Michael Dutton was brought up in South Jersey. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Literature degree from Richard Stockton State College. Afterwards, he studied comparative literature at Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania. He now lives in Newport, RI where he’s currently writing the third book of the Christmasville Trilogy – Saving Christmasville, and also a novella for young adult readers – A Tale of The Tall Ship, Oliver Hazard Perry. His first novel Christmasville received the Finalist Award in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
Christmasville is a book about a town nestled between magic and déjà vu. Mary Jane Higgins embarks on a series of perilous journeys, determined to resolve the riddles. Although it’s forbidden, she crosses train tracks, approaches the bottomless abyss, traveling through a wilderness that operates according to a different set of rules. It’s a town perennially covered in new fallen snow, perpetually decorated in yuletide trimmings. It’s a town that in many ways is typical, or evocative – one that we might dream of – but which functions according to three, slightly skewed phenomena: time, space and memory. And no one, save one, suspects that something is awry.
Finding Christmasville is out now, which the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards has said, “I liked the strong female characters [and] the descriptive language.” If Mary Jane was motivated by faith, a spirit of independence and the quest for truth in Christmasville, the first novel of the trilogy, Madeleine and Esmeralda are driven by purposes quite different in the second. For both girls, it is the embrace of hope – of salvation for Madeleine, and illumination for Esmeralda – that propels them along their separate paths. Madeleine, a daughter of the Magian line, is bequeathed calinda al emeris magus – the rare “gift of the fourth king” – which enables her to perceive what others cannot. But, as with many gifts, there are prices for such things. The bloom of a rose, of the fruit of a tree, does not come without the promise of a thorn, or the threat of blight.