Today I have the pleasure of interviewing, Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe, author of Fulfill Your Threats, statesman, musician. At the bottom of the interview is the contest form. DO one or more of the tasks and you can win a Kindle Fire or one of two $50 Amazon Gift Certificates. Be sure to have a look. There are many ways to enter. Before you read the interview, take a look at this video book review by author, Ami Blackwelder:
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.
Jonathan, welcome to my blog! I’m so excited you could join me for a chat. I am sure that my readers would like to know what inspires you as a writer.
I have always liked to communicate solutions, particularly in areas where I know that what I know and what I have e xperienced in my life can help others find solutions. I am a can-do motivator, and have a natural curiosity about formulas that have brought flesh-and-blood people success in achieving great things in life. I get excited when I think about things that I have done successfully, and I feel compelled to share what are really not secrets but simple, sure-fire methods that launch projects into the real world and give those projects more than a fair shot at success. It excites me when people who have read my book Fulfill Your Threats: Simple Principles to Help You Succeed in Life stop me on the street or write to tell me that they followed the advice I give in my book and are now running a successful business or other project. Money can’t buy that!
When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer?
I can’t give an exact date, but I know it was in elementary school that I became aware of an inescapable propensity to write things down. When the teacher asked for five sentences I gave her ten. This urge to write things down did not always work out to my advantage, though. I found myself on the wrong end of my teacher’s ire when she picked up a piece of paper I had carelessly dropped on the floor and read the flattering things I had written about how pretty a certain girl in my class was. I still think she should have given me some slack because I meant no harm. Besides, the girl was pretty! As I grew marginally older, the writing bug expressed itself in more substantial ways. I wrote serialized stories for a wide-circulation magazine and took up poetry. Letter writing was still a respected mode of communication, and I wrote my share of letters, sometimes making friends so I could write to more people. In these letters, I shared news, information and sentiments. At University I was appointed to the editorial committee of a literary journal and contributed my fair share of articles. So, in short, the ah ha moment must have occurred the moment I could read my very first word! Seriously, I believe that reading had a lot to do with my desire to write. As a child, I read everything in sight, including a text on Jean Paul Sartre I found among my father’s books. The stuff in it was way, way over my head, but that didn’t stop me from reading the book.
What is your writing process?
For me, starting is the most important step, so once I recognize an idea to be important and useful enough to share, I just start writing. I edit as I write, and am very strict with myself when it comes to adhering to facts and avoiding exaggeration. I read back what I have written to see if I believe it. If I don’t, I discard the sentence or paragraph and start again. Fortunately, I don’t often need to do that. I am an intuitive person by nature, but I have learnt to discipline intuition in favor of method, so I work with an outline to ensure that the ideas I am communicating are marshaled in a coherent, logical sequence. I keep a few index cards with me, and I use them for chapter outlines and to jot down ideas that come as I write. I believe that the best form of communication is conversation, so my tone is largely conversational. In some places, my readers detect Jonathan the teacher. I can’t help that; I was a teacher in my early adult life, and I am a life coach. A friend I made when I lived in Belgium also contributed unwittingly to my preference for simple, direct conversation. Tony heard me say something in French and later took me aside. “Don’t speak like a textbook!” he commanded. “I know you don’t drink, but you might like to sit in bars from time to time to learn how real people speak the language.” Those who read my book will benefit from Tony’s advice to me.
Tell us about your favorite chapter and why you chose its subject.
I enjoyed sharing helpful ideas through the entire book, but I think it is useful for me to highlight the opening chapter, which I titled “Take the First Step”. Most of us have many hot ideas, each one of which could propel us to the top, but you know what, if we do not translate these hot ideas into hot projects all we will continue to have is a rich mind. Instead of having a hundred percent of nothing, why don’t we become owners of ten percent of something? The way to do this is to take the first practical step, just as we do in walking. Scientists say that walking is a series of stumbles and falls, and I tend to agree. When we put one foot forward, we force the other foot to follow, lest we become unbalanced. A first step makes the next step inevitable, creating forward momentum, which we call progress. Achieving business and life success obeys this simple rule of motion: overcome inertia and your life starts going somewhere. This simple principle has the power to change lives, and that iswhy I open my book with it.
What are you currently working on?
I finished recording and editing the audiobook version of Fulfill Your Threats, and am now taking steps to launch it. I had my son, who studied at Berklee College of Music, write original music for it, and listeners are in for a treat. I am also working on a happy book about life lessons I learnt at a traumatic time in my life. The title of the new book is The Sixth Floor.
Any upcoming events?
The next stop on my book tour is an Interview with BK Walker on Blog Talk Radio, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bkwalker. It is live at 2:00 p,m. Eastern Time. Perhaps some of the people reading this interview will call in there as well? I have to set a few alarms because I will be in India at the time.
Then on February 22, I will be interviewed by Louise James on her blog, http://louisejames157.blogspot.com.
They both should be fantastic interviews. I am excited that Louise is doing a joint interview with BK Walker and I, on February 28th on her blog.
This is my first time on the opposite side of the interview chair. I hope my readers will stop by and comment on the interviews for both of us,
Jonathan, Sorry, I digressed.
If you could be anyone you like, who would you be?
I am excited for your interview. I will be sure to read it and comment. Now for my answer:
I would be me, and that’s for sure. I believe each and every one of us is important in completing the beautiful tapestry that God stitched together, and we are all valid in the spot meant for us. Our mission is to shine brightly there. To copycat any other person is to diminish the tapestry. That does not mean we don’t learn from others, but that we must not lose our unique soul. We are enriched mutually by the learning conversations we exchange. That exchange is best when it’s fair.
Do you have any advice for new writers and something that a seasoned vet can learn?
One of my strong convictions is that the key to good writing is to be authentic, and to communicate. The idea is not for your readers to struggle with your book, except if they are meant to square up with your ideas, which is fair enough if you are writing that kind of book. What I mean is, don’t let complicated prose stand between your reader and your ideas. I think this advice goes for both the beginner and the veteran.
Where can your followers find you?
My blog is at www.PossibilityPages.blogspot.com . You can see me face-to-face on my YouTube channel www.YouTube.com/PossibilityPages . My book page on Facebook is www.facebook.com/PossibilityPages . My twitter handle is sessionplayer. My website is www.fulfillthedream.org . I am present as both an audio engineer and a writer on LinkedIn, in my own name of course.
Any last words?
Thank you so much for having me here. This interview has renewed my own interest in the book I wrote, and I intend to read it again. It is true that we can benefit from our own ideas!
Thanks for sharing your ideas with us today, Jonathan. Let us know when the new book is out so we can do this again.
As mentioned about Jonathan has a fantastic contest going on. You win a Kindle Fire. You can also get 25 entries if you buy the book on the Launch Date, February 23. For your convenience, I have included the Contest Form Below: