Joseph Sutton


Joseph Sutton was born in Brooklyn and raised in Hollywood. He played football at the University of Oregon and graduated with a degree in philosophy. He earned a teaching credential and a degree in history at Cal State University Los Angeles and taught high school history and English for many years. Sutton, who has been writing for more than 50 years, has published over two dozen books. His essays and short stories have appeared in numerous national magazines and journals. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Joan.

Smashwords Interview

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.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Joseph Sutton online

Where to buy in print


Journal 2015: History of One Man
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 22,040. Language: American English. Published: December 5, 2023 . Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
"Journal 2015: History of One Man" is a history of one year in San Francisco writer Joseph Sutton's life. Religion, Sports, the Universe, the Environment, Philosophy, American History, Politics, Self-Publishing—all these topics and more are included in Sutton's one-year journal.
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.
Doin' What Comes Naturally: A Writer's Journal 2007
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 38,240. Language: English. Published: July 27, 2020 . Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
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.
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 & 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: 33,540. 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: $1.99 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: $1.99 USD. Words: 19,650. Language: American English. Published: August 12, 2010 . Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
Write Now! is a BIG/little book about writing, writer's block, rejection, publishing, and selling his 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 » Literature » Literary
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 see a man turning into his old storytelling self again.

Joseph Sutton's tag cloud

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