About Jamie Mason
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. Previous occupations
A. Many, many things. But let's just say that I could sell you an outfit, make you a sandwich, and help you balance your checkbook if I needed to stock the pantry and pay the light bill.
Q. Favorite job
A. Writing, but I was only ever miserable in life insurance.
Q. High school and/or college
A. Did you see the film 'Remember the Titans'? That was my high school.
Q. Favorite television show
A. Again with the favorites. Right now I like 'The Walking Dead'. And football. And Formula 1 racing.
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. I've had my coffee. Let's see what happens.
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. You teach people how to treat you.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. All the usual stuff in the Technicolor of my rabid imagination. Specifically, I'm a bit claustrophobic.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. Briefly in a few people's heads.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. The missing link. I'm fairly certain there's a contingent of people who believe I don't exist.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. I say "actually" too much. And a few four letter words. It's easier to edit (and censor) myself on the page.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. I would love to be able to sing beautifully. As it is, I sing very quietly.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. I talk too much.
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. I mostly make sense.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. A fly on the wall...
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. Ticking clocks or any rhythmic repetitive sound.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Ha! Being a writer. I'm feeling massively pleased and grateful just about now.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Humor, intelligence, kindness.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Peanut butter on gala apples.
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. So many. As you'll see, I have trouble naming 'favorites' in any category, from ice cream flavors to world cities. There are things I like and things I don't. It's too vast to rank any of them in order. That said, here are some authors I love, listed at random as I scan the pile of books I'm about to move. My tastes are all over the place. Here we go - Graeme Cameron (you don't know him yet), Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, Jeffrey Eugenides, Gregory Maguire, Tana French, George Orwell, Martin Amis, Allen Drury, Kazuo Ishiguro, Wally Lamb, Anne Rice, Anita Diamant, Joseph Heller, Walter Wangerin, Jr., Jeremy Clarkson, Terri Cheney, Michael Pollan... I can't see any more books from where I sit. There are others, for sure...
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. Impossible question. 'Favorite' is not a word I play with. My brain doesn't work that way. But I can tell you five novels I love - in no particular order: In the Woods, by Tana French The Gunseller, by Hugh Laurie The Book of the Dun Cow, by Walter Wangerin, Jr. The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver The Stand, by Stephen King
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. When I am grumpy, I reread the first few pages of THE GUNSELLER, by Hugh Laurie. You should too. And then go ahead and read the rest. It has the distinction of being the only book I've ever bought five times. I keep buying a copy to keep for myself, and then I end up giving it to someone I think has to read it.
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. The waiting is the hardest part, but that's when you get better at this. Keep working and finding smart, tough critics. Wait, that's two sentences. Hell, now it's four.