About Osborne Bay Books

Liz Maxwell Forbes and Grant Evans

Liz Maxwell Forbes and Grant Evans



Years before I knew him, Grant retired to Hornby Island to write his great Canadian novel. It was in the day of the early generation computers, and with the winter power outages and his woeful technical ability he repeatedly lost his text and gave up. While he was on Hornby Island, I was living the hippie life on the Cowichan River. We had mutual friends in both places but our paths never crossed until he moved back to Vancouver Island.

When Grant and I met a couple of decades ago we were drawn to each other by our slightly alternative lifestyles — we both had outdoor bathtubs — and an appreciation for each other’s artistic abilities.

Together we did what we do best, co-create. We renovated a couple of houses. People would stop on the street to admire the work Grant was doing, especially his fences and gates built in the Japanese style. We created outdoor living spaces — I planted and Grant designed and built the unique frame work. In the evenings we sat in our beautiful sanctuaries with a bottle of wine and plotted and planned, fantasizing our next venture. There were many dreams — wild dreams, impractical dreams — some we carried to fruition. It was an ongoing adventure.

On a winter in Arizona, Grant, who is an accomplished artist, completed 46 paintings of our south west experience. I joined a writers’ group, bought a laptop computer and wrote. Once home we threw a big art opening at the Hummingbird Tea Room in Chemainus with his Arizona series. It was a roaring success. I was writing monthly columns for Take 5 magazine in Ladysmith and trying to break into magazine fiction. Realizing I needed to belong to a writers’ group and not being able to find one, I started my own. The Chemainus Writers is still vibrant and healthy after 15 years, and all of our members are published.

Throughout this time, I had been writing short pieces about my early life and my life on the river. This year I revisited the writings of my growing up years and rewrote them into a cohesive whole, the end product being Growing Up Weird.

Grant went back to writing too — we have felt like moles this summer, holed up inside writing. We would take an early morning walk or in Grant’s case, a bike ride, and then come home to the cool of the house and write. Grant emerged with View From the Tower, an engaging and humorous account of his years as an air traffic controller in Port Hardy back when the only access was by air or steamship.

We are both working on new manuscripts. Watch the blog for news!

This latest adventure, Osborne Bay Books looks to be our best yet.