Jonathan Wesley (aka J.Wesley) is a native of Newark, NJ. Growing up in the inner city within the challenging environment, there were not many options that Wesley believed that he had. Throughout the course of his life, he decided not to become negative statistic of society, so he made choices to ensure that he had a better future than what was proposed to him.
With that being said, after he graduated high school, he went on to pursue a B.A. in Sociology, M.Ed in Higher Education, Certificate in Pastoral Care and is currently pursuing a Masters of Theological studies in preparation for doctoral work.
He has had a career in customer service, higher education and ministry. He has released his first book entitled “You Said One Thing; God Said Differently”. His book was released this past August and Wesley is looking forward to writing for other sources in the very near future.
He believes that God honors our truth and not our lives which should cause us to live unapologetically authentic. He has had the honor of serving on the Board of Directors from the SC HIV/AIDS Council, writing for the GENTS magazine, public figure for the Columbia College M.Ed program, and additional achievements. He is an ordained Elder in the United Progressive Pentecostal Church where he serves faithfully in more than one capacity.
What inspired you to start writing?
When I was a child, my mother used to write all of the time. I started writing due to her influence growing up in a single parent home. I always loved English and I enjoyed writing. It became my method of escape and a stress reliever. I have a lot of great thoughts and ideas. I love to encourage people and I know that in order for others to be encouraged, there must be a legacy for others to look to.
What did you like to read when you were a boy?
Besides the text books assigned for school, I actually read the bible a lot on my own. I used to carry my bible to school and read in the my spare time. My teachers wondered what was wrong with me because most young people did not carry a bible around. I always liked to read fantasy books and novels that addressed real life issues.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
I would say that the greatest challenge in writing a book and staying true to your God given voice. Sometimes, writing can be very risky. Some people might want you to change your subject matter, but if it is something that God has given to you, write it. Also, in writing the book, you want to ensure that you have trust worthy people who can read and critique your work with your best interest at heart.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
Depending on the length of the book should determine how much research and is done was well as the subject matter. I would recommend that if you are writing about a specific topic, the researcher should have at least 5-8 sources in order to fully address subject. If your book is not research intensive, ensure that your ideas are concise and that it makes sense.
What motivated you to write the book “You Said One Thing; God Said Differently”?
When I was a senior in college, I took a class on creative writing. While in this class, we were challenged to write a short story and God told me what to write. I did not want to write it because of the subject matter, but I could not rest because it was something that God had given me. Thus, the short story was completed in undergrad and over the years it has become a novel.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “You Said One Thing; God Said Differently?”
My book addresses how to silence the unauthorized voices and live an authentic life. Many times, God has told us to do something, but because of what others had/will say and our own disbelief, we don’t obey God. We allow the unauthorized voices to take control of our mind which can cause us to be accomplished and not fulfilled. Just because people have said something about your life and how it should go does not mean that is what God wants you to do. This is applicable for our own voices as well which causes our will to override the will of God. The book takes the reader through a journey of life with a theoretical component in the last chapter to live an authentic life that I created. God wants us to live in the truth and not deception. Many issues are addressed from battling depression, reconciling sexuality and spirituality, grief, and obedience to God just to name a few. The book challenges the readers to become free from the bondage of deception and oppression in order to live the life of truth that we have been called to live.
How did you come up with the idea of writing fiction genre book?
My book is actually non-fiction. The characters in the story have different names to protect the integrity of the person.
Who are your favorite authors?
How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis?
I journal everyday and I try different forms of writing. I also write poetry and music being an artist which helps me to strengthen my craft.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
– Stay the course because someone needs to read/hear what you have to share
– If you don’t practice your craft as a writer, there is not going to be much fulfillment
– Publish your work because it is valuable
-You must be willing to do the work in order to receive the reward
– Handle your discouragement with grace
– Whatever you start, make sure that you finish it with perfection
You can buy his book now: