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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"The Road on High" Virtual Book Launch for a Virtually Unknown Author... Moi

For those of you who know me well, my love for the written word is certainly not a secret. Although I do not pretend to possess any extraordinary writing skills, I do however take great joy when it comes time to putting a couple of words down, pen to paper, and attempt to smite out whatever scraps of a made-up story that's been lingering in my mind, tormenting me. Welcome to the world of fiction.

When I write, (and on this point I am quite sure all writers and artists will strongly agree) I find it is a mental exercise that is simultaneously both relaxing and stressful, a sort of challenge of spirit or a personal quest upon which, when one embarks, a person can easily fall prey to the developing world of the story - of the art - that slowly steals you away from reality. At times the words or visions come easily, yet during others they do not simply come to you, but rather they reveal themselves like so many thoughts channeled through your psyche. In a way, it is as though they had always been there, simply waiting to be discovered. It is somewhat quite easy to see the whole artistic process as a religious or spiritual experience, or however else you would prefer describing it. Once you're in the "zone", it is as if you are visiting with a higher sense of reality, and such divine powers that intervene in the creative process - what we like to call inspiration - make themselves known from some mysterious abyss, eerily enough, in a strange and familiar manner get acquainted with us, all too often making the artist feel like they have always been there waiting for you to pay them a visit. All this is quite pleasant and gives purpose to the life of an artist. 

The flip side of the coin, though, is reality... This part is not as pleasant. Artists, unless extremely successful, do not usually make much money. Income is of a particular problem when the art has nowhere to go. When the art - in my case many dusty manuscripts - sit by their lonesome selves somewhere on a half-forgotten shelf somewhere, or in a dingy storage where rusty pipes leak their gunk on them... In short, exposure is an issue. More importantly, just to give you an idea of the extent of the problem as far as publishing fiction goes, if you were not only aware, the population of Canada is near the 34 and a half million people mark, and in this great nation of ours, there are no more than 30 literary agents. Most book publishers require authors to submit their work through an agent, and many unfortunately will not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Also, when they do gratefully accept to see your work, more often than not it is merely a couple of pages - maybe 10 - or at the most rarely a chapter. Although more often than not, anywhere between 6 months to a year later, comes the letter of decline, that all too familiar rejection letter from the agent or publisher confirming our suspicions. With the hundreds of manuscripts they receive, one can only wonder how to attract an agent or a publisher. 

Moreover, with the actual costs of publishing books, fewer and fewer books are making it to print. Many companies out there are simply turning to ebooks and all of the formidable electronic readers now widely available to the public. With all of the social networks freely made available to us (like this blogspot), I have decided to promote my own creative writing online. Nothing to lose, right? You only live once. Albeit there is no money to be made by making my work available through this medium, I do find a comfort "to put it out there" instead of my manuscript collecting dust on a shelf. Since my novel is "raw", meaning unedited other than by myself, please do feel free to inform me of any spelling mistakes. And, as usual, although unpublished, I do reserve all of the intellectual copyright to the material. 

Called "The Road on High: The Story of the Brahma Veda, India's Lost Book of Abraham" (click on the title to link to the book), I sincerely hope you will find my novel at the very least somewhat entertaining. Below you will find a synopsis of the main storyline, followed by the book's front cover.


Synopsis: Zev, a Canadian grad student and would-be Indologist, soon realizes his India trip has much more in store for him than he could ever have imagined… Traveling on a fellowship grant—with his research work barely begun, the young scholar suddenly finds himself standing in one of Varanasi’s holiest temples, desecrated with what are the mutilated remains of a murdered brahman priest strewn all about him.
   From what first appears to be a wanton act of cold-blooded murder, Zev gets drawn into the unfolding mystery even deeper when his unlikely affiliations could possibly implicate him in the crime. Fearing the worst, forlorn and determined to clear his name and to help his new companions find the perpetrators of the heinous crime—before he knows it, Zev is sneaking aboard the Chennai Midnight Express, a train that will take him away from suspecting authorities and that god-awful place that has become a cataclysm in the harrowing adventure that awaits him.
   Fleeing the scene and the city of the crime, bound in a Southwardly direction, the train tracks meander their way along the Indian sub-continent down to Chennai and beyond—all the way to  Mount Arunachala where the group has good reason to suspect they will find the perpetrators of the brahman’s assassination there.
   Guruji, Zev’s unseemly mentor on this journey, introduces him to Swami Nandi, the custodian of the strangely unique stone tablet called the Brahma Veda by some—or the Book of Abraham by others, that which is being kept a secret at the scriptorium in the Arunachala Shiva Temple of Tiruvannamalai. The group quickly learns though why the enemy has led them here…
   The Brahma Veda has been stolen…
   Neck-deep in this unforeseeable adventure, in order to save himself, all Zev can do is to help his companions locate the ancient and priceless Indus Valley artefact. In so doing, he learns of the very real power the Brahma Veda’s ancient secrets hold, for at every turn the adventurers are faced with mortal danger. Whether it be the disheartening witnessing of a murder in a Shaivite mandir in Varanasi or ravenous vultures atop a Farsi dokhma out for his blood, Zev can only try to make it out of this mess alive.
   The trek to salvation leads a weary Zev onto an international treasure hunt, from India to the Middle East, he shall attempt to reclaim his own and the others’ around him freedom from their pursuers.
   Only one problem though… The malicious forces behind the plot to obtain the Brahma Veda also have ulterior motives in harbouring the tablet… And they will stop at nothing to get their hands on the coveted secrets it holds.
   Travel with Zev in order to explore the real-life hidden wisdom that once upon a time connected the lands and peoples that once inhabited the vast expanse of territory from Egypt all the way to ancient India, in the long lost Indus Valley Civilization. The outcome of such a journey cannot help but be shocking in its final outcome though. As Zev shall find out—there will emerge out of his quest the kind of knowledge that without a doubt will have worldwide repercussions.
   To recuperate the Brahma Veda is primordial.