Comedian John Wing says debut novel has Sarnia connection

John Wing is best known for his career in comedy, which stretches back decades, but he's also a poet and and now, a novelist.

A Car to Die For follows story of small-town lawyer in 1975

Canadian comedian John Wing appears in a file photo.

John Wing is best known for his career in comedy, which stretches back decades, but he's also a poet and and now, a novelist.

Wing joined CBC Radio's Windsor Morning to talk about his newly released first novel, A Car to Die For.

The book is set in 1975. The main character, Clarence, is a lawyer who is defending a burglar — and he was offered a classic car, a 1954 Studebaker Starlight, as a retainer.

LISTEN: John Wing on his new book
Sarnia's John Wing is one of Canada's best-known and most successful standup comics. But right there on the corner of his business card, you might also find "poet" and "author" John Wing's first novel is titled "A Car to Die For", he speaks with Tony Doucette.

Wing said he started writing following the 2017 death of his father, who also was a lawyer. The story is inspired by his practice and some of his cases, Wing explained.

While the book is set in a fictional Michigan town on Lake Huron, the book is really about Wing's hometown of Sarnia.

"I just tried to write about being a lawyer in a small town and perhaps being a person in some ways not suited emotionally, perhaps, for the job," he said.

Wing, who is based in California, has been been doing stand up comedy for four decades. He's made hundreds of appearances on TV, including six on The Tonight Show

For the book, Wing followed a different process than he uses for developing his act. With comedy, the writing process for him is less regimented as the routine is built up over time as ideas pop into his head, he explained.

For the novel, however, he set daily productivity goals for himself.

"I wouldn't stop each day until I finished three pages. And some days I did more," he said.

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