Doris Ray began writing The Ghosts Behind Him in 1994 shortly after her son's trial on a charge of second degree murder from which he was acquitted because of his chronic mental disorder (schizophrenia.) Her son Bruce was detained for 4 1/2 years at the Forensic Psychiatric Institute in Port Coquitlam until he was deemed well enough to be released on a conditional discharge by the BC Review Board. "I equated the task of writing the book to that of having a long, painful surgery but am proud of the impact it has had on many of those who have read it. I believe it is important, for young people especially, to acquaint themselves with the symptoms of mental illness and learn how it can affect family members and in fact entire communities."

Doris Ray is a mother of four and a grandmother of five who lives in Fraser Lake in west-central British Columbia. She is an active member in the Historical Society, the Writing Group and Library Board. She has published articles on mental health, travel and local history. In 1974 she began writing a humour column entitled "Sense and Nonsense" in a local newspaper. Some of the poems from these columns were included in The Pumpkin Eaters. As a member of The Fraser Lake and District Historical Society she helped research and compile archival information, photographs and recollections for our local history book entitled Deeper Roots and Greener Valleys. The book was published in 1984. As a member of Fraser Lake Writers Group she assisted with the publications of Seasonings, a volume of poetry by local writers, and "Laugh Lines" which included humourous submissions from all over the B.C. Interior. Her short fiction in The Boy on the Road and a poetry collection entitled In Search of Wild Onions express her affection for the pioneer spirit of the people and wilderness of the B.C. Central Interior. "Upon reaching my retirement age I am presently in the throes of researching the secret life of my grandmother who immigrated to Vancouver from England in 1911 and one year later married a gentleman from China. The marriage broke up after the third daughter was born and no one knows what happened to the husband. My grandmother managed to erase from her past all connections to her first marriage and-after securing them in a Victoria orphanage--even to her children."

CITY/TOWN: Fraser Lake, B.C.

DATE OF BIRTH: June 26, 1938

PLACE OF BIRTH: New Westminster, B.C.

ANCESTRAL BACKGROUND: Father: Dutch Mother: English/Chinese

AWARDS: BC 2000 Award for "The Ghosts Behind Him"


Common Threads (Libros Libertad, 2010)

The Boy on the Road and other stories (Self-published, 2003)

In Search of Wild Onions (Self-published, 1998. Revised version 2003)

The Ghosts Behind Him (Caitlin Press, 1999)

The Pumpkins Eaters (Self-published with son Bruce in 1982)

[BCBW 2010] "Health"