Fisher seems to always play that type of role, very well).

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In a world where everyone is not who they seem, a young, single father must find the strength within to battle as earth’s last hope against a vengeful Arch Angel’s hell-born hoards…

Long-winded enough?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I hope to have it in the hands of a few publishers within the next year.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Well, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it has taken over five years to complete, but in that timeframe I’ve been publishing short fiction.  Being my first crack at a novel, I’ve had to learn the hard way that, one: 124,000 words is TOO much for a first novel and, two: adjectives and adverbs before every noun and verb are very unnecessary.  Thankfully, over time, I’ve learned right from wrong.  The novel currently sits at 88,000 words.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Oh, geeze, that’s hard.  The closest I can come to is maybe Blood Crazy by Simon Clark.  Though I am a voracious reader, I’ve tried not to let ideas from other books seep into this novel.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Brian Keene inspired me to want to be a writer, but a good book or story from anyone can inspire me to want to be better at my craft–to work harder, to improve.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

You can always check out my other currently available work, which is all located in the BIBLIO section above.  That should give you a taste of what’s to come.

Thanks for stopping by, and remember to check out these other blogs next Wednesday for the continuation of THE NEXT BIG THING:

Brent Abell

Joanna Parypinski

Mike Antonio

and Lesley Connor

First Line

Because I’m such a tease, here’s the opening line from the prologue of my first novel “The Betrayed,” which I’m currently deep in the third draft edits of.  Enjoy!

“On the cold banks of the Ohio River, a hand ruptured up from the dirt.”

(And no, it’s not a zombie novel.)

The Betrayed by Wesley Southard


2012 Writing Goals

I realize that I don’t blog enough, and I apologize for that, it’s just…well, let’s be honest with them, Wes: I really don’t know what to write about half the time.  I’m not going to say I’m boring or anything, but even though I have my own opinions like everyone else (you know, like everyone having an asshole), I don’t always feel the need to throw it out there until I feel it needs to be said.  I’m a twenty-four year old guy (soon to be twenty-five in a few weeks), I live alone with my cat (which will change in a month or so when Katie and her animals move out here with me), and I get up every morning, go to work, come home, fart, eat, scratch myself, write, watch Comedy Central, go to bed, and repeat.  I sometimes struggle to find something to blog about that might catch someone–anyone’s!–attention.  That’s why there’s not always a new blog.  But I hope to change that soon.  With Katie moving out here in a few short weeks, life is about to take a serious turn.  Things couldn’t be better for me, and with this new addition to my house I believe I will have more things to speak about–subjects that’ll let you in on little ol’ me.

But until then, here are my writing goals for the year.  I’m sure things will change as 2012 barrels forward, but as of January this is how things hope to pan out:

  1. Finish the five or six half-finished short stories that are sitting in my computer untouched.  I know they’re good ideas and all they require is sitting down and completing them.
  2. Finish the third draft edits of my novel, titled “The Betrayed.”  It currently sits at 92,251 words, but my ultimate goal is to slice it down to 87-88k.  At the advice of someone much wiser than I, I haven’t touched it or looked it over since this time last year, but my plan is driving through it head-first after those handful of short stories are done.  Four and a half years is long enough on this bad boy.
  3. After the novel is done, I want to spend the rest of the year working on two novellas.  One titled “One for the Road” is about a quarter done, and the other, which currently has no title, has yet to be started.

That’s it.  Not too unreasonable if you ask me.

And should something else come up, I’ll be ready.

Coffin Hop 2011

Starting October 24 through the 31st, I’ll be participating in the (annual?) Coffin Hop.  What’s Coffin Hop?  It’s a way to spread the word about not only our own work in the world of dark fiction, but help promote many others as well.  I’ll bring as many people as I can from Facebook and Twitter onto my site, and after reading my Halloweenie Blog people can “hop” to another blog via the Coffin Hop site and check out other writer’s thoughts and ramblings on the Fall season.  Not to mention, most everyone will be doing giveaways and drawings for free autographed books, digital copies, free fiction, have a future character named after you, ect.  I’ll be doing a small contest for someone to win a hardback copy of Big Book of New Short Horror, featuring my debut short story “With Many Thanks to Newark.”

Meet some new authors, win some free stuff: Can’t beat that with a wooden stake.

I’ll admit I’m not the world’s best self promoter, but I see this as a way to get my name out there to people who would have otherwise never known who I am.  I was a bit shy to sign up for this at first–to tell you the truth, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Halloween (come on, I’m a guy with no small kids to take trick or treating and I live by myself–would you send your kids to my house?)–but after seeing the travesty that is The Thing prequel this weekend…well, I’ve now found my blog topic: The Decline of Hollywood Horror.  Hell, I might even write a silly little Halloween poem I’ve had in mind for a while.  We’ll see.

See you next Monday, hoppers!

This is me

My first blog entry…

To tell you the truth I’m not sure what to talk about.  Let’s be honest: There are a million and two blogs on the internet, and I’m quite sure at least half of those are dedicated to cats, how to sew clown faces onto quilt tops, and home techniques for self-circumcision.

But my blog, you ask?

Well, to be honest I’m not completely sure.  I could always pimp my latest writing endeavor (which I plan on doing when anything fictional hits paper with my name on it *wink*).  I could tell you about a shitty day at work (plenty of those to file under “rants”)  Hell, I could even spout off about gas prices or religion–God knows we all need another public smart ass to tell us how to live our lives according to the Good Book.

Maybe some other time, kiddos.  That just isn’t me.

Let’s introduce me to you.  Nice to meet you, I’m Wesley Southard.  Location: Southwestern Indiana.  Loves: writing, friends, pizza, Doritos, and Ski (I can imagine that most of you don’t know what Ski is, and I truly weep for you).  But for now, let’s talk about my favorite subject in the whole world…

No, not boobs, you pervert.


Anyone that knows me personally knows that I love books.  I love everything about them: the smell, the feel, the joy of getting a beautiful new hardback in the mail just screaming to be opened.  I’ve been known to talk someone’s ear off about a book that I love (for literally hours—I should be a damn college professor!).  But for this blog entry I want to know about you.

In your own collection, what’s your favorite book?  Could be because of the cover art, could be sentimental value.  Doesn’t matter.  Let me in on the book that makes you smile.  The one you pull off of your shelf time and time again to dive in for a few hours of bliss.  The one that you brag to your friends about owning, nana-nana-boo-boo.

Mine?  My first edition hardback of I Am Legend, written by one of my personal literary heroes, Richard Matheson.  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve taken this age-worn beauty off of my shelf.  This timeless novel was the first adult book I had ever read.  My then 5th grader mind had no idea what the hell was going through it.  But several years, and numerous reads later, I can tell you that it still amazes me how often I think about the story, how far ahead of its time this short novel truly is.  Even though the dust jacket is ripped, the pages are yellowed, and the corners are riddled with thumb prints, memories continue to soar from this book.  That’s my favorite.

What’s yours?