The true unabridged tale of how I came to write the Monk Buttman story.
Originally, I had planned to write a relationship story.
Fresh off the success of actually finishing a book, I dove right into the next one. Having always been fascinated by the idea of true love, love at first sight, soul mates; all that sort of bunk, I was raring to go. And I had characters and a broad plot outline bouncing around inside my head. Yet, when I sat down at the computer to begin writing, staring at the methodical cursor blinking at me, I had that quintessential writer’s moment…
I got nothing.
Now it is a writing shibboleth, that ye shall write every day even if you ultimately end up sending it to deletion hell. With that in mind, I remembered that one of the main character’s friends at work wanted to be a writer and had come up with a great idea. “I’m going to write gritty detectives novels, you know, pulp fiction, and I’ve got the perfect title: Monk Butman, hard-boiled private dick!” he says.
“That’s terrible. Nobody’s going to read that!” the main character replies.
Which made me laugh, but it also got me thinking. How would that go if one was actually going to write about a guy named Monk Buttman?
First, it would be serious, I’d write it straight up, no gimmicks or jokes. Monk was someone just doing a job. In this case, doing side work for a large LA law firm. People might laugh at the name, but Monk wouldn’t care: it’s just a name. And he was ok being a nobody doing grunt work. The rest of the world could kill themselves trying to make it, Monk was happy with just enough to afford him a simple hand-me-down life with no pressure, no commitments, no unhappy wives, uncommunicative daughters, any of it.
The fun in writing it, naturally, is that, no matter how Monk tries, trouble finds him.
Second, nothing about Monk would recommend him for detective work. That’s the fun of the above title. And he knows this. He’s not a former cop or agent, he didn’t learn multiple ways to kill a guy in an elite branch of the military. He was a farmer. He’s not a tough physical guy.
Monk has to get by on his wits.
I started writing…and I’m writing still.
An engineer for 40 years, Mr. Pearce, following open heart surgery, decided to pursue his muse and write. After completing a debut novel, Mr. Pearce so enjoyed the experience that he began writing the Monk Buttman series. When not writing, Mr. Pearce is the accomplished recording artist, Mr. Primitive. He and his wife live in Kenmore Washington.
©2022 David William Pearce