Tag: Novel

beverlyhillsbookawardsFrom Ashes Into Light, Gudrun Mouw’s debut novel, just won two awards in the same week! In the 2016 Best Book Awards From Ashes Into Light placed as a finalist in two categories: Fiction: New Age and Fiction: Visionary. In the 5th Annual Beverly Hills Book Awards Ashes won in the same two categories. In fact if you take the win in each category as a separate award, From Ashes Into Light has won four awards, placed as a finalist in two awards, and received the silver award in another. Phew, seven awards altogether! The author asked me to guest write this post because she was just speechless with the acknowledgment.

best_book_award_badge_whiteHowever, winning awards doesn’t always translate into becoming popular. It’s challenging being an author in a genre that is possibly not well understood. Visionary Fiction and New Age Fiction actually have a wide range of titles that qualify in each genre. So you can get a zombie fantasy as well as literary fiction in both categories.

For From Ashes Into Light, I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible. From Ashes Into Light is literary fiction with spiritual, new age (ie. the character believes in reincarnation) and visionary (consciousness-oriented) elements. It’s not exactly mainstream. But anyone interested in Buddhist teachings or spirituality in general should appreciate this well-crafted book.

In fact, the more people find out about these genres the better. Because picture this, you love books about the Dali Lama or this or that Rinpoche, and you love certain self-help books, but you’ve never tried reading fiction that’s spiritual. Now there are many, many options to combine entertainment and spiritual endeavors. Besides From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw, I have read a handful of spiritual fiction that I would recommend.

Spiritual Fiction

From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw

Mystic Tea by Rea Nolan Martin

The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk

Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Moon Under Her Feet by Clysta Kinstler

Each of these titles explores spirituality in a alternative, entertaining way. And as I immersed myself in these titles, I found myself open to new possibilities in myself, and sometimes feeling a closer connection to the Divine. Give them a try!

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Gudrun Mouw should be back to posting her blog sometime in the next two weeks. Stay Tuned. To purchase From Ashes Into Light, go to an online seller, your bookstore to order, or you can call the distributor directly (800-888-4741) to order a copy in paperback or hardcover.

Erika Lunder, publisher

Raincloud Press

 

Uncategorized

 

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The publisher has unveiled the cover to my upcoming novel, From Ashes into Light. To be released Fall 2015.

Forthcoming Work

photoblogI have been contemplating a problem with one of the characters towards the end of the novel. Eventually, I realized that the troublesome character faces similar challenges that I recognize from my youth. When I look back in my life, I see that self-knowledge has been hard won. The ability to self-reflect is a skill that has developed over time, and I am still working on it.

In examining this particular character’s evolution in the book, I am able to see my own life more clearly–areas of weakness, areas of strength and the constant need to keep learning. To see one’s own shortcomings is the first step. Insight cannot come when there is denial or a lack of effort to keep growing.

Now, I look forward to making necessary changes. My approach to working on the final draft of the novel has changed. New ideas have emerged. I celebrate that creative doors open the more I let go of tendencies to contract, to defend, or to be overwhelmed.

While I wait for the rest of the line edited copy of the manuscript, I have ordered my life as much as I can: Bills paid. Social needs and commitments met and enjoyed. I bought extra copy paper and a new gel ink pen. I returned the publisher’s contract.

Once the line edited pages arrived, reality sets in: many long days, the house cluttered with books and stacks of paper on every table surface. Still, I am excited to see improvement. I am happy to note evolution in clarity and purpose. And now I have three days to finish reworking the final chapters, and this draft will be done if the forces of spirit and grace choose to help me do so.

Forthcoming Work The Process of Writing

tallStackBooksDuring my college graduate years, I discovered a love for teaching. Much to my surprise I felt myself more alive in front of a classroom. I already knew I wanted to write, because I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night to write a story or a poem in a lucid, dream-like state as words came pouring out.

So, when I realized I was not just the shy, indrawn person I thought I was as a result of having been assigned to give presentations to classrooms of fellow students, I had a new vision for my writing dream—teach during the school year and write in the summer. Now, I am living that vision. With my weekly teaching responsibilities much reduced for the summer, I am spending my days on the final draft of a novel scheduled for release next year.

When I received the line editor’s copy of the first 94 pages two weeks ago, it appeared to be a daunting task. Fortunately, I had already received her summary letter which gave me encouragement to move quickly through even a threat of paralysis.

Every day I feel consumed by old draft and research boxes, the line editor’s questions and suggested changes, which I know to be helpful and clarifying, but which take some pondering as well as further research. I have awakened during the night more than once with additional questions or, more rarely, with possible answers. The subject matter, also, is emotionally intense, and I am very grateful, at such times, for my background in yoga and my meditation skills. Today, a yoga teacher friend came for brunch and tea, and we did asanas (yoga postures) together. I had not planned to do that, but it was perfect. We both felt relaxed and refreshed afterwards, and I was ready for another work session.

My current situation, as writer and teacher, though it fulfills the vision I had for myself many years ago, as is often the case, also has some unforeseen consequences. Loving what I am doing when I write, I may lose track of time. I may forget to take a break, or to drink enough liquids. It is important for me to keep up my yoga practices, a good exercise program and to maintain a healthy social life.

To be passionate about one’s work feeds the soul. To stay balanced feeds sincerity, which reminds me of one of my favorite raja yoga sutra’s:

           Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to…in all earnestness

–THE YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJILI

Forthcoming Work The Process of Writing