Zontoria is a place created in the mind of a young woman known as Jeannie growing up. Jeannie enjoyed the beauty of nature, a love for animals, and the excitement of whatever wonders whirled through her very active imagination. Her idol was Walt Disney and she was fascinated with his creations at Disneyland. Her favorite character was Tinkerbell who had a delightful way of playing with pixy dust and enchanting everything she touched.
As it turned out, Jeannie, who in reality is my younger self, started exploring a world with magical communities filled with surprises, and lovable characters that anyone would love to have as a friend. It was fun and I could hardly wait to find out what was behind a door or over the next hill.
When one is born with the gifts of imagination, artistic talent and a creative mind, anything and everything is possible. Walt did it and so could I, only in a smaller way. My wondrous world started to grow as I explored and created. When I first started there were no computers and projects had to be done the old fashioned way, on paper or canvas, by hand. When the computer came along my world exploded into millions of ideas and opportunities. My ideas connected with everything going on in the real world around me and started growing, expanding, and reaching out into the universe.
"What is your world called?" I was asked one day.
ZONTORIA named itself and became a place where I could have all the things I wished for. I could relax, enjoy friends, find excitement, and explore problems that helped find understanding. And then the magic started happening, because others started visiting and enjoying this amazing place.
ZONTORIA is a wondrous world where anyone can find there own magic. It is a
Land of Light and Enlightenment
When I started writing the first book in the Zontoria collection, I didn't have any idea how the concept would grow and catch on. I was simply writing for the fun of writing and illustrating. The first two short stories kicked off the collection. "Walter and the Princess" and "Gus Learns A lesson" were fun stories that were developed with the help of our children and friends. We had so much fun deciding what the characters should do next and everyone involved wanted to be in the story. That is how many of the characters were developed, designed after those contributing ideas.
Each book needed a place to happen which made castles, cottages, villages and communities start to grow. And then, the lakes and forests, hills, towering mountains and for beyound started to take shape. Creating a world can be very inspiring.

As Jeannie explored Zontoria it became evident that more realistic characters and different time periods needed to be explored and developed. Just sit down with a group of second grade kids and turn their imaginations loose.WOW! Ideas will flow like a mountain river as the snow melts in the spring sunshine. And so, the four different lands of Zontoria were created and time travel was added so any story would fit into the concept. The collection now includes fully illustrated books, short stories, and early readers.

Northland is full of myth and magic with dragons, unicorns, pegasus, and fairies. A world of talking creatures and village people where families have problems, challenges, and live situations much like people in our real world experience.
The Eastland is a place of mixed times with Dome City filled with technology, science and robots. Goblins and creatures live in the cliffs outside. The other side of the mountain hides an Indian Village, herds of wild beasts, legends and the unknown.
Going to the Westland takes us to the past with cowboys and Indians. Visit ghost towns, a logging camp and explore the mountains with its many myths and legends.
Zontoria's Southland is a place of big cities, small towns, and everything in between. Mixing fiction with reality offers a different perspective for discovering our life purpose and achieving goals. With no measurment for time and the presents of magic, keep your eyes open.
I can truly say I understand how Walt Disney felt as he designed and built his dream. I can also understand his frustration and struggles to complete his dream and make it all reality.
Many don't know or understand the adversities of bringing a dream to life. I don't plan on making Zontoria an entertainment destination, but who knows what will happen in the book, filmed entertainment, and virtual world. It has been and promises to continue to be an amazing adventure as each project is completed.
Now that I am starting my golden years, I have a different appreciation for all the work and what has been accomplished so far with this project. Writing, illustrating and creating has truly been a blessing. I have been helped and mentored by some incredible people over the years, inspired and influenced by my children, and continue to collect ideas and stories from this incredible world that surrounds us.
I have tried to play video and computer games with my children and grand-children. I like "Myst" but it is a bit slow and complicated. "Minecraft" is fun in creative mode so I can build and explore without getting eaten by a monster or zombie. I play games to relax and don't want to keep looking over my shoulder all the time. ARK was fun to watch my grandson play, but again unfriendly dragons and beasts that are always trying to eat me, are more than I want to deal with.
I want to play a game that lets me explore beautiful landscape, build wonderful structures, and make decisions more like real life. I only want to deal with real world dangers and a few unexpected surprises, have the ability to make choices that lead to different outcomes, make life altering decisions, follow clues and work my way through puzzels and challenges. I also want to have a means to fly, have magical powers and reach goals. Oh, I'm talking about Zontoria. How amazing.
I figure that as a baby boomer with a proven concept, a successful project, a bunch of creative experience and talent, I should be able to establish a group with the means and energy to produce a product that is very much needed in today's society.
Anyone interested in creating a new kind of virtual interactive game?
In our worlds of the increasing complexity of sameness, Zontoria is that refreshing, simple world of fantasy that never disappoints those with an insatiable appetite for learning to cope with life without wanting to dwell on the added frustrations of just trying to figure out how to find those solutions. In short, Zontoria in its stories is different for everyone but positive for everyone. This is a world, which is deceptively simple and clean but truly singular and remarkable in its self-explorations and coping experiences.
Zontoria exists to fill a need in youth (of all ages). That universal need is to offer a true, enduring alternative to the fantasy trends of today –merely seeking to escape one’s problems, and to move toward, and thrive in, the light of the opposite, to absorb into a simple fantasy that actually explores self problems and solutions without broadcasting those as the mission.
In Zontoria, one loses themselves in a kind, simplistic alternative universe, where magic is not deception but rather is presented in its most constructive and addictive form -where the inexplicable and transforming have deep affects on us all -when something seemingly impossible of our inner self struggle is teased to the surface, illustrated and usefully explored. All this interaction reinforces the hope of a better self and a way of thinking to work toward that better self.
When a fantasy world is generated from universal needs to cope with life, for all ages, there is something for everyone to explore and feel and to positively adapt to their own lives, all along thinking they are reading a simple little story in a simple little universe. That is the World of Zontoria.
To cope with life there must be understanding and help. To self-cope with life there must be justified self-confidence, built upon experience and a questioning mind. Zontoria offers such from a simple but compassionate world.
Books I, II, III & IV
You can read Chapter ONE of the condensed illustration edition of this book by clicking above


Copyright © 2018 - Donna J. Setterlund