Fiction and Taxes

The sun also rises. (Monte Dutton photo)
The sun also rises. (Monte Dutton photo)

What’s the Anne Murray song?

Hey-a-ay-ay-hay-ay-ay, what about me? I’ve got some feelings on my mind, I-I-I do …”

Something like that. I would have referred to it as an old Anne Murray song, but there aren’t any new ones of which I know.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

I’ve got a lot going on. There’s this ridiculous tax dispute that is merely a matter of filling out endless forms and hoping, against all odds, that someone in either Columbia or Laurens will pay heed. In the past, I have managed to cull Lancaster County out of the herd. It’s a long story getting longer, and it may wind up providing the germ for some fiction, though I don’t find “poor man’s correspondence war with government bodies” to be particularly commercial.

Maybe it would make the Accountants Book Club.

It could be a nice side-plot, a brave hero battling piddling things on the side. The kids are on dope, the government’s after me, my old truck needs a ring job, and still, here I am, with a terrorist cell bent on world domination in my way and that of all mankind.

Vodka martini. Shaken. Not stirred. My hero’s more likely to have an Old Style, or a Lone Star, or if it’s set in the past, a Falstaff.

Anyway, my next novel, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, is sailing toward publication. The editing of the manuscript should be ready for my analysis and approval by the first of the year.

It’s number four. Like number three (Crazy of Natural Causes), it’s an ebook. Tell me. Have you read it? Would you read it if it were a “real book,” with pages actually made of paper? What I’m looking at here is cost-effectiveness. I don’t want to get print copies made if they’re not going to boost the sales enough to … profit. By profit, I mean mine.

I have the, uh, print rights. I’ve hoped — yeah, right — some publishing house would want to publish Crazy of Natural Causes in print.

I’ve just got this old-fashioned belief that if a book is good enough, someone besides the author should be willing to invest in it. Without money in it, there is no incentive to sell it. On the other hand, I have beaucoups of incentive to sell it.

It’s my ass.

Forgive my indelicateness.


(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Left is the cover of Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

              Right is the cover of Crazy of Natural Causes, which is story about a man who begins it as a high school football coach and winds up far, far away. Buy it here.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

              The Intangibles is set mostly in 1968, the year Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert Francis Kennedy were murdered and, in the Southern town where the story takes place, public schools were being desegregated.

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

              The Audacity of Dope, my first novel, is about Riley Mansfield, a pot-smoking singer-songwriter who gets himself wrapped up in political intrigue even though he wants no part of being a national hero.

              And the fifth one’s going to be a modern western about a couple Texans returning to the ranch from World War II. I’m about 50,000 words into the first draft. I’m trying to keep an assembly line moving.


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