• Clarke Wallace

I’m asked often during casual conversations, how to write a book? Where do ideas come from? How do you keep the story going for three, four hundred pages?

I don’t know. Other than possible ideas drift through my head and disappear. One persists in hanging around. It’s hard to shake. And there you are.

One began while working for a weekly Montreal magazine. The guy in the next cubicle stood up waving a book. His first. If he could do it etc.?

Each of my books – or screenplays – begin with me asking myself: “What if…?"

What if… teenagers facing a dull summer discover a plot to steal priceless paintings from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. (Montreal Adventure)

What if… a writer sent to isolate himself in Paris was suspected of murder?

Author’s comment: I had lived in France several times. One year spent in Paris and the Dordogne. Perfect settings for what turned out to be a wild ride for the book’s main character. (HARVEST)

  • Clarke Wallace

I have always loved westerns. Be it in books or film. From the past. I was lucky enough as a kid to have a horse, a pony. We called her BUBBLES. Why, I have no idea. I rode her mostly bareback. She had a tendency to buck me off over her head. My mom would put me back on.

I would later spend time working on a ranch for a couple of weeks one summer. And loved it. You sit back against the saddle and stay there by gripping with the knees.

I’m working on a western having already turned it into a screenplay. Then it hit me I should also write it as a book. I’m on perhaps the final draft now. Then again it may need another draft or two, or three.

Below are bits and pieces of it as a novel, just to give me the feeling of how it is working out.


Mike Farnsworth moved among the horses and cowhands. If the win at calf roping pleased him, he didn’t show it.

“You could’ve skimmed a second off easy,” Farnsworth Sr. said, limping along beside him. “Make up for it in bronc riding.”


The bronc bucked twisting in mid-air, landing on all fours to spin in endless circles. It snapped Mike clear of the saddle.

He hit the ground hard under the horse’s thrashing hooves.

A collective groan rose from the crowd.

“I told you to go easy on him,” Gideon said to Zacbariah.

Author’s comment: What I haven’t mentioned is Mike Farnsworth finds himself back in time. To the 1880s. And that’s where the fun begins.