"I have such fond memories of that farm," says Hutton, via E-mail. "Riding, and eventually driving, our old Allis-Chalmers tractor (which 'Hay Day' character Tater is modelled after), helping where I could in the barn and the field. When I started the process of brainstorming children's book ideas, I found myself naturally drawn to my childhood farm as the setting."
Now living in Newmarket (where his family moved when he was 12), the married father of two works as an insurance broker. He coaches his son's Tyke hockey team, plays hockey when he can, and has enjoyed taking on this writing project.
"After months of brain storming and jotting down ideas, 'Hay Day' was the first story that came to life," says Hutton. "I've taken it through a self-publishing process, made possible by Sheri Andrunyk of Insightful Communications (IC) Publishing (based in Holland Landing, north of Newmarket), and illustrator Steven Botelho.
"My main goal from the beginning was to have the story illustrated and printed for my kids to enjoy and choose from their bookshelf. Anything beyond this is a bonus. Now, since receiving the first batch of printed copies, I'm thrilled at the response I'm getting from children of all ages."
He adds that his wife, Natashia, has been a huge part of the process from start to finish, acting as his sounding board, editor and biggest supporter.
"Hay Day" is a rhyming narrative, telling the story of "Tater," the hard-working tractor, who can't wait to get out and harvest the crop. It's a fun and engaging tale, highlighting the importance of hard work and determination. Faced with adversity, Tater is able to persevere and get the job done.
Since writing "Hay Day," Hutton has gone on to write two more books.
"Tony Bologna" is a story about a Pony who is new to the farm and tries a little too hard to fit in, attempting to impress his new barnyard friends with elaborate stories. That book is expected to be available toward the end of 2018.
"A Hen Named Gwen" is his most recent book. It's about a hen who's afraid of everything. Luckily, her farm friends come to the rescue and help her conquer her fears.
Together, these three stories make up "The Family Farm Series."
"I'm not expecting to hit the best-sellers list," says Hutton. "I've enjoyed sharing the book with family, friends, our local schools and library. If it happens to get traction beyond this, then I would be truly honoured."
"Hay Day" is currently available on-line at www.familyfarmseries.ca. It retails at $12.95 and customers can take advantage of a free-shipping offer until Dec. 24, 2017.