Today is the release date of Sean Beaudoin's new book, "You Killed Wesley Payne", and I recently had the opportunity to ask Sean about his book, influences and whatnot (yay for my first author interview!).
A job that involves a body.
A body wrapped in duct tape found hanging from the goal posts at the end of the football field.
You Killed Wesley Payne is a truly original and darkly hilarious update of classic pulp-noir, in which 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.
Sean Beaudoin (Going Nowhere Faster, Fade to Blue) evokes the distinctive voices of legendary crime/noir authors Dashiell Hammett and Jim Thompson with a little bit of Mean Girls and Heathers throw in in for good measure. It’ll tease you, please you, and never ever leave you. Actually, that’s not true. It’s only a book. One that’s going to suck you in, spit you out, and make you shake hands with the devil. Probably."
[Note: These questions are not as random as they appear. I read some stuff about Sean on his website and asked questions based around those... Like his dislike of Shia LaBeouf and the phrase "It is what it is"]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Describe your book in five words or less.
The. Nineteenth. Best. Book. Ever.
How have you updated the classic pulp-noir?
Well, instead of just recycling that lingo, which everyone from Bugs Bunny to the French New Wave have appropriated, I thought it would be fun to make up a whole new slang of my own. It’s the main reason why there’s a lengthy glossary in the back of the book. And also so that I could use the word neologism in interviews with a straight face.
What was your inspiration for “You Killed Wesley Payne”?
I grew up watching old noir films with my father. I loved the snappy dialog, beautifully dangerous girls, the tension, the heists, and the willingness to have an unhappy ending. Also, I saw that there was a gaping hole in the vampire book market and figured that either this, or a franchise built around the return of Bigfoot, was just the way to fill it.
If you were to find out that “You Killed Wesley Payne” was going to be made into a movie and they had cast Shia LaBeouf to play the lead what do you do?
Continue counting the money they paid me for the option, which I insisted arrive in huge stacks of one dollar bills.
Why do you hate the phrase “It is what it is” so much?
Because if you think about it, it really isn’t. It’s one of those meaningless phrases that is adopted into the national vocabulary so thoroughly that even advertisers won’t use it any more, and then every time I hear it uttered, my spleen aches. From now on, everyone should say “It’s the War of The Roses” instead.
What is the last book you read?
Duke Haney’s Banned For Life. I highly recommend it.
What is your favourite word?
I have so many, and they change all the time. I’ve been fond of euphony lately. Coeval and rutilant have style. Warison and Jejune would make a good name for a CBS buddy comedy. I think, as unpleasant as the definition is, kwashiorkor has always sort of fascinated me.
If you weren’t an author what would your occupation be?
I keep saying professor of linguistics in a far-south community college with zero chance of tenure, but I’m going to change that to bass player for whatever band has the #11 song on the charts right this second.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?
This is another one of those where it’s super tempting to pick Mick Jagger or Alexander the Great or LeBron, but I’m going to go with my someone who was friends with my grandfather the day he turned nineteen. Just so I could hang out with him for a while. That, or whoever’s married to Jessica Alba.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life which you would choose?
That super-nutritious orange snack paste that comes in plastic tubes that they always show astronauts opening in zero gravity and it floats around like an amoeba of baby food and probably tastes like it too. But then at least I wouldn’t get scurvy. Scurvy is never a good look.
Thanks for the interview Sean! And for anyone interested they can find more information about Sean and his new release on his website.