Monday, June 20, 2011
HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Jamie Belanger
HEIDI'S PICK SIX welcomes the Greater Portland Scribists: Cynthia Ravinski, Lee Patterson, Richard Veysey, and Jamie Belanger.
See what Jamie had to say!
1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Dappil, hands down. Unfortunately I often find the characters I like the most are the hardest to write, and Dappil is certainly no exception. He's a combination of every annoying person I've ever met and an extremely outgoing version of my own self. I love trying to walk that fine line between annoying and hilarious; and of all my characters, Dappil is the one that does it best.
2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Coffee, and I usually drink it black unless I'm at home and have some sort of flavored creamer. I drink tea occasionally but it's rarely my first choice. I only drink milk if I have Kahlua to mix it with.
4. What else can you do besides write?
I've been programming computers since I was six years old. I founded a company with my brother for indie-publishing games and utilities that we design. I also picked up a photography hobby a few years ago and enjoy taking photo trips. Cooking is another fun hobby of mine. I have to eat, after all, and learning how to cook has saved me a lot of money. And I'm quite good at remembering odd bits of completely useless trivia.
5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
Everywhere. I watch a wide variety of movies -- science fiction, fantasy, romantic comedies, slapstick, horror, and even quite a few documentaries. I also read a lot of non-fiction books. Recently, I started to actively listen to music; analyzing lyrics and song titles. Another good source of ideas is news sites. Reality is often more disturbing and ridiculous than anything I could dream up.
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
Just about anything that is complex. I listen to opera, new age, speed metal, punk rock, and almost everything in between. Lately I've been listening to a lot of bands that mix classical instruments with metal (gothic metal, symphonic metal, folk metal, etc). Bands like Nightwish, Within Temptation, Haggard, Vicious Crusade, Hollenthon, and Epica.
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
They definitely take me along for the ride. I usually plan the first scene in my head, then just sit down and start writing. I always assumed this was due to my background in computer programming and the chaos that inevitably breeds. I'm trying to plan the plot for my next novel, but so far I'm finding it to be too much up-front work. I'll most likely give up and just dive right in to see what happens. I think the best part of writing this way is that I get to be the first reader. I have no idea how the story is going to end until I'm writing the last chapter or two.
13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?
Jamie started programming computers when he was about six years old, and went on to earn a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. He worked as a developer for a small company in Tampa for eight years before moving to Maine to pursue his own projects. He currently works as a programmer and product designer for a company he started with his brother Paul, Lost Luggage Studios. His interests include writing, including the book Pariah, computers, artificial intelligence theory, cooking, nature, and photography. Find Jamie and the other Greater Portland Scribists at their blog (http://scribists.blogspot.com) and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/GreaterPortlandScribists). And buy their new book Scribings at Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/65295).