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.