Author Tags: Outdoors
CITY/TOWN: Lantzville, B.C.
DATE OF BIRTH: January 5 1938
PLACE OF BIRTH: East Fremantle, Western Australia
ARRIVAL IN CANADA: 1962
ARRIVAL IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: 1963
ANCESTRAL BACKGROUND: Australian
EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN WRITING: Teacher for 12 years in Australia, England, Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria; have been a freelance writer, photographer, guest lecturer and travel consultant since 1972
AWARDS: Northwest Outdoor Writers Association Writing Awards, Outdoor Writers of Canada Writing and Photography Awards, Francis H. Kortright Conservation Award for Excellence in Outdoor Writing, American Express Travel Writing Award for Excellence in Travel Writing, SFU Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award
There's a Seal in my Sleeping Bag, William Collins/Alfred Knopf, 1972. Updated, republished, HarperCollins, 2000
Pacific Wilderness (with David Hancock), Hancock House, 1974. Previously titled Wild Islands.
The Mighty Mackenzie, Hancock House, 1974
There's a Raccoon in my Parka, Doubleday, 1977
Love Affair with a Cougar, Doubleday, 1978
Vanderhoof, the Town that Wouldn't Wait, Nechako Valley Historical Society, 1979
An Ape Came out of my Hatbox, McClelland and Stewart, 1979
Gypsy in the Classroom, Everest House 1980
Tell Me, Grandmother, McClelland and Stewart, 1985
Northwest Territories: Canada's Last Frontier, Autumn Images 1986;
Looking for the Wild, Doubleday 1986
Alaska Highway: Road to Adventure, Autumn Images, 1988
Northwest Territories, Grolier, 1993/1997
Nunavut, Lerner Publications, 1995
Yukon, Lerner Publications, 1996
Winging it in the North, Oolichan Books, 1996
Destination Vancouver, Lerner Publications, 1998
Western Canada Travel Smart, Avalon Travel, 2001
Readers Digest Complete Road Atlas of Canada (Western Canada text), The Readers Digest, 2002
Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon, Sono Nis Press, 2006
The Ring [based on Tell Me, Grandmother, McClelland and Stewart, 1985] The Ring: Memories of a Metis Grandmother, the pioneer love story of Sam and Livingston and Jane Howse, (Lyn Hancock Books print version 2010 and Kindle e-book in 2012)
BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS: Animal caretaker, photographer, filmmaker and explorer Beryl Lyn Hancock has hitchhiked through Africa, taught school in Australia, England and Canada, got several degrees in English, education, communications, speech and drama, then spent a decade raising seals, raccoons, cougars, bears, apes and other creatures. These experiences resulted in a series of effusive, cutesy titles that sold well. For the past three decades, she's wandered with her camera, notebook and backpack through British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. She arrived in Canada in Montreal in 1961. She first came to Vancouver in 1963. Her Masters thesis in Communications in 1981 was about changing attitudes towards cougars. During her writing career she has contributed to numerous books including Great Canadian Hunting Stories published by DesPub, Allanburg, Ontario; More Great Canadian Fishing Stories that Didn't Get Away (anthology), DesPub, 2001; The 1998 Nunavut Handbook (two selections), Nortext Multimedia, 1998; Great Canadian Fishing Stories That Didn't Get Away (3 stories), General Store Publishing House, 1996; Cycles 2 (one chapter), Prentice Hall Canada, 1990; Viewpoints (one chapter), Nelson Canada, 1989; Our Wildlife Heritage (one chapter)Centennial Wildlife Society of BC, 1987; People in Perspective (one chapter), Prentice-Hall, 1979; Hiyou-Waw-waw, (one chapter), CommCept, 1978; Recollections of the Works Department (one chapter), Thomas Nelson, 1975. She has also published photos in various books. In 2015, she reported that Jimmy Fallon's NBC Tonight Show featured a couple of her books, Love Affair with a Cougar and There's a Raccoon in my Parka. "Jimmy asked his audience who was the cougar, the animal or the woman," she wrote. At the time Hancock was writing a memoir comparing her three trips hitchhiking through 18 countries in Africa and the Middle East: 1960, 2012-13, and 2015, and then in November 2015 to January 2016, visiting some countries she had never heard of.
[BCBW 2015] "Outdoors"
Tabasco: The Saucy Raccoon
After a 25-year-hiatus, outgoing animal lover Lyn Hancock has resurrected her animal companion story, Tabasco: The Saucy Raccoon (Sono $12.95), illustrated by Lorraine Kemp, to recall how she once took her newborn pet raccoon on a cross-Canada book promotion tour. It is published by Diane Morriss, who remembered reading There’s a Raccoon in my Parka, Hancock’s bestseller about her first pet raccoon, Rocky, written back when Morriss was a child. 1-55039-156-9
The Ring: Memories of a Metis Grandmother
Review by Trish Brooke
from Writers' Choice Reviews
I asked to review ‘The Ring’ because I was intrigued – as I think others may be - by the idea of a pioneer love story. I was doubly intrigued because obviously a Métis grandmother was going to be central to the story. I could remember from schooldays that while Métis had been considered excellent guides, hunters, and trappers they had also been maligned as half-breeds, but as Cousin Walter points out, they should be called double-breeds, because they combine two cultures. In any case, I was sure this book would tell me far more than I ever learned in school. And I was not mistaken.
The Ring focuses on one family, that of Sam and Jane Livingston, tracing their ancestry back to the beginning days of the two major companies who vied for the fur trade in Canada – the Company of Adventurers of England (The Hudson’s Bay Company) and the North West Company. And because it is told in the first person – by Jane’s grandson - there is a wonderful immediacy, even though we are hearing about people who lived in the nineteenth century.
One of the most intriguing things about ‘The Ring’ is the way the author manages to inject so much information about that time without seeming to. Like the very best teachers, she weaves facts into the story in such a smooth fashion that you barely realize you are getting a first-class history and geography lesson. We learn the realities of day-to-day living then – and survival. Maps of Sam and Jane’s travels, as well as a selection of photographs and pen-and-ink drawings showing facets of the traders’ lifestyle are included.
Although this is the exceptional story of two bold-spirited people who fell in love, the focus is always on Grandmother Jane. Right away, we meet her sitting ‘stiffly in the high-backed chair’ – a wonderful depiction of a woman who after all, lived in the Victorian age and seems to bring that age’s posture into Canada’s hinterland. A photograph of Grandmother Jane bears out this image.
But that is only one image: Grandmother Jane could also ride, hunt and paddle a canoe; she knew very well how to survive in the bush as well as doing all the housekeeping, cooking and sewing expected of her. No wonder The Ring is dedicated to all mothers and grandmothers!
We often hear about an earlier time ‘being lost’ to us. This book ensures it won’t be.
Patricia Brooke's most recent short story collection is Traveling Hopefully.
Posted by Writers' Choice Reviews