If global events are getting you down, I have a distraction for you. This spring, my new book will be released on Harbour Publishing. It’s the sequel to my first book, “Adventures in Solitude”, and as of today, signed pre-orders are available for purchase!
The book is called:
Return To Solitude: More Desolation Sound Adventures with The Cougar Lady, Russell the Hermit, the Spaghetti Bandit and others (Harbour Publishing).
The cover was designed by Naomi MacDougall, who has designed all of my nonfiction book covers. The front cover photo is by my old friend Rory Brown. The book will be released on April 30, 2022, which is Independent Bookstore Day in North America.
For the pre-orders, I have proudly partnered with Massy Books, an Indigenous-owned independent Vancouver bookstore, for copies that can be signed and shipped from Massy to anywhere in the world! Here’s how you do it:
2. Create your own account for the purpose of shipping anywhere.
3. Please include your special instructions as to whom the book should be signed to and purchase your pre-ordered book.
In theory… it’s as easy as that!
NORTH SHORE READERS: If you live in my hometown of West Vancouver, or neighbouring North Vancouver, you can pre-order signed copies for pick-up at the amazing 32 Books in Edgemont Village! Pre-order here for North Shore pick-up here.
A bit more about “Return to Solitude”: The new book is a wild riptide of stories twelve years in the making that dives further into the lives of returning characters like Russell the Hermit, the Cougar Lady, Bernard the German and more, with introductions to many new scallywags of the Sound. Woven throughout the book like strands of kelp are the ocean-bound misadventures of Grant’s own growing family.
If all goes well, I’ll be back on the road with my Stories and Songs show throughout BC in May with great musical guests at each one:
Wed May 4, Mary Winspear Centre, Sidney BC Thu May 5, Victoria Events Centre, Victoria BC Fri May 6, Kay Meek Theatre, West Vancouver BC Sat May 7, Brackendale Art Gallery, Squamish BC Tue May 24, Tidemark Theatre, Campbell River BC Wed May 25, Patricia Theatre, Powell River BC Thu May 26, Heritage Playhouse, Gibsons BC Fri June 17, the Effie, Kamloops, BC Fri June 24, Community Hall, Pender Island BC
Here’s hoping you and your family are all doing well! Over here in British Columbia / Coast Salish territory, it’s still all about masks, vaccine passports, plexiglass, and social distancing. And venues are at half capacity or less, which reminds me a lot of my days in the Smugglers!
Speaking of venues, my touring show “Grant Lawrence and Friends” is still on the shelf for the time being, with plans of it returning in 2022.
In milestone news… I turned –ahem– 50 (!!!) this summer! We had a great party on a HOT HOT HOT day in late July in Grace Harbour / Kahkaykay within the Desolation Sound Marine Park, one of my favourite places in the world. My lovely wife Jill Barber performed, as did the kayaking bagpiper Alan McMordie.
It was so hot that most of the audience spent the entire event in the water, even managing the feat of treading water and clapping at the same time. Thanks to Penrose Bay neighbour Bruce Layzell for carving me a beautiful wooden sign that may sum up the second half of my life: “Rock Me Gently.”
BAILEY THE BAT
My first kids picture book is officially out now! It’s called Bailey the Bat and the Tangled Moose, about a little brown bat who can’t sleep, so it gets up to all sorts of daytime adventures when the rest of the bat colony is asleep. This all started from a bedtime story I would make up and tell my kids when they couldn’t sleep. The story explores themes of -ahem- naughtiness, bravery, coming together for a common goal, and… the consequences of disobeying mom! You can find Bailey at bookstores and libraries anywhere in North America, but I also sell personally signed copies here in English or French. I’d recommend the book for kids up to about age 8-ish who like animals and high-stakes adventure. And to all those who pre-ordered the book, thank you! You are the wind beneath my bat wings.
There will be a few live launch events around BC in October and November, which are listed at the end of this missive.
Here’s some nice early reviews of Bailey The Bat:
“Beautifully written, suspenseful… an ideal shared-read with younger students, one which provides opportunities to discuss themes, while also being an independent read for more advanced young readers.” – CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“Kind, brave, and resourceful… A satisfying adventure with a hint of more to come. Hooray for Bailey.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Being a children’s picture book, I was rather surprised by how well the story built up. There is a well-defined beginning, middle and ending. And really, at the height of the conflict, the story got pretty intense and my kiddo was fully invested!” – Good Reads
“I love this book!” – Josh Lawrence, age 8
DIRTY WINDSHIELDS: THE AUDIOBOOK
This has been a blast to create late nights in my basement studio / couch! This past spring, I released the first part (ten chapters or so) of the audiobook for my book Dirty Windshields: the best and the worst of the Smugglers tour diaries, chronicling my 30-year rock ‘n’ roll journey with the band I co-formed when I was 17. Since most of the ridiculous stories contained in the book have been kept alive over the years from tellings (and retelling and re-re-re-tellings) in our van and in backstages and at parties, it seems only right for me to read these stories aloud. It’s been so much fun, and each chapter has plenty of musical flourishes from the 80s and 90s. Once the entire book is released in audio format, it will go up for sale as an unabridged audiobook sans music, but for now, the chapters are free to download and enjoy. Warning! “Mature content.” Part one is out now and can be heard here. Part two will be released later this fall. Please subscribe to my Superfeed so you don’t miss a chapter.
RETURN TO SOLITUDE
The twelve-years-in-the-making sequel to my first book Adventures in Solitude is finally soon to wash ashore like a really long message in a beer bottle. It will indeed be a riptide of stories that further delves into the lives and adventures of Russell the Hermit, Bernard the German, the Cougar Lady, and the Spaghetti Bandit. Woven throughout like strands of kelp are the misadventures of my own growing family. Consider it Adventures in Solitude: the next generation, even though that’s not the title. Coming spring 2022 from Harbour Publishing!
I continue to be lucky enough to host Canada’s only national chart show, the CBC Music Top 20, which can be heard three times weekly across the country: Thursdays at 6pm and Sundays at 5pm on CBC Music (the former Radio 2) and Wednesdays at 3pm on CBC Radio 1 or online any time. If you like the Weeknd, Lizzo, Billie Eilish, or Yukon Blonde, you should tune in!
Whoa! My radiant singer-songwriter wife has not sat still much lately, as she figures out ways to navigate a music career through a pandemic. After her series of highly interactive and emotional Side Door Zoom concerts, Jill actually hit the road around BC for select shows that included a helicopter and a lot of wine. This month, she adds to her international touring resume in a major way: Jill is performing in Dubai for the World Expo. Follow her on Instagram for all the visual highlights! With Dubai notched into her guitar strap, that means Jill has performed and worked in Canada, the USA, Europe, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Argentina, and now the United Arab Emirates. Jill also has a new album in the works that promises to be very personal, rootsy, folky and acoustic, containing many of her best songs yet.
Sunday Oct 17, Whistler Public Library, Whistler BC. Family storytime “Bailey the Bat” reading and signing, with crafts and colouring. 12:30pm. Register here. (part of the Whistler Writers Festival.)
Saturday Oct 23, Collage Collage, Vancouver BC. “Bailey the Bat” launch event.
Come by to pick up a copy of Bailey the Bat and a cool bat craft to do at home!
Have your book signed by Grant and take your picture under our Bailey-inspired window! 2pm-4pm.
Sunday Nov 22, Iron Dog Books, Vancouver BC. “Bailey the Bat” reading and signing, with bat crafts. 2pm – 3pm.