Red Deer author Nancy Beaudet certainly knows how to paint vivid pictures through her words, as is clearly shown via her first novel Doomed.
While there are fictional elements to the book, there is also real-life experience woven into the text as well. The story revolves around a teen by the name of Emerson who is constantly bullied at school, but finds security, acceptance and love with a co-worker named Warren, a character based on her husband Adam. There are plenty of rough patches as the relationship evolves, and the book ends with a troubling revelation.
It seems like an abrupt end, but Beaudet is working on a sequel called Forgive. The relationship’s rawness, intensity and sense of devotion is essentially Beaudet’s own experience with her husband, who she married last year.
Many of the characters in the book are based on real people, but names have been changed. And there have been changes to the actual timeline of events. But Beaudet explains that her aim was to capture the truth as she penned the book over a three-year span. And that included instances of bullying.
“I think it damages every aspect of your life. It’s very hard when you are picked on, and the image of yourself is very worn down.
“Writing has been like therapy for me,” she explains of the book. Beaudet met her husband-to-be when she was 16. They didn’t date for quite some time, until after she graduated from high school, but his interest in her proved a healing, inspirational and attractive force.
“He’s very much my inspiration for this book, because he always loves me no matter what. He’s always believed in me. He’s my strength. He’s devoted, and he’s my best friend.”
For Beaudet, writing the book was at times a painful experience, as she recalled her own instances of being bullied through her school years.
“Some of it is so personal, it was hard for me to write. I would get upset because I would get so into it.” She’s finding the same thing as the sequel is taking shape. “It’s very intense.”
As for Doomed, doubtlessly its effectiveness as a story is fueled by the authentic feelings that are behind it.
“I think it’s very honest,” she says, adding that it will resonate with those who’ve been picked on and bullied. “I tried to be bluntly truthful. My biggest hope is that someone who is being picked on would read it and relate to it.”
Beaudet, 23, certainly has a strong knack for description, and for telling a story – Doomed is well-written and moves along at a brisk, dramatic pace. It’s easy to see environments, people, images and settings via her writing skills.
These skills were polished during a class called Strategies she was a part of during her time at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School. Teachers were encouraging of her talents, and came to her book signing which was held earlier this year. “It makes me feel free. It’s something I do well, and it’s my strength. All I want to do is write.”
Looking ahead, there is no question a sequel for Doomed is in order. There are quite a few questions lingering by the time a reader reaches the surprising ending. But that’s where Forgive comes in – there will be answers, plus the story will be partly told from Warren’s perspective which has proven to be an intriguing writing challenge, she explains.
Meanwhile, she’s enjoying the opportunities to share the book. She hopes that besides providing a compelling, personal story, that it also raises awareness about the impacts of bullying. It’s certainly an issue that isn’t fading, as Beaudet explains that often in school culture, it’s more accepted to bully a person than it is to be nice.
“I would rather be left out and be friends with someone nobody wants to talk to then to be mean,” she says. And with the barrage of social media, bullies have an even more evasive means of attacking.
“I would hope people would think before they judge someone else,” she says. “Sometimes they don’t realize the impacts that words can have.”
Doomed is available at Chapters and via Amazon. For more, check her facebook page as well.