Today I’m excited to welcome Sean Beaudoin, author of Going Nowhere Faster, Fade To Blue, You Killed Wesley Payne, The Infects, Wise Young Fool, and, most recently, Welcome Thieves (which has a really awesome review on Amazon).
DC: Hi, Sean! As you know, this interview focuses on your teen years. What were you like?
SB: Surly. Manic. Provolone.
DC: *checks for nearest exit*
SB: I was one of those weird units who was sort of a nexus for a bunch of groups. Hippies, jocks, burnouts, metalheads, gearheads, theater kids, nerds, the hopelessly lost, the achingly beautiful, fighters, lovers, and the genially inert.
DC: That paints quite a picture. Of all your characters, whom were you most like?
SB: Cassiopeia Jones from You Killed Wesley Payne. She’s the exaggerated part of the best part of me.
DC: Which of your characters would you NOT have been friends with?
SB: I would have stomped Yeltsin from The Infects in a dark alley and taken his wallet.
DC: How about this one: What’s a way you faked it? Like, how did you HOPE people would see you but really you were a poser?
SB: Pretty much every single way, in every possible facet, from head to toe, soup to nuts.
DC: I can say with confidence that I have never heard the phrase “soup to nuts” before. I’m trying hard not to read too much into it.
SB: In the 1800’s, most meals began with soup and ended with nuts. The modern equivalent would be to say “from Mountain Dew to Hagen-Dazs.”
DC: Clearly! Ok, favorite kind of music/bands.
SB: Free jazz, blues, funk, soul, thrash, speed metal, rocksteady, dancehall, honkeytonk, bop, swing, punk, and hardcore.
DC: That’s so similar to your friends, where you just had this really broad base. Where did that kind of diverse personality come from? Was it from your family?
SB: Actually, probably not. I love my parents and sister. But it wasn’t cool to admit that at all in high school, which is dumb. It’s actually very cool to hold your mom’s hand in public and not care what people think, way more interesting and original than pretending.
DC: I take it you pretended.
SB: Right up until I didn’t anymore.
DC: With your wide range of interests, I expect your extracurriculars were varied, too.
SB: Pretty much. I was into smoking cigarettes while standing around looking tough, doing donuts in the parking lot in muscle cars, going to thrift stores to find old records and weird clothes, seeing as many bands as I possibly could, hiking through the woods and throwing rocks at stuff, paying various sports, and taking photos for the student newspaper.
DC: That’s cool, because then when the police showed up on reports of teen smoking, dangerous driving, and vandalism, there would be a photographer on hand! What advice would your adult self give to your teen self? Other than, you know, to hold your mom’s hand in public.
SB: I thought I was pretty street smart and knew a lot about the world. The truth was, I knew absolutely nothing about anything. I would probably advise my teen self to shut up and listen more.
DC: So, you’re a writer now. Most writers really like to read. What kind of books were you into?
SB: Anything and everything. Especially the racy stuff my parents hid on the top shelf. Biggest influences in high school were Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me, Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, Frank Herbert’s Dune, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing On The Campaign Trail ’72, Jim Carroll’s Basketball Diaries, and Leon Uris’s Exodus.
DC: OMGosh, Exodus, yes! I can’t believe I finished that book before dying of old age. Those books fit the pattern: all over the place. Did you know you wanted to write?
SB: It was either write, or be the starting power forward for the Lakers, or the starting power forward for the Lakers who also wrote.
DC: I’m disappointed! I could have watched you on the court and then read your books during commercials. So was your favorite subject PE then?
SB: Nope. World History.
DC: Yes! History classes have the best discussions. What did you believe about God? Race? Politics? Gays? Drugs? Sex? etc.
SB: God non-existent, race unimportant, politics pure hypocrisy, gays friends and family, drugs both scary and tantalizing.
DC: I’m afraid to ask. But my readers want to know. Favorite bad word?
DC: I can’t print that!
SB: Sure you can.
DC: I’ve got kids at home who read what I write! Plus my pastor sometimes reads this!
SB: You’re so kidding. What was your favorite swear word?
DC: Um. It was “eeeuw.”
SB: A classic.
DC: But I said it in this really annoyed tone of voice!
SB: Even better.
DC: Fine. But I’m printing it in tiny font. So, what was the word again?
DC: Okay! Great! Nothing to see here, folks! Moving on….How about a job? Did you work?
SB: I started washing dishes at an Italian restaurant when I was thirteen. My mom would drive me to the shift and pick me up when it was over. I made $3.25 an hour. The cooks were merciless. My hands always stank like marinara sauce. I loved it.
DC: Washing dishes was one of my first jobs too. It is the hardest, yet funnest work I’ve ever had.
SB: Did you just say “funnest”?
DC: Was your favorite swear word a rude action with a stick?
SB: Fair enough.
DC: I thought so. Sean, thank you for this interview! I know my readers are excited for you to: Ask (and answer) your own question!
SB: My pleasure. Hey, Sean, when’s your next book out?
SB: Well, Sean, glad you asked that. I’ve been writing adult short stories and literary novels lately, but I do have a new YA almost finished called Maximum City Blues.
SB: Are people going to love it?
SB: Definitely. Except the ones that hate it.
SB: What’s it about?
SB: Groups of teenaged thieves stealing stuff and driving fast cars and having huge parties on the beach until dawn.
SB: Wow. Should I buy six copies, read three, donate two to the library, and leave one on the bus?
SB: Yes. That’s exactly what you should do.
That wraps up my interview with the great (and slightly psychotic) Sean Beaudoin! Please share this interview, buy your six copies of Maximum City Blues, and stay tuned for more interviews from your favorite YA authors!
More on Sean:
Due next year: Maximum City Blues