About Dutch Jones
Dutch Jones, (yes his real name!), was born and grew up in Southern California. He is the eldest of 5 and the only male, which made for a pretty interesting upbringing. As a kid he loved being outside, usually riding his bike or skateboard. He started the Boy Scouts at an early age and credits the experience to his love of the outdoors, especially the mountains, and his respect for others.
At 18 years old after graduating from high school he joined the Army. A truly life changing experience for him. “I was ridiculously lazy as a kid and young man. The Army changed all of that!.” After he got out of the Army he found himself in a quandary. He had zero (his words) interest in going to college, but he had no skill sets what so ever. That’s when he decided to sign up for the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department. He admits his decision was more based on need but had, in his youth thought it would be “cool” to be a cop. Turns out he loved the experience and excelled in it. He was with the department for only a short time when he was approached by a friend to partner on a small business in the LA area. Dutch jumped at the chance.
From around age 26 or 27 he started, built up, and sold many small businesses. Some very successful some not so much. Most of the businesses he would sell after 3 or 4 years, except for one, which he held onto for over 25 years. “I couldn’t sell it, that business was the seed money I needed to start all of the others. Starting a business from scratch was exciting to Dutch. “My favorite part of starting a new business has always been the build up to the launch. I got really good at it. The better you do the front end work the better chance the business has for success.”
Dutch first became interested in creative writing in high school. “I never liked school, I only worked hard enough to get through. My only interest was girls!” He admitted. But it was an assignment he was tasked with that changed his mind set. One class, he doesn’t remember which, the teacher passed out random items to each student, things like pens, rulers, staplers and the like. Dutch was handed a screwdriver. The assignment was to write a two page story on how this random item affected or changed your life. The students were given a week to complete the work. As was the norm for Dutch he started and finished the paper while in the class just before the class where the assignment was due. It ended up being 6 pages. He got an A and he doesn’t remember the details but won an award for his work. “You’re going to be a famous writer one day” the teacher told him, Dutch smiled it off.
As mentioned before Dutch’s adult life mostly consisted of being in business. He never took being a writer seriously, or ever thought he was actually good enough to get published. But he had stories, many many stories. He kept notebooks close to him at all times so when an idea for a story hit him he could put it down before he would forget it. A big chunk of his life went by until one day not long after his 50th birthday he thought to himself, “If I don’t at least try to write one of my stories I will forever regret it.” So about two weeks before Christmas that year he sat down and started laying out his first story, ‘Long Trip Home’. After he was comfortable with the basic plot he started writing. After about a week he finished the first three chapters and decided to stop. His thought at that point was to print out the three chapters on nice paper put it in a box then give it to his now ex wife for a Christmas present. “After she reads the first three chapters, no matter what she tells me, I’ll know the truth if she liked it or not.” And this idea is what would determine wether of not Dutch would continue the book and in the end his writing career.
His wife, as you would assume, love it. Craved for more pages and chapters. It took Dutch two months to finish the first draft, six months later Long Trip Home became his first published novel.