18 April 2016

Eileen Cook + With Malice


WRITTEN BY: Eileen Cook


DESCRIPTION:  For fans of We Were Liars and The Girl on the Train comes a chilling, addictive psychological thriller about a teenage girl who cannot remember the last six weeks of her life.

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron’s senior trip to Italy was supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime. And then the accident happened. Waking up in a hospital room, her leg in a cast, stitches in her face, and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be, Jill comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident in her travels abroad. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

Welcome to the Fresh Files, Eileen! Thanks for stopping by and sharing a few interesting tidbits about yourself and your writing because Readers and Writers want to know the 411! So let’s start off by talking about a totally awesome scene in your soon to be released novel, WITH MALICE…

E. How does anyone pick just one scene? I will admit I love the scenes in my book that take place in Italy. This is because I managed to go to Italy to do some research as well as I love having the main character Jill trying to recall what happened there when her memory for that time is gone. She’s hearing different stories from people who were on the school trip with her and she has to figure out what is true and what motivation people might have for what they’re saying.

What do you do with those new story ideas that suddenly pop into your head when you’re out and about? Do you keep a journal? Write them quickly down, or tell yourself to remember then totally forget!

E. I used to go with the assumption that I would totally remember and then forget and beat myself up mentally for days for losing what I was sure was the idea of the century. Now I keep a notebook with me to jot down ideas or I also use the record function on my phone. This is how I end up with random recordings that say things like: “Santa was just the clown at Jesus’s birthday party,” and no other context.

Writers are snackers, right? I mean, sometimes you just can’t stop to eat so you might just bring the crumbs to the keyboard. What’s your fave writer snack while writing?

E. Cookies! I am pretty sure Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster is my spirit animal. Mmmm…Chocolate chip. Or peanut butter. Oooooh I have a good recipe for an Earl Grey Shortbread cookie that is darn tasty. Now I want to bake something.

Yeah, now, I want to EAT something. haha! I love books and television. What are some of the television shows that you watch or even the ones that are no longer playing on TV?

E. I love watching the most random things on Netflix- especially crime dramas from the BBC or weird subtitled Danish mystery shows. I’m also a huge fan of Orphan Black, The Walking Dead and Castle.

So you are an awesome writer…name another talent of yours.

E. I’m a knitter. Give me some yarn and a couple of sticks and BOOM you’ll have a scarf or a pair of socks. I feel this will be a very handy skill should the zombie apocalypse ever come to pass. I also find the act of creating something that I can see and touch (versus all the time in my head with my imaginary friends) is a great outlet.

Great, Eileen, thanks so much for sharing about WITH MALICE on the The Fresh Files!

Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight different languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV.  She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. Her newest book, WITH MALICE, will be out in June 2016. She’s an instructor/mentor with the Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program. You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at www.eileencook.com. Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two very naughty dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

10 April 2016

Sean Beaudoin + Welcome Thieves


WRITTEN BY: Sean Beaudoin

WANTED FOR: Short Story Collection/Literary Fiction

DESCRIPTION: “A young man spends a whole day lying naked on the floor of his apartment, conversing casually with his roommates, pondering the past, considering the lives being lived around him. In the odd and funny, sad yet somehow hopeful conceit of Sean Beaudoin’s story “Exposure,” are all the elements that make his debut collection, Welcome Thieves, a standout. In twelve virtuosic stories, Beaudoin trains his absurdist’s eye on the ridiculous perplexities of adult life. From muddling through after the apocalypse (“Base Omega Has Twelve Dictates”) to the knowing smirk of  “You Too Can Graduate with a Degree in Contextual Semiotics,” Beaudoin’s stories are edgy and profane, bittersweet and angry, bemused and sardonic. Yet they’re always tinged with heart.”

The Fresh Files kicks off with author Sean Beaudoin. Thanks for stopping by and sharing a few interesting tidbits about yourself and your writing because, Sean, Readers and Writers want to know the 411! So what’s the story behind Welcome Thieves? Why did you write this collection?

S. I’ve been writing and re-writing some of these short stories for more than fifteen years. I just kept going back and revising between other projects. It was only in the last few years that I felt like they’d reached a professional level. And by that I mean, stripped down and honed and without an ounce of fat on them. Short stories are interesting to me because they require discipline and exactitude. Each sentence needs to be it’s own meta-story. Every word has to deliver something, or work toward the endpoint (or lack of). Nothing can just sit on the page, as writerly affectation or laziness. The form is unforgiving, but on some level I think stories deliver epiphany and revelation in a way that most novels can’t.

Please share one of your favorite quotes in Welcome Thieves…

“Penny cuts the Tarot deck. The Consigliere of Selma. Lavelle has a gold hoop in his left ear, just like the guy in the picture. She leans down and sweeps up a handful of safety glass. The shards are beveled, refract the asphalt a dirty pink.

“I seriously want to take a bath in these.”

Lavelle laughs. “You one of those sensitive arty chicks, huh? All full up on deep thoughts?”

Penny wonders if not answering is a conformation or denial. Voltaire once said all language was an elitist ruse. On the other hand, Voltaire was a dead French asshole and Penny was here, now, in an empty parking lot with a very large man.”

Writers are snackers, right? I mean, sometimes you just can’t stop to eat so you might just bring the crumbs to the keyboard. What’s your fave writer snack while writing?

S. I don’t eat when I write. Keyboards are filthy. Fingers are filthy. The two should never meet. Although sometimes I do soak my fingertips in whisky, like those old Palmolive commercials, and then idly suck on them while waiting for the next line to appear.

Have an all time fave book series you read every year?

S. Every once in a while I have to go back and read Heart of Darkness, Lolita, Henderson the Rain King, Handful of Dust, The Quick and the Dead, and Basketball Diaries. Usually back to back.

So you are a incredibly awesome writer…name another talent or hobby of yours.

S. I play saxophone, can juggle three bowling balls, have a degree in film, make a killer pasta sauce, love chess, have a far-too-large vinyl collection, frequently garden, love Vietnamese food, can quote Schopenhauer at length, know “The Man Who Sold the World” on guitar, and hate both the phrase “It is what it is” and pharmaceutical commercials.

Sean Beaudoin is the author of five novels, including the zombie black comedy love story The Infects, and the rude punk rock opus Wise Young Fool. His articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including the Onion, the San Francisco Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and Salon. His short story collection, Welcome Thieves, hit shelves March ’16 from Algonquin Books. He is a founding editor of the Arts&Culture site TheWeeklings.com.