Writing concepts of artistic practice within a larger body of history

In THE CHILCOTIN SAGA it was important for me to capture, in the pages of my writing, the nature of the people who live and breathe in the Chilcotin. I used the elements of a dynamic story: danger, conflict, struggle, romance, infidelity, prejudice, desperation, family obligations, humour, and greed within the overarching conflict of city and country.

The extra elements are a knowledge and respect for the land and for the First Nations people who have lived with and loved the land the longest and finally the understanding of the tenacious cattlemen who were the first white settlers in the area. With my legal background I introduce lawyers and trials which are attempts to solve the mysteries in my stories. I also interwove the stories with indigenous mythology.

Much of my writing has a historical and philosophical context. In the end the reader should expect to be entertained by a good mystery and come away with a respect for the land and its peoples and a recognition that the Tsilhqot’in people have earned that respect after enduring centuries of misuse of their land and abuse of their person by others.

Of course, the narrators voice is important. I felt more comfortable writing in the omniscient third person.

GRASSHOPPER AND OTHER STORIES are a shift to a more diverse canvas in a shorter literary form. Inspired by a single malt scotch in a coffee cup I have broadened the settings and characters by jumping like a grasshopper from the Cariboo to Coastal BC, to Fraser’s Travels and landing on A DOG’S LOOK AT THE AUTHOR.