Introducing…Malcolm K. Watts

Are we all connected? Do the little things we do affect the nature of man as a whole? As insignificant as we may seem, all of us share in a collective spirit not only with those that live today, but also all who have lived before and have yet to come.

Through Jared Clarkson’s life-changing experiences in Reflections from Shadow, a fiction novel by Aurora author Malcom K. Watts, we learn that the choices we make in our inner universe affect the grater universe as a whole. Malcolm discusses his book and the world of self-publishing in our fifth installment of Introducing.

Malcolm K. Watts, author of 'Reflections from Shadow'
Malcolm K. Watts, author of 'Reflections from Shadow'

1)      Tell us about your book, Reflections from Shadow?

This book is a complex one that can be read as entertainment, or as an exploration of the nature of reality and good and evil. In particular it addresses the question, posed by some Quantum scientists and others such as Seth (in the Jane Roberts books) who suggest that linear time is in many ways a human construct and that in fact everything is happening at one time. Further, it addresses the question about mankind’s collective responsibility for evil, and good, when it is carried out by some of us.  The book can be read as a 60’s coming of age story with light and poignant moments that will resonate with people who grew up in small town Ontario in an era before children lost the freedom to range much more freely in their environment, as a psychological study, or a character study.

2)      The character of Jared Clarkson is a dark, complicated young man growing up in a socially evolutionary time when self-realization was a cornerstone of the contemporary culture. Did his long journey to achieve this mean anything to you on a personal level?

As all characters in novels at some level must since they arise from the authors mind, Jared’s experience incorporates some of my own struggles around self-image, identity, relationship to God and religion. Having said this, when people ask me if I am Jared I deny this. Jared is an amalgam of imagination, my experience, and is created, as all fictional characters must, to meet the needs of story, plot, and theme.   

3)      What message are you hoping readers will learn from Jared’s story?

'Reflections from Shadow' by Malcolm K. Watts
'Reflections from Shadow' by Malcolm K. Watts
I hope people will learn that we are all connected and are jointly responsible at some level for the good things, and the evil things, that happen in the world. I don’t mean this in a strictly cause-effect sense. Rather, when we see evil in the world, we must all seek to understand the conditions that give rise to such behaviour and events, and our own actions or inactions that maintain or contribute to such things. As was said in the 1960’s there is no such thing as an innocent bystander – if you are a bystander, you are not innocent.  We must all look at conditions that give rise to such things as Nazism, radical Islam, and recognize that when certain conditions are not addressed, and when good people do nothing to correct human suffering, evil feeds off such conditions. Simply wringing our hands and blaming Somali pirates, or Taliban, or whoever or thinking that all we need to do is kill those people to solve the problem is much too simplistic and absolves each of us from our responsibility to help fix the mess our world is in.

4)      What do you find are the biggest challenges facing first-time Canadian authors these days?

Getting publicity is frustrating. I was annoyed one day to turn on Rogers cable TV and see Carolyn Weaver on her book show interviewing Margaret Atwood. I emailed her and suggested that community TV should be focusing on people who need some exposure for their work, not people like Margaret who, while  certainly a fine writer, is well off and well-publicized. Carolyn responded and respectfully disagreed with my position. Unfortunately, Canadian authors, particularly self-published ones, seem to have the mark of Cain insofar as the traditional media is concerned. I sent out review packages, including copies, to several  major media outlets but no reviews were done. When I followed up with the Toronto Star I was told “ We have a policy of not reviewing self-published books – period.” There are several reader reviews of Reflections from Shadow posted on my website, www.authorsden.com/malcolmwatts as well as my poetry, short stories, reviews I have written and commentary.

 5)      How was the self-publishing experience?

Self-publishing was eye-opening. It has pluses and minuses. I made some mistakes but overall I am proud of Reflections from Shadow, and consider it a readable and literary story that stands the test of time and provide me a certain legacy even if I never publish another novel. I would have done the cover differently to reflect the darker nature of the book. My concept with the cover and title was Jungian  with the idea of the wounded inner child inside all of us.  

6)      What kind of promotional activities have you been doing to market your novel?

I have used the Internet extensively. Although my website has nearly 300,00 hits, I have sold very few books on-line. I only sell books by talking to readers one to one or in groups. Without mass media exposure, reviews etc, my book is like a boat in the water with no motor to drive it and I am rather tired of rowing. When I sell out my last few books, I will not re-order it. It will be available on-line from Trafford.com forever and I suppose that is a good thing although they have only sold a handful of books. The promise of Kindle has not resulted in sales for me. Again, without reviews and traditional media exposure the self-published author is like a voice in the wilderness.

7)      I have a copy of Aurora Storyalis and enjoyed it very much. What inspired this multi-author project?

Aurora Storyalis II was the dream of the Aurora Writers Group. I was managing editor, and provided the cover photo ( I am also a creative photographer). The project is our second anthology and provides an opportunity for people to showcase their work, our group, and provide a venue for publishing not otherwise available to some of our members. I am pleased you enjoyed the book.

8)      What can you tell us about your upcoming book, Out from the Dream: Memoir of a Social Worker?

My upcoming memoir is a personal/professional memoir that documents my own story growing up as a foster child in the Children’s Aid, and how I came to be  interested and educated in the field of Social Work. It describes my thirty year career in the field as a psychotherapist with children, families, adolescents, adults and groups. I provide case studies and talk about the process of personal change and how social workers help people. I hope the book will be both of general reader interest, as well as being of interest to those considering a career in the great field of Social Work. I hope to publish this book through traditional publishing.

9)      Where can readers get a copy of Reflections from Shadow?

People can contact me at mwatts.writer@yahoo.comto obtain a copy of Reflections from Shadow. I charge $23.00 including shipping – no tax.  Alternatively, readers can order from Amazon.com or Trafford.com either in soft-cover or Kindle version but it will cost them close to $30.00 with taxes, shipping etc. This high price point is another down side that deters readership. The Kindle version is available from Amazon for under $10.00

 Too few of us experience the epiphanies allowed to Jared Clarkson, but we all have the power to re-examine our roles in the universal collective. I thank Malcolm for speaking to us about his novel and for his frank comments on self-publishing. He can be reached through his website at www.authorsden.com/malcolmwatts 

Me_and_Raincloud

Richard S. Todd is the author of the critically-praised Raincloud: A Novel and holds talks on the self-publishing experience. He spends his time blogging and working on his next novel, The Orphans of the Creek

Visit www.tinyurl.com/voteRaincloud to vote and qualify for your chance at a personalized copy of Raincloud!*

Don’t miss the next installment of “Introducing…”  Get a Free Subscription to this blog by clicking on the Subscribe link on the right.

*The fine print: Odds of winning will depend on how many entries are recieved. Entrants can enter as often as they wish. The winning name will be drawn by random selection and contacted via the email address they provided when voting. The winner’s name will appear in this space September 30th, 2009 or when their prize is confirmed, whichever is sooner.

Introducing…Esther Gombor

Hope. Happiness. Fulfillment. These are simple things to strive for yet they can be a struggle to attain. Toronto writer Esther Gombor teaches her clients to use ancient divinations to bring clarity to their lives and recognize the powers that show the path to contentment. She took the time talk to us about her book Fortune Telling with Gypsy Cards in the fourth installment of the “Introducing…” blog series.

Esther Gombor, author of Fortune Telling with Gypsy Cards
Esther Gombor, author of Fortune Telling with Gypsy Cards

1)      Tell us why you wrote Fortune Telling with Gypsy Cards.

Fortune Telling with Gypsy Cards was born to bring hope and clarity to those who desperately need answers. At times, it is difficult to see clearly what forces are swirling around us, and we long to know whether the path we have chosen will bring us happiness in the end. The book teaches us the ways to use the ancient divinatory tool of the Gypsy cards. As the cards always want the best for us, following their message will always lead us exactly to where we will be the happiest and most fulfilled. This book is the in-depth guide to our own bliss and wisdom. 

 2)      What can one hope to achieve from reading your book and learning to use the Gypsy cards?

The book will bring the readers into the mystical world of card reading and divination. They will learn how the cards work and more importantly, what works and what does not work in divination. They will become the educated ones whose expectations of a card reading experience will be firmly rooted in knowing what is possible, and more importantly, what their responsibilities are as clients to make sure that the desired outcome indeed manifest. Naturally, they will also know how to read the cards and will know what and how to word their messages either to themselves or to others who need help.

3)      Was there one particular moment in your life when you realized that Gypsy cards were a viable way of reading the future and connect to the invisible?

Yes, in fact, there was. Years ago, I was walking on the streets of Hungary and I saw a poster that advertised a seminar about psychic powers and their application in our daily life. As I had been always attracted to understanding mystical dimensions, I attended the lecture. Here, the lecturer spoke about magical theories, the role of fortune telling cards and other divinatory tools. The systemized presentation of these wonderful things was fascinating to me, and it inspired me to organize all that I had already known about the Gypsy cards.

Suddenly, I had a tool in my hands that went beyond ordinary perception. And since shortly after this a traumatic thing happened in my life that left me with no earthly understanding of the events that surrounded me, it became a powerful tool to connect to the invisible for insight, encouragement and comfort.

I befriended several card readers, and together we managed to penetrate invisible spheres for answers. All that was revealed to us materialized in the end in perfect form and timing.

Now I understand that that period of my time was a turning point in my life: the lecture opened to me a new world that I would equip me to cope with the obstacles that lay ahead. It propelled me to acquire new skills that would help me forecast events with precision and remove myself from the hardships of the physical until I got to my goal. 

I see the Divine sequence in all this and have proudly integrated it into my life. This Divine intervention has put me on a completely new path in my life; a path that is truly mine and where I feel the happiest and the most fulfilled.

Since then, through the lives of my clients, I get confirmation every day that the Gypsy cards, when one truly listens to their messages, are indeed a viable way of reading the future and connect to the invisible.

4)      You live in Toronto. Do you find that people in modern cities should be especially guided by the cards?

I find that people in big cities even more so should be in touch with their intuitive powers and trust their feelings. In big cities, this is bit of a work as life is fast-paced, emotions and business do not mix, and we are often encouraged to use reason as opposed to intuition. Hence our connection to our intuition and psychic powers are in constant process of erosion. The cards are an excellent tool to reawaken that lost force in all of us: our intuition and connection to our Higher Self. It is an invaluable divinatory tool that puts us all in contact with the most vulnerable and sincere core of ourselves. And knowing what energies the future brings and our role in the process does not hurt either.

5)      Does one have to be concerned about possible conflicts with their faith when practicing card reading?

Absolutely not. Although my readings and interpretations are from a Christian angle, what is important to understand is that the cards are a universal tool to communicate with Divine powers. And those Divine powers can be of any faith.

Having said this, there is one thing to keep in mind though: all illustrated fortune telling cards are based on archetypal messages, which are ingrained behavioural patterns relevant to a particular culture. Therefore, it is not so much the faith that one has that matters but rather the cultural background that one was born into. The Gypsy cards have typically 19th century western culture illustrations. Relating to these illustrations and the archetypal behaviour or sentiment they represent is not so much a matter of religious faith as of cultural background.

6)      Tell us about the courses you offer in Gypsy card reading.

The courses are very popular. I teach courses for beginner, intermediate and advanced students. In the courses we learn the basics of symbolic thinking and discipline our brain to respect the confines of the layouts.

The courses are short and to the point. I want my students to practice the art of card reading as soon as possible. We do not linger for years but just right into it in order to awaken our clairvoyant powers at the same time. Strengthening our intuitive powers while learning about the cards is the best way to becoming a good card reader.

Some people say that with the courses I give away unique secrets and increase the competition around me. I say that no two people can read the cards the same way. The courses certainly give a strong foundation, but they don’t give personality. Some clients are attracted to one style, others are attracted to another style. There is room for everyone.

7)      What’s next for Esther Gombor? Another book perhaps?

I am currently working on two books at the same time. One is a continuation of the first book. It offers more in-depth analysis of the cards and their role in our lives. It offers numerous sample readings, explores various layers of the cards and also talks about our connection to higher powers. The other is an artistic yet practical approach to the cards. This will be a unique surprise to all card readers around the world.

8)      Do you have any parting words of hope for our readers?

Hope dies last, as they say. If the cards indicate that something good will happen, follow their advice and trust it. If they indicate that something negative is on its way, trust their message, follow their advice and avoid the darkness.

Always live in harmony with the energies around you. Don’t outdo them. You may win but at great sacrifices.

Is this a hopeful message? Perhaps not what you have expected, but on the long run, it can save you a lot of trouble. And that is as good as any hope.

The path to hope is before us. Sometimes we just need a roadmap. Thanks to Esther  for speaking to us. She can be reached at http://www.gypsyfair.com/.

Me and RaincloudRichard S. Todd is the author of the critically-praised Raincloud: A Novel and holds talks on the self-publishing experience. He spends his time blogging and working on his next novel, The Orphans of the Creek

Visit www.tinyurl.com/voteRaincloud to vote and qualify for your chance at a personalized copy of Raincloud!*

Don’t miss the next installment of “Introducing…”  Get a Free Subscription to this blog by clicking on the Subscribe link on the right.

*The fine print: Odds of winning will depend on how many entries are recieved. Entrants can enter as often as they wish. The winning name will be drawn by random selection and contacted via the email address they provided when voting. The winner’s name will appear in this space September 30th, 2009 or when their prize is confirmed, whichever is sooner.