I’ve always been curious about what inspires my favorite writers. Whether they are bloggers, freelancers, scriptwriters, TV writers or novelists, they have to draw inspiration from something. I want to thank all of you who contributed your questions and I hope you enjoy the first of my new monthly Q&A series. Look for this new feature on the first Thursday of every month. If you want to see your favorite blogger/writer interviewed, contact me.
Profession: Author, Screenwriter, Artist
Her impact on me: I was introduced to Jamie through Jeanne on Twitter. While we have yet to meet, she is one of my favorite people and one of my favorite authors. Buy her book Let Us Prey immediately. It was through Jamie that I was asked to contributed to BookEndBabes. I look forward to meeting her in 2012!
Person of Letters: Why did you start writing/blogging? Was it for personal or for professional reasons?
Jamie Lee Scott: I started writing/blogging for an outlet for the stress of running a restaurant. The blog was started as a way to disseminate information I’d learned about screenwriting and TV writing.
POL: How long do you think about what you are going to write before you write?
JLS: I’m usually working on several projects at a time, so while I’m writing one project I’m outlining another. The outline/ruminating stage takes the longest. I have a pretty good idea of the fleshed out story before I type FADE IN.
POL: Is there something you carry with you at all times to write ideas that may pop in your head? If so, what is its? A notebook, your smartphone, a scrap of paper?
JLS: A pen, a recorder, and now my iPad. Ideas pop up at the strangest times. And sometimes it’s that twist in a story that will make it stronger, so I want to get in on paper before my overstuffed brain and send it to the archives.
POL: How do you battle writers block?
JLS: I don’t really understand the whole writer’s block thing. Maybe it’s because if I’m blocked on something, I get it at the outline stage. When I sit down to write, I know exactly what I’m going to write. Now if you’re talking about writer’s block, as in I have blocked my butt from sitting in the chair so I can type, I know that one. My house is never so clean as when I really need to sit down and write. I look for every excuse, even though I love writing.
POL: What is your favorite book/blog? Do you draw inspiration from it?
JLS: My favorite book is Horse Heaven (well other than my own of course,hehe) by Pulitzer Prize winning author Jane Smiley. I hope to write characters that stay with the readers long after they finish the book like Jane does. Jane’s characters still pop into my head years later. I want to be able to write that well someday.
POL: Along the same lines of the previous question, which writers from the past have inspired you? (more points for naming obscure writers)
JLS: In screenwriting, Bob DeRosa (Killers) and Mike Alber (Death Valley) have been my mentors. They’ve done so much to help my writing, and I’ve never met them. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say John Steinbeck was an influence. I grew up in Salinas, which has a Steinbeck museum, and I loved Red Pony, Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden. As for contemporary authors, I love Gemma Halliday, Brenda Novak, Jennie Bentley and Tawny Stokes.
POL: Tell us something about you and your writing that we might not know.
JLS: I spent a year hiking trails in Iowa, 75 trails total, for a Falcon Publishing book called Hiking Iowa, and Falcon was bought out right after I turned in the manuscript, so the book was scrapped. I still got my advance, and the writing credit for the book, so I was good with it.