1. What is In Search of the Golden City about? And, why did you write it?
It is a fictional, symbolic tale about the search for happiness and the obstacles along the way. The Golden City is a legendary place of love and freedom, but there are no directions to get there. I had always wanted to write books but found reasons not to do it, such as time and lack of inspiration. A few months before I started writing I made a commitment to myself that I would start writing before my birthday that year. I asked for inspiration but I didn’t keep my promise and fell ill two weeks later. I was booked off work for three weeks, and the frustration drove me to start writing my book.
2. The book involves a love story about a boy, Akim, who can communicate with spirits, but is at odds with the physical world. How does his ability to communicate with spirits help or hinder his romantic relationship with the woman, Matima, he falls in love with?
He is employed by the king because of his gifts, but something is missing until he falls in love with Matima. Whereas he is supposed to use his spiritual abilities to serve the kingdom, it only becomes meaningful when applied in the service of love. The spirits have always encouraged him to follow his heart and stay true to himself. Because of circumstances Akim and Matima’s relationship cannot be reconciled with the world they live in. They remain true to each other at great risk, but they also grow in unexpected ways.
3. How has your interest in shamanism and mythology shaped your beliefs about falling in love and/or romantic relationships and how has it influenced your writing in In Search of the Golden City?
My interest in shamanism has helped me to let go of what everyone else told me about love and relationships and embrace the mystery while being aware of my choices. Love is more important than anything else, and this goes beyond romantic relationships. I think we are conditioned not to listen to our inner voice, but shamanic learning has helped me to reawaken to my intuition. When I wrote the book, I wrote from a place deep inside me rather than following the rules of writing. The process was very satisfying. Another thing I have learned through studying mythology is that our relationships and the world we create are very much intertwined with the collective human story.
4. The book involves challenges in the material world that affect the love relationship between the two characters. What are some common challenges you have seen people face in the material world that affect their love relationships and how can they work through those?
There are expectations about love, which can lead us to box love in. I think so often we become fixated on our notions of what kind of romantic partner we are looking for or what a relationship should be like that we forget that love is a force beyond our understanding. Sometimes this force pushes us to grow, whether we like it or not. We can offer kindness to one another, but I think love is a personal journey. Each person can only open their hearts when they feel ready.
5. You currently work as a healer. What exactly does that mean and what sort of work do you do for people?
More than anything it means that I constantly need to work on my own healing and I assist others who do the same. I do shamanic healing, which means that I work on the level of consciousness/energy. I work intuitively and ask for spiritual guidance to find the healing that the client needs most at the time. I work through my hands on the chakras and I use shamanic drumming to go into a dream-like state and communicate with the unconscious. These are tools and techniques, but I also studied psychology and work to the best of my understanding. I am not an expert or an authority, which is why I encourage clients to use what they can and discard what they do not find useful.