Heavy Metal is the story of one very difficult week in the life of Danny, a 15-year-old growing up in a Midwestern town. Author Andrew Bourelle has published 20 short stories in literary journals and anthologies, but this is his first novel. And it's the winner of the 2016 Autumn House Press Fiction Prize, offering publication to young writers Autumn House believes will become the important voices of their generation.
Bourelle teaches creative writing at the University of New Mexico. He wanted Heavy Metal, which grew out of his short story of the same name, to be both "a punch to the gut" and a tender depiction of its young hero.
Andrew Bourelle speaks at greater length about his first novel in this more complete version of the interview. His use of the "first person present tense" in the novel, he says, was an attempt to lend a sense of immediacy to Danny's story.