Interview: SikhsOnline Founder Releases New Book
Mann, let’s talk about your book first.
In The Monk of Lantau, the protagonist starts of as a “normal”, everyday Londoner. He has a steady job, a family and a future, a character many of us can relate to. However with an accident changing the playing field and Matthew’s previous life is left behind. Tell us what lead you to create Mathew as you did. Is he based on your own life events, or that of someone else, or a combination of things?
I would say he is a combination of my own life and others who I have known. When somebody finds themselves, helpless, alone and simply exhausted, one takes a last leap of faith, hoping it would make the very change they desire.
In Matthews’ case, he left because he desperately wanted to a find someone to help his daughter, many people would do the same simply to help themselves or their loved ones.
How do you manage to create a vivid journey for the reader? How would you describe your method of painting the story in words?
I’ve had the privilege of visiting some of these beautiful cities around the World. Whenever I have visited, like many tourists I spend time to myself absorbing the architecture and ambience of the people and the city. Many people say I have a photographic memory, I seem to able remember characters of movies (even if the actor/actress has only played a 5 second role), so when describing a city or location, I meditate and take myself back to when I first arrived in the city and recall all the various colours, smells and surroundings.
The reader is given the opportunity to travel with Matthew as he seeks this healer. He travels many countries, visits many places and follows an abundance of clues, whilst at the same time is on an inward journey of self-discovery. What is the main message, that you want each reader to take away from your book?
Like many stories of this kind, the metaphor of taking the reader to various locations in the World and at the same time inwards of the character is sometimes the best way to portray a message.
Saying that though, I would say the main message is that, you don’t actually have to travel across the World in order to find yourself. There are clues, tips, tools and people around us who have journeyed and one can better their lives, find peace or whatever it is they desire simply by embracing some of their hard-won experiences.
What is the biggest challenge that Matthew faces? The journey, his self-understanding, or the survival of his daughter after her accident?
This question is one of those ones where I have to honestly say they are all big challenges and Matthew has to conquer all one way or another.
Firstly, his daughter’s life is by far the most important so he has to conquer his emotional senses. The journey itself is challenging his physical strength. Lastly, self-realisation or self-understanding is challenging his mental abilities.
and…now about you
Who would you say, is the most inspirational writer of our time? And why?
Paulo Coehlo for sure. His philosophy runs deep and the sentences he creates are magical, they reach the readers’ soul.
And of course, what is your favourite book and why?
It has The Alchemist. I first read The Alchemist over 15 years ago. That story will remain in my heart always. It planted a seed in my soul and many years later I turned to that book for hope.
Where do you draw your inspiration to write from?
I consider myself to be a creative person. I wasn’t always. But I am also quite an ambitious person. People around me must be tired of listening to the 3-4 new business ideas I come up with daily, so I decided to change the conversation hehe. So, once I told someone about what I’m doing, I had to see through to the end, regardless of how long it took.
This particular story however, has been in my mind since around 2004 and I always wanted to do something about it.
It took many, many years to develop as I had to travel to various places to see where Matthew would go, what he would see and what he would feel.
When I visited Lantau island in Hong Kong, I was amazed at what I saw. I wasn’t expecting anything in particular, but when I saw the giant Buddha in the distance, amongst the morning misty fog I knew it was going to be something special.
I guess I wanted to share my experience, but not in the format of a personal diary. I’m hoping that after reading my tale, people would want to visit Hong Kong.
I hear you have the status of a Reiki master teacher? Tell us more, what does this mean, and how can it help me the average reader/writer/person?
Reiki is a word from the Japanese language and translates in English to mean ‘Guided Life Force Energy’. Life energy, which makes up our thoughts, emotions and consciousness, is in every living thing and connects us all. We all have places in our energy that can be ‘off-balance’ which can be caused by stress, disease, pain or emotional blocks.
As a Reiki Master Teacher and Pracitioner, I am able to tap into this life force energy for you to receive where it is needed most.
Reiki is a natural, powerful and gentle healing technique that helps:
- Promotes natural self-healing
- Relieves pain
- Reduces stress
- Clears toxins
- Balances the energies in the body
- Enhances personal awareness
- Promotes positive thinking, creativity
Just to name a few…
What’s next for Mann Matharu?
I’ve got a lot going on. The next 6-12 months are especially exciting as we’re launching several new digital products and services under my digital agency, We Are Brilliant.
I’ve enjoyed the process of getting my story out there, so now I’m going to sit back wait for my friends and family to digest what I’ve written.
I have got an idea for my second novel…but let’s wait and see.
Where can we contact you if we want to know more?
The Monk of Lantau is available to buy in paperback from Amazon (Worldwide), Barnes & Noble (USA), Indigo (Canada) and many other major online bookstores.
Readers can purchase a personal signed copy from my website www.mannMatharu.com
Interview courtesy of: Writer’s Community
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