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Lee Beavington

Before the Gloaming, poetry, Issue 26, March 1, 2014, 



Lee Beavington is an award-winning author of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. His novella, "Evolution's End," appears in Writers of the Future XXII, and his book Common Plants of Greater Vancouver is a required textbook for both science and arts students. In addition to teaching ecology, cell biology and genetics in the biology lab at Kwantlen University, he also served as primary photography for three of Lone Pine's nature books, including Wild Berries of British Columbia. His doctoral research explores the intersection of creative process, nature experience, storytelling and transformational change.


Get to know Lee...
Birthdate? May 18. 
 
When did you start writing? At age ten, after I read The Hobbit and wanted to craft my own adventures. 
 
When and what and where did you first get published? In grade 8 I was painfully shy. Entire school days would go by--bus, class, lunch, class, bus--where I would not utter a single word. My mom circled a writing contest listed in the school newsletter. Here was a place I could be heard. I entered and placed first. "Avar's Quest" was published in the Surrey School District student anthology Breakthrough II.

My first professional sale was in Writers of the Future XXII in 2006.
 
What themes do you like to write about? Journeys. Discovery of self. Our increasing detachment from the natural world. Finding your voice. Wonder as a cure for apathy. Killer space cells. The more-than-human world. 
 
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? At the impressionable age of fourteen, after reading dozens of DragonLance and Forgotten Realms novels, I got tired of the same plots being retold in one derivative fashion after another. I asked my parents for books to read. My mom threw Holocaust memoirs my way, which had a profound impact on my sense of social justice and doing right in this world. Morality and redemption often crop up in my written works.

Meanwhile, my dad--who owned a single shelf of books compared to my mom's collection that spilled throughout the family home--gave me two books:  Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. Both The Savage and Valentine Michael Smith explore their respective worlds in a genuinely naive, innocent and heartfelt way. There is a scene in Heinlein's book where the Man from Mars is horrified that someone is stepping on grass--a living entity. That shook me up. I started to understand perceptions other than my own as both valid and enlightening, which is a motif that resonates throughout my stories.
 

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