Kelowna author Jack Whyte amongst BC Book Prizes Finalists

The finalists for the BC Book Prizes were announced last Thursday, and amongst the fray is Kelowna’s internationally bestselling author Jack Whyte. With 13 historical novels spread amongst three series under his belt, Jack is no layman when it comes to critical acclaim. His latest tome, The Forest Laird, book one of the Guardians trilogy, centers around the Scottish outlaw, hero, and kingmaker, William Wallace. Those unfamiliar with Wallace need only recall the Mel Gibson epic, Braveheart, which was based on William Wallace and his fight for Scottish independence in the early 12th century. Painstakingly researched yet cinematically illustrated, Jack Whyte’s novels are known for their historical precision and engrossing battle scenes.

At his book launch in Mosaic Books last summer, Jack was asked how such gorgeous battle depictions came to fruition, to which he had little explanation. Jack described his writing process as much of a mystery to himself. He said he falls into an almost unconscious trance where he would awake six hours later with pages upon pages of near perfect prose and no memory of creating them. An attendee of the book launch shortly exclaimed, “I think you may be channelling dead people!”

Surprisingly, not all awesome people reside in the Okanagan, and as such there are a few other finalists that need your immediate attention. CBC Radio 3 host Grant Lawrence’s first memoir, Adventures in Solitude, has been amazingly well received, holding a spot on the Canadian non-fiction bestseller list since the summer. Along with his witty show, fresh podcast, and new book, Grant is also an all around awesome and ruggedly good looking guy (I am often reminded of this by my lovely staff).

Vancouver’s Sarah Leavitt has earthed understanding and hope to an otherwise crippling subject in her graphic memoir, Tangles: A Story about Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me. Spare black and white illustrations give way to a truly candid account of an outspoken and quick-witted mother starting to fade into a forgetful, fearful shadow.

The BC Book Prize winners include 34 finalists and will be announced April 21, 2011. For more information on the prize categories, finalists, and voting process, visit

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