Thursday, April 05, 2007

HEIDI'S PICK SIX - A. G. Devitt

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketA. G. Devitt

HEIDI'S PICK SIX

"I am rather cautious about which six to pick…it seems a bit revealing, as if which questions I choose to answer says more about me than my actual answers ever could…
So I will choose at random."


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
This is a tough question to answer, since all of my characters contain elements of myself. I method write just as one method acts. I have to make myself feel what each character feels in order to write from their point of view. My current favorite character to write is Fender, the protagonist of my upcoming comic book series, Channels. I think emotionally, he and I are on the same wavelength. I understand him and his motivations more than any character I have ever written. I know what drives him. It’s a natural performance for me to be in his head.


2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?

4. What else can you do besides write?
Your mother.

Seriously though, I can fight. In fact, my fighting influences my writing more than one would expect. I’ve practiced martial arts since I was a child, and there is a rhythm to it. Hard, fast jabs. Fluid movements. Conservation of energy. I try to write the same way I fight. Spare prose. Keep moving. Don’t waste time or energy.

I also don’t think I’m too bad of a teacher.


5. Who are you reading right now?

6. Pop culture or academia?
I’m a college professor who writes comic books. That should tell you something about my views on this subject. I believe that there exists in academia a sort of self-perpetuating need to justify our careers by over-emphasizing our exclusivity. There is an elitism in academia I find distasteful. Walk up to a science professor or a business professor and, after a few drinks, they will probably admit to believing that English teachers are a dime a dozen. That anyone could teach English. And I think academics in my field sense this and react to it. And they often overreact to it. How quickly they forget that Shakespeare was pop culture.

I see no greater merit in the works of Shakespeare than I do Stan Lee. They are both important. They both hold great truths. They are both immortal.


7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
I have my muses…And I am grateful to them. But I think the thing that really fuels me is my atheism. I have no gods. I have no afterlife. This is my only trip through this big bad beautiful world, and I want it to matter. I am childless and plan to remain that way, so my only shot at making my mark is through the record I leave behind. For me, the purpose of life is to observe. To witness. Those of us who are lucky enough get to write it down so that those of us who weren’t around to experience a poetic moment are able to.
I don’t understand how people don’t write…


9. Food you could eat everyday.

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
I don’t care about team sports, or anything professional on TV. I am in the gym at least five days a week. I am fanatical about working out. And it has nothing to do with vanity. My body is a machine, and machines need maintenance. A machine that sits around is not going to work properly when you need it to. I eat with the same philosophy. I don’t eat for enjoyment. Food is fuel. No one I know would piss in their gas tank, but they will shove a Big Mac down their throat. I don’t get it…

Plus, I write while I exercise. It frees my mind of the stress and lets me play in my head while my body does its thing. Later in the shower I usually organize all the random thoughts I had while exercising. Then I’m ready to put them to paper…


11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I never outline, but I know people who do. As stated, I method write. Each piece I do is largely improvisational acting done on paper. I have general ideas of things I want to happen. For Channels, I have big picture things that need to happen and I have story arcs that need to span a certain number of issues, but inside of that framework I just let things play out. It’s the only way I can keep myself interested. You wouldn’t read a book you already know the ending to--why the hell would you write one?


13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

A.G. Devitt is a writer and educator. His latest short story, "Assassin's Playground", will be published in the fantasy anthology Bash Down the Door and Slice Open the Badguy, coming in April 2007.
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His current project is a comic book series, Channels, which features a boy with a TV for a head. The series will debut in August of 2007 from FE Comics.

Devitt was also the writer/creator of the independent comics Monk, Mortal Coyle, Doug & Punk's Pulp Adventures, and The Custodian. He collaborated with artist Brandon Dawley on Insensitive Romance's Angry Guy Stories.

In addition to his writing, Devitt has sung in a punk rock band, managed an independent music store, studied martial arts since the age of 8, and consistently denies rumors that have linked him to the Justice League of America. He holds three degrees, including a Masters from Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction program and teaches creative writing at the college level.

Go to his MySpace if you wish to stalk him.

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