A Book to Bed and a Book to Rise


Celia Tragg, a character in Forgive Us Our Trespasses. (Monte Dutton sketch)
Celia Tragg, a character in Forgive Us Our Trespasses. (Monte Dutton sketch)

With about thirty minutes to spare before the Tampa Bay-Boston baseball game commenced, and an hour ahead of my weekly radio appearance on South Carolina SportsTalk, I put a fourth novel to bed.

It’s an appropriate term: “to bed.” It’s not like I buried it, but it’s a little like sending a kid off to college, or a job, or the great unknown. It’s a crime novel called Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

All three of my previous novels have a body count. This one’s a little higher. The bad guys and gals are even badder, and Hal Kinley, the good guy, is probably the purest of my heroes, though the coach in The Intangibles, Reese Knighton, would give him a run for his money. The Intangibles has a lot more characters to weave in and out, and so, I think, I’d give the nod to Kinley because his role is a bigger part of the story.

Riley Mansfield, in The Audacity of Dope, is a likable rogue. Chance Benford, in the new novel (the one that is on the market), Crazy of Natural Causes, is a flawed hero.

Who’s my favorite? Probably Riley, the pot-smoking songwriter who just wants to do his thing but becomes imprisoned by fate and can’t get away from his sense of right and wrong.

Riley was fun to write, but I’ve enjoyed them all.

Why, you ask, have I finished a novel less than two weeks after Crazy of Natural Causes hit the market? It’s an accident. I spent lots of fruitless time trying to find a publisher of Crazy, and I was working on Forgive Us Our Trespasses all that time. The story was done some time ago, but it needed polishing, and streamlining, and proofreading, and fact-checking, and I changed the order of its early chapters.

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)

On the other hand, I think I’m getting better at this, and Forgive Us Our Trespasses only needed (by my estimation) three drafts, and that’s one fewer than Crazy and The Intangibles and two fewer than Audacity.

I’ve also got about 40,000 words written in a novel called Cowboys Come Home, and I think I may be getting back to that story shortly. I shut it down, oh, about two years ago now, because it had kind of left me at a dead end, and I’ve got to come to grips with that. I’ve got to run the road across the railroad tracks or something.

Lots of readers have been fond of giving me advice on where to go next, and the most common suggestion has been a sequel to The Audacity of Dope that takes Riley on to further adventures. Lots of people surprised me with their love of Riley. Early sales of Crazy of Natural Causes have bumped sales of the earlier novels a little, and perhaps one effect will be more people discovering Riley.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I take all the suggestions under advisement, but I’m stubborn, and writing a novel is difficult. I don’t think I can do it unless it’s a story I love. I can’t justify it in my mind.


(This cover was designed by Melanie Ryon.)
(This cover was designed by Melanie Ryon.)

If you’ve got a Kindle, or a Nook, or an iSomething, or a cell phone full of tricks, you can read my books right there in your devices, thanks to free Kindle apps, and you can sit it down with your tablet, and, the next day, when you’re waiting for a friend or your meal to arrive, you can pick it up in your phone at the same place where you left off.

Prior to having Crazy of Natural Causes published through the KindleScout program, I mostly read “real books” (and Crazy might become one soon), but this versatility, this easy way to read anywhere at any time, has turned me into an e-book fan. I predict you will become one, too, if you’ll give it a try and give yourself time to get the hang of it.

What’s more, you can buy The Audacity of Dope for $2.99, Crazy of Natural Causes for $3.49, and The Intangibles for $4.99. Or, for the same money, you can have a decent dinner out, and have nothing to check but social media while you’re waiting. The choice is yours.

              Here’s where you can find most all my books: http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1



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