Werner Stejskal Interview

Born in Vienna, Austria, Werner is now living in the paradise of Perth, Australia with my wife, two married children, and three grandchildren. He worked many years in the printing industry and later for the United Nations in Vienna. After an eventful life, now retired, he began to write children's stories, had them illustrated through Upwork.com illustrators and finally published the ebooks on most platforms.

What inspired you to write?
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 his two characters Oliver, the elegant tomcat, and Jumpy, his kangaroo lady friend, made their appearance.

Was your inspiration sudden, or did it take time?
The idea came out of the blue at night. Call it a message from god or whatever else you like. I was just ready for it at that stage of my life. It has always been like that. All my life I was presented with another opportunity when the time was right.

Did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
The first three short stories of the 62 stories series came to me at that night all at once. I got up next morning and started writing. I never stopped over the next three months until it was all finished and I had run out of ideas.

Do you work alone, or get encouragement from family and friends?
I am a lone-ranger, but I find ideas all around me, whatever takes my fancy and kids may be interested in. I am a child at heart and therefore it is not hard for me to imagine what little ones might enjoy.

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
The writing was not difficult at all. I produced the whole series myself. That was a steep learning curve. Finding illustrators, editors, making up the books etc. The technology of it all!

What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
I loved developing new characters and generally, producing the books.

After the book was published, were you changed?
I was certainly amazed by what I had created considering it all started out rather innocently without great intentions. I had become fairly professional with all aspects of writing, creating books and the social media aspects of promotion and gaining reviews.

Have you received any awards for your book(s)?
Two books of the series have recevied gold medals.

Are you working on a new book at the moment?
I am not working on a new series. My main purpose in life is to promote this series. This is a full-time job. I am self-financed and the idea is to actually make some money now. The ultimate goal is to find a conventional publisher to get the book into the libraries. Further on, I would like to have the series animated for TV.

Do you have any book givaways, contests or events coming up?
There is always an "Introduction to the Series" for free download on Amazon and other platforms. My series is available in Chinese, Spanish and now German as well. I promote various books for free from time to time. The 20 English bookve has just been reduced to $0.99 each.

What gets in the way of your creativity?
Noise! I hate noise and like to be isolated in my room when working.

What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
I listen to criticism and change things all the time if it makes sense to me. Ebooks are great for that! You do get unreasonable criticism once in a while and I just ignore that. There is certainly no need to discuss and convince a person otherwise. We all have different opinions.

What is your favorite/worst childhood memory?
My father used to build kites and we went flying them. I keep remembering that. The worst memory was when as a small boy, I picked up the red-hot exhaust from a motorbike after it came off the bike. I burned my fingers and had huge blisters. My great-grandmother asked me to put my hand into a bag of flour to cool it. At that time people did not put the burn under cold water.

Do you have a favorite quote?
Think before acting!

What is your favorite show on TV?
I hardly watch TV. I am an avid reader.

Favorite movie?
Gone with the wind.

Favorite book?
Nora Roberts, most books. I am a romantic at heart!

Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
Alma Deutscher, the child prodigy. She is the most amazing 11-year old alive today. Check her out on YouTube.

Is there a talent you wish you had?
I would love to have been an actor or musician.

What’s something about you that would surprise us?
When I was a small boy, I bought a manual sewing machine and sew dresses for a doll my mom bought hoping for a daughter that never showed up! By the way, I am married and have two children. Ha!

Describe yourself in 3 words!
Innovative, diligent, quick.