Interview with Joseph Sutton

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.
Published 2014-09-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Trump Times: Three Essays
You set the price! Words: 3,550. Language: English. Published: October 29, 2017. Categories: Essay » Political, Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Activism
“These are the times that try men’s souls,” wrote Thomas Paine in 1776. Yes, these Trump Times are trying a lot of men and women’s souls. Being a writer, I can no longer be silent, for as professional football player Michael Bennett has said, “There’s a point where silence is becoming dishonest.” The three essays in this book show why Donald Trump is a menace to America's ideals.
This Writing Life: A Writer Writes On!
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 21,450. Language: English. Published: February 8, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Creativity, Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills
Joseph Sutton believes that any writer who takes his profession seriously is equal to any writer who has ever lived. The reason: every writer has a perspective and voice that is uniquely his own. Every facet of writing is covered in the 48 short chapters of *This Writing Life.* It’s the perfect motivator for beginners and unknowns to sit down and start writing.
The Bar of Soap: 31 City Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 27,600. Language: American English. Published: September 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
This collection of short stories covers a wide range of subjects—from homelessness, sex and sports to school and animal stories. Plus, there's a cruel mother-in-law story, a story about a man who saves Manhattan from disaster, a story about faith, and even a story about all unknown writers being the equal of Hemingway. These stories are innovative and unusual, as well as stimulating and humorous.
San Francisco Giants: A Fan's Journal 2010, 2012, 2014
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,800. Language: American English. Published: March 10, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Baseball, Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Coaching / Baseball
After moving from NY, it took the San Francisco Giants 53 years to win their first World Series in 2010. Then came two more titles in 2012 and 2014. Joseph Sutton has incorporated all three World Series seasons into one book. What makes this book truly unique is that it's interwoven with Sutton's baseball relationship with his son Ray, from the time Ray was a Little Leaguer through high school.
The Life and Death of Abraham Massry and Other Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 19,770. Language: American English. Published: June 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Jewish, Fiction » Literature » Literary
A collection of stories based on author Joseph Sutton's Syrian Jewish background. The title story is about a Jewish immigrant from Syria who wants his American-born son Jake to follow the business and marriage path taken by him and his ancestors, except Jake shows the true calling of America by blazing his own trail. Come and enjoy Jake Massry's Syrian Jewish experiences from boyhood to manhood.
Father and Son: Thirty Years of Growing Up Together
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 44,440. Language: American English. Published: October 15, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Parenting » Childhood development, Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Fatherhood
A chronicle of Joseph Sutton’s relationship with his son Ray, giving a year-by-year account of his thoughts and feelings for Ray as he grew from an infant into a man. Sutton’s fatherly concerns, insights, imperfections and range of emotions are openly revealed. Whether you’re a father, mother, son or daughter, you can benefit from reading about Sutton’s 30 years of growing up with his son.
Highway Sailor: A Rollicking American Journey
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 50,010. Language: English. Published: April 20, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Adventure » General
When the woman Jake Massry lives with leaves him for another man because he can't succeed as a writer, Jake hits the highways of America in his worn-out VW bus in search of himself and his country. In his travels, Jake meets a colorful cast of characters: sexy women, philosophers, racists and Gary Morse, a 19-year-old hitchhiker who possesses a large "red ruby" given to him by a young heiress.
Words of Wellness: A Treasury of Quotations for Well-Being
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 51,290. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Quotations, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Reference
Grouped into 120 alphabetized categories (from "Achievement" to "Kindness" to "Young and Old"), this collection of more than 2,000 highly enlightening, inspiring and often humorous quotations covers all aspects of health—be it mental, physical, spiritual or emotional health. Let the great minds of the ages stimulate your well-being with their words of wellness.
The Immortal Mouth and Other Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,620. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Urban, Fiction » Literature » Literary
A collection of sixteen short stories dealing with classic American themes of heroes and mentors, roller-coaster relationships, sports, coming of age, and aging. These stories deal with humanity's goodness and wickedness, loyalty and betrayal, rage and exultation, triumph and defeat.
How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Ripped Off
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,130. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Transportation » Automobiles, Nonfiction » Reference » Consumer guides
This used car buying guide will show you how much a used car is really worth and how to negotiate the very best deal for it with a professional salesperson or private party.
My Writing Year: Making Sense of Being a Writer
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 16,760. Language: English. Published: April 17, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Creativity
A powerful book about writing and the writing process, this book will motivate both beginning and professional writers to sit down and write as swiftly as they can to generate ideas or to break out of a writer's block. Writing will become a joyful act instead of a chore.
Write Now! On the Road to Getting Published or How I Learned to Sell My Book
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 19,650. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2010. Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Publishing and books
Write Now! is a Big/little book about writing, writer's block, rejection, publishing and selling your book. It is also the story of the making of a writer.
A Class of Leaders
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 44,210. Language: American English. Published: July 17, 2010. Categories: Fiction » African American fiction » Urban life, Fiction » Literature
South Central Los Angeles. 1969. Joshua Sampson, a white history teacher in a black ghetto high school, throws the book away and lets his students take charge of their own destiny. Sampson's students, with his guidance, begin teaching. They voice their opinions on Vietnam, freedom, Black Power, police harassment, the grading system, capital punishment, and whether Sampson is teaching them or not.
Morning Pages: The Almost True Story of My Life
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 66,020. Language: English. Published: July 9, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Ben Halaby has writer's block. He stumbles across a book on creativity: Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way." Cameron's basic principle is to write three pages non-stop first thing in the morning for 84 days. Halaby heeds this advice. As the words come gushing out of his pen and soul, we not only see the creative process in action, but we also see a man turning into his old storytelling self again.