Screenplaying Pays Off
Credits: His first screenplay, Shakespeare's Sister, is now shooting with stars Kenneth Branagh and Madeleine Stowe. Biggest payday: $2.5 million from Savoy Pictures in 1994 for his yet-to-be-made, virtual-reality tale Killobyte.
First person: "I'm obsessive about my work," says Ramage, who keeps a 4 a.m.-to-noon writing schedule. "I feel if I'm sleeping past 5 in the morning, I'm getting lazy."
Vitals: Born in Fargo, N.Dak., he moved to Colorado as a child with his mother after she and his father, an attorney, divorced. An above-average high school student, he took the tractor-selling job, provided by his stepfather, after graduation. Separated from wife Tina in 1991 after seven years of marriage, he shares custody of their son Ryan, 9.
Spoils of success: Five-bedroom home abutting North-glenn's country club, plus nearby houses for his mother and his wife. Last year, Ramage founded a children's theater company in Denver. Its first production was Ichabod, a musical adaptation of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" he wrote specifically for Ryan. "A lot of dads go out and buy their kids a pony," he says. "I went out and wrote my kid a play."
Hero: Gustave Flaubert, author of Madame Bovary: "He wrote great women, which is a fascination of mine."
Most thrilling moment: Meeting Steven Spielberg to talk about Shakespeare's Sister. "And that same morning," he adds, "I met with Sydney Pollack. Can you believe it?"
Old aspiration: Ramage took flying lessons as a teenager, but "it didn't work out," he says. "I tend to daydream. That's good for writers, bad for pilots."
New aspiration: To write novels. "I want someone to hold my words," he says.