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Today I welcome Jonathan Wutawunashe to my blog. Jonathan promotes his new release Fulfill Your Threats, a powerful manual that could well come with a warranty.
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A little bit about Jonathan:
Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe cut his teeth as a diplomat in Washington, DC and New York during the 1980s. Educated and trained in his native Zimbabwe, in Australia, the United States and Belgium, Wutawunashe played key roles as a top manager and leader in key posts and functions in Zimbabwe, North America, Europe and Asia. One of his more widely publicized accomplishments was his presentation of the case against nuclear weapons at the International Court of Justice in November 1995.
Ambassador Wutawunashe is a sought-after speaker and counselor who has motivated audiences at universities, churches, training seminars, trade symposiums and in other contexts in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. His personal achievements include writing for magazines and academic journals from an early age, musical compositions and an extensive discography that has caught the attention of researchers and writers on global culture. He has done creative work for television, for which he has received plaudits, and has also established several audio-visual recording and mastering studios. The Ambassador holds post-graduate degrees in literature and social sciences. He is married to Shuvai, and the couple have three children, Tinashe, Tendai and Paidamoyo. You can read more about Wutawunashe on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Wutawunashe.
Louise: Jonathan, welcome to my blog! I’m so excited you could join me for a chat. When did you first decide to submit your work to be published? Tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
Jonathan: Well, Louise, I have been an author since I was fourteen, believe it or not! At that age, I wrote a story and it got serialized in a magazine, and that got the creative juices going. I became a regular writer for the magazine, and after a while I guess I got bored and switched to poetry, which also found fans among the publishers. Later on at University, I wrote for a serious literary journal, and I am thrilled to see that people still pay money to download my articles, although I have not seen a single penny from those sales-but that’s life for you! Fulfill Your Threats is my first book-length effort, and there is a weird irony about its timing. My middle school teacher, a mild-mannered gentleman by the name of John Jarvis, used to counsel me not to attempt a book before I got to age 30 or 40 as, according to him, serious content required serious experience. Well, I always meant to defy him by publishing a book before I hit any of those senile landmarks, but here am I, well past both ages, and it’s my first book! I’m glad, though, because my book would be pretty light on impact without the real life examples I share in every chapter. So there it is; I have told you who told me NOT to publish!
Louise: Please tell a little about your new release Fulfill Your Threats without giving too much of a spoiler away.
Jonathan: It’s hard not to give a lot away, but I’ll try! The simple message of my book is: stop threatening to do great things that will improve the lives of many people, including you and your loved ones, but instead DO those great things, because we are all capable of identifying tools to use to produce what we want in life. I light a bonfire under the reader to make them jump out of their reverie and into action that translates their dreams and aspirations into things that can be seen, touched and tasted. Is that cryptic enough, Louise?
This incisive, well-written book shares profound insights into the psychology that drives doers to do what they do, and to do it with confidence, method and persistence. Its energizing claim is that we can all be effective doers if we take simple steps to yank our ambitions from the realm of idle thought and idle talk, and to mobilize those dreams and aspirations into projects that achieve results that can be seen, touched and experienced. Wutawunashe draws from experience and observation to illustrate how business ideas, personal development efforts, social influence and other schemes can be pursued in a manner that assures effective, sustained impact.
In an engaging style that melds entertaining anecdotes, humorous turn of phrase and powerful didactic principle in a uniquely seamless manner, Wutawunashe delivers a powerful manual that could well come with a warranty, given the ease with which the reader can apply these lessons and see results.
Louise: Do you plan all your illustrations out before you start your book or do they develop as you write?
Jonathan: Before I wrote the first word of my motivational/business book, I trawled my personal experiences for examples to illustrate each major point and lesson in the book. I set out to write brass tacks, real life book, and to do that, I owed it to my readers to give real world, not fanciful, examples.
Louise: How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?
Jonathan: My belief is that, for a book of the kind I wrote to be worth reading, both author and reader must learn something new at least in every chapter. To flesh out my ideas, I leveraged a lot of resources, including my old psychology notes from University, my travel journals, my notes from counseling sessions with people who needed my help, newspaper stories, coffee shop gossip and even how-to videos online. After I wrote the final paragraph of my book, I was astonished to see the thick stack of index cards I had not used, but on which I had scribbled so much interesting stuff. I guess a follow-up book is justified!
Louise: What is your writing process? Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants (Pantser) or a combination of both?
Jonathan: I tend to be frenzied and methodical by turns, but in my case, method always wins in the end. If I wake up one morning and the pen is flowing fast, I know at the back of my head that the day will come when I shall have to go through what today’s muse is saying with Ocam’s razor, to ensure that enthusiasm does not get in the way of the facts. I am quite good at evolving outlines in my head, but I do scribble down pivotal elements to construct the logic of what I write. Right now I am working on a book about life lessons I learnt when I was hospitalized, and I am finding the Manuscript app on my iPad to be extremely useful, as it encourages a structured approach to writing.
Louise: Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer or still do?
Jonathan: I am almost always writing something, be it book chapters, blog posts or tweets (nuggets from my book), but I do have a full-time job as an Ambassador, and the heavy schedule that goes with that position means I have to create a 25th hour for writing! It’s a good thing I am one of those blessed people who can pack eight hours’ worth of sleep into four. I had ample practice of that feat when I was a teacher of hearing-impaired children, and I had to do an individual plan for each child every school day.
Louise: Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen, laptop and a comfy place.
Jonathan: I like to change locale frequently. During the rare free weekend, I might take the laptop to a park, a hotel lobby or a country club. When I am in the house, I might write one night in the study, another in the bedroom, the study and so forth. The constant is a mug of tea or coffee.
Louise: Describe a typical writing day for you.
Jonathan: I’m afraid I’d have to pass on this one, because there’s nothing like a typical writing day for me-I work in episodes as the opportunity offers itself. These days I take my iPad with me just in case inspiration hits while we are stuck in New Delhi’s famous traffic.
Louise: Please give us a sneak peek at your future books. What’s on the horizon?
Jonathan: After I finish the one I am working on now (titled The Sixth Floor), I plan to write a nuts-and-bolts follow-up to Fulfill Your Threats. The idea that keeps yelling in my head is project planning, but not in the language of a text book. I want to extend the can-do of my first book into a book-length to-do pad, which I believe will offer an exciting way to bring projects to life.
Louise: What is your favorite genre to read and who is your favorite author?
Jonathan: I enjoy reading business biographies because through them I meet daring doers. My recent favorites are Rod McQueen’s book on Mike Lazarides and Jim Balsillie of Blackberry fame and (of course) Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. Apart from my interest in entrepreneurial success, I am quite eclectic, and can find enjoyment in reading Chaucer, Tolstoy, Richard Wright, Alex Haley, Robert Frost, John Seinbeck, Plato, Bishop Berkeley or James Hadley Chase.
Louise: Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers we have not touched on?
Jonathan: Louise, you have been quite thorough, and I’m grateful to you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to discuss the book I wrote with every human being in mind. My greatest joy has been to hear from people who have read Fulfill Your Threats that it has changed their lives in concrete ways. One reader, a retired Colonel, told me that my book had inspired him to leave a company he had worked for a number of years to start his own, which has now landed lucrative international contracts. A couple of days ago, a pastor told me that he was passing the book around in his congregation (I failed to suggest that he should encourage them to get their own copies!) because the book had helped him profoundly. Very few writers make big money from writing; our real reward is to be read on trains, buses and planes and around warm hearths, and to receive the occasional feedback that something we said struck a melodious chord.
Jonathan: I pour my heart into my Blog. My book page is on Facebook. I figured that most people, like I do, connect best with visuals, so I started a YouTube channel on which I present aspects of my book in person. A popular video on this site is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mloZ2dVplpg&feature=related.
My book is obtainable from the following sites:
Louise: Jonathan, thank you for stopping by today. I wish you good luck on your new book and your future projects.
Jonathan is sponsored by Assisting Authors Online
Jonathan's Book Launch Contest February 4 -23
First Prize is a Kindle Fire
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