Finding Shangri La is a compass to steer readers in the right direction in simple everyday terms, using ancient wisdom as a new age technology by increasing one’s level of consciousness through the principles of Vedic breathing, movement, wisdom and just plain being, so that you can find Shangri La, where it is hidden within.
Tell us something about yourself.
Khadi Madama was given the Jewel of India Award in New Delhi, India in 2009 for more than 40 years of sharing her wisdom before audiences on the merits of traditional Yoga practice, both Hatha and Raja. Although she is a prolific writer, this is her first book, but certainly not her last as others are forthcoming in 2011 and 2012. Khadi hosted Yours Truly, Yoga on select cable stations on the educational channel between 1996 and 2000. Since then she has expanded her brand, Yours Truly, Yoga TV to include a speaking career as both a recognized Yoga expert, but also in health and spiritual motivation as a true visionary.
What inspired you to write this book?
After seeing the movie Lost Horizon in the late 1950’s on television, it’s haunting theme of a promised place of peace, prosperity, love and well-being, it became the theme of my TV show, spa retreats and finally, the title of my book.
How did you choose the title?
It was taken from the 1930’s movie: Lost Horizon, and I felt that Yoga, being the huge trend that is currently is would be a good subtitle. Seven, is always a great marketing number.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
I really didn’t encounter any problems getting the book published. It simply seemed to be meant to be published. I was lucky to find Publish America, which is the midway between pounding the pavement in hope that you can find a big name publisher like Simon and Schuster or self-publishing, which anyone can do. I was guided to the middle path and I’ve been happy with that.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
If you’re a writer, you won’t have to wait long to find out. You don’t have a choice…at least I didn’t. I don’t think other writers do either. If Norman Mailer walks a plank to get to his desk, he is certainly called to write. Not that I’m in his league, but writing is something you are. You can’t help it and you can’t force it either.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Yes. I start writing on my appointed writing day or time, then I write clear on into the night, overnight and until I’ve exhausted all of that writing day’s work. I have a cup of hot tea with honey and cream, a hot bath, and pop off to bed sometime around dawn, sleep for a few hours and feel very content. It’s easier than writing a little here and there where I don’t feel I have the continuity of contemporaneous thought.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
When I was still writing mysteries, the character would always “come up with me”. I never had to think about a name…the characters such as Dame Violet Rose-Parlor, Inspector Fez and Matey or Inspector Pickett etc. were just palpable.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
Yes, people who are not writing books or who have 9-5 jobs that they can leave at the office don’t understand when you say, I’ve got to work on my book. It’s an asset to have other writers in your midst as friends to keep you on line with your writing program. I’d say that’s an essential.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would just pay more attention to my own stuff and not expect the publisher to cover every detail. I’ve also found that out with PR’s as well. Basically, no matter what, you’ve got to keep a handle on whatever it is you really want to achieve.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I prefer to read interactive books that I can do along with the author. So, mostly motivational and self-help books. My two contemporary favorite authors are: Sarah Ban Breathnach, who is truly a visionary. I can read Sarah’s books over and over. She is a goddess. My other is James Redfield: Another true visionary for our times. Neither of these brilliant spiritual people have a clue about just how “higher dimension” they both are. They’re too humble. What James may not realize is that the minute you pick up his book, synchronicities really do start to happen. Sarah’s gifted ability to collect, collate and arrange ephemera in ways that are life-saving for those on the journey is magic. I’ve bought their books for all of my dearest friends. Everyone should read them.
I also read as must as I can on Taoist Alchemy, the writings of Linda Goodman and just about anything on martial arts.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I’m working on several books because I have a lot of content: And, yes, I’d love to talk about them.
1. Finding Shangri La: New Vistas & Experiential Workbook. Basically this is new information that I’ve “channeled” since the first book.
2. Yoga, Dinner and a Movie: along with Bela Banerjee. Offers my curious insights on classic films, Bela’s award winning recipes and some simple Yoga to perform while watching and waiting for things to bake or boil. This will be an ebook most probably and is now a blog via rss feed to Amazon Kindle.
3. Becoming Immortal: Secrets of the Taoist Alchemists: This is a workbook on actual techniques to sustaining longevity and beating back time, taken from my 40 years of study on the subject. Haven’t decided the publishing venue on this just yet.
4. Yoga World: Where Everything is Pink and Perfect: prefer not to give too much away on this young reader book….all I can say is start collecting pink things that are fun….it may be a movie and you may be able to get into it. This will go to my publisher.
5. Jade Charm Adventure Roll-Playing Book: an adventure roll playing book for young adults…already with my publisher at Publish America, to be released sometime in 2011.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Today there are so many ways that writers can get the word out. If you’ve got a book in you, don’t let anything anyone tells you about yourself as a writer get into your way. Just write. Be committed. Take writing courses, teleclasses on the business of being a writer of which many are available on line. Get real with it and your identity as a writer. Find what works for you. Every writer has to write the way that they can use that creative energy. I used to write long hand on a legal pad out in the garden when ideas came to me, then transcribe them later, mud stains and all. Just do it and don’t make excuses.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Finding Shangri La: Seven Yoga Principles for Creating Success & Happiness, is a short, sweet and simple book for helping people navigate their lives. Whether they are Yoga practitioners or just want to understand why they are not living their fullest potential, so: People on a path to enlightenment, people who want to create more success in their lives, people who want to understand the why and how of their lives. Not a religious book, so anyone can read it and use the principles.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
They are also very welcome to email me directly at FindShangriLaNow@aol.com.