Here is a chance to check out an author via an interview. You never know, reading an interview could lead you to finding your next favorite author. In this case, Werner is the author of children’s books that I am confident you will find to be very interesting. Be sure to check out his work, and his links at the bottom of the interview.
Welcome! Please tell us your name and a little bit about yourself.
My name is Werner Stejskal. I was born in Vienna, Austria and live with my wife and married two children in Perth, Australia since 28 years. I started off in the Printing Industry, worked later for the UNO in Vienna for many years before making the fundamental decision to move to Australia. After retiring from my online export business I was blessed one sleepless night with the idea for my series ‘Oliver and Jumpy’, giving me a new purpose in life.
What motivates you to write?
I have always been reading a lot and it was a short step to develop an interest in writing. I never considered myself capable to write novels though. It was more just for myself. I loved to create an alternative kind of children’s books to all the current ones being sold. I am more a business man than writer, so my current setup suits me well. I write the stories, find illustrators, translators and editors by myself and also produce my own books using various softwares.
What is the title of your most recent book? Give us a brief overview on what the book is about.
There are lots of fairy tales and bedtime stories around and many of them quite violent. This made me decide to write something different. On a flight from Europe to Australia I watched the movie Magic on Belle Island with Morgan Freeman, where Freeman teaches a little girl to have imagination and write her first story. This inspired me as well and the first stories with the two characters Oliver, the elegant tomcat, and Jumpy, his kangaroo lady friend, made their appearance.
I do things very differently to most authors. There is actually no last book, but a whole series of 20 ebooks or 10 POD’s with 62 stories which I finished off before publishing them all at once within a short time. ‘Oliver and Jumpy’ is now four years in the making. English, Chinese, Spanish is ready and German coming up.
What makes it unique from the other books out there?
I found that a lot of picture books have very simple and few illustrations, little text and are for a very small age range. I decided on Walt Disney style drawings because they can be quite complex and the characters have, well, character. Most of my illustrators managed to create that image. The stories all started out with 1000 each, which is far too many for picture books. I had to keep reducing the text, but there is still more to read than in most picture books. There is usually a lesson to be learned, even though it is a very subtle one and quite well hidden in the story. I tried to keep the text with the illustration, rather than use a separate page for the text and have only half the book illustrated. I am self-published and do not worry about page restrictions of various printers. My books can be between 33-50 pages.
What is the title of your current work-in-progress or the most recent manuscript you’ve completed apart from your most recent book? Would you mind sharing what it is about?
I am working on the German version of my series. After this I may tackle Japanese and Hindi. The final goal is to produce a TV series with ‘Oliver and Jumpy’.
What do you find most useful during your writing process?
My Ipad. I practically live with it. I do everything with it. Write, produce my books and YouTube clips, Social Networking and finding reviewers.
What are you doing for promotion?
Promotions are all encompassing. There is no one thing that works by itself. I spend a lot of time finding reviewers. Now I try to get into local papers, TV stations, podcasts, author interviews. My aggregator helps to get the books into promotions on all ebook platforms. The social media is important.
How often do you write?
I wrote the whole series within two months. Now is time for production and promotion. No more writing until the next series.
What famous author would you compare your own writing style with?
I would not dare!
Who are five of your favorite authors?
Jefferey Deaver, Nora Roberts, James Michener, Michael Connelly, Maragret Mitchell
What are you currently reading?
Jeffery Deaver – The Twelfth Card
Time for some quick questions:
Never stop learning.
Gone with the Wind
All Nora Robert series
I repeat myself, Gone with the Wind.
Yes, there was a time I watched TV. Long time ago.
Very weak coffee.
- If you could have one superpower what would it be?
If you could be one character from your own writing, who would it be and why?
Why, that’s obvious – Oliver is me and I am Oliver.
Finally, what advice would you give to other writers?
Treat your writing as a business right from the beginning. There are tax benefits! Start building a relevant social media presence to build your own audience. You can feed them the progress of your work and they may be receptive when you finally have a finished product!
Social media links
@Oliver And Jumpy
Amazon Author’s page with free books: