How did you come up with the title?
A Texan Goes to Nirvana.
Back when I first decided to write my book, there were few ‘doubting Thomases.’ Yoga was the rage, but you didn’t question the supposed spiritual interpretation of each different style of yoga. Some of it was Hinduism, but some of it was cultish hooey, and I experienced the latter. I’ll question just about anything, so my title basically reflects the dichotomy of a Texan and Nirvana. The photo on the cover is I, who appear to have a secret. Hehehe.
How much of the book is realistic?
The setting is almost entirely realistic, although I changed the names of the state, the swami and his ho’s to protect the guilty. The teacher training classes were very realistically portrayed, and the descriptions of the ashram campus are true to my memory. I can still smell the dining hall, a combination of everyone’s shoes in shelves upon entering mixed with boiling Kale and lentils. It still makes me throw up in my mouth just a tiny bit. The German Yoga Nazi teacher was even worse than I described…and Nanandaji…well, don’t get me started. Oh, and the care package that was sent to me was exactly as described….a little box of heaven. I lost 18 pounds at the ashram. Buon appetito!
How important do you think villains are in a story?
I don’t know how important villains are in a story, but I know how much FUN they are to get to know, to describe, to fear, to wonder where they came from and where they are going in your head, as the author, and in the head of the reader. What fun it was for me, and there is a very clear villain in my story. I could tell you, but then that character would probably have to kill you. Notice that I did not give away gender here, because, unlike my sister, Sal, I do NOT begin a book with the last chapter. She is a Gemini though, so it’s part of her nature.
What are you goals as a writer?
It would please me if people read my books, but seriously, I write to get it all out of there, out of the way back room of my brain that has all of the filing cabinets where the little man goes looking for things that I am trying to remember. He rifles through the files willy-nilly at night to provide me with endlessly entertaining and nonsensical dreams. I love him, and I want to express myself through the interesting files that he brings me…ones that cause me to gasp, to be so pleased with that I grin from ear to ear. I want all of it on paper…or virtual paper, whatever. It wants OUT! That is my only goal with writing.
What books have most influenced your life?
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen, West With the Night by Beryl Markham, Me Talk Pretty One Day and Naked by David Sedaris, I remember Nothing by Nora Ephron, 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean, Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe.
Can we expect any more books from you in the future?
I am about to revisit a another comic mystery novel that I started a few years ago, then The Universe took me in another direction. It’s called, An Ear for Mirabel. Intrigued??
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Believe it or not, I still do yoga three times a week, but it’s all in the balance, because then I have a cigarette and a martini. You see, yoga is about keeping my body flexible and strong. And, after my stint at the ashram, I did indeed open a yoga studio, but I called it Yoga for Normals. Yoga for Smokers, Drinkers, Meat Eaters and Non-Believers wouldn’t fit as a neon sign. Unlike some yoga teachers who espouse their own spin on the spiritual branch of yoga instruction, I never, ever felt myself spiritually equipped enough to spread my own gospel to my students. I leave all of that up to the pastors of the mega churches and the snake oil salesmen. In my yoga class, we listened to Boz Scaggs and James Taylor instead of Ravi Shankar.
What makes me happiest?
At this stage in my life, I’ve reconnected with my favorite sister, Sally. We came together in 2007 to care for our aging mother (The Ancient One), and after she took her ‘final field trip,’ we stayed together…no kids between us, no husbands, but an understanding, admiration and laughable love for each other that transcends any love I have experienced before. We moved from Texas to Hawaii together, and one of my happiest times is when we reconnect after a work day, sit out on our porch, smoke a cigarette, drink a martini, go over the day, plan for the morrow, toast whatever accomplishments we made during our day and laugh, laugh, laugh.
What else do you do to make money other than write?
I am perhaps the best executive secretary on the planet. I can spin 7-8 plates in the air at once, check my Facebook page, actually get the boss a cup of coffee, keep secrets, make people laugh just because I want to, find the perfect dentist for the boss’s kids, pick up his new glasses and the laptop from the airline where he left it on the seat in the plane, keep the office managed and stocked…and not let ANYone near the ‘big guy’ unless they please the ‘guardian of his gate.’ I have both the left side and right side of my brain firing on whichever cylinders are needed in the moment. I like to be as creative at work as I do when I am writing. I fancy myself very good at both.
Tell us about your marketing campaign?
I am self-published, as A Texan Goes to Nirvana is my first novel, and I finally blew the dust off the top of it and took advantage of the un-rarified air of today’s independent authors who needn’t bow to a publishing house. I will bow to a publishing house, of course, should one approach me, because I want people to enjoy my little comic novel. I remain shameless, because I am not getting any younger.
I have entered the KDP Select group on Amazon, and have researched the marketing of self-published books, following advice like giving it away for free for a few days each month, producing an author’s Facebook page and an Amazon author’s page. I found Orangeberry too! I post regularly on my FB page, The Midlife Gals’ FB page, Twitter and our own website, http://www.themidlifegals.com. I am proud of my novel and tell everyone I know! But, here’s the one thing on which I just cannot spend time – forums. I am not a forum person, a group person, a team player or club joiner. So, shoot me, but please buy my book first so I will know that one more person will laugh at my funny story.
What book should everyone read at least once?
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
I am most proud of my courage. It has provided me with the most amazing experiences in my lifetime. My mother gave me courage, as her mother instilled it in her. I am proud of 90% of the choices that I have made in my life, and I will continue to throw caution to the wind if something that must be done draws my attention.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Humor Mystery
Rating – PG