Paul Swearingen


Paul Swearingen is a retired English/journalism/Spanish teacher who managed to survive 34+ years in public, private, and government schools. He also was a radio newsman and disk jockey, a newspaper editor and photographer, a personnel manager for a large retail store (now defunct), and a long-time publisher of the National Radio Club's magazine, "DX News". He lives in Topeka, Kansas, where his main current duty is to keep his garden under close control.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a farm in SE Kansas, and the rural life I remember has greatly influenced all of my novels. The setting of each of the novels is a combination of the places I lived, including the Iola area, Emporia, and where I now live, Topeka.
When did you first start writing?
I've written sporadically since the mid-'70's, not counting when I was a newspaper reporter and a radio newsman. The beginnings of several stories I started 40 years ago have been pulled from the drawer, literally, and expanded into full novels.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Paul Swearingen online

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Good Girl, Bad Girl
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 50,190. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
A young man is given a chance to accept responsibility and show that he is worthy of trust. At stake is his job, the lives of the people in his city, including a special person.
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 48,650. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller & Suspense
Alex wants to improve her writing so she can be published in her high school literary magazine, so she turns to the Internet for help. However, she slowly realizes that someone is stalking her, someone close by.
Enza 1918
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 50,440. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Historical
16-year-old Mary Alice is in trouble for low marks in school, which she has until the end of the semester to bring up. But little does she know that she will be forced to face a new threat to her family and community, the dreaded influenza pandemic of 1918.
High School Bully – The Revenge (sixth in the high school series)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 52,540. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
Lindi isn't sure she will survive the first day of high school, let alone the rest of the year, with her main middle school tormenter seated right behind her in one class. She knows that she's going to have to use her psychic powers to overcome the obstacles ahead of her.
Can't Stack B-B's
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 58,420. Language: American English. Published: December 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Science Fiction, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
Becky, 14, is beholden to Dane, 17, for saving her life after the "bomb". But she cannot decide if she wants him to be her big brother or eventually a lover. Eventually, the new Order and a somewhat demented rival to her may make that decision for her.
You Can Believe It
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 76,380. Language: English. Published: August 22, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Science Fiction
One day, Dane woke up, but no one else did. Or so he thought. But the neutron bombs hadn't killed everyone. Just when he was getting used to being alone in the world, two sisters showed up to change everything again. And yet they weren't the only ones to survive, or to die, and change his world, as he was to find out. Set in the very near future, "You Can Believe It" is suitable for ages 12+.
High School History – The Treasure (fifth in the high school series)
Series: The High School, Book 5. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 56,470. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Mystery & Detective
An ordinary history assignment leads Arianna to an old country school building on a Civil War skirmish site, and her younger sister alerts her to a missing girl. Gradually she realizes that the building houses a mystery, and the surrounding grounds must give up their Civil War secrets so that she can complete her essay. But a farmer, two reluctant librarians, and a hair barrette stand in her way.
High School Newspaper – The Danger (fourth in the high school series)
Series: The High School, Book 4. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 50,780. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
(5.00 from 1 review)
Being newspaper photo editor when you’re only a sophomore may sound like a dream, but to Arianna the nightmare is just starting, with her little sister an unwilling participant. She discovers that her friend will never be her lover, her potential boyfriend really is a hunk, and most importantly that she can swing a tree branch and a length of iron pipe when she needs to defend herself.
High School Yearbook – The Drama (third in the high school series)
Series: The High School, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 59,570. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
Cherié thinks she’s set to coast through her senior year in high school … until her principal blackmails her to take over editorship of the yearbook. She discovers that neither her principal nor her advisor are what they are supposed to be. She nearly gets creamed in a hallway fight, but her chubby guardian angel makes sure that she survives and uncovers some unusual events.
High School Diversity - The Clash (second in the high school series)
Series: The High School, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 31,480. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Carla can’t seem to come to grips with her life and seems always to be running away from it and in conflict with persons who always tell her what to do. She’s threatened after a minor misunderstanding; she finds herself in a fast car with a drug runner; she saves her romantic rival’s life with a crusty steak knife. In the end she proves that short Hispanic girls can have fun, too.
High School Football – The Temptation (first in the high school series)
Series: The High School, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 42,940. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
(4.50 from 8 reviews)
A black teenager is forced to move to a small town but realizes that with the help of new friends he may be able to leave the bad influences behind and concentrate on football. But part of his past catches up with him. Then temptation, in the forms of a potential burglary and a till-tapping opportunity, presents itself – and he knows he has tough choices to make.

Paul Swearingen's favorite authors on Smashwords

Smashwords book reviews by Paul Swearingen

  • Adopted on Jan. 14, 2011

    Kristina, you show promise as a writer, but what you have written is an outline for a Christian story. It is not a fully-developed novel, or short story - yet. As Angelica suggested in her review, you should develop this story into a full novel. But first - you need to read much more to gain some background in fiction writing. Consider studying published writers like Karen Hesse and others to see how they handle some of the same themes that you did. Good luck, and feel free to contact me here on Smashwords for more suggestions and books to read. I was a teacher for 34 years, and I'd be glad to help you get started.
  • Market Forces on Feb. 09, 2011

    This coming-of-age, or self-discovery short story, is delicately and carefully created against an unexpected backdrop of an open-air market. The details and setting enrichen the story, and the portrayal of Michael's mother and the violin-playing girls, including the "Ice Queen", are a nice counterpoint to Michael's confirmation of his sexual preferences. The end-punctuation here and there is a little quirky, but it doesn't detract from the story.
  • What I did next does me no credit at all on Feb. 09, 2011

    Irony and setting are the strong suit of this short story. However, it is severely flawed in that the reader cannot discern the sex of the narrator. Had we been able to determine without a doubt "Miss Goody Two-Shoes" is not quite a definitive hint), the irony might have been doubly enhanced. Still, the strong settings carry the story.
  • Justice on Feb. 09, 2011

    Nice to see someone who has control of the English language and can produce a poem that is a neat package like this one.
  • Ain't No Sunshine on March 08, 2011

    DuBoise has created a real page-turner with "Ain't No Sunshine". The characters are well-crafted, the plot compelling, and the outcome unexpected but not a complete surprise. A bit of closer proofreading should have been in order, as this version still has a few errors, but they do not affect the impact of this novel. A great read.
  • Be the Monkey - Ebooks and Self-Publishing: A Dialog Between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath on March 19, 2011

    Joe and Barry tell it like it is with self-publishing. Now, I don't regret at all self-publishing my first five titles on Smashwords, and I really appreciate the positive boost I received by reading this FREE ebook!
  • Dexter By A Nose on June 15, 2011

    "Dexter By a Nose" is a story by a talented author who is a worthy successor to Thornton W. Burgess, who also penned animal stories - not just "talking animal" tales, but ones that included furry characters with real human emotions and problems. In this story, a horse named Dexter is taunted by others because he is different; he is "mixed" and not a thoroughbred and is even called a "mutt". How he overcomes these differences can serve as a model for young people who may also be "different" and who may be bullied by those who should know better.
  • Four Dog Riot on July 31, 2011

    Joe Cottonwood gets it - that new teens, those who have just turned 13 and 14, can skip a couple of decades at the speed of a Hair Galaxy and pop right into their 40's. And yet they can be light years apart - like Mimi, who harbors a deep, dark secret inside her but radiates power and manipulative ability, and tiny Jaz, who has yet to find out who she really is. Or little Hoot, who is mostly clueless about life and couldn't harm a fly, and big Bowie, who has known the rough side of humanity nearly all his life and knows how to protect himself and his home, even if it involves using a priceless triple-ought-forty-five C. F. Martin guitar as a weapon. Cottonwood has captured all the emotions that are possible to run through teens, and his characters are almost larger than life in this novel, which is as masterful as those penned by Walter Dean Myers, Gary Soto, Paul Zindel, and S. E. Hinton. It's a powerful piece, and I recommend it without reservation.
  • Amazon on Aug. 22, 2011

    "Amazon" hits the ground running - or maybe the air - and does not slow down until the last word. As in her earlier novels, Weinstein's trademark conversant animals are back in this novel, and their personalities serve as counterpoints to the humans. Like Greece? You'll love the setting, a remote Grecian isle, and its inhabitants, the Amazons of historical lore, who skirmish with each other, hate men, and provide all kinds of excitement and even support for the main character, Regina.
  • The Last Summer Snow on July 01, 2012

    Ms. Coleman's stories are very visual, written very closely in style to a play and complete with descriptions which could easily serve as stage directions. The unique similies which I consider a trademark are fun but not distracting although some of the punctuation and mechanics are not consistent. Nevertheless, Ms. Coleman's prose is stark and clean and very evocative, and "The Last Summer Snow" is one of her best pieces. Not many writers can capture the intense emotions and memories of a plus-100-year-person.
  • They Stole Your Book! Now What? on July 06, 2012

    Very useful information. Thanks so much for making it free; I've posted the URL more than once in response to people who've commented that their book has been pirated and offered for sale.
  • Famous Potatoes on Oct. 30, 2012

    How can a young man be on the road and underground at the same time? Hint - the title of this book is a clue. I suspect that this novel is more or less a reassembled version of Cottonwood's early life, perhaps without some of the more violent episodes, but it's true-to-life (you can't make up some of this stuff), timeless, and eminently readable. The character portraits of the women alone are worth the price of the book - especially Erica, whom I've met oh-so-many times with oh-so-many faces, not all freckled.
  • The Ghost Of Christmas Past on Dec. 02, 2012

    A bit artificial, but cleanly written with a clear story arc. Nicely-designed cover, too.
  • Assured Destruction on May 06, 2013

    Janus is computer-savvy - perhaps too much for her own good. She can handle the 1's and 0's with the best, but her school work, relationships with friends, and even her own self-assuredness come crashing down to a big zero. "Assured Destruction" is a classic one-sitting read, packed with surprises, glimpses into the world beyond the computer screen, and non-stop action. Highly recommended for anyone who knows a lot, or just a little, about programming and social networks.
  • 99 Jobs: Blood, Sweat, and Houses on Nov. 25, 2013

    In this memoir/philosophical work, Cottonwood shows that not only can he mend almost anything on, under, in, or around a house, he can also mend errant souls, or at least nudge them in the right direction. This is a fabulous read for anyone who has fancied him or herself a Mr./Ms. Fixit and found that sometimes the problem is not so much the physical dwelling - it's the people who live there.