Published by Lodestone Books on October 31, 2014
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Shanti and the Magic Mandala is an adventure in which fantasy and reality are mingled. The book tells the story of six teenagers, from different religious and cultural origins and different parts of the world, who are mystically recruited to form two groups - one in the Northern Hemisphere, and one in the Southern. They eventually gather in Peru, and through a single alliance, begin a frantic chase for the sacred object that can stop the black magician's final plan.
Although you are Italian/Brazilian living in Sao Paulo, what prompted you to set your story in Manhattan and other parts of the world?
I find New York such a great, democratic and multicultural city for the book to begin. I’ve been going to New York since I was 16 and I know the city well. I’m a travel addict and since we live in a globalized era, I decided to use different countries I have traveled to around the world in the book. As you will notice I distinctly describe each and every City, because I always do the research.
In your description of each city, including Manhattan, that your characters travel to, your description of each city is so clear I feel as the reader you have been there. Have you? Do you travel to each country where your stories take place?
As I mentioned earlier I have been to all the cities in my book and heavily researched Peru. I will keep traveling to all the cities in my future books. One of the most important features of my books is that the plot happens in many different countries. For my next book it will also take place in many different countries, and I have also done much research in each of the countries. This next book will be even more exciting.
How did you come from being a prominant architect to a writer?
I have always dreamt of becoming a writer. Over the past 4 years while doing meditation I have asked for a new direction in my life and it finally showed up within meditation that I needed to become a writer… As a young boy up till now I’ve always enjoyed reading fantasy and adventure books and I was a fan of Tintin, the French adventurer boy. Also a fan of Julius Verne, and mysteries and thrillers like Agatha Christie. Bringing all these memories to the present, I wanted to write for young readers, and to writing an exciting adventure and fantasy book, which could also bring mportant things into the story, such as spirituality, compassion, human rights, animal protection. All these things mean a great deal to me. I was an architect and that also helped me write my book, for example, the way I can see and analyze the environment around the world.
What is important about having multi-cultural characters in your story?
Because I would like to show it’s possible to have union and harmony among people from different cultures and religious backgrounds. We have to learn to respect each other and admire the differences. I believe when there is prejudice, there is no way to have peace.
What do you hope the reader learns from reading your book?
I have the desire to inspire young readers to be proactive caring about the planet, as well as supporting them to live freely and have compassion for their fellow man, while accepting other people’s options, religions and cultures.
Do you ever plan to make your home in Manhattan?
I love Manhattan and it is always a possibility… we never know…
You speak and write perfect English, how do you do that?
Thanks for the compliment. I started studying English when I was a kid, and when I was 15 I lived in London for a while. I have also spent some time in Australia doing a course. I travel a lot and have friends all over the world.
What prompted you to write for YA and Adults this type of book?
I believe I wrote this book through the teenager I was, and for all the dreams I had. When I was younger I loved to read fantasy and adventure books, such as Tintim (Hergé), Julius Verne and J R R Tolkien. Also I think young people are the ones who will be able to change the world. That’s why I decided to bring them something, to plant a seed in their lives, to be able to germinate good feelings related to the planet, related to human rights. I decided that it would be a good idea to use a ludic approach with these themes that are so important for the planet. We are talking about freedom, we are talking about human rights, we are talking about planet protection, about love, about all these subjects that are fundamental for the health of our planet. That’s why I decided to write an adventure, but it is a fantasy as well, through many mystical and spiritual approaches.
Do you have any other books that will be coming out soon?
Yes, I have just arrived from a long trip where I did a great research for the next title… I want to make Shanti and the Magic Mandala first of a series.
Your imagination soars throughout this book, how did you allow yourself to do that?
I think inspiration and creativity is a process and can be reached once we are connected to a higher level of consciousness. The creative process for me personally is also much better after my spiritual and meditation practices.
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