03 February, 2011

CONFIDENTIAL: Author Interview with Sean Beaudoin (You Killed Wesley Payne)

This morning I would like to welcome Sean Beaudoin to Read My Mind. I've asked some questions, and he's answered them (cause, that's how an interview works). Beaudoin's newest book, YOU KILLED WESLEY PAYNE is releasing this month, from Little, Brown books.

I'm just reading the book now, and I'll have a review posted next week, but I will say that it's like a bavarian kreme donut, which are by the way, my favorite. You know how it looks like just a powdered donut, and that's cool because, SUGAR. But then you bite into it, and this creamy, slightly exotic stuff oozes out. And, it's GOOD. And, then you can never go back to just powdered donuts again. YOU KILLED WESLEY PAYNE is like that.

So, come back for my review next Wednesday. It'll be slightly more professional. I'm just hungry right now because I haven't had breakfast. Onward to the interview!

RMM: Tell me a little about yourself and your book.

SB: I’m really tall. I like to play basketball, chess, and guitar. I read more than any three humans should be legally allowed to. I regret that I don’t have more time to read. My daughter is just now old enough that she makes these sort of sly, sophisticated jokes. She’s very funny. A good cartoon is Word Girl. I also find myself enjoying Curious George.

You Killed Wesley Payne is a black comedy/murder mystery about a private dick named Dalton Rev who transfers from high school to high school solving crimes for a fee. At his latest stop, Salt River High, there’s a clique called Foxxes full of girls who wear leather and kick people like Jackie Chan.

RMM: I agree on the whole Word Girl is a good cartoon. But, Curious George? He doesn't even talk when humans aren't around like Clifford. *shakes head*

How long was the journey from the idea to the physical book?

SB: Oh, endless. You wouldn’t believe how glacial the pace is. My next book, Wise Young Truck, is already done. I could have run marathons, traveled the world, learned to cook like a Szechuan master, been married and divorced twice, and invented the Internet in the time it took to decide on the cover art.

RMM: Who is one person that helped to inspire you to write your book?

I’m not sure what his name is, but he stands on our doorstep the first of every month, waiting for the rent check. Him, and also Dashiell Hammett, who is one of my favorite writers.

RMM: Yes, I can see how making rent can be a great inspiration!

A little more on your characters. Which was the hardest to bring to life on the page? The easiest?

SB: They’re all pretty much equal. I never say which of my characters I prefer. It’s like your grandmother giving your brothers and sisters number grades for how much she loves them.

RMM: If you were a biographer, who's life would you choose to write about? (not your own!)

SB: Hasn’t everyone’s life already been written about? I’d like to choose someone at random. The guy at the coffee shop on the corner. Or the woman who sells knitted hats at the farmer’s market.

RMM: Hmm. I have always wanted to delve into the life of the man who makes the train announcements at the Amtrak station. Maybe that could be your next book, Sean.

I want to hear your elevator pitch!

SB: “Don’t panic, but I’ve just sprayed the back of your neck with a deadly Russian isotope that will, within minutes of entering your bloodstream, liquefy your spine. Fortunately, right over there on that bookshelf, is a big stack of You Killed Wesley Payne. If you buy anywhere between fourteen and eighteen copies in the next two minutes, I will give you the antidote. And then I will autograph your new book collection. For free.”

RMM: Excellent! I'm pretty sure that would work in bookstores too, on potential customers!

A few quick tidbits, as if you haven't already uncovered all of Sean's secrets:

RMM: Coffee or something stronger?

SB: Stronger that coffee? Like chewing on an adrenal gland?

RMM: Early riser or night owl?

SB: I am a lifelong night owl who has recently been converted to an early riser.

American Chopper hosts
RMM: Motorcycle or sedan?

SB: Me roaring down the highway on the bike I saw them build on American Chopper last night.

RMM: Sun and sand or hot chocolate and a fireplace?

SB: I’m not a big fan of hot chocolate. Body surfing all the way.

RMM: Play it safe or go all in?

SB: All in, every time, even when you’re holding seven-deuce.

And finally, Why write YA?

SB: That’s how you get the most interesting interviews. YA rocks. Stories about sad professors who live in Upper East Side apartment buildings don’t rock.

RMM: Thanks so much for the interview!

SB: Thanks for having me


Hard-boiled seventeen year-old Dalton Rev transfers to the mean hallways of Salt River High to take on the toughest case of his life. The question isn't whether Dalton's going to get paid. He always gets paid. Or whether he's gonna get the girl. He always (sometimes) gets the girl. The real question is whether Dalton Rev can outwit crooked cops and killer cliques in time to solve the mystery of "The Body" before it solves him.

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