Thursday, December 12, 2013

On Tour: The Intangibles by Monte Dutton ~ Book Spotlight, Guest Post, and a Giveaway!

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The Intangibles by Monte Dutton
Paperback, 282 pages
Published by: Neverland Publishing Company, LLC
Published October 26th 2013

It's 1968. The winds of change are descending on Fairmont and engulfing the small South Carolina town in a tornadic frenzy. The public schools are finally being completely integrated. Mossy Springs High School is closing and its black students are now attending formerly all-white Fairmont High; the town is rife with racial tension. Several black youths have been arrested for tossing firebombs at a handful of stores. White citizens form a private academy for the purpose of keeping their kids out of the integrated school system. The Ku Klux Klan is growing.

Reese Knighton arrives on the scene at precisely the right time. The principal of Fairmont High School, Claude Lowell, becomes superintendent of the school district. Lowell chooses Preston Shipley, currently the football coach, to replace him as principal and hires Knighton to coach the team, thus forcing Knighton to find common ground with Willie Spurgeon, the successful Mossy Springs coach who has been passed over for a job he richly deserves.

At The Intangibles center is the Hoskins family, their relationships to those living within the town of Fairmont giving rise to a memorable cast of characters. Tommy Hoskins is a local businessman and farmer who is a supporter of the team, on which his older son, Frankie, plays. Frankie s best friend is Raymond Simpson, who lives in a shanty on the Hoskins farm. Another of Frankie s friends, Ned Whitesides, is a spoiled bigot. Clarence Click Clowney is the talented, rebellious quarterback from Mossy Springs. Al Martin is the staunch black tackle who becomes the glue that keeps the integrated team together. Twins James and Joey Leverette are the sons of professors at local Oconee College. Curly Mayhew coaches rival Lexington Central. Laura Hedison is a white cheerleader. Jorge Heredia is a tennis player at the college who sells drugs on the side. Aubrey Roper is a college girl who exerts a corruptive influence on Frankie Hoskins. The county sheriff, a turncoat within the team, Ned Whitesides father, the loyal assistants, militants both black and white, a doctor, a lawyer, local businessmen, and others all add fuel to the fires of prejudice and fear of the unknown that are raging in the town of Fairmont.

This is a story of a high school football team that puts aside its differences, never realizing that, outside its bounds, the world is unraveling. It's a story about the cultural changes, good and bad, that take place when two societies shift and finally come together.

Ultimately, The Intangibles is a story of triumph achieved at considerable cost.

Monte Dutton
One of the surprises surrounding my first novel, The Audacity of Dope, was that most everyone who read it seems to have liked it. I expected it to be more controversial. When it was released, I prepared myself for criticism.
My first novel was intentionally a bit outrageous. I was anxious to earn the interest of a publisher. I wanted to write something unique.
I made my protagonist a pot-smoking musician who, by happenstance, suddenly found himself a national hero, which he didn't at all like. Riley Mansfield is a really good dude, but he’s tarnished by imperfection.
Some people wrote that they personally didn't approve of Riley’s drug use, but most quickly added that he was likable, and most seemed to like the story because they found it unpredictable and entertaining.
I’m sure many didn't buy it because the subject matter tuned them off. When it was released, at the end of 2011, I thought it possible I might be, oh, shunned a little in this old-fashioned hometown where I still love.
The local newspaper publisher, Larry Franklin, supported it from the first. We had a conversation one day in which I expressed my surprise that the novel had been so well-received. I concluded by saying, “Well, this next one (The Intangibles) is about a town a lot like Clinton. Maybe I can piss ‘em off with this one.”
About the author

Monte Dutton lives in Clinton, South Carolina. In high school, he played football for a state championship team, then attended Furman University, Greenville, S.C., graduating in 1980, B.A., cum laude, political science/history.

He spent 20 years (1993-2012) writing about NASCAR for several publications. He was named Writer of the Year by the Eastern Motorsports Press Association (Frank Blunk Award) in 2003 and Writer of the Year by the National Motorsports Press Association (George Cunningham Award) in 2008. His NASCAR writing was syndicated by King Feature Syndicate in the form of a weekly page, "NASCAR This Week" for 17 years.

Monte Dutton is also the author of Pride of Clinton, a history of high school football in his hometown, 1986; At Speed, 2000 (Potomac Books); Rebel with a Cause: A Season with NASCAR's Tony Stewart, 2001 (Potomac Books); Jeff Gordon: The Racer, 2001 (Thomas Nelson); Postcards from Pit Road, 2003 (Potomac Books); Haul A** and Turn Left, 2005 (Warner Books), True to the Roots: Americana Music Revealed, 2006. (Bison Books); and is an Editor/Contributor of Taking Stock: Life in NASCAR's Fast Lane, 2004 (Potomac Books).

The Audacity of Dope, 2011 (Neverland Publishing) was his first novel, and Neverland recently published his second, The Intangibles. Another, Crazy by Natural Causes, is in the works.

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