About the Author:
Sean Beaudoin is the author of Going Nowhere Faster, Fade to Blue, and You Killed Wesley Payne. His stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications including Glimmer Train, The New Orleans Review, The Nervous Breakdown, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Onion, Instant City, The Rumpus, Opium, Barrelhouse, Redivider, Narrative, and Spirit: the In-flight magazine of Southwest Airlines. He is currently working on a collection of short stories and a crime fiction novel. (source)
His most recent novel, You Killed Wesley Payne, comes out February 1, 2011. It is a noir mystery/crime novel, so I asked Sean about the appeals of the noir mystery genre. He was kind enough to reply and you can read his great answer:
I guess I find film noir to be interesting because, essentially, it's about not getting what you want. Or at least following the route by which the characters fail to pull one over on a mark, themselves, or society. Very early on I got tired of stories that worked out well. I was the sort of kid that always wanted Batman to fall into the shark pit, Superman to die of Kryptonite poisoning, and Spiderman to be blown up by one of those cool Green Goblin pumpkins. Why, for instance, did the Road Runner always outwit Wile E. Coyote? I wanted to see a cartoon, or a movie, where Wile E. Coyote won. And then gloated. And then opened up a highly successful car dealership, after marrying the Road Runner's wife. And noir offers those possibilities. But, there's also a resignation that imbues all the characters. That things frequently go wrong, that life is never easy, and that pat endings are for PG-13 movies about St. Bernards.
You Killed Wesley Payne, I hope, gives you a taste of that salt lollipop.
For handy reference and easy research, here’s a list of three of my favorite noir films. I chose them mainly because they’re a lot of fun to watch. They may not be in color, or even 3-D, but if you don’t like them, I will buy you three (3) frosted donuts as recompense.
Gun Crazy-(1950) starring John Dall, Russ Tamblyn and Peggy Cummins. Can you love a gun more than the love of a good woman? Even if the woman isn’t so good after all?
Out of The Past (1947) starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer. What more do you want that an angry Robert Mitchum? Okay, fine, toss in loot, corruption and plenty of brown-eyed duplicity.
Kiss Me Deadly (1955) starring Ralph Meeker and Maxine Cooper. Essentially, never pick up a beautiful hitchhiker. This movie also has one of the most gloriously weird endings in the history of cinema. Chunks of this were lifted out whole by Quentin Tarantino for Pulp Fiction. It’s okay, he’d be the first to admit it.
SUMMARY of You Killed Wesley Payne:
He’s come to do a job.
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.
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