Duke Southard

Author, Educator, Lecturer

A Tale of Two Books

A Favor Returned, published in hard cover in May,2000 undergoes a complete rewrite/revision and the result is a “tale of two books” published fourteen years apart.

Haddon Heights, Here I Come!

In 1958, when I graduated from Haddon Heights High School, my senior year English teacher held my future in her hands. If I did not pass the final exam, I would not graduate. We were practicing for graduation in the auditorium and whenever the door creaked opened, Mr. Glaspey, the principal, would peek in and announce a name, a person who was to follow him. We would never see that person again. (at least in the HHHS scheme of things)

My trepidation increased with each door opening and I finally could not stand it.  I marched down to the… Continue reading

What’s Age Got To Do With It?

Agent for Justice - Duke SouthardA Favor Returned - Duke Southard While doing a book signing/program at a Borders Book Store in Nashua, New Hampshire shortly after the original version of A Favor Returned was released in May, 2000, I was asked a question concerning my decision to begin writing at my age. (I was sixty at the time.) I recall the question made me wonder about “catching up” and it also made me wonder if I was kidding myself.  Would a publisher want to take a chance on an “older” writer whose future output may be in question? The answer to these doubts came in the form of… Continue reading

“You Must Have A Book!”

What follows is just an observation but it was important to me at the time and continues to be.

When the original hard cover version of A Favor Returned was published with the help of “patrons of the arts” who wanted to see the book in print, the publisher, Peter E. Randall of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, made the statement at our first meeting that “you must have a book.” His meaning became clearer when he said his reputation was at stake whenever he put his name on a book; therefore, the book had to meet certain standards before he would… Continue reading

Wednesday, August 14 Program

Yes, despite the calendar in the Green Valley News indicating that Wednesday’s GV Forum will be on the “Korean Conflict,” it will not. My program on “A Tale of Two Books” will be presented. Be assured that I will not be speaking on Korea. This was the originally scheduled program but it had to be postponed and my program from September 18th was put into its place.

Please come, even if the Korean War will not be the topic! 9:00 a.m. at the Canoa Hills Rec Center in Green Valley.


The Amazon Ratings (again!)

What a trip it is to check Amazon ratings for one’s book! The fluctuations are rather dramatic. Do any of my writer friends out there know of a way to extract actual sales numbers from Amazon?  Can the sale of two or three e-books make a significant difference in ranking? Just wondering . . .


A Literary Tale?-GV Forum

“A Tale of Two Books” will be presented at the Green Valley Forum on August 14, 2013 instead of the originally schedule date of September 18. The program begins at 9:00 a.m. at Canoa Hills Rec Center instead of the usual venue of Desert Hills Rec Center. The focus of the program will be literary with an emphasis on the writing and revision process, including comparisons of the recently revised edition of A Favor Returned with the original edited manuscript of the same book, written more than thirteen years ago.  The forty-five minute program will include a… Continue reading

A Favor Returned-Reviewed

A substantial degree of trepidation occurs when one’s book is reviewed in the newspaper. Relief follows quickly if the review has positive things to say. So, check out the review of A Favor Returned.  Here is the hot link to the book reviews in yesterday’s paper. http://www.gvnews.com/lifestyle/book-reviews-humor-mysteries-intrigue-on-tap-this-month/article_a6994f28-f60e-11e2-9434-001a4bcf887a.html

The book is available on Amazon in both e-book and paperback and at other major outlets as well. 4-29Favor returned cover

Can A Re-release Outsell The Original?

A Favor Returned is now available in three formats: the original, in hardcover, is out of print. (I do, however, have boxes of them in my garage.)-:) The new revision can be purchased as a paperback and as an e-book for any e-book equipment.

The new version, while maintaining the dramatic story, is revised to flow smoother with more showing than telling, crisper dialogue and fewer flashbacks. So, the challenge is to see if an improved version will improve sales as well. In the fourteen years since the original was published, technology has improved dramatically, allowing for… Continue reading

Shoulder sag or Fist pump?

In my “A Tale of Two Books” program, I will be pointing out some subtle and some not-so-subtle changes between the new edition and the original hard cover version of A Favor Returned. Here is one example and I will allow you to decide whether it is in the subtle or not-so-subtle category.

Ross Becker watches as the race car careens through a fence, carrying his father to what should be certain death. In the car next his dad’s, Al Stuart, idolized by Ross, glances over his shoulder at Ethan Becker’s car disappears through the fence… Continue reading

From Whence Comes The Inspiration?

After most literary programs I present. a common question is this: Where do you get ideas or the inspiration for your stories? With the newly revised edition of A Favor Returned the question is an easy one to answer. The book has a new jacket design and the event pictured in the black and white photo was the inspiration for the story. Dad Race Car 21 (4)The “what if” question of novel writing comes to the forefront here. So, the driver miraculously survived. So what? What if there is a destiny for this driver? What if his survival dramatically affects lives of… Continue reading

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