About The Book
Today I am thrilled to be hosting an author guest blogger to share a few words with everyone. Friends and readers please join me in welcoming Sean Beaudoin, author of Fade To Blue.
I had a friend in high school. She was short and wore nerdy glasses and black skirts and really liked bands like The Cure and Bauhaus and Echo and the Bunnymen. I liked heavier guitar-oriented stuff, but when she’d come over and say hi to my mom, accept a cookie, and then tromp up to my room, I usually let her DJ. We never did anything particularly interesting. I had a small, dark room with ugly brown carpet and dark blue walls covered with sports posters I no longer cared about. We’d lay on the floor and listen to music. We’d prop our feet and make fun of things in low voices and cut up her fashion magazines. She used pinking shears and I used my dad’s army knife. She’d purposely spill the glue on me. I’d make her smell my sock. She’d talk about wanting to change her hair color and I’d talk about wanting to change it back. She always had some guy she liked who never approached her and I always had some girl I liked I was afraid to approach. There was never any thought that we’d be a couple and never any weird tension about it. We were cool and easy and it didn’t need a lot of analysis. She had a tiny little hatchback we drove around town in. My legs barely fit under the dash. It smelled like the baby of the aunt she’d bought it from, and was always running out of gas.
It went on like that for a year.
And then we just stopped hanging out.
I’m still not sure why.
When someone asks me what Fade To Blue is about, I usually give them a pretty stock answer: losing your mind, being paranoid, trust, having a little brother, ice cream, basketball, zombie fantasies, nurses, that guy, that girl, that parent. I tell them that because the truth is too hard to explain. The truth is that Fade To Blue is really about what it felt like for that year to be lying on my bedroom floor. With that friend. To not be worried about what you said or did or if you acted stupid or if your joke was funny enough. Being at ease and understood. Knowing someone’s reference before it even comes out of their mouth. Fade To Blue is about clangy music and bad sweaters and an entire pubescence of lousy stuff to choose from in the fridge.
And then losing all that. For no good reason. I wanted to capture that feeling, and somehow it just ended up becoming a book.
Wow! When I first read the above guest post, I immediately knew that Sean’s book had been completely successful in capturing that feeling he was going for. Fade To Blue is confusing and bizarre and sad, but not in any negative way. Reading this book feels like being pulled into a dream-world where you are following a character on a strangely exciting adventure. Nothing feels quite real, but it’s all so vivid and scary that you can’t help but believe. And hope. That’s one of the things that helped me navigate through the story, my hope and confidence that Sophie Blue would make it, that she would uncover the mysteries and eventually discover the girl she is meant to be. Because Sophie is so much more than the nasty nicknames and goth-girl costume she hides behind.
Comics are an important part of the story, and in keeping with that theme Fade To Blue has a graphic intermission of sorts. The book begins with Chapter None, working it’s way up to Chapter Twenty. There the traditional textual story format is paused and we are treated to a comic break – which does indeed have something to do with the main story. After that the story continues with another Chapter Twenty, but from this point one the chapters change direction and the countdown is begun. I really enjoyed this, it gave the second half of the story an increasingly frantic pace. It was also cool to see how the chapters were titled, they were all numbered, with the point of view character listed and each had an awesome little sub-title. Here’s one of my favorites to show an example:
It’s Just Like A Horror Movie, Except No Cameras
Or Lights Or Actors, And Also, It Goes On Forever
Fade To Blue was unique and fun, with tons of clever twists and turns. Like falling down a rabbit-hole and landing smack in the middle of a surreal labyrinth. Sophie is a character that the reader can empathize with fully, she’s surrounded by strangers wearing familiar faces, and it’s so very easy to get pulled into the paranoia of her life. This is a book that would be impossible to label – there are elements of futuristic science fiction, splashes of techno-conspiracy, and hints of social satire, all pulled together by the turmoil of contemporary adolescent life.
It was with great pleasure that I read Sean Beaudoin’s most imaginative novel Fade To Blue, and it was fantastic to have him stop by The Book Zombie today. Thanks so much Sean!
About The Author
Sean Beaudoin is the author of Going Nowhere Faster, which was nominated for the YALSA Best Book Of The Year award. His short fiction and articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Glimmer Train, Redivider, The Onion, Narrative, and The New Orleans Review.
He lives in Seattle with his wife and daughter and is currently working on a crime fiction novel.
Sean’s website is www.seanbeaudoin.com
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