For Mettese resident JT Currie, writing is the smell of cigarette smoke and the taste of bourbon, and until recently, the clicks, creaks and creaking sounds of a typewriter.
Currie reluctantly switched from typewriter to laptop in recent months – The typewriter he injured years ago during his 21 years as an amateur boxer was too heavy, he said. These days he’s saving a lot of money on colored ribbon and correction tape, but he misses mechanical music.
“Nothing beats the sound or rhythm of a typewriter,” Currie said. “Seems like progress.”
But while Curry’s writing sessions have been quieter in recent months, they’ve been less productive. He has published his first book, “Gentlemen of Greenfield” on Amazon and has two more books waiting in the wings for release later this year. That doesn’t count all the projects he has in the works, which he slowly whittles away every afternoon.
“Sometimes I write 30 words and sometimes I write 2,000,” Currie said of his afternoon writing session. “Like boxing, you just have to roll with your fists.”
For his first novel, Currie followed the old saying, “Write what you know.” While “Greenfield” isn’t autobiographical, it draws from his life experiences growing up in an Irish Catholic family in Pittsburgh, Penn., that loved boxing as much as their religion.
Currie sees much of himself and his family in this fictional story about a group of friends who work together to bring the Pittsburgh-area neighborhood of Greenfield back under Irish control and against a powerful Italian mob.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a big seller in Wyoming,” Currie says of his first novel. “No cowboys and horses. It’s very much an urban story, but it’s about a place that’s very familiar to me.
Currie said he spent about a year and a half on the book from start to finish.
“I wrote the first draft in four months and sent it to an editor,” Currie said. “He said to me, ‘Your writing is not that great, but you have good characters.’ They are interesting.’ So I went back and started again. It took a lot of my time, but it was a fun time, because I had to create a world from scratch.”
For Curry, one writing project leads to another. He has two other books already completed. The first – “We are three” – It’s a road trip adventure that continues the story of some of the key “Greenfield” characters. “Dreams, Drifters and Outcasts,” which Currie describes as a “fictional memoir,” is also scheduled for release this year, and the author has other projects in the works, including his autobiography, “The Weeping Willow Tree.”
“I’m not cashing in all my chips now and I’m going to stop writing at 40,” he said. “I still have many stories to tell.”
Currie said he had no formal training in writing and learned a lot about the craft while working on “Greenfield.” He says he was inspired by writers like Ernest Hemingway and Hunter Thompson, who changed the art form despite not having a college education.
“To me, true beauty is not a college degree; It’s what’s in your head,” Currie said. What matters is how you see the world – This is how you should tell your story.
“The Lords of Greenfield” is available for sale on Amazon. amazon.com/Lords-Greenfield-JT-Currie/dp/B0BRLW4XL1. Physical copies are available for sale at Hole in the Wall Antiques in Meteetse and will be on sale Feb. 4 at the Park County Library’s Winter Authors Festival.