Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I owned an advertising agency in NYC for 14 years before selling it to undertake a three-year isolated meditation retreat. “The Superyogi Scenario” is my first fiction book, which I wrote on Sunday afternoons in retreat. After retreat, I became a blogger for The Huffington Post and write about meditation. I also wrote the non-fiction book “The Perfection of Marketing” to support small and mid-sized businesses use best marketing practices.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“The Superyogi Scenario” is a fresh take on the superhero story that packs a philosophical punch. When elite yoga practitioners use their meditative prowess to fly and manipulate their bodies like superheroes, not everyone uses their powers for good.
I was inspired by Master Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra (written in the 3rd Century). I used authentic verses that explain how supernormal abilities arise—like being able to fly in the sky, read minds, or become invisible. I wanted to give readers a taste for the transformations of heart and mind that occur at the higher levels of meditation and explore what makes someone a hero.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I started in an unusual place: a thousand day meditation retreat completely cut-off from the world. I had no cell phone, no internet, no news from the outside world. On Sunday afternoons, I would take a break from studying and meditating to write something fun. I wanted to see if I could create a page-turning thriller that allowed people to experience some deeper philosophical ideas in an experiential way.
Fortunately, critics are excited about my approach to blend superheroes with authentic eastern philosophy. For example, Kirkus Reviews said, “The supernatural meets the spiritual in this unusual, endearing thriller. Connor may have carved out a new subgenre.” And Midwest Books said, “In a world replete with novels, this story is a standout.” Readers can check it out and decide for themselves if this is a fresh experience.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Neil Gaiman, American Gods; C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters; and the Wachowski’s Matrix Trilogy.
I’m drawn to authors who have craft and are willing to start from unusual places.
What are you working on now?
Readers are asking for a sequel to “The Superyogi Scenario.” They love the characters and a new superhero world that is grounded in authentic philosophy.
I’m also polishing the screenplay for “The Superyogi Scenario” which is currently being shopped in Hollywood to turn into a movie.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Honestly, I enjoy doing book talks where I can meet readers face to face. Then you can really see who you are writing for and understand how your stories affect them.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Mostly, start in an unusual place. Tell a story that only you can tell. If that means you need to investigate further to make it real, do so. Then write. Then you’ll discover something to say that can help people.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“All the suffering in the world comes from taking care of yourself. All the happiness in the world comes from taking care of others.”
It’s from Master Shantideva, a Buddhist saint in the 9th century.
What are you reading now?
Story by Robert Mckee, it’s the classic on how screenwriters creating compelling beats within scenes.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Adapting a soon to be published novel, “The Training of Kara Steele” by Kristin Walsh into a screenplay. It’s one woman’s journey to cure her addiction to bad boys through increasingly radical means. It’s laugh out loud funny.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
I actually had to make that decision before spending three years in a cabin in the high desert mountains of Arizona! I took four classics on the steps of the path to enlightenment. “The Yoga Sutra” by Master Patanjali (3rd Century); “The Stages of Meditation” by Master Kamilashila (9th Century); The Lam Rim Chenmo, “The Great Treatise on the Steps of the Path” by Je Tsongkapa (15th Century); and “Liberation in the Palm of Your Hands” by Pabongka Rinpoche (18th Century). Reading and re-reading those books was time well spent.