Jonas, what makes your work special?
I’ll tell you something about the four luminaries whose works build the foundation of Stoicism: Seneca, Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. It’s said that over a thousand books had been written on Stoic philosophy but only a handful survived—mainly the ones from these four Roman Stoics.
Luckily, these brilliant (but also flawed) men did not live in caves somewhere in the mountains, but all of them were fully engaged in society and worked hard to make the world a better place. In the book, you’ll meet an incredible wealthy playwright and equivalent of the modern-day entrepreneur, an early feminist, and a crippled slave who should become teacher and the main influence of the Stoic Roman Emperor and mightiest person in the world.
If you could drop in on a book you read as a kid which book is it?
I didn’t read many books as a child. I only discovered reading as a young adult. I do remember enjoying the novel The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera. The Maori girl Kahu communicates with dolphins and whales – would be great to drop in there.
What was the hardest thing about writing your current book?
My inner resistance monster holding me back. It took perseverance and strength accepting this daily fight with my inner resistance.
What were you like in high school?
Good grades came easy. So I had a lot of time to spend with sports and friends. We had an amazing class and I was grateful being able to enjoy quality time with classmates. I wasn’t eccentric and was on good terms with everybody. I tried to support the mobbed, helped the struggling getting better grades, and was always in for leisure time events.
Do you find feedback from writers’ critiques helpful?
Absolutely. I want to improve my writing, so honest feedback is always helpful.
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