On a long-ago outing to Algonquin Park during a passed of winter, Ottawa author Ron Corbett remembers saying an ice hovel peep with light in a dim of a solidified lake.
The picture stranded him. “It was child of spooky,” he remembers. “Was it a shotgun going off? Or was it usually someone perplexing to light a lamp?”
The stage would plant in Corbett’s mind a seed for a novel, one that starts with an slaughter inside a remote northern cabin.
Although it would take him some-more than a decade to find a time to write that book, Corbett’s initial try into novella after 7 non-fiction books has now been realized.
Ragged Lake has been published by Toronto’s ECW Press.
“I wanted to do in novella some of a things I’ve been doing in non-fiction,” says Corbett, a well-travelled Ottawa journal columnist, radio host, author and publisher.
“I didn’t wish to all of a remarkable start essay about vampires or something.”
As a writer, Corbett is best famous for The Last Guide, a book that describes a life and times of Frank Kuiack, Algonquin Park’s final remaining fishing guide. A sequel, The Last Guide’s Guide, was published final year.
A former Citizen and Sun columnist, Corbett introduced Kuiack to readers in Oct 2000 in a journal underline formed on their four-day camping outing to Algonquin Park. Their end on that trip? A place on a southern limit of a park called Ragged Lake.
Corbett draws heavily on his practice and travels as a journalist.
“The book,” Corbett explains, “is a same arrange of embankment and landscape as Algonquin Park. we wanted to have a novel set in a same location, and write about a same arrange of people I’ve been essay about for years — though now as fiction.”
Corbett’s novel follows investigator Frank Yakabuski as he investigates a clearly meaningless electrocute of a immature family vital in a rickety cabin in a woods outward a little northern town, Ragged Lake.
Ottawa-area readers will commend a outlines of many places described in a book given they’re drawn from Corbett’s lifelong mindfulness with a Ottawa Valley and Algonquin Highlands.
“The landscape around here we find beautiful,” he explains. “I demeanour during it and we wish to report it somehow.”
While Corbett had prolonged suspicion about essay a novel, it was usually by a bit of set-back that he found a time to try one. In Feb 2016, when Bell Media Radio laid him off from his pursuit as a CFRA speak uncover host, Corbett resolved to use his remarkable stagnation to finish a novel he had initial envisioned on a dim lake in Algonquin Park.
He set to work with conviction. Waking during 5 a.m., he spent his mornings essay and, in a afternoons, he worked on another long-held dream: to launch a internal edition company. (He now operates Ottawa Press and Publishing.)
Corbett enjoyed a leisure of novella writing.
“I found novella a lot of fun, in certain ways: It’s neat operative on a story that we totally control,” he says. “Some days, we jumped out of bed since we was so concerned to start writing: I’d arise adult and think, ‘Geez, we consternation what’s going to occur to him (Yakabuski) today.”
After 4 months, he sent a publishing to Montreal book agent, Robert Lecker, who immediately concluded to take him on as a client.
“I review it and we could tell after a initial page that this was a genuine thing, this was something we wanted to pursue,” remembers Lecker, who fast negotiated a three-book understanding for Corbett with ECW Press.
Lecker says it was among a easiest deals of his career. “Ron is a kind of author who creates use of all a senses,” Lecker says. “When you’re in his world, we see things, we ambience things, we smell things, we hear things. That’s what gives his poetry their singular quality.”
For Corbett, a book understanding means some-more early mornings. He has already finished a initial breeze of his second novel and is now during work on his third. All of a books will follow a dim and aroused story arc launched by Ragged Lake.
Corbett is operative in a book genre infrequently described as “rural noir” or “country noir,” and he aspires to the greatly internal nature: “The landscape is so critical to these stories, that it might as good be an additional character.”
Ron Corbett is married to Ottawa Citizen photographer Julie Oliver