The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon

The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon
Shortlisted for The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize

Thursday, 19 December 2013


I've been very poor about posting lately and I promise an end of year post soon.  In the meantime, here's a link to an interview I had recently with the talented Colleen Anderson, co-editor of Tesseracts Seventeen regarding my story, The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife.  Here's the link.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Reading at Roxanne's

On Saturday October 26th at 2:00 pm I was at Roxanne's Reflections Book & Card Shop reading The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife in Tesseracts Seventeen (Edge, 2013).  I had a blast and I want to pass along my heartfelt thanks to Roxanne and Abby who set the whole thing up and to all of the patrons who braved the October snow to come and share the day with me.

Here's a video of the reading:

There was a question and answer period after the reading followed by book signings and snacks.  It was a wonderful event.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Lighthouse Keeper's Wife - Readings Update

Here's a little more info regarding a pair of upcoming readings:

Saturday, October 19th at 3:00 pm:  Bakka Phoenix Books at 84 Harbord Street, Toronto.  This is a triple book launch at a great book store that deals exclusively in speculative fiction.  Tesseracts Seventeen authors will be joined by Urban Green Man and Chilling Tales 2 authors.  If you are in Toronto, stop by for some readings and signings.

Saturday, October 26th at 2:00 pm:  Roxanne's Reflections in beautiful downtown Fergus (152 St Andrew St. West).  I'll be reading some selections from The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife,  then signing and answering questions and chatting, too, I'm sure.

A ton of thanks go out to Roxanne.  She and her staff are going all out to help promote the book.

The window by the front door is prime promotional real estate.

 Inside the store, she's made sure I'm shoulder to shoulder with the biggest of the bestseller new releases:

I haven't yet received my author copy of the book but it seems Roxanne has the inside track with the distributor.  So far both Evolve Two and Tesseracts Seventeen were available at Roxanne's before they were available elsewhere (including Amazon!).  I picked up a copy of the book from Roxanne's and you know what...

I'm never going to get tired of seeing my words in print.

Please consider attending one of the two reading events.  It will be a real pleasure to share some time with you.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife - Upcoming Readings

In just about a week or so, this will be released:

featuring my new short story, The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife.

You could pre-order it from Amazon, but I'm a big fan of supporting your local bookstore (or my local bookstore, if you're so inclined).

I've signed on for a few things, on-line and in the real world.

There will be an author chat book launch thing on the internet over at Bitten By Books on October 23rd.  I'll have more details as the date draws closer.

I'll also be at Bakka Phoenix Books in Toronto on October 19th for signings and readings with a number of other authors.  If you're in Toronto, please plan on attending.  I'll post more information regarding timing as details come to me.

A week later, at 2:00 pm on October 26th, please make your way to Roxanne's Reflections Book and Card Shop in downtown Fergus where I'll be signing, reading and answering questions.  I'd love to see you there.

Here's a link to the promotional flyer for the reading at Roxanne's.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Procrastination - at least while the coffee perks.

Today is the day the kids went back to school.  My wife has gone to work and I'm in the office, listening to the burble of percolating coffee with my faithful golden retriever asleep by my feet.  It's a whole new start into my writing routine but where to start?

Doc Merl's Rolling Apothecary is well under way with a good deal of life breathed into it during Clarion West's Write-a-thon.  There's also a short story called The Question, a little bit of political science fiction.  Then there's another short story, The Last Repairman, about run-down cyborg people after the fall of civilization.  Doc Merl is the one I'm in the mood to move on but both of the others are for anthologies that have deadlines so I'll need to flip a coin and get flying.

Listen to that - the coffee's ready.  Time to get to work.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Porch...

Last year our front porch was showing its age.  It was drab and tired and the front steps were evolving from rickety and loose to downright dangerous.  The afternoon my son leaned on the railing and narrowly avoided tumbling with it onto the lawn four and a half feet below was my call to action.  I made a temporary fix that lasted through the winter but springtime illustrated that something a little more permanent needed to be done.

Last year, we had a garage/office built by an excellent contractor.  We knew who we'd ask to fix our porch.

This is how the porch looked shortly after we pulled down those deadly stairs and the aged and weathered siding.
Here's how it looks now, from pretty much the same angle:

We added a bit more deck area on the exterior landing of the porch.  Enough room for a chair:

And I've always resented the amount of wasted storage space under our enclosed porch.  I asked our contractor if there wasn't some way we could access that space.  We sussed it out and here's the solution:

If you look to the right of the steps you...well, you really can't see anything, can you?  Let's have a closer look:

This shot is a little blurred but the hardware is the only thing that suggests there might be a set of doors here.  Let's open them and take a look:

Access to all of the space under the interior and exterior parts of the porch.  He even came up with a hinged, fold-out ramp so I can roll the lawn mover and wheel barrel over the lip at the base of the porch.

Very pleased with the way the porch matches and compliments the garage.  There's still some landscaping to be done to bind everything together but we've got a good start on that.

Once the landscaping is finished I'll add some more pictures.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Travelling Gnomes

I love gnomes.  I have for years.

The fault belongs to Rien Poortoliet and Wil Huygen.

Who are Rien Poortoliet and Wil Huygen? you may ask and I wouldn't blame you a bit.  They were a pair of Dutchmen who created these:

Since reading these books as a teenager, I've had a special place in my heart for well-made gnomes.  There are a couple of beat-up gnomes hidden in our garden and I have my two office gnomes that keep me company while I'm writing.  Imagine my delight when we were visiting Rockwood Conservation Area on the weekend and saw this:

Right under the front gate was a person of Gnomish persuasion.  He had a tag:

And on the other side was his name:

So an adventure, huh?

We had originally gone to Rockwood for a swim but a sign warned us of high bacteria.  I grew up eating rotten raw chicken from stagnant mud puddles but when it's your kids sometimes it's best to err on the side of caution.  So off we went to Guelph Lake Conservation area to swim with Gnomeo along for the ride.

Gnomeo seemed to enjoy the water of Guelph Lake, but insisted on staying on the floatie.  Then he joined me for a snack.

When we got back to our house, I introduced him to Rocky, the little fella who guards my office garden:

And showed him the Smartcar.  He seemed to like it (especially the colour).

Last night we went to a performance of The Three Musketeers at the Festival Theatre in Stratford.  Gnomeo told me he'd never been to live theatre, so we took him along.

We'll be returning Gnomeo to his home in Rockwood soon so that another family can show him a good time.

I'm gonna miss that silly little gnome...

Monday, 24 June 2013

Clarion West Write-a-thon

Earlier this year (or late last year - can't remember), I applied for one of 18 coveted spots in the Clarion West Writers' Workshop.  I wrote an excellent introductory letter and supplied a spectacular sample of my writing.  Unfortunately, I failed to be accepted.

A while ago, in what I can only describe as the height of gall, they asked if I would care to participate in their annual fundraising write-a-thon which runs concurrent to the workshop they felt disinclined to invite me to attend.

Well, I've always been a big fan of gall.  I said sure.

I've been working away on a new novel called, Doc Merl's Rolling Apothecary and I set myself a personal goal of muscling through  a first draft of it before the end of summer.  It just so happens that the Clarion West Workshop (and their write-a-thon) runs six weeks through that very same summer.

If you'd like to sponsor me and donate a little cash toward the workshop you can follow this link.

Who knows?  Maybe I'll apply again next year.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife

I can now announce that my short story, The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife, will appear in Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada From Coast to Coast to Coast, coming this autumn from Edge Publishing.   Here's the release I was e-mailed this morning:

We are pleased to announce the official Table of Contents for Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast to Coast.
This anthology of speculative Canadian writing will be out this fall from Edge Publications. It was no easy task choosing from the over 450 submissions and we had to turn away many a good tale. In the end, we have a representation of Canada that spans all provinces and territories (with the exception, alas, of Nunavut). The tales themselves reach far into the past and much farther into the future.


·         Introduction: Colleen Anderson
·         Vermilion Wine: Claude Lalumière
·         Night Journey: West Coast: Eileen Kernaghan
·         The Wall: Rhea Rose
·         2020 Vision: Lisa Smedman
·         Why Pete?: Timothy Reynolds
·         Bird Bones: Megan Fennell
·         Bedtime Story: Rhonda Parrish
·         Graveyard Shift: Holly Schofield
·         Path of Souls: Edward Willett
·         Sin A Squay: David Jón Fuller
·         Hereinafter Referred to as the Ghost: Mark Leslie
·         Anywhere: Alyxandra Harvey
·         Secret Recipes: Costi Gurgu
·         Star Severer: Ben Godby
·         The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife: Dave Beynon
·         Graffiti Borealis: Lisa Poh
·         My Child Has Winter in His Bones: Dominik Parisien
·         Team Leader 2040: Catherine Austen
·         Sand Hill: Elise Moser
·         The Ripping: Vincent Grant Perkins
·         Unwilling to Turn Around: J.J. Steinfield
·         Pique Assiette: Catherine MacLeod
·         Leaving Cape Roseway: John Bell
·         Everybody Wins: Rachel Cooper
·         In the Bubble: William Meikle
·         Hermione and Me: Dwain Campbell
·         Blizzard Warning: Jason Barrett
·         M.E.L.: Dianne Homan
·         The Calligrapher's Daughter: Patricia Robertson
·         Afterword: Editing Anthologies Made Easy: Steve Vernon

Whether by design or accident, my story falls precisely at the centre of the anthology.

It should be out in September at your favourite book store (get them to order it in), or you can pre-order from Amazon.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Treasure Hunting - every year during the 1st Weekend of May

The Elora Festival holds a used book sale every year during the first weekend in May.  It brings folks from all around and is their major fundraising initiative.  There's something for everyone and the Beynon family always comes home with some treasure.
 I've always got my eye out for a few select authors and John Gardner is one of them.  This particular volume is packed with woodcut illustrations.  Speaking of illustrations, here's a little something from 1964 by Roald Dahl.

Almost a first edition - unfortunately the ISBN tells me this is the second printing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Still, it's a beauty of a book.  A book from 30 years earlier was handed to me by my dear friend Diane.  This one was a first printing.

...and it had treasure inside...

The card above was used as a book mark.  Let's have a closer look at the date on that one penny card...

1939.  Take a look at the text of the card:

That's quite a find.  I love when a book nets me unexpected surprises.  Here's a gem we found among the thousands of volumes at the sale:

This tiny volume is a collection of the works of Percy Shelly...

...and it's old...

1837!  But that's not the oldest book we found at the sale.

This was:

The Vicar of Wakefield.  Admittedly, in very rough shape, but you'd be in rough shape too if you were...

190 years old!   And this book came with a surprise inside too.  Look at the dedication:

...and the dedication wasn't the only surprise.

Newspaper illustrations of The Vicar of Wakefield were tucked inside the book.  Have a look:

I'd say we had a successful day.

Friday, 3 May 2013

CBC Hyperlocal

There were just about a thousand things I should have been doing this afternoon but I checked out CBC's Hyperlocal series for Canada Writes. 

I noticed that no one had posted anything for my little town of Fergus, Ontario.  I'm very proud of my community and I figured that someone needed to ensure that it was represented. I found an article I wrote a while back for our local paper and pared it down to the length CBC was looking for.

It's a little story about a young married couple looking for the ideal community to raise a family.  If you'd like to take a gander follow this link.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Elora Writers' Festival 2013

I sit on the committee for the Elora Writers' Festival and this year we have an impressive line-up.  You can visit the Festival's blog here.  Or you can visit the Facebook page.

If you can, please join us on May 26th at the Elora Centre for the Arts for an intimate afternoon of readings and conversations with six wonderful Canadian authors.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Spring is in the air

It feels like spring will never come.  Lately it seems every time I check the 14 day trend at The Weather Network there's this amazing diagonal temperature line that heads ever upwards into the future.  The problem is that's where the beginning of that line has been staying - in the future, usually just one day out.  This morning, however, we seem to have finally caught hold of the start of that line.

A little friend near the back door of my office invited me to sample the warm weather with her gentle coo.

I think she and her gentleman friend are nesting in the cedar hedge that runs right along the wall of the office.  I hope so.  She looks like she would be a good neighbour.

It's been a busy time and not without a few disappointments.

First - I was not accepted to Clarion West this year.  It would have been a spectacular experience but it would also have been six weeks away from my family in the summertime...  Besides, I think I might like this six-week workshop experience more.

The other disappointment was this.  The Terry Pratchett First Novel Prize shortlist was announced and my name wasn't on it.  I never really expected lightning to strike twice but when I entered Herne into the contest back in December I knew I was submitting a much better manuscript than The Platinum Ticket, my novel that was shortlisted last time around.  All that means is I need to get busy finishing an edit of Herne then introducing that novel to the world of publishing.

A couple of years ago we built a new park in Centre Wellington and I played a small part in getting it done.  Now, except for a handful of engraved donor stones that will be etched on the first suitable day this spring, the park is finished with the addition of this plaque.  The plaque thanks everyone involved with the creation of this heritage green space in my community.

And then there's this:

One of my favourite places is Roxanne's Reflections Bookstore in the heart of downtown Fergus.  That's Roxanne in the photo presenting the Elora Writers' Festival's line-up of authors for 2013.  I sit on the committee for the Elora Writers' Festival and I encourage anyone who has the chance to join us on May 26th for an intimate afternoon of author readings in beautiful Elora, Ontario.

While we're talking about entertainment I make an annual pilgrimage each April to Sault Ste Marie to attend the Northland Chorus' Barbershop Show.   This really isn't my sort of thing but I've grown to love the show and look forward to it each year all because of my association with the Chorus' director, Bob Shami.  I got to know Bob years ago in a different life for both of us.  He was the brewmaster (best job title in the world, by the way) at Northern Breweries and I was selling lovely retail packages.  That relationship turned to friendship very quickly as two creative people in not so creative jobs found a lot of common ground.  If you are around the Soo this weekend, you might just be able to get a ticket for Saturday's performance.  I've never been disappointed.

So...what am I working on right now?

I have a number of short story ideas brewing at the moment and I'll be tackling them in turn soon enough, but each day I'm working on something that requires this sort of reference material:

What could all of those have in common?

Wait and see - I have a really good feeling about this project.