Title: The Shiva Syndrome
Author: Alan Joshua
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Science Fiction
A secret Russian mind research laboratory in Podol’sk erupts, annihilating thousands and leaving a monstrous, one-mile deep crater in its wake.
Beau Walker, parapsychologist and reluctant empath, is coerced into joining a research team, code-named SHIVA, to investigate the enigmatic event.
Walker must fight his way past political and military deceptions and a host of deadly adversaries to unlock the riddle of the SHIVA syndrome.
Will he have the physical, emotional, and spiritual strength to defy the dangers he faces…or will they destroy him before he can come to a new, challenging understanding of the nature of reality?
To Purchase The SHIVA Syndrome
Thank you for your time in answering our questions Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to write a book?
Actually, I decided to write a screenplay, but it morphed into a book. From the reviewers’ comments, it still has a cinematic quality.
As to my motive, I’ve been exposed to parapsychological research and even conducted a published study. The SHIVA Syndrome is fact-based fiction. I extrapolated from parapsychological research and set it in a mythological framework. I wanted to entice readers to investigate real psi research: the facts are as strange as fiction. Stanley Krippner, an internationally known psychologist and parapsychologist said, “In The SHIVA Syndrome, the author (a clinical psychologist) skillfully and ingeniously interweaves altered states of consciousness and parapsychology with genetics, paleontology, mythology, and religion to produce a frightening, brisk, and film-worthy story building to an intense climax. The story challenges conventional notions of reality, ultimately concluding that human consciousness extends well beyond the flesh–and offers enormous potential for both creation and destruction.”
The story is so realistic that one Amazon reader captioned his review with “None of This Is Real! Really! I Hope!” This made me chuckle with satisfaction.
Is this your first book?
It’s my first published fiction book. I’d written one about genetics years ago but, due to personal pressures, never published it.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
It was lengthy, meandering, and filled with frustrations. Queries to agents and publishers was maddening. The book was too long, too filled with exposition, too much of this and too little of that. The worst rejections were those in which I was told that they liked the story, but not the “voice.”
My colleagues in arms were the editors who assisted me. They saw the story and believed the public should read it.
What lessons do you feel you learned about the publishing industry?
First, self-publishing has flooded the market with an enormous amount of material. Among these, some are gems that needed to be brought to public attention. Many books are unedited, poorly edited, and/or filled with spelling and grammatical errors. This deluge obscures some of the better books and authors.
Second, having spent much time writing non-fiction, I can now appreciate the ordeal serious writers experience to get published.
If you had the chance to change something regarding how you were published, what would you change?
One thing in particular is the first editor I hired. She misrepresented herself and was a waste of time and money. I would investigate more thoroughly. Through experience, I have a clearer idea of what makes a good editor.
Did you credit any person or organization with helping you get published?
I have to credit the Senior Editor at Champagne books. She read the manuscript and saw the value of the story.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Be prepared to work at your craft and endure the blows—and the criticism. Allow flexibility for suggestions that are offered from those more experienced while still keeping a sense of personal integrity about changes you would rather not make.
Recognize that you must allow for a three-to-six month window for pre-publication promotion, especially if you are a first-time author.
There are other suggestions having to do with the writing process, but I write about them on my website at http://alanjoshua.com.
Thank you for allowing me to express my opinions. I hope they are of some help.
The Shiva syndrome, his debut fiction novel, is a science fiction/paranormal mystery and thriller.
Always curious about the unknowns of human experience, he is fascinated with creativity and paranormal abilities. This led to his involvement with Psychology and research into Parapsychology.
He has explored paranormal abilities using hypnosis and in-depth interviewing of a wide range of practitioners. Among his prized possessions are a shriveled, mummified banana (a product of one healer’s biopsychokinesis) and a small, curled Austrian teaspoon produced by a German healer while six people sat around him. (see http://alanjoshua.com/biopsychokinesis )
The Shiva Syndrome incorporates his knowledge of Parapsychology and experiences with healers, intuitives, “psychic” sensitives, etc.
Unsurprisingly, he is a science fiction fan and has been influenced by such writers as Asimov, Bradbury, Crichton, Heinlein, Serling, and the extraordinary genius of Phillip Dick.
As an avid Star Trek fan, he is fond of contradicting Gene Roddenberry, believing that human consciousness and its potentials are “the final frontier.”
If you have questions for me, I would be glad to answer them–time permitting. I’d like to hear from you if you’ve had any paranormal experiences.
For More Information
Visit Alan at his website
As a native Philadelphian, Alan Joshua (pen name) has the appropriate fondness for soft pretzels and cheesesteaks. He is married, has two grown children, and lives in the suburbs. He is currently a practicing Clinical Psychologist with a background in Forensic Psychology.
His diverse background includes working in a State penitentiary and mental institution, a sleep laboratory, and a pain management center.
Joshua has published many nonfiction journal articles.