Kindle Author Interview: Jonathan Sturak

Jonathan Sturak, author of Clouded Rainbow, discusses his book, his journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Clouded Rainbow?

JONATHAN STURAK: Clouded Rainbow is a romantic thriller novel about one night that changes a married couple's life forever. Roger Belkin loses his wife, and he searches the shadows of the city to find her. How far would you go to find the one you love?

DAVID WISEHART: How do you create and maintain dramatic tension?

JONATHAN STURAK: I created tension in Clouded Rainbow by having Roger Belkin, the story’s hero, battle amnesia after losing sight of his wife. We know where she is, but he doesn't. This simple premise provides pages of suspense and tension.

DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?

JONATHAN STURAK: I like characters who are slices of the middle class. Roger Belkin is a middle-class businessman with everything going for him. He plans vacations, dreams of romance with his wife, and strives to reach the top of society. I differentiate characters by providing them with different and often conflicting objectives.

DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

JONATHAN STURAK: My ideal reader is not too tall, played basketball in high school, and can jog a mile without stopping. Seriously though, my readers are both men and women who like love, mystery, and suspense stories. I hope this appeals to the vast population of humans.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

JONATHAN STURAK: I started writing screenplays about 6 years ago after always wanting to try it. After winning an award in a screenplay contest, I tried writing short stories. After winning an award for a short story, I delved into novels. And here I am today, with my first novel out and my new story collection, From Vegas With Blood, released on February 8, 2011.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

JONATHAN STURAK: I like to set aside time every day, even just 30 minutes or an hour, devoted to being creative.

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

JONATHAN STURAK: I like Patricia Highsmith stories. I also like a dose of Bret Easton Ellis and a taste of Paul Bowles.

DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?

JONATHAN STURAK: The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles

DAVID WISEHART: How did you create your cover?

JONATHAN STURAK: I like to search stock photos taken by talented artists from around the world. So many independent photographers shoot breathtaking images. I have a computer science degree and like to dabble in the graphic design process.

DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?

JONATHAN STURAK: This is the most interesting question because I think it’s the most important. I had a few thousand bookmarks printed and used these to hand out at local bookstores in Las Vegas. I’ve done a couple signings at local Barnes & Nobles as well as libraries. The biggest area for marketing, of course, is the Internet. A website and Facebook pages are pretty much standard today. I like to shoot YouTube videos and tweet. I have a film degree from University of Nevada, Las Vegas and shot a film of a very talented L.A. actress recounting one of my short stories as a monologue.

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

JONATHAN STURAK: The Kindle is so easy to reach readers, i.e. customers. It takes a reader less than a minute to scan and purchase a book on the Kindle, without even leaving home. While I like caressing a good old fashioned paperback in my hand, ebooks are here to stay.

DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?

JONATHAN STURAK: Edit the heck out of your book. Once you’re done, edit it again. Then and only then should you put it out on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.


Jonathan Sturak grew up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. He is a Penn State University graduate and holds degrees in Computer Science and Film. He currently lives in Las Vegas where he uses the energy of the city to craft stories about life and the human condition. The Place Called Home, Sturak’s essay about Eastern European heritage in Northeast PA, was featured on Glass Cases, associate literary agent Sarah LaPolla’s pop culture blog at Sturak’s debut thriller novel, Clouded Rainbow, was published in December 2009. His upcoming story collection, From Vegas With Blood, will be released in paperback and on ebook readers on February 8, 2011.

Visit his website.

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