Jonathan Lister, On Keeping it Real

060914_0307_3 I’m stepping aside today because I have a guest. Jonathon will be sharing I few thoughts. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do 🙂

When you’re out running errands today — buying groceries, washing the car, stockpiling plutonium, casing your local bank branch — I want you to ask yourself one simple, vital question: am I keeping it real? Well…are you? Anna Simpson posed that very same question to me, and it’s taken about a month to compile even a rudimentary list how, I, Jonathan Lister, manage to stay true to my core beliefs. Here they are, in no particular (yet still numbered) order.

7. Check Your Damn Self
Snap decisions make asses out of all of us. Often they’re a reaction to a sudden event, words spoken, shots fired. Remain calm. Even 10 seconds of “breathe in and breathe out” is all it takes to dissipate your rage-fueled urges to beat face and respond in a way that’s more in line with your character.
6. Play on Your Level
Ever run into those people who are trying to live a lifestyle above their pay grade? They’re in debt up to their eyeballs and sweating blood at night, but hey, they bought the $75 Wagyu filet. Maintain your realness by spending what you can afford and achieving a steady climb. That turns the hamster wheel into an escalator.
5. Keep Honest Friends
You, like me, need friends around who won’t hesitate to tell you when you’re being an idiot. These friends love you enough to keep you in line. Hold onto these people like they’re the last pebble in a cliff in some movie where the bag guy is about to step on the hero’s last finger to send him plunging earthward. Seriously. A friend who keeps his trap shut while you make a bad decision isn’t your friend.
4. Find Your Authentic Self
That sounds hard, and riddled with psycho babble, but hear me out. Your ‘authentic self’ is the version of you that reflects your core values most accurately. If you believe everyone should be treated fairly, live that way. Make the changes necessary to project what’s on your insides. In a totally emotional way, not a literal one. Don’t go projecting your actual self in public — that’s illegal.
3. Never Fake It
Under no circumstances are you to phone-in the funk. If you’re not feeling up to the task, bow out and maintain your dignity. The last thing you should ever do is attempt a project, party, date, whatever, if you don’t feel up to the task. People, especially those closest to you, can sniff that kind of crap out in a hurry.
2. Don’t Be a Hermit
Becoming a fictional version of yourself by hiding from the public helps no one. You’re not Salinger, so let’s stop the comparisons, cease all weird behavior, and get out into more breathable air. When you hide, it’s much easier for people to make up stories about you that can become true eventually, if you’re not around to prove them false.
1. Be Kind or Get Out
Want to be sarcastic? Go Ahead. Snarky and a little irascible? There’s room for that too. But, don’t ever go out of your way to be a dick or put someone down for the sake of seeing their reaction. The world is messed up enough without you going around peeing in everyone’s cereal. If you can’t play nice, then hell, go be a hermit.



A Demos City Novel

by Jonathan Lister

Release Date: June 16, 2014

Target Reader: Adult

Keywords: Urban Fantasy, Werewolf


A father’s love doesn’t bend, so what happens when it breaks?

Corruption, dark truths, and a new Alpha mean Leon Gray’s days of running without a pack are over. At least, that’s what everyone but him believes.

He’d rather be helping his teenage daughter navigate the landmine life of a full werewolf, finish out his servitude as bodyguard to a former Demos City reporter and, in all honesty, not be taken advantage of by a beautiful woman who really only wants him for his body—figuratively and metaphorically.

Of course, the only way any of that might happen is if he’s dead. That’s likely given the information the reporter has unearthed and the territorial battles already underway between packs. If only Demos City’s corruption didn’t have such deep roots—older than the bones of the city or any of the werewolves who’ve decided to claim it. A city can only take so many power hungry mongrels invading it at one time, and Leon can only take so much knowing his daughter lives within its boundaries.

War has come to Demos City.

It’s up to Leon to fix … what’s most important to him.


“The uniqueness in the Demos City stories is that the supernatural and humans know of one another,” says J. Taylor Publishing. “It’s just part of life in Demos City, but what happens when one infringes on the other or turf wars impede progress? Therein lies the fundamental problems with a society that knows about supernaturals and Jonathan is poised to tell the story for many books to come.”

“Mixing the supernatural and human populations is fertile ground to tell some stories with social commentary woven into them,” says Jonathan. “I didn’t want to write a story about werewolves doing ‘werewolf’ things and this was the perfect way in my mind. These characters are people with problems that mirror those in the real world today, or at least as close as I can get them.”

Like Crossroads, the first in the Demos City series, Bullet centers around Leon Gray, a werewolf who used to work as a bouncer in a bar, and now acts in a capacity most readers expect of a werewolf—a body guard. It’s not that role that gets him in the most trouble though, who he’s protecting and why are the key in this second book.

“What are werewolves? Animals or people? Why do we believe the answer that pops into our head?” asks J. Taylor Publishing. “Readers expect certain things from characters and supernaturals specifically because they’ve been taught with other books to believe ‘x’ when in the Demos City case, Jonathan totally turns those preconceived notions on the head.”

“Unless there’s girl superhero meets socially awkward boy type romance in a supernatural book today, it’s tough to make people read the first page,” says Jonathan. “Hell, the success of that plot arc alone built an entire sub genre. Those preconceived notions keep many authors from getting books in print, and it’s one of the reasons I’m so invested in the Demos City series. We need new stories, new characters that readers can invest in. Isn’t it time we moved forward a bit?”





Jonathan Lister is a full-time writer with work appearing in outlets of USA Today, The Houston Chronicle and many others. A graduate of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, he’s waited an unspeakable amount of tables en route to having the career he wants, and the ability to the tell stories he loves. Bullet, a Demos City Novel is Jonathan’s second book-length work of fiction. He currently lives in the Philadelphia area and continues to drink too much coffee.


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14 responses to “Jonathan Lister, On Keeping it Real

  1. Great list, Jonathan. I did a mental checklist as I read–yeah, yeah, oops

  2. A good list of core beliefs!
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love the cover of the book. Good pointers here for how to stay true to ourselves.

  4. sherry fundin

    Great post Jonathon. Always nice to be introduced to a new author.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  5. A great list. I especially like honest friends and being authentic.

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