Seeking Just the Right Amount of Me

(Monte Dutton sketch)
(Monte Dutton sketch)

The manuscript of Cowboys Come Home is slightly more than four hundred pages, 94,000 words, double-spaced and twelve in point, and the manuscript of the as-yet-unnamed sixth novel is six pages and 1,600 words, but things are looking up. It now has an outline. A major difference between the former and the latter is that the outline of Cowboys is in Georgia, my preferred body text, and the outline of The Manuscript That Shall Be Unnamed for a While is in Calibri.

I don’t know why. It just is. Because I wrote so. You don’t like it? Fine. I’ll switch to Zapf Dingbats. See how you like that.

By Monte Dutton (John Clark photo)
By Monte Dutton (John Clark photo)

The main character, Mickey Statler, is so named because, when I was born, my full name was Hudson Montgomery Dutton (and still is), but my mother decreed that I would be known as Monte, and this was because, at the time, she envisioned having four boys named Monte, Mark, Mickey, and Max, and I chose the protagonist of my sixth novel over Mark and Max. I named him Statler because, as a boy, I liked the Statler Brothers (and still do). The Statler Brothers, which actually include a couple of Reids, were named for a brand of toilet paper, so that had a little something to do with it, too.

Mickey is unscented and durable as toilet papers go.

By the way, my mother’s second child was a girl, so the Four M’s became a footnote. My only brother’s name is Brack.

Is Mickey based on me? Oh, a little bit. There’s a little bit of me in Riley Mansfield (The Audacity of Dope), Frankie Hoskins (The Intangibles), Chance Benford (Crazy of Natural Causes), and Hal Kinley (Forgive Us Our Trespasses), though they are growing ever more distant. Neither of the cowboys in Cowboys Come Home, my forthcoming fifth, has much at all to do with me.

Maybe Mickey is a return to my writing roots. It’s hard to say. I’ve only written one chapter.

He’s going to be funnier than I, which is challenging because I’m inventing him, and I thought I was already at full capacity.

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

Stop by L&L Office Supply, 114 North Broad Street, Clinton and buy one of my novels. Buy either Forgive Us Our Trespasses or Crazy of Natural Causes, and you’ll get a volume of my short stories, Longer Songs, absolutely free. Tell ‘em Monte sent you, y’hear?

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

Kindle versions – you don’t have to have a Kindle, just a free app for your electronic devices – of most of my books are available here. Links to print copies are below.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses is the latest. It’s a tale about crooked politician who wants to be governor, whatever it takes, and another man trying to stop him. It’s outrageous.

Crazy of Natural Causes is about the fall and rise of Chance Benford, a Kentucky football coach who reinvents himself. It’s original.

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

The Intangibles is about the South in the 1960s, complete with racial strife, bigotry, resentment, cultural exchange and, of course, high school football.

(Crystal Lynn cover photo)
(Crystal Lynn cover photo)

The Audacity of Dope is the tale of Riley Mansfield, a pot-smoking songwriter turned national hero with a taste for the former and a distaste for the latter.

Longer Songs is a collection of 11 short stories that all began in songs I wrote.

Follow me at Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Twitter (@montedutton), Google+ (MonteDuttonWriter) and/or Instagram (Tug50).



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