Interview with Sherry Tara Marshall

When did you first start writing?
I have always written since my early 20's, and had some articles published in magazines. However I never thought about writing a book until 1997, when I was at a Buddhist retreat in the South of France.
What inspired you to write this book
I suddenly thought that there were lots of books written about Buddhism and Buddhist teachers. They were wonderful but I hadn't read anything at that stage, about 'ordinary' people like me and my friends who were interested in Buddhism. Alot of people talked about their happiness and challenges with their teacher. I was fascinated and thought, why not try and write about it? I was fairly philosophical about it and thought that if it was meant to happen,' the doors would open' for me to talk with lots of the students, and if it wasn't meant to be, the doors wouldn't open. But they did, so the book got written.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I am always amazed when I write. I have never had any experience or attended any writing courses. I write very intuitively. The minute I start thinking about what I am writing, the whole process just stops! I never know what I am going to write, but if I just sit down and start writing, it all just happens. So the joy of writing for me is just to let go and not be in my normal thinking mind. That is the joy.
What was your intention when writing this book
My intention and motivation was that the book would reach people, maybe already involved or interested in Buddhism or others that were completely new or just beginning to explore a spiritual path. I hoped that by reading other people's experiences it might inspire them to explore further and also would clarify any confusion or misunderstanding they might have. I think it is important for people who are drawn to any spiritual path that they explore a few before deciding what is right for them. However for me, I just fell into Tibetan Buddhism and have never looked back!
What are you working on next?
I am writing my second book which is a fiction romance love story, set in the high Himalayas in Ladakh, India. It is about two English women who travel there on a month's holiday and to participate in a meditation group. It is a story about their relationships with their partners and their friends and the local people that they meet. One of meets an unusual man who she falls in love with. It has a Buddhist background but is about deep passionate relationships on the 'roof of the world.'
What do you do when you are not writing
Oh, I wish I had more time to write! I am a Process Oriented Therapist in Sydney, Australia. I moved here from England, thirty years ago. Process Psychology is a great passion of mine. I have my own business, Sydney Process Counselling and I work with individuals, couples and families and groups. I have also helped and worked with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama in Australia and do alot of voluntary work in Buddhist groups. At times I run meditation and psychotherapy groups and also organize conferences.
I also love dogs and travelling and swimming and am a great fan of Dr. Who!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I like some science fiction books and also, of course, books on Buddhism and therapy. I also like spiritual books and poetry. So, I guess I look those up those authors that I already like and then look at similar books that come up and find new E books that way. Sometimes I just browse and look at anything that catches my attention.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I am very new at this and have been just beginning to think about marketing! So I don't really know yet. I am just contacting everyone I know across the world on my Facebook and Twitter and hoping they will 'spread the word' about my book. So, if you are reading this and feel comfortable to tell people about the book, please feel free to tell everyone on your Facebook, Twitter, social media etc. I would love you to also write a book review.
Describe your desk
Always a mess no matter how many times I tidy it up. Then I can't find anything so I have realised that I know where everything is, despite the mess. I don't write at my desk. I actually like to work on my Ultrabook Yoga, which I love. So I write anywhere in the house, which is comfortable with views to Sydney city and the ocean and the Australian bush. I look up and see the sky and the views and the birds (I live on top of a hill) and I feel refreshed and inspired and write again
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in London. I never thought of myself as a writer as I identify more in my work as a therapist. I actually think that travelling alot in my twenties influenced my writing more. I felt very free when I travelled. I talked to everyone, which is not very English! I was brought up that you didn't start conversations with people you didn't know!
Also living in Australia, I have such a deep connection with the land here. It is why I came back here to live after visiting for 6 months. The land 'called' me to live here and also it is such an old continent and has a rich indigeneous culture with the Aboriginal people. At the same time, the white Anglo culture is very young here, only 200 years. That combination and land here is still very wild and free and that is a really good influence on me. There is also a great wildness in Tibet.
What do your fans mean to you?
To be honest, I don't really relate to the word fans. I see all of us, on a journey of life together learning, changing and experiencing life together. At the same time, I just love meeting or talking with people who have read the book. We usually end up talking about their spiritual experiences and comparing 'notes'. Which I guess is what the book is about anyway!
When the book was first published by Simon and Schuster in paperback, under a different title, I was told by many people that they saw it in different countries and I don't know how it got there, because it really was only distributed in Australia then and a little bit in England. The book developed a 'life of its own' and it was so lovely to hear from people that they found a copy in a small bookshop in Delhi or Ireland or Germany etc. Somebody recently contacted me on Facebook from America. I am always so happy to hear that people have enjoyed my book or they want to debate with me some of the ideas that are in there.
What is the essence of your book
Passion, inspiration, love, self realization, possibilities, openness, exploration and enlightenment. Learning that there is much more to this world that we have ever even dreamed about. I wasn't interested at all in Buddhism and certainly not in having a teacher! It was completely unexpected and unknown to me and its incredible when I just look at what happened to me and how these experiences have changed my life. I wasn't even looking for anything! I guess the essence of the book is myself and others sharing that with others and all the benefits that came from being open to exploring.
Published 2013-10-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

A Search for Meaning. Connecting with Buddhist Teachers.
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 91,380. Language: English. Published: November 15, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational, Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Buddhism
A Search for Meaning is a book about people just like us discovering the true meaning of Life through meeting a Buddhist teacher. Love, sexuality, relationships, spirituality, money, fame and power are topics that often interest us.These are modern, contemporary stories of love and relationships, happiness and devotion grounded in an ancient tradition. Heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking.