This week I interviewed Visionary Author Saleena Karim. Saleena is also a fellow founder of the Visionary Fiction Alliance and the author of Systems.
Do you believe you came from a different realm in a past existence? That maybe you were an Angel, a Faerie or a Starperson?
I don’t believe I’ve been alive before. Despite having written a novel involving reincarnation, I subscribe to the ‘one life, one journey’ theory. I believe that our inner evolution is ongoing, and only begins with death. Life on earth is just a step on an infinite ladder and we go forward and upward. We don’t go back, nor is there any need to.
Do you believe in life after death? Why?
I operate on the logic that without something beyond death, all life (not just human) is completely meaningless. Why should all that energy go into the universe, into life’s evolution, when it’s all going to waste? Why should people on this planet and elsewhere bother living at all, why fight to end suffering, why find joy in it, if there is nothing at the end of it all? And to my mind, it’s actually dangerous to believe there is no meaning to life, and that it ends with physical death. Without meaning, there would be no reason for any human being to even possess the qualities that make us good and altruistic, let alone act on those qualities. In other words we’d have no need for a thinking, feeling personality.
What is your favourite spiritual quote?
Oh, so many to choose from! I’ll go with something from the Eastern philosopher Iqbal: “Personal immortality is not a state; it is a process” (emphasis his).
Do you believe in magic?
Not of the physics-defying kind. But I do believe there is more to the universe than we can see, hear or touch, more stuff going on than ‘coincidence’ can account for, and that humans have unlimited potential. I believe in that kind of magic.
What inspires you to write?
The fact that the written word can transcend space-time and reach people you could never hope to meet. Human beings alone have the ability to write on this planet. We can share and learn our ideas, and best of all, written words speak to people long after the author is gone, whether to warn or to inspire.
Do you schedule time to write or just when the inspiration takes you?
I have always had to (grudgingly) schedule my writing or I’d never get it done. But really the best stuff comes to me when I’m nowhere near a computer, which is quite inconvenient. 🙂
Where is your favourite place to write? What’s the view like from there?
I only have one place: My dining room, but only for lack of space in my house. 🙂 I sit near a large window, and I get to see a variety of birds in the garden. There is much greenery and a lot of big trees in the area where I live. So it’s a nice spot in that respect.
Do you believe that your work is divinely inspired? That the words come from a higher source?
Before I answer that, I have to say it’s funny you should use that phrasing in your question (a synchronicity, if you will!). One of the characters in my novel Systems actually says these exact words: ‘The trouble with Omar was that he connected his theorem to his religious beliefs. He thought it was divinely inspired … perfect.’ It does so happen that the central idea of my novel Systems is inspired from the divine. I don’t mean literally, but it was inspired by my spiritual convictions, borrowed a little from scripture, and came to me over a period of time that involved a fair amount of synchronicity. 🙂 It’s a long story, but I’ve explained it all at a series posts at my blog, for anyone who’s interested.
On Indie Publishing
What motivates you to be an Indie Author? Is it the control? The possibility of making more money?Or just because you want to get your books out there as soon as possible?
Originally it was control, and the fact that I was too impatient to wait an average of 18 months after finishing before I would see my book in print. These days, publishers are increasingly less willing to promote first-time authors unless they already happen to be a celebrity. That was another motivating factor for me, as well as the relative ease with which authors can publish their own work today. But I should add that I have tried the traditional route as well (for my non-fiction). At the time I got good feedback, and though I was not accepted by a major academic publisher, it was for their own reasons that had little to do with my quality of writing. If I’d been given bad feedback, I might not have gone indie – at least, not until I improved my writing. As it is, I worked on my writing for many years.
If you could give another Indie Author some advice, what would it be?
Before you decide to go indie, know what you’re letting yourself in for. Indie may be faster, and you may have more control, but this also means you’ll be responsible for all the work – from editing, proofing, formatting, and publishing to promotion. And you’ll be paying for everything yourself. So you should be aware of just how much work is involved.
Also, write about what you believe in. No matter what your style, readers will pick up on your passion, and your sincerity. If you lack in either, your writing will either not be read or it will be despised, no matter how technically good it is otherwise.
Where can we find you and your books online?
You can find my books through my Amazon Author Page.
I’m also a founding member of the Visionary Fiction Alliance.