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Doug Beason: Physicist, novelist and 'exquisite' collaborator

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By Kelly LeVan

“There’s no perfect time to write – you just gotta do it.”Sometimes the most obvious and yet most challenging lessons about the creative process come from seemingly unlikely sources, in this case the associate director of threat reduction at the laboratory.Doug Beason is well known throughout the scientific community. Not only is he responsible for the defense, intelligence, homeland security and nonproliferation programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory tasked with reducing the global threat from weapons of mass destruction, he also served in the White House on the staff of the president’s science advisor under Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton.He has written more than 50 scholarly papers in his field, as well as a textbook titled “Science and Technology Policy for the post-Cold War: A Case for Long-Term Research,” but that’s not what he plans to talk about Thursday evening when he presents as part of Mesa Public Library’s Authors Speak Series.Instead, he’ll discuss his dozen or so science fiction novels, and, perhaps more significantly, how he found the time to write them.It’s a matter of how you spend whatever free moments you have.“If you have the time,” Beason said, “you can use it in one of many ways.”One of those is, of course, for your writing.