Jonathan Derksen grew up in Canada, the U.S., Japan, Malaysia and Bolivia. His writing and photography have appeared in magazines, newspapers and books in several countries, and documentary film work with National Geographic and Discovery Channel has taken him from the Andes to the Himalayas. Most recently, he has produced a series of short films about La Senda Verde Wildlife Sanctuary in Bolivia, and he co-authored a photography book Madidi: An Uncertain Future, featuring what is considered to be the most biologically diverse region on the planet. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and this is his first longer work of non-fiction. His passions include reef and watershed conservation, leading expeditions, and trying to be a good husband and father. The Derksens live in the Okanagan Highlands of British Columbia.
What aspects of your life inform your writing the most?
Growing up in different places around the world had a profound effect on me. I learned new languages. I experienced diverse cultures, unintentionally siphoning off of each one. With each move came--sometimes disconcerting--readjustment, and for a kid or an adolescent that presented big changes. Later, as an adult, I continued to seek out situations where I was the visitor, the foreigner, where I could see other peoples' worlds through fresh eyes. Such experiences have given me at least some insight into the global mean, although, admittedly, the more I learn about this planet, the more it baffles me.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Absolutely! Smashwords was my introduction to publishing online and while it took time to familiarize myself with the protocol behind setting up a manuscript, now that I have a decent grasp on the ins-and-outs, I can focus on the writing and the marketing of my creative undertakings.
In this magical real tale reminiscent of short works by Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a young man finds himself trapped by his existence in the cloud forests of the eastern Andes. Through a series of bizarre encounters with animals of the mist, he comes to realize a dreadful truth, and he is faced with the most important decision of his life.