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 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.
Doin' What Comes Naturally: A Writer's Journal 2007
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 38,240. Language: English. Published: July 27, 2020. Categories: Essay » Literature
This is the journal of a writer writing as swiftly as he can for 84 days straight in 2007. It's about his philosophy of life, death and writing. It's about his views of George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. It's about his friends, family, sports, diet, exercise and the universe. It's about a man taking a leap into the self-publishing world. Lastly, it's about a man spilling his guts onto the page.
In the Time of My Life: Selected Writings
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 122,150. Language: English. Published: November 2, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
This book is an intriguing anthology of stories and chapters extracted from Joseph Sutton’s three novels, three short story collections, a memoir and a baseball book. Put all these stories and chapters together and what you have, after fifty years of writing, is a mother lode of revelations, insights, wisdom and humor from the pen of Joseph Sutton.
Trump Times: Three Essays
You set the price! Words: 6,650. Language: English. Published: October 29, 2017. Categories: Essay » Political, Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Current affairs
“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: $1.99 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.
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