By Cassie MacDonell
Local Journalism Initiative
“A few people have told me there was a healing element to (Desirous Wonder). That fundamentally is my goal, to help others,” said new Eastern Townships author Greg Bishop.
Bishop has taken the goal of helping others seriously, evident from his former position as executive director of Grace Village and his former role in the RCMP, where he was known as an accomplished forensic interviewer.
“I worked all over the world in that field teaching and conducting interviews on very high profile crimes,” he explained. Many of these interviews brought him face to face with offenders who have committed terrible crimes such as murder, genocide, and crimes against children. Over time, the exposure to such intense situations took a toll on Bishop’s physical and psychological health. “I went through a very difficult time with post-traumatic stress disorder and I came to understand the stigma attached to that,” said Bishop.
Desirous Wonder is a collection of passionate, sincere poems and songs about Bishop’s experiences throughout his life, many pieces having naturistic elements. Bishop hopes to help, motivate, and encourage his readers through his work. “You want to be able to entertain through writing, but if you can walk away with an idea, a concept, a new perspective, that’s even better,” he said.
Bishop’s poems and songs have a level of spontaneity to them. “I’ll awaken in the middle of the night and have a poem right away or I’ll pull my truck over, pull out a piece of paper, and write out a poem,” he said. When asked about his favourite piece of work in Desirous Wonder, Bishop landed on Cry for the Abenaki, a rhythmic song which incorporates historical references about Indigenous peoples in North Hatley. “The music came later,” he said, reminiscing about a time he played the song and people got up to dance and sing along.
“I have an entrepreneurial side I haven’t tapped into in many years,” he said, sharing that the book is self-published. After reaching out to lawyers in Sherbrooke to help him with the legal side of published work, he connected with Richard Faith, a good friend and printing company owner, for help. The end result was impressive, with the front cover featuring intricate Celtic knot artwork by Karen Elizabeth Hones, while the back cover is splashed with a bright and cheery fox painting by artist Norma Jean Morrison.
Bishop is keeping busy with two more books in process, one of which will be a memoir.
“Over the years, a number of people tried to encourage me to either collaborate with the (RCMP) or work on my own to write a book about that work. I always declined because I did not want to sensationalize the crimes, particularly what happened to the victims in the cases I worked,” he said. “I also didn’t want to educate the criminal element such as the techniques of forensic interviews.”
In the spring of 2020, he explained that a former colleague proposed a different approach: to write in the perspective of perseverance through mental and physical illness. “Although my memoir will include some of the work I done, there will be nothing sensitive that is revealed and crimes will not be sensationalized.” The other book will be targeted towards adolescents young adults. “It’s messages of hope on many levels,” said Bishop.
Right now Desirous Wonder can only be found at the Centre du Nutrition Animale in Lennoxville, LeBaron grocery in North Hatley, Brome Lake Books, and Studio Georgeville. On Aug. 16 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., join Bishop at Gillygooly Farm & Art Gallery for a book launch sponsored by North Hatley library.