Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, April 28, 2017, 11:15 a.m.
I spend a lot of time writing, and I spend another considerable chunk writing about how you need to read … my writing.
Tell my whyyyyyy, whyyyy, why, why, why! Whyyyyyy, why should you read my boooooks?
Among the reasons is I have expenses. I have bills to pay. This is how I make my living. Sort of.
I always use the analogy of the baseball scorebook. You know that one, right? There is only way to score a baseball game. That’s the way that works for you. Many more options are available than skinning a cat, though I’ve never done it, so I can’t say. There is allegedly one way. Google it, and I’m satisfied there’s more than one.
Wait a minute. The actual saying is, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” Never mind. Thank goodness for Google.
Lightning in a Bottle is lightning in a wraparound cover. It’s in paperback (and Kindle, of course), so it has no book jacket. It’s built in. It’s still lightning, though.
The lightning is Barrie Jarman. He left home to make his fortune in stock car racing. He also chases women, drinks moonshine, and plays guitar. His daddy is an alcoholic. His uncle has been working on race cars for thirty years. He’s another reason Barrie leaves home. He gives him a cabin to live in. He spreads the word that his nephew wields a magic wand disguised as a steering wheel.
From the start, after Barrie signs a contract with Ford Racing and lands a ride in FASCAR’s Enervation Series, he and the ruling body are at odds. He speaks his mind and believes it’s necessary to do so in order to bring kids like him back to the sport, if not in the cockpits, then in the grandstands. FASCAR doesn’t want him to do anything his own way. The whippersnapper is supremely confident that he knows what he’s doing.
Barrie’s got to be good. He won’t last long, popping off at the mouth, if he isn’t. Winning races isn’t the problem. He starts doing that right off.
He’s lucky, though. He’s a brash kid and a throwback at the same time. His owner, Jerry McCarley, is a throwback, too. His manager, Frank Maglie, knows every FASCAR act of duplicity like the back of his hand. He knows how they think. He keeps Barrie aware of it.
Barrie is at his best when his back is to the wall. He thrives on controversy. His greatest knack is being lucky in the aftermath of being unlucky. Like all great racers, he’s most impressive when there are obstacles in his path.
If you’re a race fan, this novel is going to wow you. You’ve never read anything like it. It’s as fast as the cars.
If you’re not a race fan, it’s going to interest you because its lessons can be applied to many other pastimes. It’s about racing and race, love and deception, the temptations of youth and money, and learning how to adapt from being on the wrong side of the tracks to the wrong side of the (racing) law.
You’re going to love it. Some of it may offend you, but some of it is definitely going to make you laugh.
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 montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).