Morris Bates with some of the memorabilia he collected in his Elvis days.

Morris Bates with some of the memorabilia he collected in his Elvis days.

Morris Bates nominated for non-fiction in BC Book Prizes

The book released last year by former lakecity resident Morris Bates on his life as an internationally acclaimed Elvis tribute artist has been short listed for one of the 27th annual BC Book Prizes.

The book released last year by former lakecity resident Morris Bates on his life as an internationally acclaimed Elvis tribute artist has been short listed for one of the 27th annual BC Book Prizes.

The West Coast Book Prize Society announced the names of the finalists in seven categories on March 10.

Morris as Elvis Take a Chance on Life (Fox Music Books) written by Bates and Jim Brown is nominated for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize, which recognizes the author of the best original non-fiction literary work. 

Bates says he spent all last spring and summer on tour promoting the book, but wasn’t prepared for the phone call telling him he was one of the B.C. Book Prize nominees.

“It’s just really, really, really nice,” Morris says. “It looks like its keeping some pretty good company.” 

Partially raised at Sugar Cane and Williams Lake and educated in the U.S., Bates went on to become the first and most successful of the Elvis tribute artists, working for many years in Las Vegas clubs and travelling internationally with his show.

After finishing his music career he returned to his roots, becoming a counsellor working with First Nations youth at risk in Vancouver’s inner city.

After his book tour Bates says he was thinking of coming back to Williams Lake to live but was then offered a job as the check-in and personnel escort for the contractors working on federal prison renovations in the Lower Mainland.

“Its a neat job, really interesting,” Bates says.

In addition to Bates the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize nominees are Douglas Coupland for Marshall McLuhan (Viking Canada); Sarah Leavitt for Tangles: A Story about Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me (Freehand Books); Derek Lundy for Borderlands: Riding the Edge of America (Knopf Canada); and John Vaillant, The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival (Knopf Canada).

The 27th Annual B.C. Book Prize awards gala, will be held on Thursday, April 21 at Kay Meek Centre for the Performing Arts in West Vancouver.