The Singing Bowl is a first novel from the prolific pen of Garden Bay author Roy Dimond.
When Humanics first published the novel last year in the U.S., it caught the attention of those embarking on their own spiritual journeys and those who simply like an adventure story. The epic tale relates the mystical travels of a Tibetan monk who must flee his homeland after Chinese occupation. He is known as a Gatherer, a seeker of knowledge, and he travels the globe searching for a lost book. He is always running from the clutches of chaos that threaten him in many forms - as agents of the Chinese or as a dark force of unloved spirits.
The monk, who is now the new Tenzin or leader, finds his love, Dorje, in Kathmandu, and her memory sustains him as he travels the ancient world.
He is exposed to Sufi religion in Afghanistan, spends time in Egypt studying Gnostic texts and encounters Islam and Christianity in Europe. He learns to trust his intuition while being surrounded by remarkable characters. But it's not until he reaches the peaks of Machu Picchu in Peru that he has a transformative experience that nearly shatters his soul.
"I don't want to write anything without a message," Dimond said. "I'm always going for a deeper meaning."
Dimond admitted that he was influenced by Carlos Castaneda's books of the 1970s that describe peyote-induced teachings. The book also encompasses shades of the spiritual teacher Gurdjieff, evocations of Rumi, the Sufi poet, and a puzzle trail worthy of Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code. Will Tenzin ever find the lost book of knowledge? Without spoiling the ending, the monk ends his journey in none other than Pender Harbour.
For much of his life, Dimond worked in the school system as a counsellor and has experience with at-risk families.
He and his wife left everything behind in Coquitlam when they moved to the Sunshine Coast. They've never looked back; he credits the Coast with inspiring his new career as a writer.
No sooner was The Singing Bowl finished (it took five years) than he had acquired a New York agent and was on to his next novel, The Rubicon Effect, now published by Grey Gate in the States.
The previous publisher had been taken over by a corporate giant, and at first the editors shied away from the book's broad theme of global warming. Rubicon moves in very different circles than Dimond's previous one, taking the reader behind the scenes in the Pope's inner sanctum and observing the machinations of a U.S. president and his running mate, a character remarkably similar to former vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin. What the reader sees in these halls of power is not pretty.
Dimond is on an enthusiastic writing spree and has co-authored the next book, recently released, with writer Jeff Leitch. Saving our Pennys (correct spelling) is a non-fiction book primarily about mentorship, based on an anecdote about a young woman, Penny.
"It's a book for those who have a happy life, but something's missing," said Dimond. He's also at work on a children's book, The Old Goat of Garden Bay, with illustrator David Ward. Why children's books after writing adult novels?
"When I was counselling in elementary schools, I didn't much like the books that were out there. I thought I could do better." He's certainly giving it a shot.
See more on his website http://roydimond.wordpress.com and on Amazon.com.
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