What the author has produced and the resulting enduring human value
Addressing high impact subjects of concern that are usually avoided, most individuals are resigned to struggle their entire lives to find ways to cope with her challenges and to find personal answers to get them through. Sensitive and taboo subjects are rarely, if ever, bridged, and answers are guessed through peer interaction and pressures. Stress and personal questions of belonging cause deep scars and low self-confidence. Just talking about personal worries or concerns is intimidating for both adults and youth.
To find a way to talk about personal issues and questions in a language kids and adults can both understand and discuss, as subject matter through everyday conversation and everyday life, is an age-old dilemma and challenge, which has resulted in endless books and stories missing the salient points that the child or adult must articulate their feelings and not simply be told what the adult perceives as their problem and its solution.
As she was growing up, the Author felt the problems of confusion and frustration, with no real place for answers that were directly relevant to her problems. She never had a place to state, or attempt to state, her feelings and worries; so, she could find her voice and answers.
Finally, out of sheer frustration for dealing with her hopes, dreams, traumas, questions, confusions and doubts, she took her heartaches and traumas and turned them inside-out to expose and dissect them into little pieces of understanding through her writing. She let the characters in the stories she explored speak for her and state what she needed to say. It was cathartic. Her approach was so powerful, she gained confidence, found self-esteem, and was driven to move beyond her personal tribulations, blocks and boundaries to complete more of these exploration stories of family and of life. She wrote these stories for herself, and they got her through life.
Eventually she realized that finding a voice like this was important for everyone and that her stories could help others, who read them as well.
Through these works, grown from her own life and voice, she is touching the core of the value of being human and dealing with being human – self-coping. People have always escaped the tribulations and traumas of their lives and tried to cope with them by using their imaginations. This Author’s body of work takes that coping uniquely further. These works are not an escape from reality but rather an absorbing way to find a voice to explore the solutions for getting through ones’ own reality.
Along her life journey, the author/illustrator, Donna J. Setterlund, has created and compiled a literary collection featuring the world of “Zontoria”, based on her life experiences and those of individuals around her. This large body of integrated work includes: fully illustrated manuscripts, sub-story books, early readers, and a continuing series of ancillary subjects and works, as they relate to the Author’s drive to cope in this world for herself and now, as shared, for others.
Writing Books For Children

Children are basically simple little beings, yet when it comes to teaching them the important lessons of life, things become complex. First we must get their attention, and then we need to talk with them in a language they can understand easily. Peanut butter and jelly language is what my mentor told me to use to tell my stories. He said, "Write your words in a manner that children can relate to."

As parents, grandparents, teachers and mentors, we are guardians of our children's future. It is up to us to preserve traditional values as we help our young people reach for their dreams. By promoting uplifting moral and social values, we can inspire and influence future generations. Through our guidance they can achieve their highest potential.
Life is full of simple complexities with all those things that happen just because we are alive. I know using the words simply complex together is a contradiction of meaning, however it is the best description for my world. You see, I was born with the creative gift of seeing ideas come together and develop into something complete and wonderful, long before a pencil is picked up or a computer is even turned on. This has been both a gift and a curse because my head is filled with so many stories, projects, and new creations that I just can’t wait to start working on them. One idea becomes dozens and each grows and spreads their reach into the next, intertwining, and collecting new ideas, and onward, growing and extending into unlimited possibilities. So, I usually have three or four projects I am working on at the same time.
I love working with children and watching their imaginations explore ideas and possibilities. I truly believe that children who have creative opportunities offered to them during their primary and secondary years of school, develop better, learn faster, and become more successful, in all their academic and life endeavors.
Being what I believe is a simple down to earth woman, I try to live a good life having high principles and respect for human values. I believe in common sense, hard work, and helping others. I love children, laughter, nature, and most animals, especially horses, cats, dogs, birds, and well ……… all of the friendly ones. I don’t care much for spiders, snakes, or sharks, but do respect their right to do what they do.
My world is also very complex because of being an author, illustrator, and publisher, Not to mention being a mother, grandmother, fur-momma, and all my activities, hobbies, other interests, and responsibilities. My life has been very colorful, to say the least. It has had its ups and downs but overall has been good. I have experienced many things which has made understanding the situations and adversities of others a bit easier. When a new story crosses my path I have several different possibilities where I can introduce new characters into one of my collections, or the incredible world that has become Zontoria.
Writing and illustrating stories has become an amazing adventure with life. By using circumstance and personalities from the real world, mixing them up, and adding some everyday magic, I hope to offer inspiration and maybe some helpful little tidbits from my experience with life. When an individual discovers how a dream can be transformed into reality, doors open to a universe of possibilities.
Thank you for taking the time to walk with me through our shared world of stories.
Donna J. Setterlund
Copyright © 2018 - Donna J. Setterlund