Jumping in and out of reality

Tyler Beauchamp Author Interview

freeze frame follows a teenager with PTSD who sometimes struggles to separate film and reality as he overcomes his trauma and makes new friends. What was the inspiration for setting up his story?

“When the quarantine started, I lived in a room with no windows. She definitely got me excited sometimes, not knowing if it was light or dark, rainy or sunny. The mind can wander in a place like that. I remember having these vivid dreams after a while, and after one of them, it took me a minute or two to realize if the dream had actually happened. That’s when this image of a child constantly drifting in and out of reality surfaced. I spent a lot of time working at a Free Mental Health Clinic in medical school, and that, along with my own mental health battles, helped shape the boy’s story. Almost instantly, I knew I wanted to tell a story about a vulnerable boy who overcame trauma while highlighting the key issues of mental illness in today’s youth (social media, peer pressure, anxiety/depression).”

Will wants to be like the other teens at his high school, but he knows he’s different and struggles to battle his mental illness as he moves on. What were some ideals that drove the development of your character?

“Certainly, Will’s battle between passion and personal guilt drives the story and his development as a young man. When what makes you happy is the same thing that’s tied to your worst memory… it can weigh heavily on your mind and how you walk away from the past. Ultimately, I chose to make Coreless his saving grace because I think it may take a town to help someone work on their own mental health. We may not be able to directly heal others who are struggling, but we can certainly offer support and love to help them get to where they want to be. As a society, we have made incredible strides in destigmatizing mental illness, but we still have a long way to go. People often feel like they have to carry their burdens on their own, and my hope was that through Will, readers could feel more open to sharing their struggles and leaning on the help of others.”

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

“In my opinion, children are the most vulnerable members of our society, a society that, by the way, runs at full speed fueled by social networks. Children are surrounded by social pressures that very few of us can even imagine. And I really don’t want to say that social media is bad. In fact, when used correctly, I believe it has the power to be our saving grace. But anything powerful can be destructive. I think sometimes we don’t think about how much power a kid has with a phone, and neither do they. Not only do we need to teach children how to use these tools responsibly, but there needs to be better guidance behind the tools themselves to protect children. Like I said, tools aren’t inherently bad. A hammer is not bad. You can build a house. But it can also end a life. So there the antagonist was born to fight these children of the counterculture. I thought it would be really fascinating for a group of kids with today’s technology and interests to choose to make a movie in a more classic way. Setting up their work as a competition against social media platforms only made the story more intriguing. It definitely gets meta at times, with a filmmaker losing his grip on reality and watching movies right in front of his eyes. But writing the story from Will’s perspective that way really allowed me to highlight how everyone experiences their own trauma in a unique way, and I hope readers see that.”

What is the next book you are working on and when will it be available?

“I am currently working on a new children’s series that is a kind of ‘Magic Tree House’ meets ‘Medicine’. We’ll talk more about this later, but each book will focus on a new bacteria or virus in the same way that Magic Tree House focused on a new time period for each story. I have currently written a good part of Book 1 with a few others described. It may take some time until it’s available as I’m finishing med school right now, but I’m hoping the first book will drop in the next year or two.”

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#1 Best Seller in Coming of Age Fiction

A troublesome boy. A mysterious past. A constantly changing reality.

Will Horner leaves his old high school behind to start anew. Soon, he will find that the past repeats itself. Will begins his third year at Pinehurst Academy, a neighboring arts school. As an avid and introverted filmmaker, he seems like the perfect fit. However, Will hasn’t made any movies since the incident. Instead, he has been living them. His world is not always what others see. As his emotions take over, Will’s reality is in danger of suddenly changing. When he gets too nervous, too excited or too scared, the world in front of him transforms into a new reality, a real-life movie. His father forced Will to stop making movies altogether, believing that they would only produce the episodes. When a new group of friends recruits Will for a big movie project for a big prize, Will must decide if the movie is worth the risk. With the help of his new friends, he will push the limits of his reality and try to overcome the horrors of his past. Will he be able to escape his past before it’s too late?

Freeze Frame explores the mind of a troubled teenage filmmaker who is plagued by horrors from his tragic past. He springs into the mind of a shy Will Horner when he meets a new group of friends who bring him into the fold. Together, the group will take on the Content Crew, a group of social influencers at the school led by the notorious Rodrigo Silva, creator of a hugely popular YouTube channel. The two groups will battle it out to win Pinehurst Night of the Arts and the attention of creators nationwide.
From the first page, let life become a movie and immerse yourself in Tyler Beauchamp’s debut novel, Freeze Frame!

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