In a three-month-long adventure, author Bill Arnott has “lowered the microscope” in a travel memoir that highlights Nanaimo and other areas of Vancouver Island.
His book, A Season on Vancouver Island, was released Sept. 27 and has already risen to the B.C. bestsellers list, per the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia, within its first week of publication.
“To me, there’s a dreaminess and timelessness to this whole excursion and this gorgeous region,” said Arnott. “Local readers will recognize my experiences along Departure Bay, Nanaimo Harbour, including [Saysutshun] and Protection islands, the Nanaimo waterfront, downtown around the Bastion and the Old City Quarter. As well as nearby hikes and a remarkable encounter I had with a ghost near Planta Park across the water from Jesse Island.”
A Season on Vancouver Island details Arnott’s travels with his wife as they explore the Island for the better part of the summer.
The author said he caught the first B.C. Ferries sailing after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that travelling between health regions was allowed again in June.
“We intended to have five weeks on the Island, and then my publisher from Rocky Mountain Books said, ‘I’d love it if you’d be willing to share a personal narrative and travel memoir of your experiences.’ And I decided to stay a little longer and a little longer…” he said. “So many of us, whether it’s Duke Point or Departure Bay, tend to start our Island time in and around Nanaimo. And that’s exactly how I start.”
Accompanying his narrative are digitally painted photos that Arnott captured to accentuate details and create a “heightened and deeper sense of engagement.”
“There’s a gorgeous purveyance of blues and greens that I associate not only with our province, but certainly Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, from sea to sky, to forest and mountains…” he said. “The star of the show, so to speak, is the Island – it’s the land, it’s the culture, it’s the history.”