• Clarke Wallace


There’s a question I’ve been asked over the years – and not from friends chuckling, ‘When are you going to get a real job? - how “I want to write a book, they say.” It’s followed by, ‘How did you do it?”

I stumble over an answer. “I'm not sure..” It isn’t what they wanted to hear.

I began writing obits on the daily newspaper in St. Thomas, Ontario. A general arts degree at university came next followed by working as a staff writer on the weekly Weekend Magazine in Montreal. While there I toyed with the idea of tackling a a book. A novel.

Ideas kept pumping through my head. Most disappeared. One kept bugging me.

‘What if, I asked myself, a couple of Montreal teenage friends killed off a Saturday afternoon by poking around on their cell phones. Up popped a strange message on one of them.

That’s how it started. A wild adventure for these guys who dragged in one of their sisters to help when they couldn’t figure something out for themselves.

I sat down and started writing. Once the characters came alive, the plot flourished almost on its own. I called it simply ‘Montreal Adventure.’ Aimed at young adults. I set the fictional story around stolen art from the Montreal of Fine Arts.

It took months after the first draft to work on it. Editing. God knows how many times. Making the characters more believable. Humor, thankfully and naturally to make the story more believable. Only when I felt it was ready, did I email it to publishers.

Six months later a reply came from Burns and MacEachern Limited. With it was a contract.’

AUTHOR'S COMMENT: A news item appeared in the Globe and Mail three years later. It detailed a theft from The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Thieves broke into the building through the museum’s skylight. Thieves in my story had broken in through the same way. A coincidence? You tell me.

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