Saturday, September 16, 2006

A writer with a future

I found this great article about a winner of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest this year:

By Tracy Holmes Black Press
Sep 10 2006

Lee Beavington writes in the same environment he sleeps in – flanked by books, music, dragons and cheetahs, under an umbrella of glow-in-the-dark stars.

He laughs when he reflects on the multitude of life passions that ever-morphing environment represents - from music, dance, running and science to reading, writing, travel and philosophizing.

There's too many for one lifetime, he says.

But as he pursues them all – some concurrently, others when he gets a spare moment – there's one he's taking particular pride in these days.

His writing has finally made it onto bookstore shelves.

"To actually hold it in my hand at the bookstore... was the affirmation of a lifelong dream – to have my words in print in a bookstore," he said of L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Volume 22.

"It was an amazing feeling to have fulfilled that dream."

Beavington, 27, learned last year his sci-fi novella Evolution's End was one of 12 chosen from submissions worldwide for Hubbard's 2006 anthology. The book's touted to feature "the best new science fiction and fantasy of the year," and has been described as a roadmap showcasing the future of science fiction.

The honour also earned the Kwantlen University College biology instructor a trophy, $1,500, and a chance to rub shoulders with the likes of authors Tim Powers and Anne McCaffrey in San Diego.

Powers is a well-known science fiction/fantasy author; McCaffrey's best-known for her Dragonriders of Pern series. She's also a Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master.

Beavington sat across from McCaffrey last month during an autograph session in San Diego – held the same week as the Writers of the Future 2006 awards ceremony – to sign copies of the just-released anthology at the same time McCaffrey captivated fans.

"To be in the same line with her was pretty amazing," he said.

"There's just awe in people's eyes as they get to talk to her."

Awe and wonder are huge drivers behind the South Surrey man's passion. They're what's held him riveted since he started reading fantasy, and are what he tries to evoke in his own writing. He writes mainly science fiction and fantasy, but has dabbled over the years in everything from memoirs to fairy tales.

He's inspired by the likes of Isaac Asimov, and credits Aldous Huxley's Brave New World with expanding his perspective on virtually every aspect of life – of the world – from writing to spirituality.

"I realized you could write science fiction in all these other genres that have something deeper to them," he explained.

Just as he has too many passions for one lifetime, Beavington admits his list of story ideas has grown far beyond what he could ever put to paper. The ideas come from "all sorts of places," he said. The roots of Evolution's End, for example, come from the biology lab at Kwantlen.

The story details three explorers' discovery of single-celled organisms on a 15-billion-year-old planet, and the chilling mystery behind why it's the only lifeform there.

Travel is another inspiration. He started a novel this summer, while on a houseboat in India, inspired by the backwaters of Kerala.

"Travel gets my brain thinking in a different way," he said.

Though he's been writing for more than a decade, Beavington said his Writers of the Future win is "the beginning" for him.

"It's nice to have that recognition. It gave my confidence a boost."

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