When the creative advice to all authors is "write what you know" and you are a celebrated lawyer, a rancher, a former urbanite who now embraces the backcountry, and live a fascination for the aboriginal culture in your home territory, that leaves you a lot of narrative possibilities.
For Bruce Fraser, who is retired from his trial career in Vancouver and Prince George (among other places) and now living under a cowboy hat near Lac La Hache, the pages have been filling up since he developed a yearn for yarns. His first book was called On Potato Mountain, a story he called "a Chilcotin mystery" as though the place was part of a genre he was in the process of defining.
Now, his latest book draws that genre closer. The Jade Frog is a new murder mystery story, it is connected to the previous book, and it carries on the fictional mirroring of the area and its people, west of the Fraser River in the wildlands south of the Williams Lake - Bella Coola highway. It is a story that wafts back and forth between aboriginal spiritualism and modern realism. The two are sometimes at odds but also intertwined, in his writer's view.
Fraser is on a tour of the region, revealing the new book with a personal reading and a chance for the public to meet him and have discussions about the subject matter. He has been working his way north and will be in Prince George on Saturday evening for an engagement at Books And Company at 5 p.m. There is no charge to attend; books will be for sale and author's signing is encouraged.
It will also be a chance to reconnect with old friends. Fraser had a legal practice in this city and has many personal connections here as a result.
A third book in the Chilcotin mystery series is promised, and even though The Jade Frog is still warm from the presses, it might be a prime opportunity to find out a bit of what's to come for the conclusion of the trilogy.