About Jonathan J Stotler:
Jonathan J Stotler was born on the Highveld of The Republic of South Africa. The child of missionaries to South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho, he grew up admiring, respecting, and loving the land and people of Africa, spending his formative years among several different people including the Venda, Zulu, Xhosa, and Ndebele. He currently lives in Boonton, New Jersey and works in the field of Medical Education, but his heart is never far from Africa.
What inspires you to write?
Emotion and history. I like to use what I call a 'thin-red-line', like drawing a line from page 1 to the end that every other word hangs on. If I can deliver to the reader the joy, pain, sorrow, dissolution of a character I know I have been successful. I have manuscripts in contemporary, science fiction, and historical settings, but my favorite is historical.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am a hand-written outliner. I look for the central theme in a story. Once I have that on paper, the outline takes shape. Eventually its an outline of the chapters and events taking place in each chapter. After that, the outline is only used as a guide and everything is up to the 'brain-flow'. As mentioned, character maps drive the dialogue, so I write those very early, soon after the outline, since they will dictate the rest of the process. Well developed character maps will save hours of tediousness later.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Personally, I talk to my characters. A character, like an actual person, are made of up a worldview and emotions that determine the way they speak. Pain, stress, happiness and a myriad other things determine a character and the way they speak. I see my job as beinging a bit of order to that chaos and putting it on paper. Talking to my character(s) is always done from another character's point of view, and switching between personalities takes well developed character maps.
What advice would you give other writers?
Carefully and fully developed character maps are key to believable dialogue. It also helps me, as writer, to mentally change from the voice of one character to another as words are hitting the page.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
As my freshman entry, I chose self-publishing for Jabulani. Jabulani's central themes of faith and culture also resonate with a certain niche. With the more substantial historical fiction novels in development, they are more suited to traditional publishing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Both self publishing and traditional publishing have their pros and cons. My personal opinion favors a hybrid model. The distribution of a traditional with the ease of self.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Childrens Books, Historical Fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.