I don’t have a clue whether or not the KindleScout program will be interested in my fifth novel, Cowboys Come Home.
Two previous novels, Crazy of Natural Causes and Forgive Us Our Trespasses, have been selected by the Amazon program, so, as Bill Murray said in Caddyshack, I’ve got that going for me.
On the other hand, Cowboys Come Home is a western, and I don’t know whether or not Amazon is interested in westerns. It’s interested in historical fiction, and my story of two cowboys coming home to Texas after serving in the Pacific during World War II is certainly that.
Ennis Middlebrooks and Harry Byerly do not expect to be embroiled once again in mayhem and disorder, but that’s what they find back in Janus, Ennis’s hometown. Oh, there’s an assassination. And a bank robbery. And a killer on the loose. And Ennis’s adventurous baby sister. And a Texas Ranger, Ned Lee Nelson. And a conspiracy to acquire the land on a closed Army base for oil exploration.
The novel begins on the island of Peleliu, where Ennis and Harry find themselves separated from the rest of their Marine unit. They manage to use their wits to survive. Then they return home as heroes, feted in parades and toasted by politicians, anxious to get back to what once was normality.
Nothing is the same. Ennis’s father succumbs to cancer. His mother moves into town to live with her sister. Harry becomes Ennis’s partner in the running of the family cattle farm. Thanks to a tip from the sheriff, Ennis manages to finagle a considerable part of the Camp Ammons land that Col. Evan Ainsworth Jr. and his scheming partner, Roman Walling, want for themselves.
The sheriff, Justin Lawson, doesn’t live much longer.
The above is supposed to make you want to read more. In order to maintain that possibility, I must go no further.
One aspect of the KindleScout program is reader appeal. The first stage of the process is displaying the book — cover, short synopsis, sample chapters, and author Q&A — for a month.
In other words, if my novel appeals to you, let Amazon know. Please examine my book here. Nominating requires no more than one more click after you click here.
Why did I write a western? It’s a complicated story, but mainly it was something new I wanted to try. I grew up around horses and cattle. I had family in Texas as a kid, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time in recent years in the area of Texas on which Janus is based.
It’s markedly different from my first four novels: in order: The Audacity of Dope (2011), The Intangibles (2013), Crazy of Natural Causes (2015) and Forgive Us Our Trespasses (2015).
My theory is that westerns haven’t really become unpopular. They have modernized. The typical western might have been transformed into a space epic, or a confrontation between cops and robbers, or cops and drug dealers, or … cops and vampires, I guess.
Whether selected by KindleScout or not, it’s going to be published soon. I would like to have the advantage of Amazon’s marketing resources, which have not been massive but have been helpful. I would also like a modest amount of money up front, but money up front delays money coming in regularly until the book sells through the advance.
As is often said around here, “Six one, half dozen the other.” Amazon increases the likelihood of success, so I’d like to go that route again.
Please consider my book. If you nominate it — and Amazon selects it — you will receive an advance download for free. If you do not care for Kindle apps that enable you to read books on many electronic devices, a print version will also be released. They have the advantage of being autographable, plus, with an author of my modest renown, autographs are absolutely free.
I’ve written four novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.
The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.
I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.
I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes.
I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.
I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.
I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.
Most of my sports columns are at montedutton.com.
Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).
Coming soon: My fifth novel, a modern western, Cowboys Come Home.