Admit that you find the third-person meta routine slightly embarrassing and you’ve only agreed to do this because your book, You Killed Wesley Payne, which is out February 1st, desperately needs to move more units than the last one.

It’s true. Every word. Cynical bastard.


Describe the book in three sentences.

Raymond Chandler, Lindsay Lohan, and the guy with assless chaps from The Road Warrior go into a dark alley. Only one emerges with teeth. Hug, denouement, sequel-fodder paragraph, end.


Okay, but what is YKWP really about?

It’s the story of an 18 year-old Private Dick name Dalton Rev who transfers from high school to high school solving crimes for a fee. It’s the mystery novel you’ve been dying to ask on a date for months, but can’t work up the nerve. It’s at once a sly satire, literary neck-slap, and redemptive love story. It goes down like a Four Loko milkshake, but comes up lighter than air.

It’s possibly the best book ever written.

As a matter of fact, Jonathan Safran Foer, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s great-great grandson, and I will decide that question in a Madison Square Garden cage match later this summer. Until then I’m cramming down forty grams of soy protein and doing a thousand lat presses daily. Get your tickets now. So, in summation, You Killed Wesley Payne is pretty much everything you’d expect from Just Another Debutante Novel. In fact, we almost decided to call it Gossip Boy. Or Dalton Rev’s Slightly Effeminate Professional Demeanor. Both were ultimately shot down by focus groups, but for a long time had their adherents on the editorial board.

Hey, the bottom line is this: if you buy a copy right now I will treat you to a piping-hot maple bar the next time you’re in Seattle.*


You don’t seem shy about self-promotion.

When my first book came out, I had no idea that so much of writing has nothing to do with actually writing. At least in terms of trying to get a book on shelves and have it stay there for a while. I learned that lesson hard. How do I feel about promo now? It still leeches away one or more of my essential vitamins. Asking people for favors, even if that favor is just giving my book a little attention, fills me with existential dread. But, unfortunately, you have to get your title into the buying-realm somehow, or they won’t let you put out another book. Also, your parents will be disappointed. My ultimate hope is to miraculously sell enough so that I can transition into not giving a shit about my Twitter follower total (a staggering 150). In the meantime, you sort of have to flog Facebook, ask friends to write Amazon reviews, do self-interviews, and generally act in a manner that is diametrically opposed to The Four Pillars of Writing–solitude, independence, intellectual rigor, and a complete disregard for public opinion.

That said, I truly believe in writers helping other writers. If someone does me a favor, I want to do two favors in return. Not because I think it will help me in the long run—even though it very likely will–but because it’s the completely non-ironic Right Thing To Do. And when you get into the habit, you realize how little actual effort it requires. Just as in any other specific pursuit, no one can understand the anguish of getting a book off the ground like someone who has already done so, or failed trying. In light of the payment structure of the publishing industry, and the soul-crushing amount of content available, this imaginary union is pretty much all we’ve got. We’re like coal miners battling the Pinkertons–ladle some stew on a metal plate and pass it on down the line.

But before I go painting myself as some kind of eager missionary, let me say that part of my commitment to this fraternal idea comes from the many years in which none of it occurred to me, when I was packed to the rim with the expectations I held for others while blithely selfish with my own time. I’m embarrassed that it took me so long to be converted. If anything, I’m still on the red side of the ledger.


Let’s talk about something happier. What was it like getting your first novel published?

A colossal relief. Vindication. Permission to drop the whole mantle of embarrassment around saying “I am a writer” out loud. A temporary reprieve from certain economic concerns. Like being indoctrinated into a secret society where everyone wears pointy hats.


I take it that hat thing is a joke?

I’m risking being left in a ditch with two to the temple here, but screw it. I’ll be the first to say aloud that, no, the secret society is very real. On the last day of the millennium, my pointy hat and I were inducted in a ceremony held in the basement of a gutted Borders. We now gather every other Thursday. The woman who writes Shopaholic kicks each off each session by sacrificing a goat. Harlen Coben collects dues in an old pillow case. Grisham spanks all comers wearing nothing but a Mardi Gras mask. Everyone takes turns citing their favorite passage from A Wrinkle in Time, and then we get down to business.


So, I’ve heard your book is somewhat controversial. In fact, while doing research for this interview, I came across a website calling for a national ban of Wesley Payne. Then I found a website that said everyone–across all gender, economic, and genre lines–should immediately buy a copy, thereby making it a bestseller. Of course, that was your website. But where do you really stand on this issue?

Any right-thinking general public should immediately ban You Killed Wesley Payne. They should rise up and toss it into the street. People should stack Wesley Payne on the horizon like cord wood and douse the offending piles with kerosene. Media should refuse to admit that the book even exists. Aspiring Bartleby’s should decline to type its name. Every single person reading this should call on their congressman to begin an investigation. The masses should pulp, shred, tag, deface, belittle, mutilate, and spindle every last copy until there is nothing left but gobs of binding glue and the tears of the saved.


You get to spend an hour with any writer in history.  Who do you chose?

Apparently Norman Mailer was a lot of fun at a party. And Herodotus would definitely be able to put a few mysteries to rest. Having a martini with Dashiell Hammett or Evelyn Waugh would be great. Arguing all night with Pascal, H.L. Mencken, or Schopenhauer has definite appeal. Christopher Hitchens throwing a few wheezy left hooks, after I tell him that Hitch-22 is the worst book title ever, would make a great story. But I think in the end I’d go with Vladimir Nabokov. Poet, historian, professor, linguist, raconteur.


Why do you write Young Adult novels?

Pretty much because it’s the last thing every single person I know ever expected. Actually, that’s not true. It’s because I think what is being published in YA is far more interesting and open than most of what passes for commercial literary fiction these days. Because there are no constraints. Because when I get a letter from some kid who says my book helped them survive junior year, I feel exponentially better than I do standing around at fern parties. Because I stopped trying to write any particular genre of novel, and just write what I would have anyway, and let the marketers figure it out. Because there is a huge market of truly avid and enthusiastic readers, both teens and adults, that devour YA novels, and their genuine interest not only refutes the free floating cynicism endemic to our culture, but makes me feel that what I’m writing has real meaning.


You Killed Wesley Payne deals a lot with cliques, parodying them as a way for you to talk about their effects on school society without sounding pedantic. Not to long ago, we were all ankle-deep in that society, and now we’re here reading this website, with absolutely no lingering scars. What are your personal thoughts about cliques?

If “clique” can be taken to mean “a hurtfully exclusive gathering you’ll find out five years later was full of people you didn’t want to hang out with anyway,” than I think it can pretty safely be said I’m not real big on them. On the other hand, cliques can also just be a bunch of people who like the same bands, or hate the same football players, or who dig chess, or reading, or World of Warcraft. So, they’re pretty useful too. On a purely animal level, we seem to like to pair off. If lemurs do it, we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves for doing it as well. In my experience, high school was a three-act drama spread out over four years. Without the cliques, no matter how dire the snobbery seemed at the time, it probably would have made for a less interesting storyline.


What’s your favorite band?

John Coltrane on tenor, Johnny Hodges on alto, Jimi Hendrix on a fat white Strat, Keef on rhythm, Duane Allman on slide, Richie Havens on acoustic, Billie Holiday and James Brown sharing vocals, Sam Cooke singing backup, Charlie Mingus on bass, John French on drums, Dodo Marmarosa on piano, Richard “Groove” Holmes on the organ, Chano Pozo on congas, and Tina Turner slapping a tambourine in 9/16 time against Iggy Pop’s ass.


This was fun.

Yeah, it was. You were very gentle. And, I dunno, this may sound dumb, but…



Nothing. I was just. You know. Going to ask…for your number.


Not that I’m not flattered, but I’m married.

Really? Oh. Okay. Actually, it’s funny, because I am too.


That is funny. Totally. You know, I didn’t realize how tall you were. And your eyes are really blue. You did mention that you’ve had something published too, didn’t you? Four four seven, one three nine eight.

No, I changed my mind. I don’t want it now.


It was a fake anyway. That’s a pizza parlor.

What an asshole.


Is that really how you want to end? After all we’ve accomplished here?

No, I guess not. I’m sorry.


Me too. Thanks for coming.

Thanks for having me.

* Offer of maple bar is contingent on county laws and customs, lawyer’s recommendations, and author’s actual willingness to follow through on promise, which may be negligible, depending on your level of interest in spending many post-pastry hours listening to author whine about his bad back, mean agent, and desire to own a cat even though he has severe cat allergies.All rights and restrictions apply. “Piping hot” may not have an actual centigrade equivalent, and therefore is a subjective description not open to interpretation. In other words, eat it. Eat it cold.

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SEAN BEAUDOIN's latest novel is Wise Young Fool. His stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications including the Onion, the San Francisco Chronicle and Spirit, the in-flight magazine of Southwest Airlines. www.seanbeaudoin.com.

70 responses to “Sean Beaudoin: The TNB 

  1. Joe Daly says:


    Boy, you writers and your gravity-defying machinery of self promotion…

    Seriously though, this was one of the more entertaining self-interviews I’ve seen on here. Which says a lot, because given the caliber of writers on here, there have been some very creative and amusing takes on the self-interview.

    Were you a difficult subject? Did you show up for the interview to find yourself hammered and chain smoking in a hotel room with the heat on full blast and all windows open, with billowy white curtains pushing into the room like giant doves nailed to the curtain rods?

    Always enjoy your take on writing- how it works for you, and what your views are on the discipline of writing and the state of the writing industry. As someone who truly grinds it out, works hard, and puts out quality product, you are a great resource for fledgling writers. As a fledgling writer, I implore you to keep on keeping on.

    You went wide left on the drummer. The correct answer will always be Dave Lombardo.

    Good stuff.

    • oh, man, you have no idea what a handful I was. Seriously. Demanding green M&Ms on my rider, trashing the sandwich spread, doubling down with my oxy dose, wearing a puffy silk pirate shirt, refusing to answer every other question unless if was phrased “In terms of your art….”

      Right on, man. You keep grinding it too. And Lombardo would definitely fit in seamlessly. Half hour double kick-pedal drum solo!

  2. Joe Daly says:

    P.S. For the readers of this interview who have not checked out Sean’s new book, do it! Along with Ted McCagg’s new book , it arrived on my doorstep on Wednesday afternoon. I picked it up shortly before dinner, and finally managed to put it down on Thursday evening, having read the book once and appendices two and three times. It is a fun-assed read. And asses, as we all know, are fun, so to be fun-assed is like double the fun in just one ass! Wait- I think I lost myself there.

    Anyway, I heartily recommend You Killed Wesley Payne for anyone who wants to check out and enjoy a sharp, funny murder mystery with loads of sub-plots, cultural references, and music trivia to keep any jaded Gen Xer thoroughly enthralled.

  3. Zara Potts says:

    This is a great self-interview, Sean! I’m with Joe – one of the best I have read here.
    What I liked the most was your comments about The Right Thing to do. I couldn’t agree more. Too few people do the right thing by others and it is refreshing to hear that you subscribe to this.
    I shall be doing The Right Thing by Wesley Payne and will do my best to get it in every school, every house, every library in New Zealand!
    Oh and I’m with you on Evelyn Waugh. A martini, Evelyn Waugh and Sean Beaudoin – what a charming combination.

  4. Art Edwards says:

    “Ladle some stew on a metal plate and pass it on down the line.”

    Yes! Fuck it, man. The stew’s fucking good.

    “It’s really not that bad.” -Todd Snider

    Kill it, Sean.


  5. Greg Olear says:

    You West Coasters get Grisham and Wrinkle in Time, eh? Interesting. We have Stephen King drinking mead out of a mug fashioned from the skull of John Updike, and Jodi Picoult reading Catcher in the Rye backwards. Also, our hats are more rounded than pointy.

    This was fucking great, man. I love the idea of the conductors rising up again the Pinkertons — down with the Pullmans! Count me in.

    Long live Wesley Payne!

  6. Tom Hansen says:

    Great interview bud

  7. Not that we needed further proof, but Safran Foer stands no chance in that cage match. Against either one of you heavyweights.

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this book. I’m glad to hear from someone exploring how cliques shape the storyline of high school, and who doesn’t feel like standing around at fern parties anymore.

    This self-interview is so good it might be possible to disregard the fact that Monk wasn’t included on the piano.

    • If Foer lasts more than twenty seconds, they’re drumming me out of Strikeforce entirely. Young Dostoevsky is apparently a monster, though.

      Monk wasn’t included because Monk (endearingly so) refused to play well with others. Or in a consistent time signature. Or in a standard key. So, you know, if we toss him in that barrel, it would have to be the Thelonious and his Backup Orchestra band, or a raging street fight.

  8. Aaron Dietz says:

    You are FAR to shy about asking for favors. Your writing is fantastic, which probably very much makes people feel like they want to help you (I know I’m working on an Amazon review, anyway, whether you want my help or not). And I enjoy that it feels like you want to make sure the reader has a good time. Like, I don’t find myself saying, “Well, we certainly spent a lot of time describing that wallpaper for no apparent reason.” Instead, I’m all, “Oh, wait…that ordinarily would have been a boring little moment to further a plot point there, but instead Sean made it funny and entertaining. Hey!”

    Great self-interview! Way to not go easy on yourself.

  9. Gloria says:

    In light of the payment structure of the publishing industry, and the soul-crushing amount of content available, this imaginary union is pretty much all we’ve got. – – Dude, I love your flippin’ attitude. And I couldn’t agree more.

    Nobokov creeps me out. All right, Lolita creeps me out. Nobokov was probably lovely. Plus, he’s mentioned in my favorite song by The Police. (For the record, you do not creep me out.

    I agree with everything you say about YA. Plus, it’s the only fiction that sells these days. Get ’em while they’re young, Sean!

    I prefer custard-filled Bismarks. (Though, not Biz Markie.)

    • Lolita is supposed to creep you out on some level, Gloria. It’s one of the great books of the twentieth century. But never mind that. Try reading almost anything else Nabokov. If you still feel the same way, I will front you a custard Bismark.

      Here’s to selling!

  10. Simon Smithson says:

    I only liked one of these guys.

  11. Victoria Patterson says:

    “Just as in any other specific pursuit, no one can understand the anguish of getting a book off the ground like someone who has already done so, or failed trying. In light of the payment structure of the publishing industry, and the soul-crushing amount of content available, this imaginary union is pretty much all we’ve got.” YES

  12. henry says:

    I am your soldier. I am walking into grammar schools with YKWP strapped to my torso. I believe in you more than ever.

  13. Brian Eckert says:

    Don’t feel bad about not getting that guy’s number…he’s probably just playing hard to get and will most certainly look you up when your book starts selling well.

  14. Richard Cox says:

    I know we go ’round and ’round about this on TNB, but I love your take on self promotion and the writer’s dilemma. Except for the lottery winners, there are no shortcuts to success. No easy platitudes or magic wands. I’m no more a fan of promotion than you, but your very presence here at TNB (and elsewhere on the web) does you a lot of good. You’re talented and insightful and hilarious, and I’ll definitely be ordering your book.

    I mean, if we can’t appeal to our own audience here, what hope do we have for reaching the general public?

    • Thanks Richard. I really appreciate it. And I’m with you on the “home team advantage” idea. If there’s a short cut, aside from being James Frey’s lackey, I don’t know what it is.

  15. Judy Prince says:

    Is this a follow-up to the Simon Simon Smithson Smithson post?

    I’m now recovering from fibrillating eyeballs and rapid-reading whiplash, Sean.

    You just don’t seem to have the energy it takes to self-advertise, let alone write a novel.

    But there’s hope.

    I could NOT stop grinning as I read this self-interview—–and when you got down and dirty with that other person, it was a series of tea-spits, oh yes, yes, indeed:

    “You know, I didn’t realize how tall you were. And your eyes are really blue. You did mention that you’ve had something published too, didn’t you? Four four seven, one three nine eight.”

    “No, I changed my mind. I don’t want it now.”

    “It was a fake anyway. That’s a pizza parlor.”

    “What an asshole.”


    Great dance, Seans! Take me to your authors’ autograph party in Nice.

    • Erika Rae says:

      (pst – Judy – he’s got a self-interview because he’s a real-live featured author this week. He’s *famous*.)

      • Judy Prince says:

        Plus he’s got great blue eyeballs, Erika Rae The Famous.

        But mostly I think Sean Beaudoin has more fun in his fingertips (even when he’s holding that strange confection) and noodly brain than any other human being (except for Mae West).

        And…..Rodent and I will be receiving Sean Beaudoin’s Wesley novel—-bcuz we’re TNB book club peeps—-soon! In England! While we’re in the States! Yeah, a bit of a prob, but only for a month.

        And I’m still waiting to hear if your mum’s the one who passed along her oily hair genes to you, Erika Rae, you beautiful goofy brilliant writer!

        Now to comment on a comment of another beautiful goofy brilliant writer: JR!

        • I’m inordinately pleased that Wesley Payne will soon be in Rodent’s hands, Judy. I can’t even tell you. But it’s not coming via the book club. Alas, you’ll need another method of acquisition. Maybe wait until it’s translated into British and appears in shops there? In any case, I love being compared to Mae West….

        • Judy Prince says:

          OOPS, mea culpa, Sean. I thought I’d read that Wesley Payne would be TNB’s book of the month for February. No problem—-I’m here in the States for February, so will get it at a bookstore, or order it from amazon.com. It takes so long to translate into British, and vice versa; I’m still awaiting Rodent’s translation (from Brit to USA) of Frank Richards’ *Billy Bunter at Butlins*—-talk about a schoolboy’s experiences!

          Yr fan, as always,

          Judy who used to be pure as snow, but drifted….(thank you, Mae!)

        • Gloria says:

          Judy – Jonathan Evison’s new novel West of Here is our TNB book club book for February. I will be sending out Facebook note and opening a discussion thread about it in the coming days!

          That said – by all means read this book. I can’t wait to get a copy. I may even read it to my boys.

          Sean is it 9 year old boy safe? It’s YA, right? We’ve read Harry Potter. And Playboy. It should be good, right?

        • Judy Prince says:

          Thank you, Gloria. Rodent’s and my TNB Book Club books get sent to England, and we’ll be back there in March, so will be eager to read Evison’s *West of Here,* though unfortunately for me, I’ll not have read it in time for the discussion thread, but will check out the thread as it unravels (ravels?).

        • No problem, Judy. Evison and I are frequently mistaken for one another. Some guy he owes money to is always following me around, trying to bum a five spot.

          @Gloria-They can probably handle it. It’s a bit too advanced, but in some ways it’s good to be pushed. The violence/swearing/sex factor is all implied. But the teacher at my daughter’s school said their 5th graders are reading The Hunger Games, in which 60 people die violently, so there you go.

  16. Erika Rae says:

    OK, Sean – you’re my hero. Partly because of that way hip photo of yourself you’ve got plastered at the top of TNB (rrrraar), but partly because of your unapologetic stance on the YA novel. See…well, ahem, I’m sorta writing one myself. It’s actually my 3rd YA manuscript, if you can believe that. I keep putting this one down because I think I have more “serious” writing to do. (And if you’ve ever read 2 sentences of anything I’ve written, I’ll be anticipating the eye roll…now) Anyway. I’m going to finish it. You’ve inspired me, damn it. Going all the way.


    Leaving TNB’s site now and getting to work.


    OH, wanted to mention first that the line about Wrinkle in Time was genius. I keep it near my bed for inspiration. Aaaaand you were being sarcastic weren’t you.

    Also, I am looking forward to YKWP. The trailer is killer.

    Going all the way, damn it.

    • Ha ha. I forgot that Brad could go onto Facebook and snag any photo he wanted for the very generous banner….or, maybe I slipped the pic to him? I can’t recall. I thought I gave him one with me wearing a shirt at the very least.

      And welcome to YA Village! I think that’s great. Very glad to have given such inspiration in that direction as I could.

      Nope, wasn’t being sarcastic about Wrinkle. It remains one of my favorite books ever.

  17. J. Ryan Stradal says:

    I second Erika’s appreciation of the unapologetic YA stance. I think you’re absolutely right. It’s an extremely lively genre right now, and there’s an awful lot about the high school milieu (cliques, as you wisely point out) that are an analogue for the pairings/groupings we later create and enable.

    What fascinates me most about high school is how you’re there with people — and cliques — you may never have to interact with again, certainly depending on where/if you go to college and the career path you choose afterward. In my high school in Minnesota there were a group of guys I called “the big truck people”. I studiously avoided them for four years, but when I mentioned them during my commencement speech at graduation, they cheered approvingly. One of them even thanked me afterward.

    It had never occurred to me that they wanted respect and recognition as much as my group did. It had never occurred to me that they even needed it. We spent so long avoiding each other, and when we finally learned that we weren’t all that different it was too late.

    I think it’s that kind of stratification that makes the setting such a fertile ground for narrative, and working in the PI angle sounds like a clever angle to incorporate as many parts of this world as possible. I imagine that people might compare your story to the Joseph Gordon-Levitt film “Brick” — seen it? (Your story sounds more fun…)

    • Judy Prince says:


      See? That’s the problem with YA—–it’s the acronymic thing. How can a serious discussion unfold whilst folk are writing and saying YA, YA, YA?

      And who would ever want to call themselves, or be called “Young Adult”?

      Here it is, then: It’s so squeaky clean, it’s so YAK! It’s so not what anyone between the ages of 12 and 19 wants to be called, it’s a term invented by people without genitalia, it’s a neutered term, even a neutered concept that’s been bleached and planched but has never been lived-in, pummeled, smited or smitten, tenderised and toughened. It’s a DUMB label, a stoopid tag!

      Surely Erika Rae, Sean Beaudoin, JR Stradal, and Joe Daly can turn the YA term out to pasture permanently—-refusing to accept ANY such guffy stuff. Let’s not demean our under-30s even a moment further!

      • Thanks, Ryan. We all like to pretend that the burnt toast of high school doesn’t linger, but I find it’s still informing my behavior as much as ever.

        And I’m with you Judy, the term YA is a bit awkward. I totally endorse a Council of Nicea II convening and coming up with a better name. Any ideas?

        • Judy Prince says:

          My idea, dear Sean, at your invitation, is to NOT call novels by any categoried, restrictive-for-marketing-purposes-only names.

          Do we call Salinger’s *Catcher in the Rye* a YA novel? Or Golding’s *Lord of the Flies*? Or Tolstoy’s *War and Peace*? Juliet was 13 years old; would we brand *Romeo and Juliet* a YA work?

          I think our writers are done a huge injustice with YA and other marketing labels. We suffer from librarianitis—–from the days when librarians and teachers were forcefed the line that under-21 year old people needed to be “saved” from the contamination of novels and other literary genres. Those were the days when unmarried female teachers had to pledge not to marry, to refrain from meeting male persons, or from frequenting ice cream shops unless accompanied by their fathers or brothers.

          Let’s desist from restrictions, let our creative writing juices flow without impertinent boundaries, and insist that editors, publishers, marketers, critics and reviewers read with sensitivity, creativity and humanity.

        • Well, that’s a good point. No restrictions/lines/genres/categories/shelving practices. I’m with you completely. But in reality, in terms of an industry that loathes change, as evidenced by it being ten years behind on transitioning to eBooks, I’d settle for a less restrictive name than YA.

  18. Sean! Late to the party, but oh what a party it’s been! Excellent self-interview, sir. And really true about YA being such an exploding (and explosive) genre right now, going through so many revolutions where genres bend and content can, paradoxically, be darker or more political than in much commericial adult fiction.

    Congrats on the book! And sometimes I give myself my own fake number, too. (Wouldn’t it be cool if you could do that, and just, uh, not hear from yourself for awhile until you tracked yourself down via a mutual friend? Think of all the writing we’d get done without ourselves always hanging around yakking.)

    • Thank you, ma’am. Nah, you’re not late. All the vodka’s gone, but there’s still half a case of Old Milwaukee in the basement. Yes, it’s strange how fluid what sells in the YA world is–how dark and subversive some material that nestles right next to the summer crush stuff can be. I really get a kick out of it.

      Oh, if only I could toss myself out the front door and slide the bolt. The sentences that would be wrought in the ensuing silence would rival Baudelaire. Of course, that’s Frank Baudelaire, but still.

  19. Hank Cherry says:

    Why only possibly the greatest book ever written? I think you’re only being coy here. I like where you headed with the greatest band line up, but here’s the thing, I like dark meat on the guitar, so I’d have a duel lead attack Hendrx, and Hazel, and here’s why, there’s something HAzel had that Hendrix could have used, and that was prison. Hazel really knew how to get DOWN. Keith, I like him, like everyone else does. but I can’t always remember why.

    Daly brought up the Metallic faction on drums, but I might push a different course, Ronald Shannon Jackson. He’s A WEIRDO, and he played with Ayler, and later, Vernon Reid. Still, why not Lombardo, French, TT on Igster, the congo dude, and Shannon Jackson, because what’s music if not a fucking drum circle, I was watching one the other day trying to figure out who to mow down first (in the car) until I realized I was tapping the steering wheel in beat with them.

    I guess what I’m saying is this- there are a few Motel 6’s where no one left any light on for anybody. Your interview, however, is remarkably well lit, and also full of wit…

    • I dig Eddie Hazel as much as the next man, and would be happy to have him on my team. I once spent an embarrassing amount of money to acquire Dames, Games, and Guitar Thangs on vinyl back when there was no other way of listening to it. Keef is in there to provide the intra-muscular fascia. Not everyone can be soloing away the whole time. Sure, RS Jackson can hang too. Might even bring Buddy Rich along to lay a few sideburns on him and balance things right out.

  20. Lenore says:

    i feel like you almost closed the deal with yourself. it’s hard when you lead with A Wrinkle in Time though. that book is a total turn-off.

    • I did close the deal with myself. We both woke up in the morning feeling dirty but exhilarated. It’s true I could have come up with a better title for a pick up line, though. Like maybe I’m Okay, You’re Okay, I’m Also You.

  21. Irene Zion says:


    Twitter was “over capacity” but I’ll try again later to “follow” you.
    What is a piping hot maple bar?
    (Sounds really sweet.)
    Your book loaded on my kindle in under a minute. Does that mean you used really narrow words?

    • Twitter is always over capacity and under delivery. But thanks for the effort, Irene.

      Maple bars seem to be the main subsistence component of a large percentage of Seattle resident’s diet. It’s essentially a log-shaped doughnut crammed to the gills with maple-y frosting. I’ve never had one, but I see them all over the place, about to be chomped upon, looking like an incipient angioplasty.

      Thanks for downloading!

  22. Very enjoyable self-interview, Sean. You’ve sold me – not that I wasn’t already sold, I suppose – and I’ll be ordering a copy of your book. Will that make me the first one in China? Do I get prize for that?

    • Yes, I imagine that would be Wesley’s first foray into Chinese territory. Very exciting. And, yes, it does make you eligible for a prize. Send me a picture of you and the book next to some iconic Chinese locale, perhaps surrounded by a circle of clamoring teens, and a very saucy Wesley/Cassiopeia Jones t-shirt is all yours.

  23. Quenby Moone says:

    I love the idea of having a book-burning of Wesley Payne because it really serves two purposes: A HUGE amount of press, and having the book fly off the shelves because people who hate it will actually have to pay for it before they burn it. I love it. It’s a perfect closed system.

    As to the heart-rending self-promotion, Yikes. I’m just beginning to get a sense of the commitment to that which is anathema to me. So I really relate to this.

    Can you help me?


    • Yes, precisely. I was hoping my greedy ulterior motives weren’t too transparent. If only I could get Sarah Palin to decide YKWP was endangering abstinence programs….

      As far as the promo goes, yeah, you really have to get it right in your mind. I do hope it’s helpful to realize your pain in not localized, Quenby. Some people are better at it than others, but everyone (except a very lucky few) have to strip down and jump in.

      • Quenby Moone says:

        If you’d like, my redneck alter ego Tawny Bouté on FB will start lambasting your book so we can really get this show on the road.

        As for stripping down and jumping in, my tummy isn’t as flat as I’d like. Do you think anyone will notice?

        • I definitely want whatever Tawny Boute is selling, and immediately.

          Yeah, my abs aren’t going to hold up to the Men’s Health cover test either. But no one will notice, since they’ll be looking deep into our eyes.

  24. Greg Hansen says:

    May have missed the comment train, but I will say this, reading your work seems to be an education in how to deal with the demands of being a writer, both the demands you put on yourself, and the demands of others. I think you have found an intersection were your sense of humor and personal insight meet, providing an insight that I appreciate and keep coming back for.

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