Karan Bajaj and The Yoga of Max’s Discontent

Karan BajajA big welcome to Karan Bajaj, #1 bestselling novelist in India of KEEP OFF THE GRASS (HarperCollins: 2008) and JOHNNY GONE DOWN (HarperCollins: 2010) with more than 200,000 copies of his novels in print. He was selected as one of the “Top 35 Under 35 Indian” by India Today and was nominated for all of India’s top literary awards—the Crossword Book of the Year, Indiaplaza Golden Quill and Teacher’s Indian Achievers Awards (Arts).

I first met Karan in April 2016 when he sent me an email requesting a review of his book, THE YOGA OF MAX’S DISCONTENT, which was to be published by Penguin Random House worldwide in May.

After reading the book’s synopsis, I realized that it fit the genre of visionary fiction. So I agreed to do a review. I also took the opportunity to ask Karan to participate in a Q&A for the Visionary Fiction Alliance.

Imagine my surprise, when THE YOGA OF MAX’S DISCONTENT turned out to be a #1 New Release on Amazon in the Metaphysical and Visionary Fiction category.

As of this writing, THE YOGA OF MAX’S DISCONTENT has the Amazon Best Sellers Rank of #22 in the Kindle Store for Metaphysical/Visionary Fiction category. It also has 243 reviews, 90% of them 5-star.

Good going, Karan!

2+

Users who have LIKED this post:

  • avatar

Visionary Fiction: The Call to Awakening, An Interview with Rea Nolan Martin – Part 2

This is part two of Robin Gregory’s interview with author Rea Nolan Martin. For part 1, please click here.

Robin: “It is entirely possible that behind the perception of our senses, worlds are hidden of which we are unaware,” Albert Einstein said. Some of your characters have contact with non-physical beings. Can you talk about what lies beyond “the perception of our senses”?

Rea: Ha! Everything! Our senses are keys that unlock doors to the next chamber, wherein another locked door awaits us, and another, etc. The secrets of the universe are contained in a tabernacle at the epicenter of existence. The observable “seen” world, however, is full of clues if we have “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” as is repeated over and over again in ancient sacred texts. But we have to attune ourselves to that world, which means constantly adjusting and refining our spiritual antennae to new and evolving signals.

0

Visionary Fiction: The Call to Awakening, An Interview with Author, Rea Nolan Martin -Part 1

An interview with author Rea Nolan Martin, author of The Anesthesia Game. A collection of Rea’s most inspirational essays, WALKING ON WATER, will be released in 2016. 

By Robin Gregory

Mother of two sons, professor, editor, novelist, and regular contributor to Huffington Post, Rea Nolan Martin is a visionary writer, one who writes stories of transformation and self-realization. “I have always believed in miracles, and over the years that belief has not diminished. In fact, at this point, I have grown to expect them.” She agreed to talk with me about her life, writing, publishing, and her new novel, “The Anesthesia Game.”

0

Interview with Dean Koontz: “Metaphysics are the ink in my pen.”

Genre is a subjective marketing category that often misleads rather than informs.

Some books defy classification, especially books by Dean Koontz.

How do you pin down stories that fit at least a dozen marketing labels, including: Action, Adventure, Crime, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Philosophical, Science Fiction, Speculative, Thriller, Urban, and, yes, Visionary Fiction?

Dean KoontzNo one could have been more surprised than I was at finding principles of quantum mechanics and elements of visionary fiction in the work of mega-popular author Dean Koontz.

On reading my first Koontz novel, titled Watchers, I was prepared for the kind of “rip-roaring, rattling-good story” that “keeps you so far out on the edge of your chair that you have butt bruises from repeatedly falling to the floor” (Dean’s words, not mine). However, it delivered much more. I found myself repeating “Wow!” over and over in reaction to the depth and meaning interwoven almost subliminally throughout the book.

In the afterword to Watchers, Dean Koontz said, “We have within us the ability to change for the better and to find dignity as individuals rather than as drones in one mass movement or another. We have the ability to love, the need to be loved, and the willingness to put our own lives on the line to protect those we love, and it is in these aspects of ourselves that we can glimpse the face of God; and through the exercise of these qualities, we come closest to a Godlike state.”

Yet, no matter how much I’d like to claim Watchers as a prime example of visionary fiction, it does NOT contain all the elements of VF. … Continue reading

Dean Koontz: That guy with “horror” tattooed on his forehead.

Dean KoontzDean Koontz prefers to avoid genre labels. By his own admission, he writes “cross-genre novels in a mainstream style, with elements of comedy and social commentary and philosophical speculation.”

That said, I hold firm to my conviction that much of Dean Koontz’s work contains elements of visionary fiction as detailed in the Wikipedia article written by our very own Victor E. Smith. I said as much in a post for Visionary Fiction Alliance back in 2012, titled Is Dean Koontz a Visionary Fiction Writer?, to which Koontz responded via e-mail. We have kept up a correspondence since, during which he generously agreed to answer some interview questions for my post at the VFA.

I can think of no better way to introduce Dean Koontz and his work than through his own words in the first of a two part interview.

Dean Koontz Interview Part One:

“I might want to see how the label ‘visionary’ comes to be defined in the years ahead before allowing you to paste it on my forehead, but I suspect we agree on more than we disagree.” ~Dean Koontz

MARGARET DUARTE: Every time I read one of your novels, be it From the Corner of His Eye, One Door Away From Heaven, Odd Thomas, The Face, Watchers, Innocence, or the City, I’m more convinced that you write visionary fiction. For instance, if I whittle the definition of VF down to “fiction that heals, empowers, and bridges differences,” your stories fit. Or if I say that VF “brings forth universal wisdom in story form so readers can experience it from within,” your stories fit. Add to that the way writer/activist  Continue reading

Interview with Author Jacklyn A. Lo

ebook cover front

By Eleni Papanou

This week, the Visionary Fiction Alliance is focusing on author, Jacklyn A. Lo  and her debut novel, Redemption. She was inspired to write the story because of the “magic of it.”  To set the mood, we begin with Jacklyn’s path to writing the book. Read how she beautifully explains what drives her to create visionary fiction.

In her own words:

Raised in an atheistic environment, I was one of many who fell asleep at the first page of the Bible. I never had a hope to understand this Holy book until I experienced something in my life, which I have come to call my Spiritual Choice.

My Spiritual Choice…

Years ago I realized that the corporate luxury train, in which I was comfortably riding, was taking me in a direction that I did not want to go. Getting off of this train at my own risk and expense was very hard, but I jumped off. But nothing completely disappears, and in my case, the tangibles (prestige, security, wealth and social status) were replaced by an intangible: the ability to see a Spiritual Choice.

The realization first came to me from movies. The spiritual choices of Dracula, Scarface, and the story of Abraham and Jesus became transparent to me. This revelation led me to a fascinating conclusion: a spiritual choice is a shortcut to “upgrade” a human’s consciousness. My enlightening journey continued. I began to see things that I had never seen before. And I added a new word to my personal vocabulary—vision. I realized that vision is a direct product of Consciousness, and that Consciousness is a subject … Continue reading

The Puzzle Of Visionary Fiction – Part Two

Harold_Bennett_9222_Nathanael_BennettBy Margaret Duarte

For part one of the article, click here.

Hal Zina Bennett points to ebooks as a significant piece of the puzzle when it comes to proving to the mainstream that visionary fiction has something valuable to offer.

 “Maybe successful visionary fiction is a little like the legendary Hindu rope trick,” Bennett says, “where the fakir throws a rope into the air. Instead of it falling to the ground the rope stays firmly in the air like a solid post. Then the magician orders his assistant, usually a young boy, to climb the rope. The boy obeys but when he gets to the top he refuses to come down. The angry fakir throws a knife, which swirls viciously toward the sky. Soon, severed arms, legs and body parts of the boy come hurtling down. The magician’s assistants collect the pieces, toss them in a basket and cover the basket with a cloth. The magician passes his wand over the basket, sweeps away the cloth, reaches in and helps the restored and whole child step out.  Thousands of people have sworn that they know somebody who has seen this trick done.  But of course, the first hand witnesses never seem to be found. Perhaps visionary fiction is a little like that. We know the trick. Sometimes as we’re even convinced we’ve accomplished it. And maybe we have. But where are the spectators, the witnesses, when we need them?”

1204250_magic_book Continue reading

The Puzzle of Visionary Fiction

By Margaret Duarte

Harold_Bennett_9222_Nathanael_BennettThe genre of visionary fiction leaves many people puzzled, even the experts.

Take Hal Zina Bennett, author of more than thirty books, including: Write from the Heart, Writing Spiritual Books, Follow Your Bliss, and Spirit Circle, his own contribution to visionary fiction.

When I asked Hal to define visionary fiction, he said, “I think I have some understanding of spiritual non-fiction, and have written one moderately successful ‘visionary fiction’ novel, but sometimes I’m not sure I really ‘get’ visionary fiction at all. I find powerful spiritual work in books that don’t at all announce themselves that way, for example, in mysteries such as Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery, about the murder of a priest in a remote Canadian monastery. Most mainstream publishers I know are prejudiced against reading anything that calls itself visionary fiction, just certain it’s going to be ‘religious’ and that the author is going to sermonize. Most editors won’t even get to the first page. Whenever I present a new project to an agent or an author, I avoid such labels. My advice to writers of spiritual fiction is just call it fiction. Ten years ago, it looked like the category “spiritual fiction” was gaining traction and was going to be adopted by the publishing industry, thanks mainly to the efforts of Hampton Roads Publishing, but I would not claim that today.”

Okay, I understand that Hal Zina Bennett is primarily an author of spiritual non-fiction, but I won’t let him off the hook that easily. In 2002, he wrote an excellent article about visionary fiction, titled … Continue reading

Interview with Author Tui Allen

tui4visfic

Eleni Papanou interviews Tui Allen

Hi Tui. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview. I have to say, Ripple: A Dolphin Love Story deserves five stars for its originality alone. You’ve truly done something visionary here, and I can see you put your heart and soul into the story. It was a pleasure to read and a pleasure to conduct this interview with you. Before we start, why don’t you tell us the meaning of your name.

I’m a New-Zealander. The tui is a bird, native to my country. It’s slightly larger than a blackbird and appears black from a distance, but the plumage is overlaid with a shimmer of iridescent blues, purples and greens. It has a white tuft at the throat and a tracery of white across the shoulders. They have a beautiful song.
Here’s a picture.

What inspired you to write this story? 

It was during my youthful ocean sailing voyages that I found much inspiration that later became the story of Ripple. But it really started even earlier, when as a teenager I discovered the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I memorized The Ancient Mariner and would recite it silently when alone on watch at night sailing across the Pacific. Coleridge and Richard Bach are my greatest literary influences. Although my plot is completely different, Ripple shares three things with AM.

  • The ocean setting
  • The presence of the spirit world
  • A message of respect for the living things of the sea

The non-human point of view is something Ripple shares with … Continue reading

Interview: John A.A. Logan

Michelle Gordon interviews John A.A. Logan

John A.A. LoganDo you believe that we are all, every one of us, connected on an energetic level? Why?

I suppose my instinct tells me that this is true. Twenty-four years practice and study of meditation and yoga also predispose me to see the world from that viewpoint. I was brought up on a farm, where the energy of animals and natural surroundings, forests, fields, insects, snow, sun, may have left me with a sense of the inter-connectedness of things. There were people of all ages on this Highland Scottish farm, from very young children to a very elderly First World War veteran, and again, everything and everyone seemed connected. This kind of life seemed to prepare me later for the Taoist or Yogic ways of perceiving the individual in a matrix of life. I was also very influenced as a teenager by a much older friend who eventually went off to live permanently in Scotland’s only Buddhist Temple. I would walk and talk with him for hours, regularly, over a period of several years, it was like a free education. But my own instinct was telling me that we are all interconnected spirit, from one source, and destined to return to that source, even before I was fortunate enough to have a friend who could help me articulate this.

Have you ever had a spiritual experience, involving synchronicity, angels or spirit etc?

On the farm as a child I often experienced nature as a numinous, and luminous, thing. Lights and colours of trees and plants, even the sound of wind, could be both delightful, and … Continue reading