Jonathan Gatsby is an esteemed publisher and an American author best known for his Young Adult Fantasy
series, “The Wars Between Angels & Gods”. He was born on August 4th, 1984. He was raised in Fairbanks, Alaska and Stockton, California. Stemming from a challenging childhood, young Jonathan experienced many hardships. He grew up in a rough neighborhood and was surrounded by gang violence and crime. Jonathan’s interest in literature sparked early in his life. Reading fiction was a way for him to escape from the harsh realities of life and find solace. He regards his elementary school teachers as major influences in his life. They introduced him to classic children’s books such as The Witch of Blackbird Pond, The Sign of the Beaver, Johnny Tremain, and The Indian in the Cupboard. The first book that Jonathan published was World War III. During that time, Jonathan faced many challenges with the publisher. So, to avoid running into the same situation, he took matters into his own hands and delved deep into the world of book publishing. He, then launched Gatsby & Noel Publishing to also help aspiring authors publish their books. While studying Archaeology at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Jonathan found himself drawn to ancient mythology and religions. Described as a gentle romance and an epic adventure story, The Beasts and the 4 Demigods is the first of a series, The Wars between Angels & Gods, follows a diverse group of characters as they discover their mythological heritage and go to battle with the feared and ruthless gods on behalf of the angels. In this series, 4 teenagers delve into the history of mythologies, the complexities of relationships, the struggles of being different, and the alarmingly similar ground on which different religions are forged.
Versafi: How did your journey as an author began?
John: I should preface, that at 17, I had gotten into a brawl at school, which resulted in me having to serve detention at the Fairbanks Youth Facility. It was while serving detention for protecting a friend from a bully that I would be introduced to Harry Potter and spark an interest in fantasy fiction.
Although, my journey began earlier than that when I discovered a love for reading in the fifth grade. My teachers Mrs. Norton & Mrs. Dolan, sparked my imagination through reading books. But, as I had mentioned, it was in high school while in a youth detention center, when I began to write after reading the four Harry Potter books they had in the facility. I recall Mr. Green giving me 15 sheets of paper with a pencil that had no eraser, and I began to write a book about trying to escape the juvenile correction center. I remember thinking, “If I can escape my grim reality by reading other people’s books, how much more if I wrote a series myself?”
Versafi: Was becoming a writer something, you always wanted to pursue?
John: Again, it was not until I was 17 that I even had the desire to start writing. When I was a kid, I dreamt to one day become rich and escape the poor and broken reality that was laid out before me. But, it wasn’t in becoming an author but more in becoming a pro basketball or football player, or a famous rapper or singer. At 17, I added becoming an author to my ever-growing list of ambitions not knowing that writing would become my greatest passion of all.
Versafi: What inspired you to write your first book?
John: Life inspired me. At the time, I wanted to escape it, and what better place than a world, a utopia, created entirely by me? A place where I can be whoever I wanted to be and do whatever I wanted to without limits. It wasn’t until I got dumped and cheated on in my books that I realized that the same struggles and challenges happen there too. Haha. There are somethings you just can’t escape. 😊
Versafi: How does it feel to be a published author?
John: It feels great!
Versafi: What message do you want your readers to take away when reading your books?
John: The Beasts and the 4 Demigods is the first of a series, The Wars between Angels & Gods, this book, follows a diverse group of characters as they discover their mythological heritage and go to battle with the feared and ruthless gods on behalf of the angels. In this series, 4 teenagers delve into the history of mythologies, the complexities of relationships, the struggles of being different, and the alarmingly similar ground on which different religions are forged.
I believe this book has many messages and readers will take away different things from it. One reader’s take away may be that of hope, while another may take away something totally different. I hope that whatever situation they are going through though, that this book can give them the message they need to overcome.
Versafi: What does being an author mean to you?
John: It means that I have the chance to create my own universe and control the outcomes, and I can finally make a living doing what it is I love.
Versafi: If you could co-author with any author dead or alive, who would it be and why?
John: I would love to co-author with the following authors: Esther Forbes, Elizabeth George Spear, J.K Rowling, and Rick Riordan.
Versafi: Do you have a favorite book that you have read in the past?
John: My favorite books are Johnny Tremain, Time Enough for Drums, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond.
Versafi: Have you ever thought about being an author full-time?
John: Yes. It is my utmost desire!
Versafi: Tell us about your marketing strategies as an author.
John: In person I can sell you your own toothbrush. With the pandemic though I have had to get creative. I am doing all I can to sell over the internet, boosting posts and doing numerous podcasts to promote my new book.
Versafi: Do you have any current book projects that you are working on?
John: Yes, book three in my series, The Wars between Angels & Gods, (The Quest for the Forbidden Books).
Versafi: How many books have you published in total?
John: I have published 3 books so far.
Versafi: How can readers connect with you and support you?
John: Please connect with me on Facebook @authorjonathangatsby – you may also purchase my new book on Amazon.