Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Inspiration For Buddha’s Bad Boys

Now that I’m back from my three-month trek through SE Asia, I’m back on my weekly blogging schedule, which means Tuesdays are the days I showcase my own work.

Bold Strokes Books recently published my first anthologies of short works, Buddha’s Bad Boys. Each story is about fifty pages in length, so they have a bit more red meat on them that the average short story.

The idea for these tales came from the main temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Wat Pra Sing. The first time I visited the Wat I saw a sign that read, Monk For A Month Program, where for a cost of $350, tourists could shave their heads, don orange robes, and live the life of a monk for thirty days. I was intrigued, but was only staying in town a week. When I went back a year later to enroll, they had discontinued the program. But the idea took hold, and I began writing about Western men, all clutching the end of their rope, who find wearing the robes brings about the last thing in the world they expected.

At first I wrote these stories as give-a-ways on my website, as a way to introduce people to my writing style. The response I received from readers who read the first two stories—Monk For A Month and Handcarved Elephants—was so overwhelmingly positive that I planned an anthology, which resulted Buddha’s Bad Boys.

I’ve been writing these monk stories and giving them away on my website for four years. Some are romance, some adventure, and there is a bit of high drama in all of them. Of the six stories, two are based on real people and real events. The other four are purely fictional.

I’m very pleased to have them all together, and I’m hoping my readers will enjoy them. I know this is a cliché, but they really are a work of love.

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