Interview with Joseph Sutton

Published 2014-09-18.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing on my 29th birthday in the summer of 1969. It was a novel titled "A Class of Leaders," based on my teaching experience at an all Black high school in South Central Los Angeles. This book set the tone for all my future writing in that I write mainly from experience. I wrote the first draft of "A Class of Leaders" in a few months and it took me two more years to revise and finish it. So far I've written 12 books.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Going through the long process of trying to find a publisher or agent for my books and stories was disheartening. Hence, I became an indie author.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in life is to write in my journal. I feel as free as a bird. I can soar, glide, swoop, dive, imagine, feel, think, go back in time, peer into the future or vent my anger. I'm not trying to please anyone but myself. All my books and stories are derived from my journal entries.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are many great authors in the world, even unknown authors. However, three authors have had a great influence on my writing: Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac and my favorite of all favorites, William Saroyan. All three wrote from their experience, like I do, and all three left their heart and soul on the page.
What is your writing process?
My writing process is to write as fast as I can, letting it all hang out. I then go back and revise until I'm completely satisfied with what I've written.
Describe your desk
My wonderful desk has a large wooden top with metal drawers on either side of it. It's a sturdy desk that used to belong to the U.S. Department of Labor. I bought it for $25 at a Salvation Army store two decades ago. On it is a large computer screen with a keyboard, a printer, a bottle of water if I get thirsty and two large mugs, one filled with pens and pencils, the other with Sharpies. Strewn about my desk are notes and stories that I'm working on.
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Latest books by This Author

Journal 2001: The 9/11 Attacks
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 10,510. Language: English. Published: July 19, 2023 . Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
"Journal 2001: The 9/11 Attacks" is the tenth in a series of yearly journals by San Francisco author Joseph Sutton. Sutton writes of that fatal day in 2001 and asks himself why terrorists are willing to sacrifice their lives for "the cause." He writes about his past and present life, his family, the environment, baseball, and, of course, the writing life.
Journal 1993
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 21,180. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2023 . Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
"Journal 1993" is the ninth yearly journal by San Francisco author Joseph Sutton. It shows the ups and downs he experienced as a dedicated but unpublished writer. It covers the relationship he had with his 12-year-old son. Also included are what he learned from his therapist—how to deal with a meddlesome mother-in-law and how his athletic ability saved him from being stifled as a young boy.
Journal 2021: Insurrection, Trump, Covid
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 12,970. Language: English. Published: January 10, 2023 . Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Literary biography, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
San Francisco author Joseph Sutton digs deep as to why so many Americans don't believe that Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in the 2020 election. It's one of many subjects Sutton deals with in this yearly journal of his. Other subjects include Covid-19, vaccinations, his three favorite Bay Area sports teams, his life as a writer, being 80 years old, and climate change.
Journal 1990: Coaching My Son's Little League Team
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 12,140. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2022 . Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Baseball, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
Journal 1990, like all of San Francisco writer Joseph Sutton's yearly journals, is not only a short history of one year in his life and the country's life, but it also reads like fiction. What's going to happen with his relationship with his 9-year-old son as he's coaching a Little League team for the first time? Other parts of his Journal 1990 deal with the highs and lows of being a writer.
Journal 2000: Everything
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 24,480. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2022 . Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
This book covers the gamut of what goes on in a San Francisco writer's life and mind. It covers everything about writing, from becoming a writer to getting published to promoting a book. It covers the Bush/Gore presidential race of 2000, baseball and football, family, friends, exercise, touring Greece and Italy, Socrates and democracy, homelessness, the environment, arthritis—everything.
Journal 2008: The Writing Process
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 14,050. Language: English. Published: April 10, 2022 . Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
This book chronicles the life of a writer, mainly his thoughts on the writing process and self-publishing. It also gives a picture of the United States in the year 2008, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq dragged on, when the Great Recession wreaked havoc on the economy, and when Barack Obama was elected president.
Journal 2010: Self-Publishing, Politics, and Baseball
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 17,850. Language: English. Published: January 11, 2022 . Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
San Francisco writer Joseph Sutton writes what he and the country were doing in 2010. It was the year he started self-publishing and the year of the Great Recession. He writes about his high school days, playing football at the University of Oregon, and about the San Francisco Giants winning their first World Series. "Journal 2010" is the story of a dedicated writer and lover of democracy.
Journal 2020: The First Year of the Pandemic
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 17,990. Language: English. Published: August 10, 2021 . Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
This book is a history of one year in a writer's life, as well as the country's life. It's about what went through Joseph Sutton's mind while COVID-19, George Floyd's death, Biden vs. Trump, and the birth of his first grandson took place.
Journal 1994
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 34,840. Language: English. Published: April 29, 2021 . Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Essay » Literature
This one-year journal is the unfolding story of a writer, walker, husband, father, former teacher, and ex-college football player. It's the story of 54-year-old man who thinks, creates, dreams, doubts, regrets, and who writes honestly and fearlessly of his past and present life.
A Beginning Writer's Journal: 1970-1972
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 31,110. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2020 . Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
This book reveals what Joseph Sutton went through to finish the first writing project of his life. Although he struggled with bouts of writer's block and fluctuations of mood, this book shows how he conquered those obstacles. Never has there been a more honest, intimate and telling portrait of what a writer was thinking, feeling and doing at the onset of his writing career.
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