I’m Still Poor, but I’ve Got Aspirations

(Monte Dutton sketch)

Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, January 29, 2018, 7:52 a.m.

What am I up to? Let me use the preferred grammar no one uses anymore. To what am I up?

By Monte Dutton

I’m trying to sell a new novel. In a participatory way. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is posted on the Amazon KindleScout web site. The participatory aspect is that, if you like it, you can vote for it. Your nomination won’t get it published. It really wouldn’t make much sense for any book to be published solely on the basis of a fan vote. It ought to be published because editors consider it good. Worthwhile. Your votes demonstrate to the Amazon movers and shakers that there is a market for the book.

I am a two-time winner and a one-time loser in KindleScout. Crazy of Natural Causes (2015) and Forgive Us Our Trespasses (2016) were KindleScout winners. Cowboys Come Home (2016) wasn’t.

What’s in it for me? An advance that I could really use. Amazon’s promotional assistance that I can’t possibly afford to buy.

(Cover design by Steven Novak)

What’s in it for you? If it’s selected, you will get a free download, which means you can read it, not only on all your “devices” – the Kindle app may well have come with your cell phone, laptop, tablet, media player, Kindle (obviously), it’s available for a Nook, even, but it’s free if it isn’t there already – and you can read it on your phone at lunch and then, if you call it up on your tablet, it will take you to the page you last visited.

I do it all the time.

You will also get it before it goes on sale. That way you can write a short paragraph about it as a customer review on the book’s Amazon page. A Kindle will ask you for your evaluation as soon as you complete it, and that simple click – one through five stars – will show up immediately on both Amazon and Goodreads.

If this won’t persuade you to take a look at the KindleScout page – which includes a brief description, a short Q&A with moi, and a 5,000-word sample – then it can’t be done.

I tried.

Take a look. Read a little. If you think it merits publication, all it takes is a click. An optional evaluation takes seconds. The link requires only a click here.


I wrote the two racing novels of last year – Lightning in a Bottle and Life Gets Complicated – in a few months apiece. I love them – it would be weird if I didn’t – and they were fun to write. They were the first books I wrote in first person, and the viewpoint of Barrie Jarman’s Uncle Charlie allowed me to be funny where previously I had only been amusing.

(Monte Dutton sketch)

I like funny. You will, too. They’re quick reads. Stock car racing is my field of expertise. There’s still time to read one or both between now and the Daytona 500. If you’re not already ready, you’ll get there sooner.

If you don’t care about NASCAR – or FASCAR, the completely fictitious ruling body of the novels – you’ll still laugh at Barrie’s adventures and exploits. He’s a wild kid — smart, cocky, flawed, rebellious, talented – and you’ll like him whether you agree with his lifestyle or not. I created him because I was thinking about the drivers who were everywhere in NASCAR when I started writing about it regularly in the early 1990s.

He’s not based on any one person. He’s an original, a throwback and a typical kid of today at the same time. This collection of short stories by me and other authors has an original short story about Barrie in it, as well as what was originally the beginning of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, back before I rewrote the story.


Darlington Raceway (Getty Images for NASCAR)

In spite of all these money-making activities, I need it. Money. Not to mention swimming pools, movie stars, and black gold. Texas tea. More likely, I should find an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies on TV, but that won’t pay any bills.

Patreon is a web site and a program that enables artists of all kinds – writers, musicians, photographers, painters – to raise money from patrons of their work.

My writing is never going to require subscription. This site focuses on NASCAR and, occasionally, other major sports. Local sports, book reviews, essays, and other miscellaneous activities are featured at wellpilgrim.wordpress.com. At the last second, I decided to post this newsletter here instead of there.

If you are somewhat daft and have an exalted view of my writing perspective, I appreciate it because a different perspective – uh, my own – is what I try diligently to give you.

If you can afford to part with a small amount of money each month, I’d appreciate it if you’d become a patron, on, uh, Patreon. It’s easy to pledge – whether $1, $5, $10 or $20 – and it’s just as easy to adjust, discontinue, or increase. If you pledge at least $5 a month, you’ll be rewarded. All of this is explained here.

How much I raise will determine how much I do. I may be able to go to the race track more often. I may be able to pay my power bill before the day it is due. I may shop at a supermarket instead of Dollar Tree.

Possibilities are endless. It’s not charity, though. I’ll work for your money. Over the past five years, I’ve worked – well, written – a lot for free. As the politician and commentators say, you can help me earn a living wage.


Most of my books – and they encompass lots of subjects – are available at my Amazon author page. Click here if you dare.

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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