By now you have probably seen I have done a few reviews on an author known as Werner Stejskal, who has a unique style of writing that is educational and interesting. I recently had the opportunity to interview Mr. Stejskal and wanted to share that interview with all of you. Enjoy!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Born in Vienna, Austria, I am now living in Perth, Australia with my wife, two married children and three grandchildren. I worked in the printing industry over many years and later for the United Nations in Vienna. After an eventful life, now retired, I began to write children’s stories. I discovered some brilliant illustrators through Odesk, narrated the stories myself for YouTube and finally took the next step into publishing eBooks.
What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
I will bring this series to its glorious end sometime this year. There is the possibility that I will publish it in other languages as well. Print-on-demand is next. I will look into conventional printed books if I should receive an offer. My main aim for the short term is massively promoting this series and creating a desirable product. A TV series will be the ultimate aim.
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?
I started with the intention to create something very different to the usual kiddy books. Oliver and Jumpy has high quality illustrations unlike so many picture books today. I am using adult language, because I believe kids should not waste their time with being talked down to in little people lingo. I also believe we underestimate small children. Adult issues are readily understood if explained properly. Some of the issues in my stories can be controversial, but most reviewers are fully supportive.
1. What made you decide to become an author?
There are lots of fairy tales and bedtime stories around and many of them are quite violent and unsuitable for young children. 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 main characters Oliver, the elegant tomcat, and Jumpy, his kangaroo lady friend, made their appearance. It was my full intention to create something quite different and maybe even controversial at times. I prefer to treat children like adults within reason.
2. How long have you been writing?
I started writing essays in Primary School. I always read a lot from the beginning. So I was confronted with the idea of writing a book at an early stage. Unfortunately I soon realized that I did not have it in me. Until three years ago, when I was suddenly given the impetus to start this series. Silly children's stories are my line, because I am a child at heart.
3. Where does your inspiration for your books come from?
Our daughter has a black cat. I like cats. This must have been an influence to the inspiration I was given during that sleepless night after that flight from Europe. I suddenly had the idea of Oliver and Jumpy laid out before me and began writing the next morning. I wrote 60 stories within two months. The illustrations of all the stories will finalize this year.
4. What was your favorite book to write?
All Oliver and Jumpy books are equally precious to me. Maybe the first book with its three stories will be always in my mind, since they came to me at night.
“Oliver and Jumpy”, are best of friends and experience many adventures together in this extensive series. Oliver is a black-and-white tomcat, who is very self-assured. As a matter of fact he says: “I love myself!” quite often. But his best friend Jumpy is aware that he is only putting up a front! Oliver has a soft heart and will always want to help others. The great thing is Jumpy’s pouch, which Oliver loves to ride in! He calls her his kangaroo taxi!
5. Any advice you would give to an author just starting out on their journey?
Have a plan right at the beginning. Believe in yourself, learn from others and consider writing a business. Try to do everything yourself in the process of promoting your book. Nobody will put that much effort into your project as you would yourself!
6. What is the one thing you find most useful during the writing process?
My iPad. I practically live with my iPad. I do everything with it. I write, produce my books and YouTube clips with it and do my social work as well. I use the laptop mainly for doing the Mobi files for Amazon and searching for new reviewers.
7. What is one thing you could not live without?
My dear illustrator Maycee and her husband. They are so creative, quick, and need very little supervision. Without these fantastic people the series would not be what it is. Marvin was the most gifted illustrator who started off the series. He did about eleven stories. Then he wanted change. Luckily I found Maycee before that and she is now working on the 57th story.
Author Peter Frederick reviewed my series.
Here are books created by Werner Stejskal, an author who has a wonderful sense of adaptability into the world of a child. Movements, sentiments, expressions and ideas are being visualized, that enthrall and win over the little reader. Plus, his terminology is perfectly matched to the mood of each self-contained story. The author also displays amazing sensitivity and is able to transport even adults back into long-past childhood. All good virtues are being emphasized, like friendship, loyalty, determination and civility, giving the fascinated reader the right signals for spiritual development. The main characters, Oliver and Jumpy, are the masters of a variety of situations that draw the reader into the stories. But one of the main reasons for the success of these children's books is the artwork! The graphics, outstandingly created by the artist, have their hues and shapes completely adapted to the respective situation and so contribute to the emotional absorption of each picture. Text and message, somber feelings and cheery situations are being created and masterly entertain the little readers. One can only recommend this series of children's books to all adults who wish to keep their little ones occupied in a positive, entertaining and learning environment!