As the sun sank low in the western skies of Colorado, Clarke sat on a stump ravishing in the cool mountain breezes. “They won’t let me work, what am I going to do?” He lamented the loss of his recent job, and worried over the struggle to provide for his family without the eighty hours of work week he’d been putting in, every week.
One day, he’d been pushing numbers, servicing customers, and the next they were hauling his butt out on a stretcher, concerned about his heart. Whether he had a heart attack or not, Dish Network wasn’t willing to take on the liability, and Clarke needed income. At 64 years of age, he wasn’t ready to retire on social security limitations, and there was nothing else in the bank.
He needed income.
I bit my tongue and drawled out, “Write a book!” The words nearly choked me as they escaped my being.
I’d heard his stories for the past several years. He laughed at his own jokes. He was funny as hell, and he could talk forever. I figured it’d give him something to do.
I didn’t expect him to pound out a books like a salesman on a Colfax bimbo. There was more I expected. But his motto:
“Once you realize you don’t have to polish your turds, it’s easy to poop.”
Became my undoing..
I was a single mom, working my butt off, supporting four kids, and writing, editing, coding my own set of shenanigans. And every time he called me, he wanted to know if I’d looked at his last chapter.
I hadn’t taken time to pee. And he wanted to know if I’d looked over a chapter. HA.
But, I had told him to write a book, so I kept pushing to get his book edited. Even telling him and showing him how to edit wasn’t working, so I had to do it myself.
And I kept trying. That first book was a chore. A full time chore, because he hadn’t written it true to the time period he was writing about, and I hadn’t learned there were alternatives to writing legitimate historic fiction. You could ad-lib, take writer liberties, and adjust the history to fit your story… And who says they didn’t have turd polishing toilets in Montana Gold Mine country in 1876?
Where do you find your characters?
Most of them come from people I meet, family members, neighbors, people who just seem to need to be in the book. They need to be famous, so I make them famous in my books. I talk about real named people, but they aren’t who I say they are. I make them famous. And I leave them legacies of existence in a world they may never visit. If I use their first name, I change their last name. Real live friends in my book may be brothers.
What do you get from writing books?
I’m a writer. I published two books. I have a legacy. I’m leaving this life a published author with two stories that people will read, republish, and share for the rest of time on the planet. Books are forever. I get excited knowing that something might be here a hundred years after I’m gone and forgotten.
What will people learn from your books?
They’ll learn to love people. That everyone makes mistakes and we can still love ’em anyway. They’ll learn there’s something good in everyone.
What’s the big take away from your books?
I think the good guys always win. They may not walk away, I sometimes kill ’em all off and let God sort ’em out, but the good guys win. There’s a sense of presence that comes from story that says, “Good guys win, here.” And I suit up for that every day at the keyboard.
Will you write more books?
As many as I can come up with story lines for, I’ll keep creating characters until they all fall off the planet, or end up in a book. I might need to hire a new editor… Know anybody?
And with that, Clarke turned up his oxygen bottle and drove off into the sunset on his favorite dream.
From his editor/publisher: My goal is to get him a new car with a driver. He’s dangerous on the roads! Buy his books!
When China Clarke left his five children with his brother John, to return to New York City to find wife number three, scoundrel son number one turned to women. The widow down by the river was a common conquest. There were more… When he got caught flirting with precious Violet, her brother wasn’t happy. But the brawl between them left her brother’s nose hanging by a hope, and his eyes black and bruised. To save his life, young Bill was carted out of town rolled into a blanket, by his Uncle’s sexy secretary. It’s a good thing his mama taught him the Lord’s Prayer, because it comes in handy! The stop and go trip to Chicago landed Bill in wedded bliss and a free trip to the Montana Gold Mine Country with his new wife, to take care of daddy, China’s interests in the General store. The life of a scoundrel is never pleasant, but young Bill fancies himself growing up eventually, and finds his way home. The adventures of his past haunt him, and in those final moments, his lovely bride realizes she still loves him. This venture into historic comedy and romance might leave you wondering what century they’re living in, but the heart of the book will tell you right up front, the writer lives in a time all his own. Don’t miss a single word of this adventure! (Click on the cover to buy the book.)