The Thunder Rolls, but Will the Lightning Strike?

Smoky Mountains, I-40. In Lightning in a Bottle, Barrie Jarman and Uncle Charlie spend lots of time on the road. (Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Thursday, April 13, 2017, 9:27 a.m.

Lightning in a Bottle struck me.

By Monte Dutton

It’s my new novel. I’ve written six. Right now I’m making up mind whether to start working on seven or eight, both of which are in progress. I guess the winner gets to be seven. I’m not stuck because of content, or deciding which yarn I want to unravel. I’m stuck because I’m obsessed with the one that just hit the market.

(Cover design by Steven Novak)

Last night I was sleepless in a way similar to the in January when Lightning struck.

Most of Wednesday was spent working on a newsletter, updating the email list, sending it out, and checking the latest sales figures too many times. They spiked last night, but it hasn’t taken off yet, at least not the way it must if it is to be a success. I’m not overly worried. It’s self-published. Word is still getting around. Everyone who has let me know he or she has read it has raved about it. The Amazon customer reviews have been “five-star.” So far, there are only two of them, but I’ve also gotten positive reactions via email and social media.

You’re one prolific novelist!

This is awesome!

Lightning in a Bottle will only stay on my bookshelf until my next flight! Can’t wait to read it.

Awesome fiction. Almost real. Best racing book I’ve read in a long time. Monte really did an awesome job on this one!

I think you have written your best book yet. It’s a shoo-in for your racing readers, but I think it has an appeal for a crossover audience, too. Anyhow, I really enjoyed reading it. EmmaJanes

It’s an old story with my fiction. People like it. I just need more of them. I can only spread the word so many ways, at least without spending a fortune, and what small amount I’ve spent already has not been overly cost-effective.

I need your reviews, whether they’re positive or not. I need your retweets and your shares, your gifts to others who would like it, your recommendations and your references. Even in a world in which information is so prevalent, a lot of it gets lost.

Lightning is a quick read. It’s frank. It’s shocking. It’s controversial. It’s honest. It’s funny. It’s my answer to the question, “What if a wild kid from a tough background happened upon the corporate-obsessed stock car racing of today?”

What if there was a real Barrie Jarman? Would he save the sport? Or would the sport eat him alive?

The jury is still out on Barrie and the novel about him.

(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Lightning in a Bottle, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at (

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

I’ve written six 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.

Lightning in a Bottle is the story of Barrie Jarman, the hope of stock car racing’s future. Barrie, a 18-year-old from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is both typical of his generation and a throwback to the sport’s glory days.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Cowboys Come Home is a modern western. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

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. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(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.

Signed copies of Lightning in a Bottle are on sale at Emma Jane’s (see ad above). Signed copies of all my fiction are also on sale at L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton, South Carolina.

(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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