A high school teacher with a particular love for writing plays and teaching drama, film and outdoor education, Bernard Beckett was brought up in Masterton and now lives in Wellington with his wife, Clare Knighton (and co-author of Deep Fried).
In 2005 he took a break from teaching as he was awarded a Royal Society of New Zealand Science, Mathematics and Technology Teaching Fellowship. He explored DNA mutations while working at the Allen Wilson Centre for Molecular Evolution, Massey University. Genesis is the first of three works he started in 2005. Falling for Science (2007) is an adult non-fiction title offering a history of the ideas behind recent scientific development, and introducing arguments about the nature of consciousness, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence – and more.
'The trouble with novels is that you can't plan them,’ says Bernard. ‘They are a self-assembling biological process, and the writer's job is simply to feed them, and provide a benign developmental environment’ (Allen Wilson Centre newsletter, September 2005).
In 2008 Genesis made publishing history when UK publisher Quercus Books offered the largest advance ever put forward for a young adult novel in New Zealand. The novel, also published in Australia, was released in the United Kingdom in early 2009 in simultaneous young adult and adult editions. Genesis was also longlisted in Australia's 2008 Inky Awards. Acid Song, which appeared in 2008, is an adult novel which combines science, ethics, controversy and relationships.
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Page checked and updated February 2013.