“Partners” is about people from widely different back-grounds and how those difference can be used to advantage if they can co-operate. Tom Brash is educated, mature and has, through his time in the British military, visited several of the world’s countries. As an officer he was also a leader of men and later, as an educator, became a leader of children.
Frank Clement, on the other hand, is in his late teens, has virtually no education, and has seen little of the world that is not within walking distance of Fort Union in Dakota Territory.
Tom sees Frank as an ignorant child who, despite some physical skills, will not survive unless he recieves knowledge about people and the world. Frank views Tom as a tenderfoot who probably won’t live past too many more sunsets.
Though these disparate personalities see much that needs to change in the other they eventually, through the need to survive, become partners. They travel together across much of what is now Western Canada, helping each other with the knowledge or skills that each (or each of us) possess.
How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?
Probably a week before I actually started writing.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
I was having lunch in a local restaurant when I over heard two older cattlemen talking about their grand-sons who would be coming out of Agricultural Collage with no idea what it would take to be a farmer. A few days later I heard two truckers talking about the young people coming into the business who thought they knew all there was to know. I thought there would probably be information that each could teach the other and that the subject would make a story.
How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
Not a great deal, I don’t think, although outside observers may disagree. I know that in some areas or subjects I’m more ignorant than Frank and in others I have more knowledge than Tom. Even though I have done a small amount of teaching over the years I certainly don’t have Tom’s patience. I guess I face difficulties much as Tom does with the, “Okay, so if that’s what we have to do,” attitude.
Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?
I like both of them. Frank is a little too ready to charge into a situation, but then, aren’t we all when we’re too young to know better? Tom has been “wacked” by life enough to give each situation some thought before he acts, but he, too, is ready to move when needed. Like all our pioneers, they are always working at something and willing to do what’s needed.
Where can we learn more about your books?
On my blog at http://www.dmmcgowan.blogspot.com