IndieView with Jonathan P. Jehle, author of The Chemist

I love heroes who stand for truth and justice, doing what it takes to get the job done. They don’t have to be wearing a cape, swinging around buildings, or throwing a shield. The everyday person engaged in helping others and making a positive difference is a hero in my book.

Jonathan P. Jehle, 9 January 2018

The Back Flap

After nearly twenty years in the business, he was on the verge of becoming one of the most well-known chemists in the world . . . until he quit his job.

Now he is experiencing blackouts, visions of the past and mysterious changes that are dismantling his scientific view of the world.

With the help of his best friend, an eccentric inventor, he’s going after the truth.

In this adventure, you will travel to the Amazon rainforest in search of mystical valley thought to have healing powers as well as go on a top-secret mission to uncover the truth. This is the first book in the Allegiance series that will explore a universe full of characters on paths that intersect and weave through time. Each one of them is on a journey to find their own destiny while slowly uncovering a deep plot that seems to thicken and expand to more than they could have ever imagined.

About the book

What is the book about?

The book is about a chemist who experiences a life-altering event that brings about blackouts, visions of the past and changes in his perception of the world. He ends up working with his best friend, an eccentric inventor, trying to uncover answers as to what happened and what is continuing to happen to him.

When did you start writing the book?

I started writing the book in the beginning of 2014.

How long did it take you to write it?

The book went through a number of changes before being published in September of 2017. I wrote the next book in the series and most of the third during that same time, so it was part of a three book process that took about three years.

Where did you get the idea from?

As a child I loved playing Legos. I would often come up with stories to tell my sister while making Lego characters come to life. This series was inspired by the stories that I told to my sister.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

I found the ending to be the part where I struggled the most. I knew where I wanted to go and what it would look like at the end, but getting there in a way that I was happy about was the most challenging part.

What came easily?

Starting the book was easy. I just started writing. I didn’t even know the entirety of where I was going, but I had so much I wanted to get out as soon a I started typing.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

They are completely fictitious characters. Some of the dynamics of character interaction and relationships have been influenced by real life experiences, however.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

My favorite author is probably Frank Peretti. His books involve an element of the supernatural that is intriguing and draws you into another world. His tendency to switch to another character’s point of view right when you want to find out more is something I’ve adapted into my own style.

Do you have a target reader?

The series is being written to target the nine to fourteen year old range. However, I do not attempt to write in a particular style that excludes adults. I think anyone eight and up would enjoy the book and where the series is going.

About Writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

I often write by just going with whatever is on my mind at the moment and seeing where it takes me. Once my thoughts are all out there, I go back to read, change, revise and organize into a cohesive structure.

Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?

I do create outlines for specific events and where I want the story to go. Sometimes I just come up with chapter titles first and then use them as a thought provokers. Many times the chapters change and I end up going in a different direction anyway, but having at least a basic understanding of what I want to accomplish is important to me.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?

After I write a section, I go back and re-read it before continuing with the next section. If I notice things that I need to be corrected while re-reading, I’ll make the necessary changes.

Did you hire a professional editor?

I am fortunate to be married to a teacher with a degree in education, so I often get my drafts handed back to me with red ink on them.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?

Sometimes I listen to symphonic renditions of my favorite bands while other times I listen to the actual band. I enjoy tension and emotion filled music. That often helps bring out the emotions I need to convey in whatever I’m writing.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

No, I did not.

What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

It was a gradual process for me. I gained experience in watching my father spend hours writing and even more hours working on getting someone to publish his own books. Now, in the age of print on demand and services that help give indie authors a chance, you can get material out with less headaches. I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, however, and self-publishing has its own obstacles to overcome, but I actually enjoy the process.

Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?

I had the cover done professionally by an illustrator.

Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?

I started working on the marketing plan a while before the book came out. Most of this involved a lot of reading, gathering of information and generating interest among people that I knew.

Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?

Read every article, blog, book and top list of things to do and not to before publishing a book. Although opinions can vary on how to write and market, important things will stand out across the board. Stick to the important things and follow the “rules”, but don’t squeeze yourself into a box of how you think you are supposed to write. I found myself re-writing the same sentence three or four times because I read something that said I shouldn’t do this or I should do that. It’s critical to adhere to the main things, but I think it’s also possible to hamper your own creativity by trying to follow what everyone else is telling you to do.

About You

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Where do you live now?

At this time, my wife and four kids live in Plymouth, MA.

What would you like readers to know about you?

I love heroes who stand for truth and justice, doing what it takes to get the job done. They don’t have to be wearing a cape, swinging around buildings, or throwing a shield. The everyday person engaged in helping others and making a positive difference is a hero in my book.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on getting the second book in the series out in the beginning of 2018 and finishing up the third for a release later that year.

End of Interview:

For more from Jonathan, visit his website, like his Facebook page, or follow him on Twitter.

Get your copy of The Chemist from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

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