Authors: Stories Behind the Books, Sean Beaudoin

September 14, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Sean Beaudoin is the author of novels such as Wise Young Fool, Going Nowhere Faster, Fade to Blue, and his newest novel, Welcome Thieves. I first met Sean at the opening of Third Place Books in Seward Park this past summer and a few months later we were setting up the place and time to get him in on my Author project. In Sean's interview he talks about his genre, physical books over e-readers, and not taking himself too seriously. 

How did you choose Young Adult genre for your niche or did it choose you? What do you want to communicate and make your readers feel that they can relate to your characters?
YA definitely chose me. At least in the respect that I was trying to sell an adult novel without much success, and then sold two YA novels without really trying. As Mother Theresa once said, "A paycheck is a powerful motivator." But I came to really respect and enjoy working in the genre, because in some ways you never really feel things as intensely as you did when you were fifteen. Fear, love, crushes, confusion, despair. All about things that probably seem a little foolish now. It's an interesting dynamic to explore. My YA tends to run on the older end of the spectrum, but I get letters from 12 yr olds all the time who claim to love them. Oddly, over fifty percent of people who buy/read YA are adults. So go figure.

You seem to prefer physical books over e-books (me too), can you talk about why that is? E-books have made a huge impact on the publishing industry and local bookshops, what are your thoughts on that?
I like to hold something in my hand. Just the tactile sense of it. The solidity. I know a Kindle counts as "holding something", but I mean one not mainly comprised of silicone. Also, I stare at my laptop screen while writing all day, so I try to cut out other screen time whenever possible. My favorite rooms in our house are filled with bookshelves, which are filled with books. Being surrounded by them makes me happy.

Can you talk about you book covers. They look to have a consistency of design and theme, do you work with a graphic artist on your book covers?
Well, they come from three different publishing houses and six different designers, so it's interesting you would say that. In almost all cases, the publisher chooses the designer, either in-house or freelance. Authors rarely have a lot of say in the matter, aside from making comments about comp designs, which may or may not be heeded. Steven King can demand a certain cover, or major changes, but most of us get what we get.


You market yourself with funny, homemade videos of why people should go out and buy not one, not two but three copies of your books! You show a side of yourself that doesn't take yourself too seriously. Can you talk about that aspect of yourself and how it may play a part into your writing process or finished books?
Well, I try not to take myself too seriously in any respect because, you know, we're all going to die soon. What's there to be self-important about in the meantime? The notion of the Very Serious Author is pretty much a cliche in my mind, something that went out with Norman Mailer and Phillip Roth. Both of whom, as it turned out, weren't all that serious anyway. I like comic writing in general, particularly as it comes from tragedy. For instance, I think Beckett is hilarious. Beckett would have made excellent Vines and pretty much ruled Snapchat.

Sean BeaudoinSean Beaudoin

When you interviewed Daniel Kraus back in late 2015, you talked with him about the "emotional costs" between an artist and their art and the exposure of receiving criticism. How do you deal with negative or positive reviews on your work and how would you rate your own criticism during your process?
Being a writer is essentially a perpetual experiment in being told you're not very good. From agents, publishers, readers, reviewers, other writers, sales figures, and Twitter. And when people are complimentary, you tend not to believe them. Or at least I don't. I believe taking criticism, and using it to get better, is a true talent. Something you have to work at, and practice, just like playing a guitar. Taking things personally is a doomed game.

What are you working on next?
I have an adult novel called Cornelius Wrathbone that I hope will be out next year. I'm also working on a new YA called Maximum City Blues, and another adult novel to follow. Also, all the usual essays, rants, political statements, and various mercenary projects.

To find more about Sean Beaudoin and his work, you can check him out on his website, Facebook, and Twitter. Don't forget to pick up a copy, or two or three, of his new novel, Welcome Thieves.





Thank you to the management and staff at the Stone Way Cafe for letting me photograph in their space and, of course, thank you to Sean for being a part of my project.



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