A Cry for Help, or, at Least, Reading

 (Monte Dutton sketch)
(Monte Dutton sketch)

I’m just about to dive into the 21st chapter of my next – and sixth – novel, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which is a few paragraphs shy of 50,000 words in its first draft.

Italics will be added when it’s published.

But first! A warm-up. La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-lah! Get the old digits cranking like pistons!

My urgency at writing everything I want to write before I die – to the best of my knowledge, it isn’t imminent – leads me into lots of competing activities.

For instance, it behooves me to sell these books.

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By Monte Dutton

Forgive Us Our Trespasses, a freewheeling yarn of crime and corruption, has been out since the spring. I’m not sure I would go as far as to note that is a huge success, but it’s the most successful of my novels to date. It’s profitable. I get a check each month, depending on the results of the previous one.

Cowboys Come Home, a western set at the end of World War II in Texas, has only been out a few weeks. Crazy of Natural Causes, a fable on the absurdity of modern life in the form of a man’s fall and rise, was published in the summer of 2015. The Intangibles, set in the tumult of 1968 in the American South, hit the virtual shelves in fall 2013. The Audacity of Dope, an irreverent story of a reluctant hero, was my first novel, released in the winter of 2011.

Longer Songs, a collection of 11 short stories derived from songs I wrote, is also a product of the current year.

Thanksgiving kicks off the holidays. People start buying Christmas trees. For some reason, many go shopping on what is known as Black Friday. I’ve never gone shopping on Black Friday. I can’t imagine doing so. Life is too short. I may have shopped online that day, but I can’t recall.

Buying my books requires no standing in line, difficulty finding the car, or walking through a story with an armful of bags, trying to find a restroom. Clicks. All it takes are clicks. And numbers. Numbers to type. Many of these numbers may already be saved in your electronic device.

Cowboys Come Home is self-published. The bad news is that I have no promotional might – activity is a better word; it’s never been mighty – behind it. I wanted to write a western. Apparently no one wanted me to do this. The good news is that I started earning money from day one. I think I made $25.71 the very first day it was on sale.

I need your help. First, I’d like for you to read it. You can download it on your phone for less than any short-order combo at Wendy’s, or Hardee’s, unless you’ve got coupons. Being a vain writer, I think that if you read it, you’ll like it, and you’ll want to say so in the form of short customer reviews at Amazon and goodreads.

(Graphic by Meredith Pritchard; cover by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Graphic by Meredith Pritchard; cover by Jennifer Skutelsky)

You’ll want to send it to your friends as gifts. Cowboys Come Home is the least “parental discretion advised” of my five novels to date (and it’s going to be less so than the next one). It’s violent. It’s harsh. The cowboys and their sinister counterparts drink, smoke, kill, and lust. They don’t curse nearly as much as the characters in the other novels.

It’s PG-13. Nothing is going to shock your teens. Nothing in the other four would probably shock your teens, either, but you still might not want them to read them. Tell them this and, undoubtedly, they will. Unless they’re on Snapchat. Which they are.

There is good to be learned from all of them, though.

Riley Mansfield (The Audacity of Dope) is a pot-smoking songwriter, but he’s also a hero with uncommon bravery, not to mention stubbornness. Frankie Hoskins (The Intangibles) is a kid trying to cope with civil rights, bigotry, drugs, sex, and, most importantly, high school football. It’s painful, particularly at the end. Chance Benford (Crazy of Natural Causes) is a football coach who must reinvent himself after personal disaster on a grand scale. Hal Kinley (Forgive Us Our Trespasses) is a good cop intent on bringing down a ruthless politician. Ennis Middlebrooks and Harry Byerly (Cowboys Come Home) are GIs, home from the Pacific, who find no peace in Texas.

Read one or two or five, and the short stories make six. If this brazen appeal doesn’t sway you, give Longer Songs a read. It won’t take long. It doesn’t cost much. It’s a sampler. If you like the short stories, you’ll love the novels.

Okay, back to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It’s Election Day, and football practice is about to start at Enlightened Word Academy.

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

I’ve written five 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.

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

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home.

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.

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

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

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

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.

 

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

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).

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