1).James : When did you begin to write?
T : This is my first book. So I would say about 3 years ago.
2) James : When did you first discover that you were a writer?
T: There were several signs leading me to this path. People who read my Facebook updates would comment that they enjoyed my writing style. They described as “fluid with a freedom of style”. I did get hints here and there at work as a Technologist, and even back when I was in my MBA program. The final push came when a family friend advised that because I had such a great wealth of knowledge, if I could just share that with the gift of writing, it would be an enticing read.
3) James : How much did you write before you were published?
T: Mostly on Facebook through my status updates. That was all. I am an avid reader and I have received inspirations from some of the great authors like Malcolm Gladwell, Gregg Braden and Don Brown.
4).James : What is your favourite part of writing?
T: I love storytelling - unravelling mysteries and pulling in my Reader to join me in it. Am I surprised to become an Author? Yes, I am. A pleasant surprise really and I love what I am doing.
5).James : Tell us about your latest release?
T: It is a true story about my own experiences - a magical, mystical journey across Singapore, Pakistan, Malaysia & Bali. It is filled with thought-provoking theories, puzzles and paradoxes for the unraveling of the Keys to the Golden Door of the New World.
As a technology entreprenuer, in the past many years, I felt confined within, what I termed as the “Old World” of the current. I had a craving for something new.
Outside, my technology work, I had a deep passion for both the science and the spiritual. Out of sheer interest, I began a journey studying the topic of planetary civilizations, when halfway through something else took over. There was a barreling of experiences from stigmata, supernatural experiences in Singapore and Pakistan, divine encounters while in Malaysia, revelatory messages as I explored the nature in Bali and more.
It was such a zealous unfolding impacting my life so greatly, that I began to feel that it was clearly the Hand of God intervening to relay a greater message … not just for myself, but all of Mankind.
I believe that this book will offer an inspirational and educational reading journey for every adult from all walks of life. As the writer of the 2nd Foreword of my book, Dr Eric Wilding explains, the the high-minded and those with an unquenchable curiosity, would find this book an exciting read. An abstract from his words :
“The journey is not simply subjective; Tahira grounds her experiences in the latest scientific knowledge, while simultaneously allowing ancient wisdom to be part of the foundation. With a fluid literary style, she allows readers to observe a narrative tapestry of technology, mathematics, geometry, philosophy, psychology, sociology, literature and spirituality.
There are encounters that will challenge empirically minded readers. However, if readers open themselves, these gems will expand in their hearts and minds. Many readers, like the author, have been seeking a greater experience of the ultimate reality. They have most likely attended seminars, retreats and gatherings as well as read books, articles, and pamphlets on the next thing that will lead them further on their path toward enlightenment. The author will be a welcome companion as readers compare their travels with hers, exploring the puzzles, paradoxes and mysteries of existence. ” ~ Dr Eric Wilding, Professor of Language and Religion, Centennial College, Toronto, Canada
6).James : Wow! This book sounds really good. Are you planning on writing more in the years to come?
T: I am releasing a book of Poems in mid 2016. And I have started on the journey for Book 2 of 'Through the Golden Door'. Yes there is a sequel! The planned release will be in 2017.
7).James : So far what is your worst criticism/attacks, and how have you overcome it?
T: I was slowed down many times in the middle of writing. Distracted by a few people who felt that I should focus on my technology business. They considered that path as the “successful” path. After all, isn't true success, happiness in the heart?
But these distractions were just a mere handful. Majority of the time, I received so much support everywhere I would turn. It was definitely a divine sign that I was doing the right thing and I was on the right path. So did not allow those setbacks to stop me. I weaved through them, moving closer and closer to achieving my dream of publishing this book.
I am thankful to Mickey Chiang, the Author of “Fighting Fit”, who read my early manuscript, and advised me to keep working on it as it promised to be “gripping”. I am thankful to Shikha Tuli who is an Educationist. She coaxed me back in mid 2013 to make sure I finished what I embarked on. Her words were a daily reminder. I am thankful to Eric Wilding who made a prophesy way back in December 2013 that I would get more “downloads” and I should continue on.
Finally, I am very thankful to Ameerali Jumabhoy for agreeing to write the 1st Foreword for this book even before reviewing it. And when he did, he was so impressed that he went over to see my father to specially congratulate him. That fact alone, gave a warm feeling in my heart that all that hard work was worth it!
8).James : What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
T: This is my greatest accomplishment. Regardless of the success of this book, even though it is just about to be released, I feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction. This book represents who I am in every sense of the word.
9).James : What does your writing process look like?
T: I just write the way I feel most comfortable. I do not force any way or any method that is considered to be the “norm” into my style. When writing this book, I soaked myself in the freedom to express myself to the maximum. It was in June 2015 when I printed out the entire manuscript for the first time as hardcopies for the reviewers. I was amazed how they felt about my writing style. Another blessing indeed that the signs were all positive.
10).James : How did you get published?
T: I decided to take Self-publishing route first. As my first book, I was still exploring my signature writing style and kind of books I would like to write. We will see how things work out with some of the major Publishers. I am open to options.
11).James : How do you come up with the title of your book?
T: Originally I titled the book “Transit to Type I”. I was deeply fascinated by our advancement as a planet and the human race as a whole. I researched on astrophysical scales and tried to reason them out with my knowing. I loved that title as it made people wonder what was this “Type 1” was all about. However, from that trusty mnemonic of a book title, over the course of the months it was altered to a new ethereal and mysterious name “Through the Golden Door”. The new title was apt due to the numerous visions and divine interventions. It was God steering me in the right direction. The heavenly realm driving the changes, driving the underlying message for the book.
What's more, the subtitle / slogan of the book is “The Doorway to Our Advancement” My advancement or uplifting alongside with the characters in the book. As the protogonist, throughout the book I am searching for the Keys for this advancement - for this elusive Golden Door. Moreover, the Golden Door is mult-faceted with multiple meanings.
12).James : Can you enlighten us a little more about your book?
T: This book is multi-dimensional in its own way. Depending on your perspective, you can view it differently based on what you would relate it to.
However, through this magical, mystical journey which keeps your heart and mind in awe and wonder, the underlying essence and message of this book really is about Unity.
Here is an abstract of the 1st Foreword by Ameerali R. Jumabhoy which highlights this impeccably:
' … There are too many paeans to the power of spirituality that do not resonate with contemporary life. This book is not one of them. Tahira relates her experiences in a way that endears you to her and at the same time challenges your perceptions on the way the world is viewed by modern society. She augments her hypothesis with scientific explanations which bridge the gap between the seen and unseen.
Her vision of society is also a model that has universal application and builds on common themes of morality that are often forgotten in modern society. The chapters in this book serve as a blueprint as to how to live a more calm, peaceful life imbued with a spiritual awareness and a strong but quiet sense of resilience. The greatest legacy of this book is one of the focus on Unity. Unity through the intimacy with God as well as through the interconnectedness of the world we live in today. That Tahira has so brilliantly portrayed her experiences and the world we live in is a testament to her clarity of thought, her tenacity of spirit and her honest objectivity. Readers will find this an accessible account of a life which is far from ordinary.”
~ Ameerali R. Jumabhoy, Singapore.
13).James: Tell us your guiding principle that governs your life?
T: To be led by the Spirit of God. To be true to myself. To be fearless and to take the path that is unique for me – even if it is the path less travelled. When it came to writing style, I did not follow any “standards” or any structured training programs on the how-to's of writing. I simply went with the flow. I went with what resonated within me. That avenue can be harder as it is untried and untested.
The other principle I follow closely is that I have developed “communal” approach to life. To getting things done. To be open to feedback from others. For instance, very early on when I was barely halfway in my writing, I kept most of the future reviewers informed about my book. While they waited for me to write, I kept them posted on my progress. As soon as the manuscript was finished, I requested for their honest feedback. No matter how negative the feedback I would get, I taught myself to be ready to receive the criticism with humility and to make the required improvements.
14).James : How have you cultivated these values?
T: I attribute most of the good values that I developed to my parents. They are deeply passionate about their endevours.
My father's passion is for his trade in rare and antique Persian carpets. He has taken care of them for years with such tender loving care. There are many in his collection which span more than 50 years, and yet to this day, they are flawless. Similarly with my mother. Her great love for teaching English to young minds in Pakistan. She goes into her element as she dramatizes the learning experience. Children who could not speak a word of English, would be speaking rather fluently in less than a year. Her passion for the language passed on to them.
With such notable example of parents, how could I not emulate their passion and zeal? Witnessing that from a young child, it became part of me, part of my psyche.
Some of the reviewers of my book who saw how I persevered on till the completion of the book would say, 'I saw you put your whole Self into this!”
Yes, I did. So deeply impassioned, I lost myself in the tapestry of thoughts and words as the mystical story unfolded. But more than ever, with every great creation, comes great sacrifice. My father battled the ups and downs of the Carpet industry as low quality machine-made carpets would come in to flood the market. But he soldiered on to promote the antiquity and artistry of the genuine, rare and hand-made pieces. My mother did the same as she took the bold leap to venture into the rural parts of Pakistan to give access to the English education to young children there.
Their perseverance and bravado taught me to overcome all the obstacles I faced in pursuing my dream as a Writer / Storyteller. Throughout 2015, I went into full-time writing. As the earnings stopped, I reduced my daily expenditure to the bare minimum. At times I would just have a meal a day as I stayed focused on this endeavor. It was hard. Very hard. But I was determined to complete the book and release it before the end of 2015. Mission accomplished!
15).James : Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?
T: Simply write what is in your heart, what drives you, what gives you most joy. I chose what gave me the greatest amount of joy - that is, being deeply passionate about the mysteries of the Universe, understanding where we are heading toward and our future Selves. God came in to guide me to take it to another level. And that was just perfect. Creating a “Giant” of a book authored by a person who discovered and unleashed the “Giant” of herself.
16) James : How would readers order your book?
T: You can purchase the book online now at Lulu.com (click here to order). By end December, you will also be able to buy the book online on BarnesandNoble, Amazon and more. This will include the brick & mortar bookstores around the world.
For updates on where the book is sold and more, do visit the Author Website (www.throughthegoldendoor.com)
17) James : Do you have any events coming up which readers or potential buyers should be aware of?
Public Event – Book Launch : There will be a Book Launch coming up in January. This is Open to All. Simply walk in to attend. More details will be announced shortly.
Date : 28th of Jan 2016 (Thursday)
Time : 2pm to 9pm
Venue: Diana Francis Studio, #02-74, 43 Jalan Merah Saga Singapore 278115. Right next to Holland Village MRT (take Exit A)
VIP Book Launch Event : Exclusive for those who purchased the book before the 31st of Dec. It will consist of a mixed crowd of important / well-known personalities, book supporters, the Editors and Reviewers of this book and more. More details will be released shortly.
Light refreshments will be served. By invitation only. If you would like to attend this or have not received a formal invitation, please write to us at email@example.com.
Date : 4th of Feb 2016 (Thursday) (To be confirmed)
Time : 6pm to 9pm (To be confirmed)
Venue: Reflections @ Keppel Bay.
18).James : Do you have anything else you would like to share?
T: I feel that developing a close-knit relationship with my readers is integral, and to continue building it even as the reader base expands.
In light of this, I have created various social media groups to cater to the preferences of readers. You will not only get updates on 'Meet the Author' events, but also a chance to express your views, ideas and learnings from the book. These social media links are listed as follows : Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest &Google+
Finally, I would like the readers to pick up the “magic” from the book and have their own personal experiences. I want them to experience transformations in their lives as they discover their “Personal Golden Door”. The very last Chapter - “Discover your Personal Golden Door # Action Plan #” was designed to do just that. A wonderful way for readers to get touched by the my experiences and start an enlightening journey that is unique and special.