by Christine Galeone
When you ask an author how a particular novel originated, the answer will vary. Some novels evolve from an intriguing character. Others start with a riveting story idea. And some begin with a theme that resonates with the writer.
For Christine Beauchaine, her most recent novel “Allison Forever” emerged from the latter of the three. “I’m fascinated with the whole idea that we only ever know other people through the lens of our own perceptions,” Beauchaine revealed. “I also feel that there is no black and white. People are absolutely a mix of light and dark, good and bad, etc.”
In November 2017, for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), she poured her beliefs into the dramatic novel, which explores how the eponymous character’s tragic death in an alcohol-related car accident affects the lives of the people she was closest to. Written from the alternating perspectives of Allison’s loved ones, the book gave the Northbridge yoga instructor the chance to delve into a theme that matters to her, while doing what she loves.
The wife and mom, who also writes a blog called “Battling the Forces of Chaos,” enjoyed creating the complicated character. “She's a great mom but she's having an affair,” Beauchaine said. “She has a drinking problem. She wrestles with anxiety, but everyone who knows her thinks she's totally together. It was a lot of fun to write about such a complex character.”
Beauchaine, who has also written two other novels and a book of poetry, hopes that the book will have a profound impact on its readers. “I want to make readers feel deeply,” Beauchaine said. She added, “I'd love it if readers walked away and asked themselves difficult questions. Often we don't want to look at anything in our lives which makes us uncomfortable, yet in holding space for those things, we learn about ourselves and lead richer lives.”
Although writing has been important to Beauchaine for most of her life, the path she took to writing and self-publishing her first novel was littered with the kind of complexities that she nudges her readers to examine. And it’s one that began with the devastating loss of her four-day-old infant daughter to severe congenital heart defects. She recalled that for a couple of years after the 2008 tragedy, she suffered from overwhelming anxiety. “I decided that if I didn't start doing things which frightened me, I was never going to leave the house again,” Beauchaine shared. “Since everything was scary…I decided to tackle all the big stuff. I finished my bachelor's degree in English. I became a certified yoga teacher. I published my first book.”
With NaNoWriMo’s challenge of writing a book in a month fast approaching, Beauchaine is looking forward to working on her next novel – a young adult fantasy humor book about a princess who hates being a princess. “It's a great way to network with other writers and receive support,” Beauchaine said. “I'm super busy, and I found that NaNoWriMo was helpful in keeping me focused and motivated with writing.”
For more information about Christine Beauchaine’s writing, please visit her @ChristineBeauchaineWriter Facebook page. For more information about NaNoWriMo, visit www.nanowrimo.org. If you would like to suggest a Blackstone Valley author for this series, please contact Christine at [email protected].