Gordon Fraser 07-14-2016

Blending history, fiction and words: Song of the Spirit River

Listen to a conversation Louise Sproule had with Gordon Fraser recently and hear him read an excerpt from his forthcoming book.

From the July 20 edition of The Review
By Cristina Sanza

VANKLEEK HILL – Take a journey back in time to the early pioneer days of the Rouge River through a series of short stories by Gordon Fraser.
“Song of the Spirit River” is a collection of six fictional short stories that take place in Grenville-sur-la-Rouge and Harrington Valley, just across the river in Quebec. The book is set to be published this fall.

Fraser, who is a Grenville-sur-la-Rouge native, loves history and has always been fascinated by local stories. In his book, he weaves history into fiction. Readers will recognize the names of places they know in the stories, but the characters created by Fraser are from his imagination.
“Some stories come from experiences I’ve had and opportunities I’ve had to visit around,” Fraser said. “I’ve been a tradesman in the area for many years, and as such, I’ve had the opportunity to visit people and their homes. Some of these places date back to the earliest of pioneer days.”

The title story, “Song of the Spirit River,” refers to the Rouge River, which in earlier days was called the Spirit River, Fraser explained. The stories are set in real-life locations but the situations are meant to be fictional.
The book will also feature illustrations by local artist Jill Crosby.
“She’s doing some lovely drawings on pencil and paper,” he said. She has also created a map so readers can get a general idea of where the stories take place.

Some of the stories are logging stories that go back many years, Fraser explained. “Men got together in shanties and told stories and compared situations. There were legends that went around and some of the characters in the logging industry were legends themselves, in what they did and in their travels,” he said.

This is Fraser’s first book. While it’s been a lot of work to write it, Fraser said he is looking forward to the book being published.
“I’m no professional writer, but I do enjoy writing stories and it’s something I’d never have known I could do if I hadn’t sat down to give it a try,” he said. “The first ones I did, I wrote them the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper.”

Fraser encourages others to express themselves creatively, as something really great might come out of it.
“Any kind of art that’s inside a person . . . I think you should try it and bring it out. It’s that idea that as above, so below; ideas form in the mind and then they come out into reality,” he said. “Everything is like that when we look around, everything we see started out as an imaginary item and then became reality in the physical world.”
“Song of the Spirit River” will be available for purchase at The Review.